Liz pushed us today!

Liz Hunt, my throwing one teacher at SFCC really had it out for us today!

We were instructed to have 6 balls of clay wedged up and ready to go at 10 AM.


First, we had 12 minutes to make our best vase shape ever.

Second, we had 6 minutes to make that same best vase, yup, half the time!

Third, we had 10 minutes to throw off the hump, three little bowls, one minutes to center and 3 minutes per bowl.

Fourth, we had 10 minutes to again throw our best vase, WITH OUR EYES CLOSED! I LOVED this! It really brought out the feeling of the clay. I could suddenly feel the grog in the clay, as if they were boulders. It was tough not to rely on my sight when centering. When pulling the clay up, it took less pulls then I normally do and I could really feel it moving up fast.

Fifth, we had another 10 minutes to throw another best vase, but with the wheel going in the opposite direction. This felt like throwing for the very first time. Looking at the results this was my second best looking piece.

Last, we had 6 minutes to throw a super straight cylinder.

All the while, Liz was asking the class to name an animal, an article of clothing, a vehicle, and an emotion. I thought for sure I was going to have to make a happy pig, wearing a bra, riding a scooter, but NO!

After having someone take my best vase and me taking Chloe’s best bowl, I had to make a candelabra that held at least one candle and referenced consternation,  a dolphin, a t-shirt, and roller-skates.

These are the parts I had to work with


Chloe’s bowl is the one on the left, I ended up not using it so my piece would fit into the kiln.

Here, is my Dolphin Roller Derby candelabra. She is 24 inches tall. I have no idea, how I am going to glaze her. Almost tempted to leave her raw clay. We will see…


Consternation of the roller skate on the dolphin’s tale.


I cheated here by drawing instead of sculpting my t-shirt.


The roller skate was fun to make and brought back lots of childhood memories. I was going to make the old time skate that attached to the bottom of our shoes, but said heck NO, too many little details.20180711_132859_resized


Blue Jean Collection

Blue Jean glaze on NM Sol, cone 10


I paddled the side of the cup below with a wooden slotted spatula


The mug below was dipped into Blue Jean glaze 3 times, at different levels, with the top of the mug having 3 dips


My Little Teapot

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One of our class projects was to hand build, an item of our choosing, out of three thrown slabs of clay. To create the slab, we first threw a bottomless cylinder. Before removing it from the wheel, we sometimes used our wire cutter to slice it into one, or two pieces, which would lay flat. I found two pieces easier to remove from the wheel, then one long piece.

For my teapot I used a cylinder which I did not slice, it was removed from the wheel, placed on a board and shaped like a pear to harden up a bit. The sides of the teapot are another cylinder sliced into two pieces and laid flat to dry. Once my clay hardened up a bit, I laid my pear shaped piece on top of one of the side pieces and cut around it. I scored and slipped the pieces before attaching them. I did the same for the other side. I used a wooden spatula to paddle and shape the spout area to be narrower than the rest of the body of the teapot. I used a wooden dowel to paddle the feet of the pot. I used the extra clay from the sides to make the handle, lid and spout.

Before glazing, I waxed the sides and bottom of the lid, and a small lip on the top of the teapot, and the hole where the lid sits. Along with the holes in the spout area. I used Butter Ranch glaze, and regret that I didn’t allow it to spread around the inside of the pot better. I was afraid I would clog my spout’s holes, which I should have made as one big hole instead of the several little ones I did.

I really enjoyed hand building, and I am very excited for my Functional Clay class, which starts next week.

Six Matching Mugs~Final Project

For my final project in my clay throwing class, I first attempted to make a teapot but ended up with two bowls instead. So, I decided to switch to something I knew I could make. Six matching mugs. By this time in class I felt like I knew what I was doing. I was able to center my clay without spending too much time. I has also gotten very good at pulling up my clay up to create a soldier straight cylinders, with wall that were pretty even.

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For the glaze I chose my favorite Yellow Salt. On the first mug I wore a glove to dip it. I missed a section and ended up re-dipping it. You can see the brown spots on the bottom where my fingers held it. For the rest I used the tongs to hold while I only did one dip.

On the double dipped mug, on the inside the glaze covered the throwing marks and it has more of a shine instead of the matte finish I prefer. I am glad the glaze lid would not come off, and that I took it as a sign, NOT to dip them all twice.

I really do like my fingermarks on the one, or as I dubbed them Rita’s Mark. Since my classmate intentional put them on her pieces as her signature, such an awesome idea!

