Friday, November 20, 2015

Creating the Mountain Mug

Where does a clay vessel start? This is a picture of a mug I threw on the potter's wheel about three days ago. Right now, it is merely dried mud. Hit it with your hand and it will break apart. Put it into water and it will dissolve into particles of porcelain clay at the bottom of the bucket.This is called greenware, as it has not yet been fired in the kiln.
It is really two pieces joined together. There is the body itself. Then comes the handle, which must be attached when it is still damp enough to fuse the two pieces. The glue that binds ceramics together when still wet is called slip. Really it is merely  wet, mushy clay. You scratch and put this mixture  on the opposing  pieces, then join  them together. I always add  a little coil to give some strength. A good idea to cover overnight. Clay doesn't like to be rushed. 
Finally I take my carving tool and carve out my interpretation of  these mountains I see outside of my studio here in Sedona. Artistic allowance is always permitted.I call this my" mountain mug" when complete.
I have to wait now,  make sure it is completely dry, before I put it into the kiln. I can carefully hold it to my cheek to feel if it has  more moisture, which feels cold; when  warm, it is dry. Very scientific, n'est-ce-pas?
So here you have my creative process of making the actual mug. The end result will  take a while. Stay tuned!

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