Soft Slab Fun

Monday night Cheryl spent the entire class teaching us several different techniques for building objects using slabs of soft clay. We learned different techniques for rolling out our clay, and texturing it before building with it.

I went wild Wednesday night on the texture!

On my first piece I used a piece of old lace to texture my clay before using a wooden plaque to cut the shape out. I cut darts in four places, scored and slipped them before joining to create the curve of the bowl.


Next, I used a bunch of different textures on one big slab of clay. I cut several small shapes from another wooden plaque, I turned a few into tiny bowls, and left some flat. I plan to use them as my glaze “test tiles”.



I learned that by pressing down on the wooden plaque while it is placed on top of the clay, on a big piece of foam will create a cool lip on the side of the piece. Before pressing pick it up and look at all sides to make sure they are even.

I sure learned a lot, of what not to do…

a yard stick width, is too thick

my signature stamp pressed on the back, flattens out the texture in on the front (so don’t texture the middle part of piece

be careful when rolling over the texture so you don’t move it

remember to remind Joe not to drive off before I grab my work off the dashboard. Yikes!!! luckily only lost one item.




Pinched Pots

This semester I am taking Hand Building Functional Ceramics with Cheryl Crownover, at SFCC. It is a lot different than working on the wheel, and I am having a blast. We are working with WES, cone O4 clay, which is white when fired. We will be introduced to using clay slips, englobes, and terra sigillata for colorants. So glad I thought to grab these pieces off the bisque firing shelf…sure I will be wanting to add more colors to them first.


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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Less is more

This saying makes me think of Joe. He is always saying this about his music. I decided this bowl didn’t need feet, nor sprigs, now that is has this cool rim treatment. I used my bamboo paint brush handle and rolled it across the rim to create this awesome indented pattern. On to the next hand built bowl… paisleys anyone? 1014171049

4 More Bowls

Today, I threw my last three bowls, for my assigned seven and an extra one that I saved from a flop.


The saved piece is my favorite so far.

My first four thrown bowls

First assignment of 5 cylinders and 5 mugs (with 3 pulled, and 2 never seen before mugs) is behind me and now we have moved onto bowls.

I was quite surprised to learn that bowls are made from cylinders too! Although according to Frannie, our teacher, they have a lazy bottom, and lazy sides that you then shape. NO HIPS allowed! What is a hip? It is a bump that most beginners create in the bottom of the bowl. She taught us to remove the hip, starting above the hip pushing it down and into the middle of the bottom of the bowl. Much easier said than done!

Our next assignment is to throw 7 bowls that are completely different shapes. Here are my first three bowls thrown and trimmed. I admit the second and third look more like pots on the outside, but they DO look like bowls on the inside 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below is my forth thrown bowl fresh off the wheel, it still needs to be trimmed.