week 12

Chrome Oxide
White Cedar Hill Glaze

This week we critiqued the rest of the classes Apologia pieces. Mine did not get critiqued because we had a tennis match and class was canceled one day. I need to buy Velcro so it can hang on the wall to be looked at and graded. I got a chance to work in the studio a bit and get my glaze calc. finished and ready to be fired. I still need to redo my line blend before the last firing day. I will probably be doing that next week during class or for my outside class hours. I messed up my line blend last time and did the total batch numbers instead of the numbers for just one batch.

For my line blend, I plan to get a glossy glaze that is a neutral color. I want to do a lot more neutral color glazes for some of my own pieces including the fantasy function piece. I picked out a white glaze (Cedar Hill) and I plan to use chrome oxide as my colorant for the base glaze. The glaze will be fired under a cone 6 kiln. It is semi-glossy and the transparency is opaque. The materials needed to make the glaze are Ravenscrag Slip, Frit 3134, and Zicropax.

week 11


During my time over spring break I didn’t really have much time to work on any of my ceramic work. But I did a lot of research on my fantasy function project. I plan to create a planter that serves as a holder as well. This week I plan to build and put slip on the piece and then put it on the bisque shelf so I can get it glazed in time for finals week. I will need to make large drainage holes in the planter. For the clay body I might use terra cotta or a red clay. Both are breathable materials, which means they’ll work well in areas that might not get a lot of air flow. In fact, I’ve found they work well indoors as well as outdoors.

It can often be hard to tell what size of pot you need for succulents and arrangements. I plan to leave about a half-inch of space between my succulents and the edge of the pot, so they’ll have a little room to spread and grow. A tightly packed arrangement like the one below will look beautiful as soon as it’s finished and it generally prevent the succulents from growing as much.

week 10

This week we were introduced to another project called the “No Base” project. The objective of this project is that I will create an object or series of objects that have no base. The work must be able to be turned in any orientation and still work structurally and conceptually. We are asked to think about every side of our object and the potential for options in presentation. This piece should push size limitations. I plan to use a hand building process. I have made progress on the project currently. I am using the red clay for hand building that we made in class.

This weekend I worked mainly on my “No Base” project. I have really into listening to music to inspire artwork lately. For this assignment, I want to create something that is based on an artist called GirlTalk. His music is a cross between edm, rap, and alternative all mixed into one. I want to create repeated shapes and doing some slip work and maybe add luster. I have been looking on Pinterest for inspiration. I have started making some of the repeated shapes in class and outside of class already. I want to also incorporate coil making into my piece. The images below are the research that I have gathered.

week 9

This week my triaxial blends came out of the cone 10 kiln and they turned out pretty well. I used a simple butter base glaze from glazy.org. The colorants I used were Celadon mason stain, copper carbonate, and tin oxide. I ran out of the mason stain I used so I had to use the peacock mason stain that was a similar color. I hope to try these different blends in my future pieces.

My apologia project is finally finished. I am just waiting on it to be fired in the cone 10. I changed my idea project a little bit just because of time and my schedule.  I made circles and I plan to hang them up on the wall in a certain shape. I fired them with black and white slip. After they were fired I used bubble under glaze and then coated them with a clear glaze. I will need to buy Velcro to hang my Apologia piece on the wall for critique. Our next project is the fantasy function project and that I plan to make a pencil holder that is somehow a planter as well. I really have been into planter and haven’t had the chance to make one yet. I am still in the beginning stages and need to sketch out more ideas.

21 Point Line Blend
Apologia Before Firing

week 8

This week we started our triaxial line blends. A triaxial blend is a method of testing three ingredients on a three-axis system similar to a two-ingredient line blend. Often triaxial blends are used to test the primary ingredients in a glaze base, (for example, feldspar, whiting, and kaolin). It is often employed when you don’t have a percent analysis to reference. We filled 21 solo cups up with a base glaze powder first then added the colorants to each cup. We tested 21 tiles. My base glaze I picked was a blue cone 10. The colorants I picked to test out were copper carbonate, tin oxide, and celadon. It was really difficult to make sure all the ingredients were measured out right in the mixing of the base glaze. I had to write down all my steps so I wouldn’t mess up on this blend like my line blend. I haven’t finished coated all my tiles with the glaze yet. I hope to finish that in class this week or during my hours in the studio outside of class time. I cannot wait to see the result of the different colorants and their effects with my choice of clay which was porcelain.

