Ceramics wednesday - Trough

Trough - April 2006

This piece was originally destined to become the base for a fountain. I started out with a slab that I texturized on both sides using these mats made by Chinese Clay Art.

Then I tore chunks off and randomly placed them all over the mold (sorry no picture of the mold), overlapping the pieces in an attempt to get some adhesion. There was a brief moment of panic when I couldn't get the piece off the mold that involved a blow torch and the director of the clay program, but I digress...

After coming off the slump mold:

Outside - tree texture

Inside - rock texture

It became clear after the bisque firing though that this puppy was never going to hold water due to some (unintentional!) cracks that had developed in the kiln. But not to worry, I had paperclay to patch them up! (no, not the kind you can buy at Michael's, but a special blend I made up in the blender consisting of toilet paper, clay and water) I didn't take any pictures of that process, but let me tell you that my life is inifintely better after I was taught the virtues of paper clay - this stuff can fix many of your problems.

After a second bisque firing to make sure the paper clay sealed up the cracks, I glazed the piece with satin green brushed on the inside and copper iron oxide wash followed by a layer of blue-black brushed on the outside. Then I went over the inside and outside with a dry brush and sponge.

I give full credit to Susan, my ceramics pal, for the glaze. I glazed it, but it was her color combinations and techniques that really made it all work.


After glaze firing:
The red areas are from the red iron oxide wash and the greenish areas are from the red iron oxide wash + blue-black combo.

The piece shrunk and warped in the glaze firing and developed a new, large crack on the outside, but I don't care, because I LOVE IT!!!!

My ceramics teacher said that the piece got a lot of comments in the kiln room, which I am quite proud of. And I have to again thank Susan for her glaze expertise, without her, this piece would not have been half as spectacular.

I see lots of wood-textured pieces in my future, as well as more of the copper iron oxide wash + blue-black combo in my future.


laura said…
I love it! the glaze, the wood grain.. . its very creative. It may not work as a fountain anymore, but it would make a fantastic planter.

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