Tag Archives: The Simpsons

Gimme the bat, Marge

Just a fair warning, I think this one will get away from me.  Like a guy rambling about photos of his kids, I seriously doubt you want to read this.  I’ll try to put the more interesting stuff (the pictures) first.

On Wednesday, I threw six bowls.  Six!  They were decent too.  They took about two hours to throw and about three hours to trim.  The trimming probably could have taken very little time, except trimming fascinates me.



The one on the left I threw earlier this semester, a mere few weeks ago.  The one on the right is from a week ago.  I used one from a week ago because it was bisque fired and I wanted something close to compare weights.  Believe it or not, the one on the left feels heavier!  They are the same clay, but the one on the left has a temeku glaze whereas the one on the right has a porcelain slip I mixed up.  Here are all six together:

Wednesday 3/6/13


It’s pretty much like 8 Heads In A Duffel Bag, except it’s six heads, and there is no duffel bag or heads.  Or David Spade.  That concludes the first stage of rambling.

In the second one, I’d like to go over each piece individually, talking about the form and decoration, along with special comments I may want for posterity.



I’m new to writing things down, but since I’ve been shown time and time again that I should probably do it, I’m trying it again.  I’m more trying to commit things to memory and type them down because I hate writing so much.  Anyway, I forget the exact order I threw these bowls, but that is something I should take care to note, since that may be useful later.  Anyway, this is bowl 017.  Yes, I know that zero before the one was probably overly optimistic of me, but the engineer part of me likes to see zeros in front of stuff sometimes, ok?  Get off my back.
While the numbers don’t coincide with the order I threw them, they are left to right in the picture, so this one is the left-most one.  It isn’t easy to see in the photo, but I would say this one is more angular than the others.  It has more of a clear bottom, which I wasn’t certain I liked when I first finished it, but I like it now.  It feels like it has more structure to it, like it is the Missing Piece to my fingers’s Big O (ok, it’s not really like the story, but it’s like the title).  I tried trimming in a chuck I made of leather hard clay.  I should have let it dry more, since the moisture from the chuck was absorbed into the rim, which got deformed a bit, so that’s what that is, since I knew you were wondering.



Now on to 018.  You can see how the bottom is more parabolic, which while good in theory, doesn’t strike me as having a mind of it’s own.  I didn’t think about that until just now.  When things in nature are smooth, it subconsciously demonstrates how fluid it is, just a bag of liquid, a nothing sack.  That’s probably why Borg spaceships have a bunch of gobbledygook on the sides for no reason.  I mixed up some iron filings into some porcelain clay to make my own slip, I believe I talked about that in a previous post.  I applied it to the inside of this bowl, mostly because bright things are nicer to eat out of than dark things.  That’s probably subconscious too.  Anyway, I think it looks nice, but the outside is a bit too tight, too bland.  I’m interested to see what the slip does though, that should be cool.  I also like how I treated the rim.  A lot of my bowls have an ending, a top opening, but I wouldn’t call them a rim, per se.  THIS is a rim.  Not the best, but it’s starting.



And here we have 019.  The profile of this bowl is pretty dang tulipy.  I like that about it.  It’s pretty elegant looking.  I’ll play with it a little after it’s fired to see how hard it is.  I like how the profile closes a tiny bit before opening back up again, but I really should try to combine that with a rim, especially if I’m going to be using stoneware.  I did some chattering along the side of the bowl.  It’s kind of hard to see, but it’s there.  It should show up during the firing, by having small changes the atmosphere can flow around, so we’ll see how it goes with that.  Again with the no-rim.  Crazy.



