Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Potter I am Not

Kudos to all those functional potters out there! Though I've had my suspicions, I have confirmed that I am definitley not one of them. I love drinking, eating, and collecting pots, but making them is not my forte.

One of the requirements as a resident artist at the Clay Studio of Missoula is to donate 2 cups and 2 plates for every month of your residency. (Lucky for me, I'm only here one month, so my numbers were small.) The plates and cups are used at thier annual fundraising dinner Missoula Valley Thyme and Plate, which just happens to be this Sunday, June 25 from 6-10pm. So glad I extended my stay to that I can attend both the Bray Bash this weekend and Thyme and Plate!

It took me the better part of 2 days to make just these 6! This is actually my 2nd round of tumblers - ever! (The first 3 I made are too embarassing to even look at, much less post pictures of for the whole world to see.)


They are handbuilt from 1/4" earthenware slabs using a paper pattern that I made from a standard pint glass. Fortunately, I was able to adapt my usual handbuilding techniques fairly easily for this step.

There were casualties early on, however. I lost 2 after applying a few layers of terra sigillata and saturating the bone-dry clay. This one split right down the middle - mostly along the carved lines.
I'm was already down to 4 when I had to face my real challenge. With to do with the surface??

See, none of my standard, favorite, low fire glazes are food safe. So, after exchanging a few emails with glaze guru John Britt, and running a few tests (on the broken cups I might add), I was able to come up with a solution. They're in the kiln now (glaze to cone 04) and I hope, hope, hope that I get 2 decent ones out to donate. And I only made 4 plates. So fingers crossed there too! I'll know tomorrow afternoon...

In the meantime, here's a little eye candy from the market Saturday morning. The lilies this woman had were absolutely amazing. I'd never seen so many varieties and colors!
Cheers!
Meagan

7 comments:

cookingwithgas said...

But,but, but you make the most amazing work! You should never worry about become a production potter- your work is wonderful leave the wheel to others while you continue on your own path.
one more but- those are great tumblers- no problem- but really I love your work and admire what got you there.

Tracey Broome said...

Those tumblers look great to me. I am curious about your solution, I have the same problem no clue how to glaze functional work, I use mostly terra sig these days....

Meagan Chaney said...

That's what I ended up doing too. A terra sig liner with a food safe clear I found using GlazeChem.

http://dinoclay.com/software/glzchem.html

If you haven't checked it out, it's free for 45 days and only $35 for forever! It has limit formulas stored for low, medium, and high fire so you can see if the glaze ingredients fall with in the "safe range".

I also used a black shop glaze that was already mixed here in the studio because they didn't have one of the ingredients I needed to mix one I found on GlazeChem.

Maybe I should write a whole post on this process at some point...

ang said...

ha well done they look great!! what a challenge...:P

joyelizabeth said...

I love your tumblers - you mentioned making a paper form first - can you elaborate on that process. I simply love your blog and your gorgeous work!

Joy Elizabeth

joyelizabeth said...

Can you elaborate on your process of making the tumbler forms? They are gorgeous. I have wanted to handbuild a tumbler but I'm not sure of the best way and yours look terrific. Thank you -
Joy Elizabeth

Meagan Chaney said...

Of Course! Let me take a few pictures of my paper template process and write a little something and I'll post it ASAP! Thanks for asking!