Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Castle jar, tests, and stuff on the shelf

True to my status as an un-production potter, I sometimes (often) take on individual projects such as this reproduction jar for The Castle Museum in Marietta, Ohio.  The jar is an approximate reproduction of one made by Nathaniel Clark who once operated his pottery on the site of The Castle, and is destined for a raffle fundraiser at a garden party there on Thursday, June 14.

 Below are some very small jars, approx. 5 inches tall, that will be for sale in the carriage house gift shop at The Castle Museum, along with, eventually, 70 others.  Unusual for me, the outside glaze was applied to leather hard (on the dry side) green ware.  On bisque surfaces the air bubbled through, making small craters.  
And, tests.  Round one for the Castle jars.  There was also a round two.  The time frame for testing is easy to underestimate.  I can get quite fascinated with the endless possibilities.  In this case, trying to get a not glossy, but not completely matte surface in an electric kiln to come close to a pot from a wood, or maybe coal fired kiln. And the right color.  The winner was a primarily Red Art/ ball clay mixture with a little wood ash and nepheline syenite.  Also a bit of Mason Stain and ochre.  The inside of the pot is a glaze I had on hand.  Parkersburg Art Center helped me out greatly by firing my round two tests when the power cord on my kiln fried.  Thanks Vance! The kiln technician suggested replacing a couple of other parts which were beyond their life expectancy after we sent him pictures of the problem area.  It was intensely complicated and I seriously would have been crying if Ivin had not been on the job.
On the shelf:  some toad houses that tagged along with the Castle jars in the last firing.

 These little, um, bird objects below have been in the glaze firing, but are not glazed, only decorated with colored slips.  More to happen with these, as far as mounting/display. I have about a dozen ideas, and hope the one I go with will realistically be within my skill set.  Have to remind myself that I am not a cabinet maker.  Stay tuned.
More tests- this time of slips with various colorant combinations.  These for above birdy objects.  I am pretty well maxed out for spots to place test containers and test tiles. Need to edit.
Future flowers.  The pressed lace flowers at River City Farmers Market sold out last Saturday and I have some other ideas I'd like to explore.

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