Monday, March 9

How do you get from here to there?

This conversation was on a discussion board a few months ago. We all tried to describe "how we get from here to there" making whatever item it is we each make. I did my bit on how I make miniature pottery.

How to sculpt miniature vases:

First Day
•gather supplies
•ball of clay
•scraps of paper towel
•various paint brushes
•needle tool
•found objects for molding around or inside of
•rocks glass of water
•exacto blade without handle
•shot glass for slip
•make some clay slip
•Start making shapes for the base of the vase
•Make about 8 or 10 very basic shapes
•Use needle tool to start a place where the vase will
be carved out tomorrow
•Make some extra shapes that will be added to "base"
shapes to make taller, or differently shaped vases
•Use slip to build on some of the base shapes, with
other shapes as they dry to leather hard
•Let everything set over night (or 8-10 hours)

Second Day
•gather tools
•exacto razor
•shot glass of slip
•rocks glass of water
•ball of clay (in case of changes)
•needle tool
•various paint brushes
•needle/razor curled sort of tool
•toothpicks (both flat and round)
•paper towel scraps
•start thinking of exact designs
•can begin refining the shapes with paint brush,
water, slip, and razor blade
•lots of "rest" periods for every piece, if they
get too wet, they fall apart or break
•some pieces will be able to dry enough for final
designs on the second day

Third Day
•gather same tools as second day (probably still all
out from yesterday
•most/all pieces can be completed of the designs on
the third day
•carve or build designs with more bits of clay,
sometimes using slip trailing/carving combined
•allow to dry enough for the bisque fire
(can sometimes fire on the third day)

Fourth Day
•underglaze anything that you've decided needs an
underglaze color
•bisque fire (average about 6 hours in small kiln)

Fifth Day
•Draw images of each vase in record book like a chart
of what you'll be glazing on this date, and what glaze
colors/combinations you use on each piece so you have
a record of what was fantastic and what was a
"mistake", never to do again
•Go through all the sample glaze tiles while studying
each piece to decide how you want to finish the piece
•Write down the glaze combinations you plan to use, the
order in which you plan to glaze also (important!)
•Gather all of the glazes
•Use the "work sheet" while glazing so you don't mess
up the order or glaze color on any of the "planned"
(rarely can I finish glazing and doing the glaze fire on the same day, usually have to wait for the next day
to fire again)

Sixth Day
•load the kiln
•cuss when everything won't stay on it's little bitty
•pray, pray, and pray some more
•wait until the kiln is cool enough to peek
•cheer or cry depending....

Seventh Day (idealy, usually put this off way too long)
•take pictures
•edit pictures
•list vases for sale

1 comment:

hannajaleijona said...

Wow, this makes me appriciate your art even more. I knew already something about the many phases of this kind of work, but your list makes it so concrete. Respect, I say!