Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Mugs

In the summer I bought a new mug from Tony Clennell that's a generous round shape with a robust handle.  I love using it for tea.  It's beautiful to look at and my hand cradles it perfectly.  Another mug I bought from fellow potter, Yukari Hazama Iverson at the Marlin Orchards sale Thanksgiving week-end is a very similar, although a more refined shape.  I love it too!  So, I made a batch of mugs with that hand cradling shape in mind and tried to make the handles more generous than I normally do.  I hope others enjoy the shape as much as I do.

These are the two mugs that inspired the new shapes.  Yukari's on the left and Tony's on the right.

Next time I'll aim for a more elevated foot and I feel I need to introduce more decorative elements into all of my pieces.

Carving Moulds

I've been trying my hand at carving some hump moulds for bowls.  As Steve Irvine informed us at his workshop, they take alot of time!  I find it less tedious and crazy making if I just spend an hour or two at a time working on them, so I've been keeping them under plastic and refining them as I have time.  I'm looking forward to asking my dentist if he can spare some old tools for me when I visit in a couple of days, now that I'm getting to the finishing stages.  The images above are reminiscent of the 40's era glass light fixture we have hanging over our dining room table!

The dining room light fixture--whose pattern I took notice of after I'd been carving for a few days!

Above are a few of the stamps and roulette type stamps I've been making.  I like using the wood stamps I got last year, and am excited to make my own out of clay.  All these moulds and stamps will be bisque fired and then be used to imprint patterns on wet clay.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Steve Irvine Workshop

The Ottawa Guild of Potters brought Steve Irvine from his home in Wiarton, ON to Ottawa for a week-end workshop in January.  Steve's careful attention to detail is evident in the way he forms his pots and in his approach to photography--both important aspects in his life.  He's a solitary artist, working alone in his studio and choosing to sell primarily through stores and galleries within a couple hours' radius of his home studio.  Very interesting to hear him explain his marketing strategy and his relatively modest pricing.  And to hear about the beginnings of the Owen Sound artists' co-operative that he helped found and of which he is still a member.  His quiet, patient, humble demeanour seemed to be transferred to his pots and his photographs.  Lovely work.

Steve demonstrated some of the techniques he uses in forming pots and in creating decorated, textured surfaces. Most intriguing to me were the intricately carved & bisqued hump moulds he used to make bowls and the many rolling tools, also carved and bisqued.

bisqued & carved hump mould

finished teapot and bowl made with hump mould above 

a selection of stamps and rolling tools used to add texture

He made several forms that were then altered, and several were made of assembled pieces, including an animated teapot complete with two eyeballs and four legs.  Lots of food for thought from this workshop.  I look forward to trying out some new ideas that have been percolating since the workshop.
vase form made in 3 pieces