I (heart) Pottery


I have finally achieved something I have been trying to do for years. Ever since I moved to Oxford I have been keen to find a local pottery class I could take, as I adored pottery as a child, and have been keen to take it up again ever since. All my years living overseas made that hard to do, and even when I was based in Oxford it was hard to find a class I could easily access on a weeknight, without a car etc. However I finally found one and I’m LOVING it!

Here are my first attempts at making some pinch pots and finger pots – very crap, but useful for practicing with glazes and slips etc.

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Here’s my first ever attempt to throw on a wheel. I’m stupidly proud of my beautiful disasters. It was so much fun!!

Here they are, still wet, straight off the wheel…

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And here are my lovely wobbly messes after firing and glazing – I adore them! They are also my first things to come out vaguely well on the glazing front (I’ve been struggling with glazing – it’s harder than it looks!).

Here’s my funny, melty bowl (glazed in half tenmoku – the brown one, and half Blue Celadon). It turns greenish where the two glazes overlap.

And here’s my funny, swirly, wonky jug/vase thingy – glazed in a bluish-green (Tracy’s glaze) – no idea why it turned brownish on the bottom, that is a total mystery to me.

And here’s my other wobbly vase – painted with layers of white and blue slip that I carved into, and then a clear glaze over the top.

And here is my second attempt on the wheel – much more bowl-shaped!

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Sadly the one on the far right collapsed before I could put it into the cupboard – it was too wet and too thin apparently, but I’m still pleased as anything!

And then when I was turning them, the one on the left broke, as I’d made it too thin, however the other two have made it throught the first firing (Bisque) and into the glazing stage – can’t wait to see how they turn out!

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So, the one on the front left in the picture above, came out rather beautifully, although it was supposed to be blue instead of a greenish-grey!

I glazed it with a matt white called Ying Ching inside and on the base, and then used one called Tracy’s glaze on the rim – except instead of coming out blue, it turned a strange greeny-grey, but still quite nice!

The other little bowl, from the back right in the picture above, is one of my favourites so far! It’s the same matt white inside an around the top, and then a brown Tenmoku on the bottom, and a lovely matt green where the two overlap!

And now for some more – my next attempt on the wheel, and my most even bowls yet (well apart from one)

This one was glazed in Ying Ching – supposed to be matt white but it must have been in the hot part of the Kiln as it came out a very shiny clear gloss instead! Then I splattered some oxide onto it (Ilmenite I think) which has a lovely bronze colouring.

This one was Ying Ching and Blue Celadon – I was hoping to replicate the effect of my favourite one, but for some reason in this firing it came out gloss and clear instead of lovely and matt, so the effect isn’t as dramatic as I had hoped. 

It’s also one of the most even bowls I have thrown so far! Hardly lumpy or wobbly at all!

This one was perfectly shaped as a bowl – definitely my best effort yet, but sadly the glaze went all wrong – it was supposed to be brown with lovely bright purply/blue stripes, but the brown is too dark and you can hardly see the stripes at all, so it’s rather dark and boring in terms of colours.

I found a lovely “S” stamp to mark all my pots with – we’re supposed to carve our initials in but my carving is even worse than my regular handwriting and looks naff – this is much more fun!

This one was a bit if a mistake but I kinda love it anyway…. It was originally a bowl, but I tried to make it too big and it flopped over on one side after I took it off the wheel. However I quite liked it, so went ahead and fired it anyway. It vaguely reminds me of a hat, or a hand or something, but I reckon it would also look nice with a candle or something in it.

This one was glazed with the brown Tenmoku all over, and then brushed with oxides, which give it a lovely texture.

More playing with oxides

Slip-dribbling

Mini-vase

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