17 March 2017
Hand Built Ceramic Fruit Bowl
I'm coming at you with something a bit different this week, some pottery!
I posted a while ago about how I have been attending some hand building ceramic drop in classes over the last year with David Sampson. Due to family life and some personal things I sadly haven't been able to attend much the last 6 months or so. Its such a shame as I really enjoy the classes. Whilst sewing is so satisfying, its really nice to get your hands dirty and actually form something using just these and a few basic tools.
This is a bowl I was working on before I stopped attending. The idea was for it to be a replacement fruit bowl as ours is rather dull. Rather than using the coil technique like I did for the kitty pot This was made by rolling out a really big slab of clay and laying it over a bowl form to create the shape.
As you can see its not really a perfect bowl, its rather wonky and has wobbly edges but this was thankfully intentional. I think the idea was for it to look a bit more organic the finely produced.
One of the reasons I love going to these clay workshops is that I really do have no idea what I am doing, so everything that I make is a complete experiment. I don't really like the thought of going in knowing exactly what I want, its nice to sort of see it sort of shape in front of you, and see how the different techniques can cause such different effects.
The kitty pot I made was very smooth and sleek, and was very simply decorated with a bit of coloured slip, some oxide painted on and some clear glaze. With this bowl I wanted to go a step further.
On the bottom I rolled thin snakes of clay and adhered them on in a sort of spiral pattern. I then used a knife and cut away small sections to make the patterns you can see here. I really like pattern and ceramics, I don't really know why I just sort of like the rhythm of it. I really like the bottom of this bowl, I think I probably prefer it to the top so its a shame you don't really get to see this bit!
For the main part of the bowl I used a technique called sgraffito to create the pattern. First I painted the surface of the bowl with some coloured slip, starting with the brown. I actually had hoped this would come out more black than it did, but again I don't mind its all part of learning what different things do when fired. I then painted a strip of blue and a strip of white to add some more interest.
Using a small tool I then carved these circular patterns around the bowl working my way to the edge. I worked in rings using slightly different thicknesses and pattern each time to create a more interesting effect.
I really love the way the sgraffito turned out, and the dark colour really compliments it well. I think the bit on the blue section looks a bit too much like a sundial for my liking but not so much it bothers me.
Sadly I've not read great things about the chemicals in glazes and pregnancy so I wont be able to attend again for a while now, but I really hope once the family have settled down after the next arrival I will be able to go back as I really enjoy David's workshops. I did manage to get one more pot ready for a final firing, so hopefully I can pick that up in the next month or so as well, it will be exciting to see how that one turns out.