Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The "French Autumn" sets II -after firing

We were again very busy in our studio and I couldn't found few minutes to take pictures of those new "French sets". Today I finally did it...

This post will be again more about pictures then about words. I hope you will enjoy them. Every question, observation or comment is welcome. For now just let me say that the French clay, which we have brought from our trip, is not only very nice to work with but also wonderful in the fire. I like the almost black -rusty color. But as I have expected it is not for the hottest parts of our kiln. We fire pretty high and also in quite strong reduction. And this combination is usually crucial for high iron clay bodies. We use several clays with similar iron base like this French one and we have to fire them in colder parts of our kiln. You will see on few pictures below what may happen if such clay is over fired in heavy reduction. It is walking on the edge...

Without glaze...

 Seeing pieces like this I often recall a Masakazu Kusakabe's exclamation during unlouding kiln with him " Look, look - such a wonderful crack! So natural"

Thank you for reading.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The "French Autumn" sets - part I.

Sharp reader of my blog has probably caught promise I have made here. I have mentioned my plan to share with you journey of the red stoneware clay from Dordogne River to our kiln. At first, I thought about to make few tests, then create few teapots and share with you the "best of" it. But then I realized that it could be interesting for some of you to see those first tea sets before firing. And so I dicided to show you those unfired pieces without knowing final results. Kiln has been lighted today and will be preheated overnight. The firing should end during tommorow night. Pictures, which you can see here I took (still with red fingers) a week ago.

If those cups will survive each will hold around 50ml of tea...

Here you can see drying white clay. I got chunk of this white clay together with the red one from Meyssac potter Laetitia. This one is kind of majolica clay (for low temperature) from Limoges region. I decided to use it as a white slip - an under glaze decoration. Dry clay has been crushed, than mixed with water and sieved thru very fine sieve.

Two teapots were "painted" with Limoges white clay. I left the third one "naked" - without slip and without glaze, just clay and fire.

No matter how many firings I already have done - pure excitement - I still like it.

Thank you for reading.