Hey kids, you know what time it is?  020 time!  This one is quite a bit smaller than 019.  Before I sat down to throw, I measured out balls of clay, and they were all within a 1/4th pound of each other.  I guess that’s a lot of discrepancy if they only weigh about 4/2 pounds to begin with, but I’m not about to get to precise with my clay weighing.  I know a lot of ceramics is about precision, but I don’t buy it.  I like happy accidents, but that’s a topic for another day, if not just another paragraph.  Maybe this one was on the lighter side, maybe the walls are thicker, who knows.  I’m thinking now that I threw this one before I threw 018.  It has slip applied to the inside, but the application looks a bit sloppier, and it stops a little short of where the rim might be.  A rim is indicated though, so that’s a plus.  Actually, I think this one was the first one I threw that night.  It seems to be the runt of the litter.  I remember when I was trimming my tool ran into a chunk of something that seemed to be already bisqued clay.  Ah, free recycled clay is fun.  And free!



021.  This one is a beaut.  The profile is almost exactly the same as 019, which is pretty neat to me, considering that I often feel that my pieces don’t look like they are quite a set, so this is especially encouraging to me.  The inside is still plain, and there isn’t a rim per se, but it does go in a little where the rim might be, I kind of remember distinctly trying to make a rim, so that’s pretty good.  It still could use something to say “HEY“.  The application is pretty neat though.  It wasn’t that wet, and I made it with clumps in it (not really on purpose, but you have to go through a slower process to make it without clumps, and hey, happy accidents, right?), so it went on in a dry mannar that ended up looking like those anvil head clouds.  I bet I can put some colorant in future slips and say my inspiration was a sunset, or some nonsense like that.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this type of decoration with coyotes on it or something.  Oh, that’s kind of a downer.



Bowl 022.  Again, it’s very plain, I probably threw it when I threw 017 up there.  One thing to note about this one is how loose I threw it.  I think that’s why I went ahead and left it plain.  Just to teach you non-ceramicists something, let me explain.  Loose and tight (in ceramics world) refer to how a piece is thrown.  If it is ovoid when it should be circular, or not straight when it should be straight, it is considered to be thrown loosely.  Now, tight and loose is often directly compared to good and bad, but that is very often not the case.  A master potter Shoji Hamada is famous for loose bowls.  It’s a more natural form, since circles appear almost nowhere in nature, and straight lines are few and far between.  Also, as mentioned above, a loose form looks more like there is something inside.  Loose forms also look less machined.  Usually, a newcomer to the wheel will make loose pots first automatically, and later struggle to make them on purpose.  I have to remind myself that just about every time I get on the wheel to throw.  Why am I using clay?  Happy accidents, mostly.


Yesterday I helped watch a wood kiln firing.  More accurately, I ‘helped’ ‘watch’ part of a wood kiln firing.  I thought ceramics was pretty cool before, but yesterday helped teach me how incredibly awesome it is.  Next Wednesday I should have some fired pieces.  Woo!


Unkee Moe? My teef hurt.

That’s what I’m thinking right now.  Also, maybe tagging The Simpsons will boost my page views a bit.  Today I got my temporary crown of plastic off, and replaced with a permanent crown of porcelain.  It’s bittersweet, to say the least.  I know my mouth is better off, but it doesn’t exactly feel like it right now.  Tomorrow I can floss by it again, yay!  The area that was crowned was indeed throbbing before crowning, but next week I have to go back in to get a filling on a tooth that feels perfectly fine.  Curious.

After I left the office, I walked to a bookstore with several short-term goals in mind.

For one thing, I didn’t want to stand in the heat for an indeterminable amount of time for the bus.  Being nearly high noon, the shadow provided by the poorly designed bus stop was nearly non-existant.  So, I headed to the bookstore.  Inside was the coffee shop (Starbucks, of course) had free Wi-Fi, and I wanted to find out when the bus was coming so I could strategically not have to wait outside.

Also, I wanted coffee.  Not coffee, mind you, but the highly addictive coffee/sugar syrups Starbucks slings.  Before I got my coffee, I picked up some reading material.

