Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stretching spots

stretched spots on the cat bottle
I'm procrastinating on this rainy morning.  I have pre-Thanksgiving errands to run, so I got up early.  Naturally the rain began after I got up... or I'd have treated myself to sleeping in.  I can't get the cast wet and don't relish walking around with my foot in a plastic bag... for me that's an accident waiting to happen.  So....

Here's a 'bottle' that sold at the Foothills show.  It's slab built, and many people were curious how I made the spots.  This is a technique I learned at Hayne Bayless' workshop at Arrowmont many years ago  (see his amazing work on his website at www.sidewaysstudio.com). We painted or printed a pattern on a thick slab.  In this case I brushed on small ovals of black underglaze.  The slab of white stoneware is about 1" thick.  Next I placed a large piece of clean drywall on the floor and threw the clay slab down with a slanting motion rather than straight down.  This begins to thin out the slab and stretch the pattern of spots.  I continue to do this until I get a pleasing pattern.  I do a final thinning of the clay on the slab roller in order to make it a uniform thickness (making sure that no underglaze transfers onto the slab roller!)  Next I use the (bristol paper) patterns I made and cut out the pieces and finally assemble them.        

Apologies to those who aren't familiar with some of these terms!  Please post a comment if you have questions.  I'll try 
to post some pix of the slab roller.  It's
one of my prized tools!
spots before stretching!

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