Cinnamon Roll Bowl

This was a hand built bowl, that I made outside of class. I used a play dough extruder to make my ropes of clay. I coiled them up and used a plastic bowl as my form. When all the coils and balls of clay where in place, I used a wooden spatula to paddle them flat and together. I loved how the round balls of clay turned into triangles. I used a wooden dowel to place the decorative edge impressions. For the glaze, I dipped the bowl into Spotted Shino twice, then I wiped most of the glaze off the outside but not the inside. I was a little disappointed that the cracks between the rolls on the inside were filled in with the glaze. You can see them better on the outside, but the glaze feels rougher.

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Bowls and mugs all glazed

I spent a few hours glazing today, all my mugs and bowls (except for two) are glazed and placed on a cookie, ready for firing.


Above, I used Baily’s Red and School Bus Yellow. The bowl was dipped in yellow and the red was dropped on. The mug was dipped in red and then in the yellow, from the bottom and then from the top and side (I held the handle during the second dip).

These two were dipped in Green Haze (the mug completely, the bowl only part). Then they were partially dipped into Reitz Green. The bowl should have three different areas and the mug only two.


The cinnamon roll bowl was dipped into Spotted Shino twice, then I wiped most of the glaze off the outside but not the inside.


I dipped the above into Jet Black glaze, I will carve out a design and maybe dip again but into another color.


and lastly, I dipped this bowl into Malcolm Davis Shino glaze.

Glazing cont.


I first did some wax resist dots and wavy line on the piece on the left. Both were dipped in my favorite glaze Yellow Salt. I am hoping for some very cool browning around the carved areas. 1018172001

Below is my second of three two color combos done opposite. I used Butter Ranch and Blue Jean glaze. The piece on the right was dipped in Butter Ranch with wavy lines of Blue Jean brushed on the outside. The piece on the left was dipped in Blue Jean and a line of Butter Ranch was painted just below the rim on the outside.


I remember after I got home that I forgot to dust off my bowls before I glazed. I hope I don’t regret it.

On Thursday, I used a toothbrush to splatter the opposite color glazes on top.

Christmas morning AKA glazed pieces out of the kiln

My teacher Francie was so right when she said seeing your glazed pottery would be like Christmas morning. You just never know what to expect, some items surprise you and others disappoint.

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The above is my favorite piece. It is glazed with yellow salt after round sticker were applied to the bisque. I love how parts of it browned.

Below is the disappointment. The painted OM symbol and “be here now” didn’t show up after the glaze fire. I dipped the mug in Butter Ranch glaze and the letters are painted on using Malcolm Dave’s Shino.

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and the rest of my presents 🙂

These two blow my mind! They were done opposite yet they look the same (except the insides). Glazed with John’s Red and Lil Street Tinmoku. The mug was dipped completely in John’s Red and the the top part was dipped in Lil Street Tinmoku. The chunker cylinder on the left was dipped the opposite way.

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Below, I believe I used Reitz Green and the three dips method. I am thinking the top dip ended up inside the cup. Pretty wild how the single dip is brown, not green.

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Below is a wax resist. On the inside of the mug I used Nick’s Yellow and then dipped the whole mug in Pale Blue Celendon. The yellow and blue made green on the inside 🙂

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Below, I used blue jean glaze. I did three dips. First, whole item dipped using tongs to hold the cup. The second dip was done while holding the mug upside down, and inserted into the glaze up to the second carved groove. The third dip was again done the same as the second and dipped up to the first carved groove.

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Below I choose John’s Red glaze. Again I did the three dips technique (it is an assignment). The third dip is just on the rim of the cylinder.

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Glazing Cont.

In class tonight I continued on with glazing.

1009171939These two pieces are both done with John’s Red and Lil Street Tinmoku. The mug on the right was dipped completely in John’s Red and the the top part was dipped in Lil Street Tinmoku. The chunker cylinder on the left was dipped the opposite way. You might think I am getting my colors backwards, but I am not. That is the wonder of glaze.

1009171953 Here, I dipped the mug in Butter Ranch glaze and the letters are painted on using Malcolm Dave’s Shino. I forgot and I might be cursed because I didn’t apply the shino first.




1009172003On this mug, I used wax as a mask which will leave the raw clay exposed. I  painted on a swoosh and a dot on both sides.






1009172010On the inside of the mug I used Nick’s Yellow and then dipped the whole mug in Pale Blue Celendon.