Hi there. Thanks for popping in.
Started shaving this afternoon. 3 hours! That’s a lot of shaving! And to be honest, I could have kept going; there was plenty more to shave, but I ran out of time! Yes, you know, don’t you. Pottery. It’s a new technique. You may recall that this term, rather than just keep knocking out more pots, tiles and vases, I am learning new techniques . Last week, I started on the Sgraffito – the art of painting leatherhard clay with slip, then scratching a design out of the slip to reveal the original surface. Yeah, so last week’s little dish went in the kiln, and came out well…
Now it needs glazing. Which I fully intended to do today, together with the experiment tile – the one I was studying as I made it, to see why the last batch of tiles I made warped, and were dimply. The tile came out peach too, so now I know what to do!
But all the best laid plans and all that. I spent most of the afternoon shaving! There’s a famous ceramicist called Ashraf Hanna. And this term, we have been set the task of making an Ashraf Hanna inspired pot. Let’s look at some superb original Ashraf Hanna work first, shall we?
He makes these amazing pots by hand, and uses a razor blade to get that rough texture and the sharp baseline. So I thought I would make my own version. It’s not quite the same, but it’s definitely got potential !! Bearing in mind, it started out life like this:
Then got pulled up, up, and more up!
When it was leatherhard, I was able to start really thinning out the sides with a grater…
Then this week, it was time to shave and burnish…
So it’s round on the inside (ish…)
…but the base is square:
I decided I wanted to burnish my whatever-it-is with a spoon. Which changed it completely. By rubbing vigorously with the back of a spoon (oi! steady Eddy!), the clay particles are compressed and the surface gets really tight and shiny. I love it!
I’ve spent a month on this little Ashraf Hanna looky likie! It is ready to go in the kiln for its first firing now. Just have to initial it first. I wanted to add 1/1. because as sure as eggs is eggs, there’ll never be another one of these!
The pot’s a bit wonky, a bit kooky, but I love it. I reckon it will be very cool when it’s finished. Now I’ve got all week to think about the glaze. When I look at what I have actually made this term, and compare with others in the class, my couple of little pieces are pretty modest. But then again, I have learned loads. The way I see it, I’d rather add clever techniques and styles to my little Pottery arsenal. Since I am planning on doing this for years to come, there’s no need really to pump out pots en masse, is there?
So yeah. Who knew that shaving and polishing clay could be so rewarding?!
Tomorrow we head off up to Leyburn for the Open Days. Long haul, but Dave and I will have each other for company in the van!! I have been listening to an old Phillip Pullman novel, too – The Tin Princess. Excellent. Highly recommend it. Must go indoors and finish that – just got to the really gripping bit. There’s so much to do! And so few hours in the day to do it all!
Love & Hugs,
Don’t forget: Tina is on HOCHANDA tomorrow at 11am and 2pm, with some absolutely delightful new plates. I really like these ones!