Tuesday, 28 December 2010

fabric update

The hessian soaked in slip is now (finally) dry. I shaped it as it dried but now think its probably far too thin to fire successfully...

It does allow for making interesting shapes and contortions. I will try and fire it next time the kilns going but may have to try and make thicker versions if I want them to survive.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

more rust

The sea-salt bath I made to speed up wire rusting from an earlier project got left on a windowsill and forgotten... until i came across it again this evening.

The water has evaporated, the salt re-crystalized and the rust has left a beautiful stain in the bottom of the dish. Not sure I can use it directly for anything now but glad to have captured a photo.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

frozen weave

It must have got too cold in shed last night - the drying weave plate has frozen and is covered in ice crystals. The slip that I wanted to decorate the plate with was frozen solid too.

20 minutes on the heater and the slips were liquid again and got splashed randomly over the plate...

I have brought plate into a (hopefully) frost free spot and now I have to hope it defrosts without cracking too badly. 

Monday, 20 December 2010

fabric soaked in slip

Fabric can be soaked in clay slip, the resultant mess shaped and dried can then be fired. During the firing the fabric burns away to leave a skeleton of very delicate clay.

An earlier attempt which I made using earthenware slip and hessian;

This worked in that it fired and showed me some of the potential of the technique. Earthenware clay is however not very strong and so the clay skeleton is very fragile. I originally made three but the other two - which were wound much more loosely and looked more interesting - dissolved and fell apart when I tried to dip them in glaze.

Now I am trying again using smaller pieces of hessian and some clay I dug from Poole Harbour. This is a ball clay which is extremely fine and extremely strong so I am hoping to be able to contort the hessian into more exciting shapes and for the finished result to look more refined.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


I have long wanted to try weaving clay and now I have an excuse - this blog is proving worthwhile!

Simple red earthenware hand rolled coils woven over a plaster mould. I made this very quickly and squashed the coils together so its not very neat or even but the shed was too cold to hang around. Started to clean it up with a sponge, hopefully will be able to neaten more as it dries.

Currently looks more like a lattice pie than a woven bowl...

Maybe brush with slip to make more even and help the coils stick together? Planning to clear glaze and then gold lustre the cut ends. Could take a while to dry in this climate but that might help prevent it from cracking...

Friday, 3 December 2010


The freeze continues... I managed about 5 minutes in the shed before giving up...

...so I am reverting to a previously made pot ... it does however fit the topic well...

We investigated typography and graphic design in school this week and are continuing to look at 3d typography next week (travel conditions permitting).

Text is always finding its way onto my pots in one form or another.

The Wanderer is an ancient piece of text, originally a spoken story, probably first written down a couple of hundred years before it appeared in the Book of Exeter in the tenth century and as a spoken only piece dating back to possibly 600AD. The author is not known.

Although it was first written down in latin script, when it was still a spoken piece, runes would have been a common form of writing. I chose to translate the text back into runes. I love the way they look and they are easy to carve into damp clay - runes being an alphabet developed before paper which were designed for carving into wood, stone etc.

I wrote the text as a spiral, starting in the middle. Runic script does not have much punctuation and I preferred the way this allows the text to flow.  It also works symbolically as the text runs out with the edge of the pot (somewhere in the second chapter), suggesting that the story goes on and is bigger than its container.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Not necessarily anything to do with clay...

A space for college related video experiments

December 2nd 2010
First up, typography project - youtube video;

I grow food so I can eat and I swim so I can eat even more! Its a virtuous circle...

... a very basic bit of stop-motion animation, my first attempt and I only had a couple of hours - and then the tripod broke! Still, learnt a lot and cant wait to make the next one... (the best bit is some great music from Brute Chorus)

December 16 2010
Another typography project - this time we were to re-create the story of the owl and the pussycat using just a single typeface which we were given. Luckily we could cut up characters and photocopy them.

... and it gave me another opportunity to try stop-motion This time I scanned in the image and used Gimp to move the owl and save the file a little at a time, replicating taking individual photos. This was much quicker but still took a while - would love to have the patience and time to animate the whole story.

January 02 2011
Another short video, this time of the shadows created by a woven plate. I found the shadow really mesmerising and the more I looked at it the more real and solid it became.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.