Tuesday, April 16, 2013

new mugs

I very much need to restock mugs.  The mugs below are fresh off the wheel. The canvas on the bats is an idea from a Clay Times column where potters write in with various helpful tips.  I didn't keep the article so I can't give credit. The canvas allows me a couple of options.  First of all, though, I don't use my wire cutter. After I'm done throwing the mug I set it, the canvas, and bat, aside for a couple of hours.  Then I slide a large drywall spatula under the canvas, lift canvas and mug off the bat and place on a piece of drywall.  When the mug has dried enough to handle then the canvas can be peeled off. Option 2 is to let the mug dry a little longer and remove the canvas, as before, and transfer mug directly to the drywall.  What I like about using the canvas is that it absorbs some of the moisture from the bottom of the pot, which helps since I use plastic bats.  One thing- the canvas should be cut with pinking shears to avoid unraveling edges.  I keep forgetting to buy those things!
So, this shape mug is not new for me, but I'm looking at changing up the handle.  Oh, yeah, forgot to say that the canvas must be moistened, and a little slurry need to be spread on bat before laying the canvas on it.  
I experimented with trying a lower profile handle on these mugs. In the picture above the finished mug at left has my old handle.  And upper right is Miss Billy, no doubt on the prowl for any uncovered liquid- glaze, water, iron oxide- to play with. Handles are difficult because everyone has a different idea about what makes one comfortable.  Additionally, I feel at a slight disadvantage because my hands are very small and my fingers are double jointed, both of which makes my idea of a comfortable handle much different from most people.
I know what you're thinking and no, I never have.
Back to the tan stoneware.  Actually I only have a few pounds left of the lighter clay so I switched.  I had this shape in mind for these mugs.  I think I'll like them, but won't know for sure until they're fired.  Just like with the new handles on those other mugs, I wish I could pick these up by the handles now and give them a try-out. 

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