Thursday, October 2, 2008
This is the first series of work I have created here. Everything was fired in the wood kiln. The clay I was using is tianbao and some tianbao and porcelain mixed together. The tianbao is a very high iron clay giving it this reddish brown to brown color. The clay is very different than what I am used to working with and I have enjoyed throwing with it and trying to loosen up my style some. I have also incorporated different white slips and creating line and depth with them. Some quick craving also has been new for me and also the altering of the base to form square shapes and ongulating rims. Our firing got a little to hot on the top for this clay and many pieces were over fired causing many different problems. These were the few that survived the 14 hour firing and I am pretty happy with them. Next we will fire the new soda gas kiln and make many test with clay and glaze to achieve more colors and textures with the new materials here.
What is exciting and challenging is that the artists here primarily only use the pure, white porcelain clay. Some potters and sculptors use the high iron clays to make water vessels and other very functional forms from the clay. We are trying to develop a high fire stoneware clay and glazes from the clay to achieve a broad range of surface and color. Essentially, a more Western approach to the material and curiosity of what can be done.