Studio News

Hello hello!

A quick update on how I’ve been occupied lately… (lots of photos at the end)…

Much of my time has been devoted to a project for a lovely local woman, Katie Geraty, and her company, Stone Bone Wood Cloth. For the past year and a half, Katie has hired me to design and fabricate prototypes of small porcelain bowls for her. The bowls are finally ready to launch, along with two other products (custom tassels and bracelets), and… not to be conceited, they are quite beautiful. ūüėČ

Katie¬†launched a Kickstarter campaign yesterday¬†to get her business off and running. Click here to visit her page. It would be awesome if you were willing to help support her endeavor, because by¬†supporting her you will be supporting local artists (me included!). She doesn’t mention this in the Kickstarter page, but did you know Katie was told she could have these bowls manufactured in China for pennies on the dollar? She chose instead to hire me to produce them, and she is paying me a very fair wage to do so. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of business practice I can get behind. Creating these vessels for Katie has allowed me to keep pluggin’ away in my studio,¬†and I’m grateful to her for the opportunity!

Here’s a synopsis of Stone Bone Wood Cloth:

“Our mission is to create beautiful objects, hand-made from stone, bone, wood or cloth that are as unique and individual as each of us; objects that remind us of who we are, or want to be.¬†

None of us really needs or wants more stuff…unless it has some personal meaning or resonance. At the SBWC website individuals will be able to go into a ‚Äúworkshop‚ÄĚ and co-create an object that has personal meaning. Co-create means taking a base product ‚Äď a vessel or a tassel ‚Äď and adding elements that make it uniquely your own.”

Check our her page and make a donation today! If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter:¬†You can remain anonymous during the donation process if you’d like. Donors can also choose from various rewards (bowls are some of the choices) and no donations are collected unless the project is fully funded within 31 days.

Some photos (of making the vessels, teaching, and other studio happenings). Click on any circle to open a photo viewer.

Recipes for Porcelain Clay Bodies

Here are a few recipes for porcelain clay bodies (casting, throwing, and sculpture).  Test them before you use them!

CASTING

Cone 10
NDSU’s porcelain casting slip:
EPK 46
Silica 34.2
Custer 19.8
*deflocculate with a combination of sodium silicate, Darvan #7, and soda ashCone 6-10
 
Kitty’s porcelain casting slip:
Kaolin 42
Custer 36
Silica 22
Water 34
*Darvan #7 to deflocculateCone 8-9
 
Porcelain casting body
Flint 20
Feldspar 36
Kaolin 30
Ball clay 14Cone 6-8
 
White/Off White Porcelain casting body
Bone ash 35.7
Kaolin 29.3
Silica 21
Potash 14
Sodium carbonate 0.3%
Notes: shrinkage 12.5%Cone 6-9
 
Porcelain casting body
Soda feldspar 44
Georgia kaolin 33
Silica 18
Whiting 5
Sodium carbonate 0.4%
Notes: shrinkage 10%
 
THROWING
 
Porcelain (throwing, handbuilding, non-translucent, plastic)
Grolleg 55
Custer 18
Flint 16
EPK 9
Pyrax 2
Bentonite 2
Molochite, 200 mesh or finer, 3 

Reeve’s Porcelain (throwing, translucent)
Grolleg 40
Custer 34
Flint 26
Macaloid 4
*I haven’t used this in a while, but I seem to remember its being very short.

 

Alfred’s Porcelain (throwing, translucent)
Grolleg 50
Kona F-4 30
Flint 20

 

Cone 9
Porcelain body
Grolleg 50
Potash feldspar 25
Flint 25

 

Cone 9-10
Porcelain body
Potash 27
Grolleg 45
Bentonite 6
Flint 26

 

Cone 9 (Tom Turner)
6 Tile 75
Kaopaque-20 38
Kona F-4 60
Silica (200 mesh) 60
OM4 12
V gum T 4
Ceramictalc 10AC 4

 

Cone 8-12
Porcelain body
Ball clay 27
Kaolin 27
Potash 27
Flint 19

 

Cone 10-15
Porcelain body
Ball clay 25
Kaolin 25
Potash 25
Flint 25

 

Cone 6
White-gray porcelain throwing body
Georgia kaolin 40
Potash 25
OM4 10
Tenn #1 6.5
Silica 13.5
EPK 5
Bentonite 2
Notes: shrinkage 14%

 

Cone 8-11
White-gray porcelain throwing body
EPK 40
Potash 25
Silica 25
OM4 7
Bentonite 3
Notes: shrinkage 15%

Cone 10
White/Off-white porcelain throwing body
Kaolin 30
OM4 14.5
Tenn #1 12.5
Potash 20.5
Silica 20
Bentonite 2.5

BONE CHINA

Bone China (unknown firing temperature)
Grolleg 30
Cornwall Stone 20
Bone Ash 40
Flint 10
Macaloid 2
*This is extremely short.

SCULPTURE

Cone 6-8
White/Off white porcelain sculpture body
OM4 32
Tenn #5 32
Fine white grog 12
EPK 11
Fine white sand 8.2
Potash feldspar 2.4
Silica 2.4
Notes: shrinkage 13.5%

Cone 9-10
White/gray porcelain sculpture body
Kaolin 21
Silica 23
Tenn #5 18
Potash feldspar 18
White grog (60-80 mesh) 10
Fine silica sand 10
Notes: shrinkage 11.5%

 

These recipes are provided in faith that those who try them will perform proper tests before usage. The author of this blog is not responsible in any way for failed clay bodies, glazes, slips, or anything else, regardless of where fault may lie. Sources for recipes include Glenn C. Nelson and James Chappell.

Images from my project in Denmark

Here are some images of the installation I made in Denmark, for those of you who have been waiting patiently!

