Monday, October 1, 2012

Deciding what to do

I started blogging about these platters a while ago, as a way of introducing folks to more work from this series.

Unfortunately, readership is non-existant.

Rather than just cut the blog, I figure I would check in and see if anyone has any suggestions.
Otherwise, I will pull the plug on this and move the platters to the clay blog.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Help a brother out: This Platter Needs a Name (untitled) - 82298B

This Platter needs a name, 82298B, 1998, 26"diameter. 

By the time I was glazing pieces of this size, I was getting some of my technique down. Instead of using the large platters as giant test tiles, they became canvases. I would save my experiments for smaller platters. Anything under 20" in diameter was "small". Easy enough to replace if it should crack in half... which happened all too often.

Once they got this big, and started closing in on the 36" limit... things got tough. It took more bodies to help with all of the various aspects of the making. I needed help flipping them over. I needed help loading them into and out of the kilns. I needed help moving them. They were just HUGE.

Now I need help again. I need suggestions for a name for this platter. Can't guarantee I will use it, but nothing is grabbing now, and back when it was made, I didn't have a name either. For those of you REALLY into helping: I also need to find a venue where I can exhibit these platters. Something, somewhere, where people are excited about seeing and purchasing fine crafts. I am open to all suggestions. If you know of a gallery where these platters NEED to be shown, tell me all about it. If it comes to pass that we are able to show there, we'll work out a way for you to go home with a platter in tow.

Monday, August 6, 2012

More Than a River - 9298c

More than a River, 9298c, 1998, 28" diameter. Three days of firing, five days of cooling.

With this platter, the images speak for themselves. There is no great mystical story behind this platter. It worked. It turned out better than I hoped.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Green Jello, Food Fight - 85981

Green Jello, Food Fight, 85981, 1998, 22" diameter. 22hr firing, 45 hr cooling cycle.
After about two years in Logan UT, our neighbors finally invited us to a ward party. For the non-LDS (non-mormon) among us, that is a party held at your local church in UT... basically a neighborhood party, that falls under the aegis of the LDS church. In short, we were asked (after 2 yrs) to come to a neighborhood party. Nice, eh?

When we asked what we could bring, our neighbor suggested "a green salad". So Leah brought a nice big leafy green salad, with lots of cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, peppers.... all from our small garden.

People stared at us.

Apparently, that was not what they meant.
Green salad is code for GREEN JELLO. Yes.

Our social faux pas was not understanding that Jello was a vegetable appropriate for dish-to-pass type events. Oh hell no! Then I found out that Jello encompasses all levels of evil. You can put STUFF in Jello... to really make it salad. Carrot slivers are common (nasty!). If you add marshmallows, it becomes a gourmet dessert. If you add fruit, that fruit MUST come from a can or the Jello won't gel. Who'da thunk it?

Needless to say, they found my lack of Jello-ducation sorely lacking. After a few remedial courses in Jello making, I feel safe to say that unless I have the flu and am DYING, I don't really ever want to think about Jello again. Ever. Certainly not green Jello.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Downstream and Going Steady - 89981

89981 - Downstream and Going Steady, 1998, 16" diameter, Three days of firing, three days of cooling.
 One of the things I love most about this platter is that as you look closer and closer, you realize that as the cooling cycle began, and the glazes began to freeze up... they were already in such a thick flowing state, that the underside of the glaze, kept on moving; remaining molten for an incredibly long time. This resulted in an almost pyroclastic flow sort of behavior. There is a skin over the surface of the glaze, that shows wrinkles from the glaze underneath continuing to move as the surface began to chill. Not something you see on pottery glazes.

The puckering from the chilling is pretty obvious in this image.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Toothpaste Hurricane - 85984

Toothpaste Hurricane, 85984, 1998, 17"diameter, 14 hr firing, 22 hr cooling

 Something so strangely appealing about seeing so much clay exposed through all the foaming mint green glaze. My expectation was that this platter would feel like a summer breeze. After firing it seemed so much more tumultuous... just wild!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fits So Well Around the Shoulders - 8280

This August I was planning on exhibiting a few of these platters at a show in the midwest. I have been invited to show at very few exhibitions over my twenty years of making pots, so I was very excited. I started making plans to ship the work there. Packing up these beasties and getting them ready to head out the door is no small undertaking.

I realized pretty quickly that I couldn't do it by myself, the way I normally had. Heck, I am not even supposed to lift something half as heavy as these platters. Then I needed to figure out a way to ship them half-way across the country, insure them, and then plan for return shipment.

I called a few different shippers (and one pack and ship place) to see what I would be getting into in terms of time and expense. The cheapest numbers that came back made it look like driving them across the country with them sitting in the passenger seat would be considerably cheaper. Who in their right mind has a week off in the middle of summer to take 4-5 platters for a drive in the country? Not me.

Long story made short, I had to give up on this show. As much as I wanted to be a part of it, there was very little chance of it being feasible. If there was a great likelyhood of a patron of their gallery knowing ahead of time that they "had to have" one of the platters, the sales from that one might offset the shipping costs of the others. But without that security, I couldn't subject my family to that much of a gamble. Any other year and it wouldn't have been a big deal, but since our bankruptcy, ever dollar has been 10x as precious as I ever imagined. Certainly not where I thought I would be at this point in my life, but with things looking up... it will improve. Maybe the next time a gallery asks to show these platters we'll be in a situation where shipping won't cause us to have financial fits.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vulcan's Christmas Wrapping Paper -101298A

Vulcan's Christmas Wrapping Paper -101298A

Imagine my excitement pulling this platter out of the kiln. The gnarled surface was crinkled and raw. It begged to have fingers run across the textured surface.

So, one of my peers did just that.

Broke right through the paper thin blistered skin of the glaze. Shattered the tiny bubble of crustiness that separated the outside world from that jewel-like interior.

As we worked our way through our week's critique that night, I kept chipping away at some of the more offending (obvious) bubbles. I knew full well that most of them wouldn't make it through the week without being popped. Almost like leaving bubble-wrap laying on the floor... someone HAS to pop those bubbles.

Leaving those edges raw served as a deterrent though. Everyone knew how incredibly sharp that glaze edge was.... like a ginsu scalpel! In the end, we are left with a tiny view inside the underside of this glaze. I think if I had made more of this style, I would have taken the time to sandblast off areas, just to expose this amazing interior.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Certain Dessication - 101198A

Certain Dessication - 101198A
16" diameter, fired for three days and cooled for five days. Thick titanium and iron crystals over a fluid cryolite and feldspar base, colored with copper oxide.  Price available on request.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dried Up Toothpaste, In Bed - 111398A

This was another one of those massively wide-lipped platters. Because that rim is actually hollow, it is one of the lighter platters I made. Probably only 15" in diameter, it is a good five pounds lighter than a platter of a "normal" rim.

The inside of this platter was originally supposed to be bright fire-engine red...and crunchy! I think in my hurry to get things ready for this firing, I cut back on my thoroughness in the glaze lab, and didn't mix this glaze as thoroughly as was needed. My guess is that the lead frit in this glaze simple settled in the slurry.

In the end, it is certainly not what I expected, but it also has intriguing aspects. And it does really resemble dried up toothpaste, in bed.