Monday, April 20, 2009

Coil Building 101

I don't think anyone uses this anymore. And you were so excited about it last year... Nevertheless, I promised I'd post something when I had new things. So, here are some things that I've done this semester: some finished, some in progress.

About KSU ceramics... Ceramics 1 is entirely hand building, and the only method of glaze firing that we're supposed to do is raku. Unless you make things that can't withstand the quick heat shock or that are too big to fit inside the kiln... opps. We mix our own red earthenware clay in ancient soldner mixers that are always broken, and load our own bisques. Surface decoration is encouraged with studio slips, not surprising considering the two lead professors' works. The studio is old school... kick wheels (with motors fortunately) and slow firing gas kilns. Students are taught to throw starting in Ceramics 2, though I already have a pretty good foundation is that area.

Entirely coil built... unfortunately this cracked pretty severly along a connection, but is still in tact. Textured using a ribbon tool and smoothed out the edges with my favorite blue rubber rib (not a mud tool rib - too firm) when the clay was a firm leatherhard. Black lustre glaze was added into the texture and wiped away from the surface and clear glaze was applied over top. Lightly reduced.

I obviously enjoy making dishes with large exteriors. (It started with my flower frogs last year I think.) Coil built center dish... slab built sides and top. Layered slip decoration... it's tough to see in this picture. Green slip over white slip scraped away with a loop tool. Eva taught me a great way to fix cracks with this piece that was taught to her by Jun Kaneko. (no joke... Jun was her professor at one time) The crack was filled, and no cracks were present when it was unloaded from the bisque. (And I was super happy about that)

This is a very large parsnip that I modeled after a regular size parsnip (as seen on the table) for our natural object project. Texture stretches the entire length of the piece (this picture was taken in progress), and surprisingly this didn't shrink an obsurd amount through the first firing. Unfortunately a large section cracked and fell off from the opposite side, but it should be an easy fix. This is about 28 inches tall... a good 6 inches bigger than the max height for the raku kiln. It may or may not get wood fired within the next 2 weeks. (depending on available space in the kiln) Entirely coil built and hell to make. I'm so messy when it comes to carving. (And yes, that is the tiny, tiny banding wheel I use while building all of my projects.)

That's all for now!!!!!!!!!!!! Love from Kent, Ohio.


Nate Nixdorf said...

So I'm sure all of the readers of this blog, (all 1 or two of us) are anxiously waiting to see the results from the wood fire. Anything fun and exciting?

ethan martin said...

nice stuff kirsten! isn't it fun doing huge vegetables? I can't wait to see how it turns out. (I really want to do some atmospheric firings myself.)