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Topic: Butterflies and pinch pots  (Read 13179 times)
Tags for this thread: craftster_best_of_2008 , coil_pot , clay , cookie_cutter , vessel , butterfly  Add new tag
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dawt
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« on: April 29, 2008 08:41:56 PM »

I took a ceramics class at our local junior college because I missed putting my hands in clay. This is one of my favorite things I've ever made, a coil pot I worked on for several weeks.








I found the process quite relaxing, especially applying the rolled coils to the layer beneath it, smoothing out the lumps and bumps, trying to make it look as though it was thrown on the wheel (although a little haphazardly, I admit). Since there were hundreds of items being fired at the school, it was a bit of a circus act to get this pot fired without losing any of the butterflies but it came through just fine. While it was drying, though, someone bumped their piece up against mine and one of the wings broke off. The instructor suggested I use vinegar to repair it and it worked beautifully, even I can't tell which one it is.

I also made 3 itty-bitty slab pots that were fired in a trash can overnight. They were burnished, not glazed, but the burnishing process gave them a shine so they didn't need it. When they came out of the fire they were the neatest 'color' of black and natural clay. I loved, loved, loved the burnishing process, it was calming and didn't take any real thought. I would like to pursue this at home and learn to fire them in the same way. Maybe I'll take pictures of the 2 I have left (I gave one to one of my brothers) and post them as well.

Thanks for looking!




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titancia
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008 08:47:28 PM »

The butterfly pot is beautiful! It is just gorgeous.
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008 08:58:41 PM »

How fabulous can it get!! Your pot is wonderful. Kind of Arts and Crafts in feel also.
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008 09:00:14 PM »

I love this! so beautiful...
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tcha345
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008 09:17:27 PM »

Gorgeous! I am in a ceramics class now and I made this real big vase that I can't wait to bring home! Smiley

We got to throw on the wheel too, but I stink at it.
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008 10:18:56 PM »

Gosh, thank you, everyone! I feel validated... or something special like that.

Teresa_T, I love the Arts and Crafts era and take what you said in the highest regard.

Tcha345, post some pics when you get to bring you stuff home, I'd love to see your work. And I know exactly what you mean about the wheel, thought I'd love it but ended up dreading it, made some ugly stuff, too. (I get motion sickness and it just made me feel pukey.)

Thanks for your comments, too Titancia and mmmary, they really brightened my night.

~Dorothy

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jwill
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008 11:59:08 PM »

Very cute pot. I love the color and butterflies. I'm impressed they survived in a school kiln!!
I took a class in high school, and we did the burned pieces too, and I agree that it's such an interesting color. It's so different than anything you could just produce in a glaze, and cooler knowing it's from being in a fire!! hehe
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tcha345
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008 08:29:17 AM »

Hey, brought the vase home and it's posted if you want to go check it out! Smiley http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=243494.0
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008 08:55:53 AM »

Heyyyyy! Nice work! (I left a comment over on your post.) The carving you did on your vase was totally unexpected, very pretty, and I'm so envious of your talent! I can't free-hand like that, gotta have some sort of pattern to follow. I like the color, too, it allows the natural color of the clay to come through. I used the same color glaze for a few of the pots I threw on the wheel because I used an underglaze on a few of 'em.

I'm going to take pictures right now of my miniature pots and post 'em in a little bit. Can't wait to see more of your work!

~Dorothy
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008 09:39:59 AM »

Okie dokie, Pokie, here's the pics I promised. This is the type of work I'd like to do more of, but I need to learn the firing process so I can do it at home.









I love how the fire licked the surface and left its mark. Even though they're not glazed I'm amazed at the shine they retained from the burnishing process.

Oops! Modified to add that these are slab pots, formed by using a slab of clay and 'manipulated' into shape. This was a required project made in the same ceramics class I did the butterfly pot.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008 09:44:27 AM by dawt » THIS ROCKS   Logged

fashion09
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2008 05:06:22 PM »

sweet i thought they were glazed but its a great detail
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sasastorme
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2008 01:16:49 PM »

That is absolutely beautiful!  I took a pottery class my first semester in college and I hated it.  My hat is off to you Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2008 02:47:55 PM »

Thanks so much, guys, I appreciate the comments!

Yeah, college courses can sometimes be taught by people who haven't changed their curriculum in years and have lost their enthusiasm for the arts, which means they can't possibly inspire the uninspired. That's how I felt about my instructor, when I saw class projects of years gone by, the curriculum seemed the same year after year, ugh. I realize there is a certain amount of repetition needed to learn the basics, but it's art, ideas are just about endless.

Ceramics is one of those subjects that definitely needs an instructor in love with their craft. But even with a great instructor it can still be challenging to find what 'fires your pot' and what doesn't. It means giving everything a try, throwing on the wheel (which I loathed) pouring slip (liquid clay) into molds or doing stuff free-hand with coils and slabs of clay.

I'm determined to make more of the little ones, so if anyone has any suggestions on how to set up a way to fire them in cans, let me know, eh?

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mouseatethekitty
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2008 06:51:53 AM »

I adore your butterfly bowl, but I am absolutely in love with the two smaller bowls. The colors are amazing! Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2008 10:47:03 AM »

Thank you SO MUCH! The big pot didn't get by unscathed before the bisque firing, but I'm glad the damage was done beforehand so I could repair it. Someone bumped their piece against mine and part a wing fell off, but I managed to find it. The instructor (whom I'm sure got some sort of sick thrill out of being right, she wasn't very happy about my piece being so difficult to fire in the first place), showed me how to use vinegar, of all things to sort of 'glue' it back together. It worked beautifully because even I can't tell which one was broken. Dipping it in the glaze proposed another challenge because of the large size but I managed to escape with no finger prints left behind.

