Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A question and a gallery response

No new clay pieces to show you I'm afraid - because I'm poorly again!! I tell you, Scott and I have never been so poorly as we have been the last 6 or 7 months. It all started with that nasty flu in November, and we just keep getting chest infections and chesty coughs since then.

It doesn't stop my brain from working though, and inside my head is an absolute riot of ideas! I can't wait to get going again!

I've been thinking about trying a teapot, but I have some questions about that for you more experienced potters. Do teapots have to be made from stoneware? And if I use earthenware, will I have to glaze inside the spout? I think I already know the answer to that one, but I just want to check.

I had a response back from one of the galleries I contacted about exhibitions. I have to apply 2 - 3 years in advance, and they want photos of the pieces to be exhibited included with the application. Hello?? Do they think I'm going to have pieces sitting around for 3 years just waiting to be exhibited with them? And I'm thinking a persons work can change a lot in 3 years! Oh well, I'll probably give them a miss then!


Kim Hines said...

you do have to glaze the inside of the spout. not sure about the earthenware/stoneware question. my personal preference is stoneware for functional work. can't stand an earthenware mug, gets hot in the microwave and drives me crazy, plus it's just more durable and i'm rough on my dishes lol. also, most of the functional earthenware pieces i've made have ended up less than sanitary, glaze flaws or crazing lets liquids seep through the glaze into the clay and no way to get it out or clean it. (i used commercial food safe glazes at the time) ever seen a white mug w/ dark spots/stains in the bottom? i'm sure earthenware artists would disagree w/ me and there's certainly tricks to it i don't know about. my only experience w/ functional ware is using stoneware.

Kathy L said...

I know what you mean about pooly. It is one reason why I can't start or build a website! Sigh...what I could do with six figures...

Undaunted said...

Thanks for your advice Kim. Perhaps I'll give it a go and see what happens. I'm reluctant to change back to stoneware because I really like these earthenware glazes, and not everything I make will be functional. I shall have to give it some thought.

Hehehe, you do know I was talking about my health, don't you Kathy?? But yes, we're poorly in a monetary sense as well!!

Leanne Pizio said...

Hello Un D!
Sorry you aren't feeling well. Many wishes that you start to feel better soon.
I agree with Kim about earthenware verses stoneware for functional work. I used to make a lot of earthenware work and I had issues with chipping as earthenware is so fragile. I also had issues with the pots not being completely water tight...they would have a small amount of moisture coming through the bottom.....which is fine as long as you don't put a vase on Grandma's old wooden table and cause a stain....
The sanitary issue can also be a problem though for tea I'm not sure I would worry so much.
I also agree that there are tricks to earthenware that I don't know as well. Maybe you can find a blogger that uses earthenware to help you out!

Kim Hines said...

just because i prefer stoneware does not mean i'm right!! there are some awesome artists out there making functional earthenware and i absolutely love their work. the only thing (besides $) keeping me from buying it is my silly prejudices about lowfire. just can't help it though. i will say you can get some wonderful colors in lowfire, much more than highfire, that's for sure. just make sure your glazes fit your clay and you should be fine.

Undaunted said...

Hi Leanne! Thank you for your well wishes! And for your advice on the earthenware v stoneware. I'm thinking things would be water tight as long as I glaze them well on the inside? But I see what you're saying about chipping etc.

Kim, it's because of the glazes that I changed from stoneware to eathenware in the first place. I was at a class that fired to stoneware, so I bought stoneware clay, but he wouldn't let me use my own glazes, so I switched classes - turns out the new guy only fired to earthenware, so I bought earthenware glazes but it wasn't suiting the clay, so I bought earthenware clay, and then the classes were cancelled!! Did you follow all that?? lol so in theory I can now do whatever I like! But I have quite a lot of earthenware glazes to use up.

Maybe I'll use up what I have and decide where to go from there. I really want to try paper clay for sculptures but it's sooo expensive!! I really wish they did a paper clay in that lovely dark brown colour I've been using too.

Hehehe, is it just me or could you two talk about clay bodies all day long too? :D

Kim Hines said...

girl, make your own paper clay. you can google on how to do it. chris campbell has some info on her website on it. pretty messy i believe, but that's what we love about clay right?
as for glazes, i've been experimenting a bit, have a long way to go, but my goal is COLORFUL stoneware. (i work in ^6) earthenware almost always has glaze flaws on the inside of a cup or bowl, at least from my experience. drove me nuts. but use up what you have, see how you like it, if you want to change to stoneware for functional work it's not all that hard to do.

cynthia said...

I prefer either stoneware or porcelain for functional work but that's mainly for durability. While I do love majolica/earthenware - it chips easily and is more fragile.

3 years seems excessive for gallery - 1 year, I understand since many book their shows so far in advance.

Feel better!

Undaunted said...

You're right Kim, I should make my own, but I worry that I'll get it wrong! I don't mind getting messy, but I'm not one for experimenting - I like things to come out as planned! I will look up a recipe though because I know it will be much less expensive. Thanks for the tip! What sort of glaze flaws did you get with earthenware?

Hi Cynthia! I'd love to try porcelain but I hear it can be tricky to work with. Can you coil with that stuff?

So many options, so little funds!!

Thank you for the well wishes :)

Kim Hines said...

glaze flaws were nothing you'd notice till you put some coffee or some type of liquid in there. small cracks, pinholes, etc. no matter how good of a glazing job i did.

when i first stared on the wheel i could throw fine, but wanted to see how somebody else did it. took a class at the local high school. waste of time and $ really, but i got a few low fire pieces to show for it. don't really like them, the glazes are unremarkable in every way. i came across one the other day in the loft to our attic covered in dust. washed it off in the sink and the whole bowl turned colors. cracks everywhere in the glaze and the water went through the cracks and soaked right into the clay. completely useless food wise. got another i use for dog food, it's darker inside where the oils from the dry food have soaked into the clay. this guy is selling 'food safe' stuff at the local craft sales, the HS kids take this stuff home assuming it's ok. everybody thinks he's the greatest. nice guy, good painter, but pottery? no. drives me nuts.(he also instructed everybody to dry sand their work, stirred up a ton of dust and all i coudl think about is getting my dust mask on.) i believe it was mayco glazes in the class there, same brand underglazes and a clear glaze, i believe mayco too. i used to use amaco and mayco, both had similar problems. i'll keep my stoneware. others love their lowfire though, just be careful about the glazes.

as for paper clay, it's not rocket science and not to risky of an experiment. make a small batch, keep records of what you did, amounts and all that. see how it works. if it does you can duplicate the recipe, and you can use that dark clay you like. i gotta get off this darn computer lol... off to get the kids in bed...

Undaunted said...

Dry sanding?? Eeeek!! *cough cough*

I looked up paper clay last night - there are so many recipes!! Some say use news paper, some say don't because it doesn't break down. Some say use toilet paper, some say don't because it goes mouldy. Some say soak the paper and then add the clay, some say soak the clay and then add the paper! Aaaahh!! I'm sure I'll find one in the end. I am very happy to know I can use my dark clay though! :D Thank you for the lady's website you recommended.

As for the glazes, I've been using Mayco and I really like them, but I've hardly made any functional ware so far. I'll have to ask my mum how she gets on with her mug!