Monday, September 21, 2015

Mugs On A Monday Morning

Monday Mugs are kind of a thing among Clay Buddies on FB.  These four are currently in use for my morning tea.  Tea is all the more pleasurable when drunk from a beautiful mug!

What do you drink your morning beverage from?

As always, thanks for stopping by............*s*

(left to right)  Lori Watts,  Posey Bacopoulis,  Kate Missett,  Jeff Brown 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mold Making

I bit the bullet and have been making a large platter form.  I've been making smaller ones, about fifteen inches across from bird baths, but I've been wanting a larger surface to work on.

I covered the plastic form with layers of tissue paper and then a sheet of plastic.  I then took the slop clay I keep for molds and experiments and extended the rim to a curve I liked. 

I rolled out a thick slab and  finished it with a rolling pin.  Whenever I work with a large slab, I always finish with my rolling pins.  I roll in all directions, much like pie crust.  I have no real proof, but I think it makes a stronger slab.

Here the slab is covered with the thin jersey that I use between slab and form.

One of the hardest steps in the entire procedure is flipping the slab onto the form.  I suppose I could ask Proge for help, but where's the fun in that?

Here I've added more clay to the rim to strengthen it.

And finally I have the form shaped to my satisfaction.  This is all done by eye, as I want to maintain a handbuilt feel to both the form and what I make.


 I wrapped the form in several layers of plastic and dried very slowly to soft leather hard.  I took  the plastic off for a few hours at a time and changed to a dry sheet.

I forgot to take a picture of the flipping process.  It's quite easy as the bird bath form is there for support.  I braced the sides with rolled plastic and newspaper before removing the bird bath.  I left the whole thing for a day before working on the rim.  I used a sur-form to smooth things out.  Sharp edges can lead to bumping and cracking. I also worked to interior curve with one of Mud Tool ribs.  Yellow has just the right amount of give and control.

Now it's just a question of drying slowly and evenly.  I drape thin plastic over and periodically flip it to keep the rim from drying too quickly.  If it does look like it's drying too fast I will cover the rim tightly with more plastic.

We'll see, Grasshopper.......we'll see....

We have finally had some rain more than four inches since Friday.  We are still down several inches, but we did set up rain barrels so there is water for plants if it gets dry again.  No matter how much I water, there is nothing like rain to perk the plants up.  It's cloudy today with more showers expected this afternoon.  The air feels very soft.

Enjoy the week ahead.  Here's hoping for cool, wet weather in all the areas that are dealing with fires.

As always, thanks for stoping by.......*s*

Friday, September 4, 2015

Alien Invasion

This was going to be a posting about the pots I have been making, the flowers that are blooming and all the delights of late summer.

THEN!!!  About an hour ago we were out in the yard for our morning walk around when Proge yells, "Holy sh*t there's huge hornets' nest up there."  I looked and indeed it is a huge nest.  On second thought it's probably paper wasps!  We always get them around the pool trying to build nests under the rails; we never have considered the fish pond as a source, but of course it is.  This is right over the fishies so there is no way we are going to spray or use anything else to get rid of it.  They aren't bothering us so we will wait until cold weather to deal with it!  It would be another story if they were white face hornets, which are extremely territorial and will chase you down!  

We'll see, grasshopper.......we'll see..........  

On a happier note this little frog has been by the pond for most of the summer!  He likes to sit on the rock in the morning and relax in the pond the rest of the time.  We've had quite a few frogs this year.  Some summers we only have one or two.  We also have about a dozen baby fish!

I'll post about pots and plants next time.

 Meanwhile have an enjoyable Labor Day Week End!

As always, thanks for stopping by..............*s*