The inspiration for this piece was Spanish moss. Overall, I was pretty happy with it, considering this was the first time I’ve installed outdoors. I definitely learned a lot with this piece! The materials I used are slipcast porcelain (fired to Orton cone 11), fishing line, and light. Click on the little images to open a bigger picture viewer.

Kiln Update

Today’s post was going to be about my recent excursions to Copenhagen and Louisiana, but my kiln is ready to be unloaded, so I’m going to go do that instead!

I used every available shelf for this kiln. Then I used shelves for the wood kiln. There ended up being about 1/2 cone difference between the top and bottom.

Checking the translucency!

Unglazed cup

Glazed

Another cup – view 1

view 2

 

view 3

Here’s a preview for tomorrow’s post:

A few days in pictures

Masako (Japan), Stephanie (USA), Sten (DK) at a bbq we were all invited to at another studio. 

Egle and Christin at the bbq – waiting for some bubbly to pop, I think!

Stephanie and Christin riding back from the bbq (Egle (Lithuania) in background)

Me in my studio space, doing what I do best: making rectangles.

My Favorite Tools. Several months ago I repeatedly complained to my friend Lauren about how dull my studio knives were. Finally she said, “I just don’t understand why you don’t go on Amazon and buy some disposable scalpels.” Huh. I actually hadn’t thought of that! Now I can have a brand-new blade every day if I want to. I LOVE it! The handles were about 3 bucks each, and I think the blades (I like nos. 11 and 15) come out to a few cents a piece. Maybe the best money I’ve ever spent. Way cheaper than x-acto…

I’ve decided to do an outdoor installation in the garden. I did the math today and I think I need 388 of these squares. So far I have 42.

Tests of porcelain-dipped fiberglass (fired).

Some of my recent castings (unfired).

Christin Johansson’s (SWE) studio space

Sten Lykke Madsen’s (DK) studio space

Stephanie Stuefer’s (USA) studio space.

Hiroe Hanazono’s (USA) studio space – she mostly works in the plaster room.

 

This is how they mow the lawn in Denmark. (It’s also where I plan to put my installation up for a few days.)

Hiroe making another amazing meal.

One of the many trays of sushi Hiroe prepared that night.

Christin’s family came for her birthday, which was a couple of days ago. Her kids decorated the cakes. Cute!

Egle with some of Christin’s birthday cake.

 

Malena (DK) in an after-birthday-dinner “Lambrusco ad.”

Cat named Steven who likes to hang around Guldageraard, even though he has a family down the street.

Stephanie (AIR), Rachel (assistant), Masako (assistant), and I (AIR) went on a nice after-dinner walk tonight.

 

Eating ice cream at the harbor.

There are lots of rosebushes around town and near both bodies of water. I picked some rosehips and am going to have them in tea tomorrow morning. They remind me of the time Lauren and I picked them at West Island while Piggy the dog went crashing merrily through the bushes, chasing all sorts of other creatures.

The slugs curl up into little balls when touched.

Make a wish!

Walking out on a pier at the lake.

On the pier.

Stephanie, Masako (Japan), Rachel (USA) on an after-supper walk to the harbor and a nearby lake.

When we wanted to get back to the road after walking along the lake, trying to find a way through/around this building proved to be a little difficult. We thought it was an apartment complex and we could just walk through these doors and out the other side, but the building turned out to be a nursing home. Whoops! (We went the long way around.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Can Do

UPDATE (March 21): This definitely did work!  It just needed more time.  It was moldy after about a week Рit ended up being the same color as the bucket in which it resides.  I made 9 large panels with it, moved them all multiple times, and force dried them with no cracking.  Success!

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So the Grand Yogurt Bacteria Experiment failed. ¬†Here’s a picture:

Bucket with yogurt bacteria is on the left. Same color as non-bacteriacized slip after about 16 hours.

When I first opened the bucket, I thought I got a whiff of some nasty, but it dissipated before I could be certain. ¬†I don’t really know why this amazing plan didn’t work. ¬†It makes perfect sense in my mind! ¬†I guess I did only use one starter packet though. ¬†That’s how much is required to turn 1 qt of milk into yogurt, so maybe I just didn’t use enough. ¬†Or maybe it needs more time. ¬†That’s what I’m hoping. ¬†I mixed the yogurt bucket in with the tub this evening and I’m hoping that in (a relatively short amount of) time it’ll brew quite nicely.

Late Night Brilliant Idea… Maybe?

I’m going to be casting some large panels tomorrow. ¬†(24-30″ wide by 60″ long) ¬†I’ve been trying to encourage mold to grow in my slip for the past month just for this project, by leaving the bucket sealed next to the radiator. ¬†I need it to be considerably more moldy and plastic than it is right now. ¬†It’s not working. ¬†[Plasticity refers to how bend-y the clay is; how far can I bend it when it’s wet before it splits apart?] ¬†In my previous projects casting largish (24″ x 24″) panels, they dried with less warping and cracking and¬†were a lot easier to transport into the kiln and ¬†if they were cast from super stinky, moldy slip. ¬†I’m talking porcelain slip that’s a definite dark gray, not the pretty cream or white that it is when it’s fresh. ¬†Slip so moldy that other people on the other end of the studio open their windows and I work with dryer sheets stuffed up my nostrils.

Now you know my goal. ¬†And I’ve told you I haven’t accomplished it yet. ¬†And furthermore, I need this moldy awesomeness by tomorrow. ¬†What is my brilliant idea, you ask? ¬†Here it is: I dissolved a bunch of yogurt starter into some warm water. ¬†And then I mixed that into a 5-gallon bucket of slip and put the whole thing next to the radiator.

Do you think it’ll work? ¬†I hope so! ¬†I really have no idea, though. ¬†Stayed tuned….