Now with more light box

This evening I built myself a lightbox for photographing my ceramics (following instructions involving sharp knives and the nagging fear you are going to accidentally cut your arm off (or worse, both arms)). I need better lights, but the effect is quite nice.

Small milk jug, cinnamon clay glazed with Ferg yellow and fired to cone 10 oxidation.

Pit Fire Workshop

This weekend marked the end of the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation‘s pit fire workshop, organized by the awesome Miki Shim-Rutter. Yesterday we packed the pit with sawdust, bark, wood and bisque-fired ceramics. Today, we took the pieces out.

Pit fired pieces waiting to be retrieved

Here is one of my pieces. The next step is to polish it after a few weeks’s rest.

One of my pit fired pieces

Some new ceramics

I’m quite pleased with the ceramics from my recent classes.

I had several attempts at making a jug before this one. I kept messing up the formation of the spout. I succeeded after consulting Throwing (New Ceramics), which gave a clear explanation of the spout making process. Since the shape was nice, I decided on a simple glaze instead of some uncertain glaze experiment. This is iron red glaze, fired to cone 10 oxidation. I bought Throwing (New Ceramics) from the Contemporary Ceramics Centre, a lovely little shop and gallery opposite the British Museum in London. This was my first ceramics book, bought even before I had started throwing.

Red jug

Vase. It’s a hefty object – I started with 5lb of B Mix clay. Not the most refined shape, but it does its vasely duty. The glaze was an experiment. Robbins egg blue green inside and first dip, woo blue second dip. I feel that the colours are two dark, and the boundary between the first and second dips on the outside is rather subtle.


This is my best plate to date. I decided to try painting in underglaze, which turned out quite well even though I’m not entirely sure what kind of fruit this is. There is a layer of clear glaze on top. One peculiarity – there was a reaction between the underglaze and the clear glaze, leaving the surface somewhat rough in the places there was underglaze. Not suitable for eating, it’ll take a turn on the wall until I manage something better.

Plate with fruit in underglaze

Another plate. Underglaze under clear again. This time the clear is smooth, I think I put it on more thickly this time. My notes say “red, yellow and green underglaze”. I find this hard to believe. I think it has red, blue, and yellow in the middle, which completely burned away at cone 10.

Plate with squares in underglaze

I’m quite pleased with this cup, which I made in my most recent ceramics class. It’s comfortable to drink from, and surprisingly light.

Ceramic cup with slanted stripes

The mental wanderings of Julian Richardson