Now, I had no intention of buying the book, but if Starbucks is going to charge me five dollars for a drink, I figure I’m just making things even.  I think I’m old enough to talk like that now, but I need to brush up on my Old West talk.  Darn tootin’.  That’s a thing they said, right?  Anyway, as I was looking for the subject I was looking for, I came across a book about aromatherapy and massage.  For some odd reason, I chose that book instead, and skipped off to find a nice seat to drink and wait and read a while.  A man sitting next to me struck up a conversation with me.  He noticed the subject of the book I was reading and asked if I liked massage.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do, but that seems like a strange thing to say to a random man at a bookstore.  Still, I admitted that I did indeed like massage.  He asked me a few more things about me.  I told him I just graduated, yadda, yadda, yadda, and then we were just making eye contact.  To break the silence, I asked him what he does for a living.  He is a massage therapist!  He also does aromatherapy!  He gave me his card, which said as much.  Here I thought he was just a weird guy.  Maybe he still is, but he was a good illustration of why I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  I still do, of course.  All the time.  I just try not to, is all.

On the bus ride home, there was an odd bus driver.  He mumbled almost constantly.  I could never quite figure out if he thought there was a mike there he was speaking in to (some bus drivers have that, a relic from a time before the gps system could tell us where we are, and also so drivers can easily and comfortably  yell at the ne’er do wells in the back), or if he was just crazy.  I like to sit close to the front, and from what I heard, his ramblings were bus route related, which I find bewildering.  If you’re saying things people should hear, maybe make sure people can hear you.  I don’t know, maybe it’s me.

My evening plans were to try and see an advanced screening The Campaign.  I got a block or two away from my house when I realized that I forgot the pass.  Now, the movie isn’t until 7, but the pass does not guarantee a seat.  It’s all first come-first serve.  In the time it would take to get the ticket, I would miss the bus.  I am considering getting the next bus, but I know a few things.  I know how many vultures like myself go to those free screenings at Tempe Marketplace.  I know that I didn’t really have my heart set on seeing half of the last Will Ferrell movie and half of the last Zack Galifianakis together at last, and I know that I need groceries.  I’m just going to get groceries.

It’s a big country

It’s a bit of a joke that my taste buds don’t exactly work right anymore.  This is probably because I dump massive amounts of black pepper on most things I eat.  Most of the times when I go to restaurants, I unscrew the lid to the pepper shaker and pour about 1/4th of it’s contents out onto my food.  I don’t know how accurate that really is though.  I know I have bad taste, but I think most, if not all of the odd tastes I have are merely personal and not surgically altered.  I mean, I liked Adam Sandler movies more BEFORE I had surgery.  I also remember a time when I thought pizza bagels were an ok thing to eat, and I’m not about to blame modern medicine for that one.  At any rate, I went all of Thanksgiving without adding the slightest amount of pepper to anything, I think that’s a pretty good sign.

Speaking of modern medicine, last Sunday I woke up sick.  I was sick feeling for about a third of a day, and had almost filed away my illness until I noticed I had a rash covering my body.  It started Sunday night, and by Tuesday morning it had advanced as far as it was going to.  Monday was an incredibly itchy day.  I’m pretty sure I scratched my belly for a couple of hours in my sleep, but try it before you knock it, ok judge?  Monday night I dreamt that the rash on my sides had turned into a passageway into my trunk somehow, and when I breathed I had to cover the holes so I could get some suction.  I’m pretty sure that’s not a good sign.  However, being lazy and busy with school, I didn’t have time to get to a doctor until my mom made me go on Black Friday.  If you didn’t get the chance, you should go to an Emergency Clinic near you next year, they have some amazing deals!  The guy I saw looked at my rash, and couldn’t tell what it was.  I had personally been through enough med school to come to that conclusion on my own, but I still am not supposed to write my own prescriptions.  It probably isn’t strep throat, but it might be anyway.  Oh, it also might be Scarlet Fever!

PS. I’ve lost all respect for Scarlet Fever.  I thought Scarlet Fever was a serious affair that killed people.  I think I got it confuted long ago with Poe’s short story.