I'm with you, I love those sweet little pots. We had to make 3 of them (gave one away, there's a Mexican name for the vessels but I can't think of it), and after the first one I was hooked! I fell in love with the burnishing process, it was relaxing and provided instant gratification with the shine it left behind. And when it came out of the firing process I would have cried if I wasn't standing amongst such a large crowd, the finish was way beyond my expectations. The only thing I wish was different about them is the inside, it's plain bisque and I think it would be more esthetically pleasing if it was glazed.

They're a bit wonky, but that's what appeals to me about hand-made stuff. Wonky can be a good thing in the crafting world, adds character!
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2008 10:19:01 AM »

I love your pot. I took a ceramics class but the clay frustrated me. =/ I have two lopsided vases I made a couple years ago. I love them though. I like burnished clay items too. They're lovely.
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2008 11:02:48 AM »

Thank you so much! I love the fact our 'works of art' aren't perfect, so lopsided is good! I'd sure like to see your vases.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008 11:12:35 PM by dawt » THIS ROCKS   Logged

MidnightPomegranate
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2008 07:21:27 PM »

Oh wow! When I saw "coil pot" in the title I immediately remembered the lopsided excuse for a pot I made in 7th grade pottery! Haha! I shouldn't underestimate craftsters like that. This is amazing. I wish I wasn't so inept at pottery making...I don't have enough patience.
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2008 11:12:03 PM »

*snicker* I totally know what you mean, sometimes we never know what we'll find when we click on something here. I'm glad you were pleasantly surprised, though, thanks for posting!
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« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2008 03:52:26 PM »

That butterfly pot is jawdropping.  Nicely done!
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« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2008 12:10:29 AM »

Oh my goodness, thank you so much! Your thoughtful comment made me step a little lighter today...
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« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2008 05:47:53 AM »

 Grin oh1!! it is so cute!!!! seems ancient artists.
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« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2008 11:08:28 AM »

You know, I never thought of it in that light, but you're right, in an abstract-sort-of-way it IS ancient! The coiling and pinch-pot methods I used have been around for eons, so thanks for your wisdom in looking at my work in that way! Wink
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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2008 09:33:45 AM »

Okie dokie, Pokie, here's the pics I promised. This is the type of work I'd like to do more of, but I need to learn the firing process so I can do it at home.

[img width=500 height=375]http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/minipots-1.jpg


[img width=500 height=336]http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/minipots-2.jpg


[img width=500 height=323]http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/minipots-3.jpg

I love how the fire licked the surface and left its mark. Even though they're not glazed I'm amazed at the shine they retained from the burnishing process.

Oops! Modified to add that these are slab pots, formed by using a slab of clay and 'manipulated' into shape. This was a required project made in the same ceramics class I did the butterfly pot.

Those are beautiful. I'd like to get into that too.
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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2008 12:19:01 PM »

Thank you, DancinInTheDark! You really should give it a go!
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OhHappyDay
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2008 12:45:16 PM »

dawt, I just came across this old post. LOVELY pots!

As for the smaller pots - I'm pretty sure you did raku Wink. Or something that resembles that process anyway.

You can fire in a home made raku kiln (or a pit or whatever) but your work still needs to be bisque fired first in a kiln, otherwise it won't be able to handle the thermal shock of open fire.

If you have access to a kiln that you can bisque your work to, then you can fire at home with the same method. Look up pit-firing or sagar firing and you'll get oodles of ideas!

Happy pinching Wink.
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« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2008 10:13:51 PM »

Thank you, OhHappyDay, I appreciate the compliments AND especially the information! It's a good thing I haven't tried it yet, it would have been a disaster. I couldn't recall if my little pots were bisque fired before putting them in the flame or not, thanks for the brain nudge!
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2009 05:18:48 PM »

Congrats!!

Craftster Best of 2008!

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« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2009 02:05:50 PM »

OH--MY--GOSH!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I am sitting here, stunned! I'm actually crying as I write this and can hardly believe such a fine thing has happened to ME! That you thought my work worthy of such an honor has made me all giddy-like, runnin' around the house and jumpin' up and down like a little girl! My daughters probably think I've finally gone over the edge. Actually, they're the ones who introduced me to Craftster, so if it weren't for their encouragement I never would have posted my work. Thank you, Titancia and Guineababy, for being such awesome daughters!

My father was the one who first introduced me to the magic of clay and I sure wish he could see this, he AND my mother would be as tickled as I am about it.

Thanks, you guys, I truly am honored. This was the shot in the arm my delicate self-esteem needed.

WAAAAAAA-HOOOOOOOOO!

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« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2009 11:43:46 PM »

Congratulations Dawt.  You deserve it.  You've made stunning pottery pieces.  They are lovely.  Hope you can make more.
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OhHappyDay
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2009 06:13:17 PM »

Well I think you should make mor pots now! Wink

Congrats!
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« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2009 09:06:32 PM »

Gorgeous! 
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« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2009 03:07:48 PM »

Thanks, you guys, I do plan to make more...one of these days. I even have the clay, but it's so cold I can hardly get my hands to type let alone dip into that wet stuff. But I really will...

BTW, my daughter made a plaque for me that looks just like the award-graphic Craftster posted here, it's awesome! I'll get pics and post as soon as I can.
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« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2009 09:24:28 PM »

Now that I'd love to see!!!  Very talented family.
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« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2009 02:41:41 PM »

Finally, the picture I promised of the wood-burned/painted plaque my daughter made for me. It's a replica of the award Craftster gave to those who were honored in their Best of 2008 crafts. I'm still stoked! Thank you, Valerie, you rock AND roll!








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OhHappyDay
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2009 03:37:28 PM »

Looks like your daughter gets her talent from you Smiley. What a great gift!

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