Plaster and a Whiskey Jack

Home again now. Had lovely weekend. After the last post, I unmolded my slipcast pieces. They came out great! You can see all the textures in the driftwood very clearly. I cast a bunch more before leaving; they’ll be chucked in Jason’s next bisque firing and brought into town for me to experiment with a few glaze ideas.

They’re porcelain, and veeeeery thin. I’m considering leaving the outside as it is and only glazing the inside. Two with clear, and the rest in different colours… preferably something intense. I may stain the outside of one or two as well, just to see what that does. I imagine it’ll pick up all the variations in the surface, but whether I’ll like that better than plain white porcelain remains to be seen.

I also took the time to make two plaster molds for tile-making. I might use them to start casting tiles, and I might just use them as press molds. We’ll see. Right now it’ll be press molds, as that’s just simpler and easier to do with the set-up I have here in town, but that doesn’t have to be forever. Casting would take less time if I had a lot of molds; some day when I’m setting up my own studio, maybe I’ll make room for a casting area.

While I was making the two tile molds, I was set up on a folding table in the yard[1]. As I was measuring plaster, a whiskey jack (aka grey jay, gray jay, lumberjack, meat-bird, camp robber, venison-hawk, moose-bird, or, Wikipedia assures me, gorby) decided to fly up, flap around my face a bit, and settle on my cottle walls. We eyed each other. He hopped a little closer, onto my measuring bucket, and continued to eyeball me. First one, then the other. Then he chirped. I told him I had no food, and after a few minutes he flew off.

Roz, bird-lady extraordinaire, thinks somebody must be feeding him.

[1] Plaster trapped in clay explodes in the kiln. It is a good thing to do everything you can to minimize cross-contamination of clay and plaster.

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