Friday, July 4, 2008

Weeds


I live in a rural area on about 1/2 an acre of land. My lot is shaped like a bowling alley with my house and studio/garage in the middle. I do have some "traditional" lawn space around the house, but about 1/3rd of my property is growing wild and unmanicured... just the way I like it. It's full of daisys, tall grasses, clover, thistles, ferns and other plants. What some would consider weeds, I consider source material.




Some of my current work features drawings inspired by the plants and weeds in my yard and the surrounding woods. Pieces are thrown and trimmed at my potter's wheel. When the pots are leather hard I apply a chocolate underglaze to the exterior of the pot, and then brush on designs with black underglaze. Once the underglaze has dried to the touch, I use tools to carve through the layers of underglaze and expose the white stoneware clay underneath. After the pieces dry completely they will be bisque fired, glazed, and fired again to cone 6 in my electric kiln. After the glaze firing the pots turn a honey brown with black and white details (see previous post). The pots shown above are still in progress. They will be available for purchase during the Northwoods Art Tour at the end of July. For more information about the tour go to www.northwoodsarttour.com.

2 comments:

2blackcats said...

I LOVE the look of this pottery. It is very similar to the look that we are getting with Blair's Red and Bray's Black flashing slips in the soda kiln. Are you using commercial underglazes or mixing your own? Also, do you then glaze over the underglazes with a clear glaze? The girls in my class were very interested in your process, as we are frustrated with the electric kiln, because when you use a clear glaze over our bray's black slip, it tends to pull the slip, or the clear glaze turns cloudy.

Pigeon Road Pottery said...

Thanks! On the exterior of the pots I brush a thin coat of Mayco's UG-031 Chocolate Underglaze to the entire surface after I trim the foot. Then I paint my black designs over the brown. The black is Amaco LUG1 underlaze. I start carving when the pots are very firm leatherhard. You do get a crisper line the closer you get to bone dry, but it's also easier to break the pot. I like to carve deep and vary my line width. It is difficult to do this if the clay is too dry. After the pots are bisqued the interiors are glazed with Minnesota Clay's SG4 New Albany Brown glaze. Then I brush a thin coat of cone 6 clear glaze over the black & white areas of the exterior. The chocolate underglaze sheens up on it's own at cone 6.