My new ceramics class started on Wednesday. Of course, this semester will be different. They all are, right? Actually, that writing down things seems to have worked a bit, so I’ll keep doing that. I have some goals for this semester. I want to more explore surface treatment. Notice I didn’t say decoration. That’s because surface treatment has more integration with the form than mere decoration. Mostly though, it’s so I can be all elitest about it. One main thing I’d like to do is experiment with adding vegetable matters into clay.
I was planning to add this material at some point in time, but I may lose my nerve. It is yam rinds. I would say they are yam rinds, but I saved them in a bag in my refrigerator, and time seems to have melded them together. I think now they are prohibitively stinky, much like Graboid insides. I don’t know if I can do it, man.
One thing I may actually bring myself to do is glue these to pots right before I soda fire them. They are various yam peels. They also stink, but less so, and the texture is much less vomitous.
I’m starting small, with chlorella. It is a blue-green algae, and as organic, carbonaceous material, most of it will burn off. I realize that. However, some of it won’t. Chlorella is supposed to be full of minerals and things, so maybe something crazy will happen. Who knows?
I mixed some chlorella in with some of the free kids clay. They clay was terrible, very short. Short is a ceramic term, believe it or not, that sort of describes the makeup of the clay. The opposite of short (in crazy clay world) is plastic. More plastic clays are better for throwing, but shrink like bananas when fired because of their high chemical water, from what I understand. That means the clay wasn’t terrible I guess, it just didn’t have the attributes I was looking for. That’s kind of a neat way of looking at things, isn’t it? Anyway, I did manage to throw this small jar. I’m not that happy with the shape, but I suppose 1) that wasn’t my main concern here, it is just an experiment, and 2) if you squint (squint harder), it looks like a Smurf house. You can see in the picture that the clay has sort of a blue-green tint to it. That wasn’t nearly dramatic enough for me, so I sprinkled some chlorella directly onto the clay.
It made this neat pattern when it hit. It’s a pity that it will most likely burn out. Maybe I should work with more mineraly minerals, who knows.
Here’s the inside of the lid. And yes, that is my natural hair color.
Here’s a bowl I managed to throw with the kids clay. I forgot what number I was on, so I just said it was number 025. Looks like I’m actually on 023. Whoops. So I sprinkled some chlorella powder on, then some water on the powder. I should make some crazy chlorella slip. That would be nuts.
This is the last thing I threw, and it’s pretty neat. It’s a nice big (not really that big, but biggER, maybe ten inches across) bowl. The inside is that iron slip. Some of the other pieces I made with that iron slip, the slip ran down the sides. Obviously you don’t have to worry about that so much when it is on the inside of a surface, because the most it can do is run down to the bottom. That’s not that good, but at least it won’t stick to the kiln shelf, right? The sides of this bowl are pretty thick, because if you throw big stuff thin, you start to wear out the clay. Especially if it’s short, it may want to sit down on you. I think it’s a great opportunity to practice some fluting.
I’ve been volunteering at the Edna Vihel Center in Tempe, which is awesome. It’s a great experience for me, and I am slowly learning to sweat less of the small stuff. Sometimes though, there is some small stuff I am ‘supposed’ to sweat. For instance, since I know the teachers I volunteer for, and I see them every time I volunteer, they told me when they needed a volunteer, and I volunteered. Bingo-bango, right? Apparently not quite. Their boss, who I never see (ok, I’ve seen her once) is who I should have told I was going to volunteer. Whoops. I keep forgetting my camera, which is unfortunate since there is some great kids art there. Today I realized that any painting made by a child that is copying the stylings of Piet Mondrian will come up with a work of art far more interesting than anything made by Piet Mondrian. I will try to remember on future visits.
On Tuesday I had an interview for a job for a company I’d really like to work for. I believe in their purpose. I’m not really sure how the interview went, and I’m thankful for the opportunity I have to keep my hands and my head busy so that I don’t drive myself crazier dwelling. That, in itself, is amazing.