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Posts Tagged ‘hand built’

Coilware vase

So finally, here is my coilware vase, lately referred to as the termite mound vase, in all its matt blue-grey glazed glory. Coilware is hand built using sausages of clay layered up and ‘glued’ with slip and then smoothed together. It’s an easy construction method to learn but getting a finished object that doesn’t look like a primary school child made it is harder than you’d think! I’ve made plenty of coilpots before now but they are all relegated to being plant pots or pen holders, this is the first one that is decorative enough to not need a function. The key was using the clay drier than usual – I was scared it would have air bubbles in it and explode when it was fired but the firmer material meant it wasn’t prone to sagging during construction and kept its shape better. I’m really pleased with the subtle ribbing and the textured glaze, it feels lovely as well as looking it, and I always think the best pottery makes you want to touch it.

If my experience of visiting Pot Fest is anything to go by, coilware isn’t an awfully common construction method among professional potters, I guess because it is so much more time consuming than throwing and therefore tends to be very expensive, but I was inspired by David Wright.

Vase by David Wright

It was a year or two ago that he had a whole bunch of coilware bottles on his stand at Pot Fest Scotland and he seems to have moved on to more rounded or abstract shapes in his latest work, but here’s a picture of the most similar design I could find on his website. You can see how my glazing was influenced by his style if not the shape.

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Hand painted vase

I have been very poor at keeping this blog up to date but it doesn’t help that this is the first time since last summer that I have had new finished pieces to show off! Making plaster moulds and then casting from them is a slow process with things needing to dry in between, so I don’t have those finished yet but I do finally have 2 pieces to show you:

This slip-cast vase (an undecorated one from my evening classes last year) is painted using velvet underglazes and then clear glazed over the top to give a smooth, glossy finish. The design is inspired by the celtic cross I saw in Ireland and you’ll be seeing a lot more of it when my press moulded plaques are finally finished, because I’ve also made a version of it as a plaster press mould.

Hand built friendship bowl

This is a hand-built bowl, thus the ‘rustic’ feel, which I’ve glazed in two different colours; I used Blues and Greens first and then dipped the rim in Norwegian Blue. I’m really pleased at how the glazes ran together and gave such a lovely colour variation and almost metallic, high shine finish.

Next week, I’ll be glazing the first of my wall plaques and casting a bowl from my new drape mould. I’ve also been learning new decorating techniques using slip and glazes. Maybe I’ll remember to take my camera to class with me next week and then I can show you works in progress; I might actually update every week that way!

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