My triaxial blend

Reading explanation

week 6

This week we dug into glaze calculation. We had to hand build pieces that we would test the glaze on that we make. I decided to make a cone 6 neon tennis ball color glaze. During the process I wrote everything down and thought I was doing everything right. Little did I know I added way too much of my raw materials and mixed way too much together. I did not figure this out until after I was done. This process is new and I am still learning. I am a bit discouraged but now I know I should check with my professor to make sure all my calculations and math are right. I am excited to see what the color does look like on the line blends that I did put in the kiln. Hopefully they come out looking great! I had a lot of left over glaze because I added a lot more than I should have. It is a possibility that I could use that leftover glaze for some of my other work outside of class. I really do hope to get better at glaze calculation and improve with my ceramic work throughout the rest of the spring semester.

week 5

This week we had a reading over the history of glaze and we were asked to read a part of a packet. A lot of interesting things were stated in the packet. I learned a lot about glaze that I did not know. The three main ingredients in glaze are Silica Creates glass. Examples: quartz, flint, pure silica. Alumina – Stiffens the glaze so it doesn’t slide off the clay. Flux – Causes the glaze to melt at a low enough temperature to be used in ceramics. I also learned that from a very early date in history, some say at least 400 B. C., earthenware pottery was produced on a mass scale by a potter’s wheel in many parts of the world. The Egyptians made kilns to place their clay pots in for firing. Another fact is that unglazed ceramics have been in existence for over 10,000 years. It has only been in the last 2000 years that there have been glazed ceramics and only in the last 100 years that a scientific approach to glaze making was developed. For that reason, glazes still occupy a mysterious area somewhere between science and magic. I really learned a lot from these readings and I realized now that glaze has been around for a long time and the process is very difficult.

week 4

This week I dug into more research about printing on fire clay. I found some images that I liked and that were on thrown pieces. Having taken a print making class before I know some knowledge about printing. I think I want to do screen printing or relief printing to get my images and ink to transfer onto my thrown vessels. Some of these images are in color and I thought about adding some color so it isn’t just black and white. I thought about doing a light green because plants are usually green. I also thought about doing a combination of different greens. I am still unsure of that. I have talked with my print making professor and she is going to let me use some of her materials in her classroom for my Apologia project. If I plan to do screen printing then I need to burn my images into a screen. Furthermore, I need to get all my stuff together so I can print on my vessels. After I burn them into the vessels I can fire them and coat them with a clear glaze and fire them again so they are glossy looking for the final critique.

week 3

This past week we had a snow day and I missed class because I’ve been really sick. I went home for the weekend and got to see my puppy Mia. She played in the snow! Continuing with the Apologia, I found some prints I would like to print on the porcelain thrown pieces. I am not sure yet on which one I would like to print on my pieces. The prints I would like to use are prints of ivy leafs. I want to print ivy because that is something I marvel at. I think the porcelain being white and the ink being black will give the thrown pieces a really simple and clean look to them. I need to do research on printing on fired thrown clay. I have never done it before. I am excited to learn a new process. I am going to ask my print making professor if she has any tips on printing on clay. I need to find out what inks I can use and where to find my material. I still have a ways to go with my thrown pieces. Hopefully I will finish them by the end of this new week.

week 2

After reading Barry Lopez’s Apologia. We were asked to interpret our answers to those questions with physical objects. Objects may be sculptural, thrown vessels, or a combination of both. I decided to start on some thrown pieces for my project. For my initial concept I want them to be hung on the wall and form into a shape of a leaf. We were asked to pick something we marvel at. I marvel at the impressions plants make on things. I want to incorporate print making into my thrown vessels somehow. I’ve been looking at some demos on YouTube currently and I have some ideas. I also have some sketches on how I want to go about this process in my sketchbook. I think it would be a good idea to incorporate two different mediums in my artwork so I will have experience doing that for the future. I hope to figure out what type of inks and prints I want to do on these vessels soon.  The material I used was the porcelain clay we mixed in class. It is super easy for throwing and has no grog. Additionally, I need to complete more vessels and make more progress on this assignment.

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