Friday Night

Robotized some plates and mugs for Model Citizens… they should be delivered sometime mid-week.

Did up some colour tests. Duncan’s Really Red and Paprika underglazes on light and black clay, and also some pinks and purples. One side of the tile is under the studio’s current clear glaze, and the other is under a new one that’s been proposed. The current clear is a recipe from Pottery Supply House, and has the advantages of being reliable, forgiving of temperature fluctuations, and really sturdy. It’s also very simple–just four ingredients, and they’re things things any pottery studio has lying around. The new one is less simple, but is purported to be more compatible with colourants, especially chrome-tin pinks. If it also turns out to fit the clay and stand up well to use, I will be one happy potteryist. And there will be more pink Robots around.

Then I broke out the black clay. This stuff is not very plastic, which means it’s hard to center, hard to keep centered, and difficult to throw. Keeping your forms–no matter WHAT shape you try–from collapsing in on themselves or twisting on the wheel is really hard. On top of that, the dark base has a strong effect on any glaze you try to put over it, so the colours always come out really dark and sombre. But it’s the first clay I fell in love with, and now and then I always find myself going back to it. It has this wonderfully smooth texture, and you can make the most glorious mess with it.

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