Monday, February 10, 2014

52 Form Project- Week 6

The 52 Form Project 

What is it?
My 52 Form Project is devised to help me stretch my creative muscles, explore new forms, or finally get to making forms I have been wanting to try for a long time. I am planning to make a new or modified form for every week of this year.
How can you help?
Your input on the forms, their shape, decoration, appeal, and function would be greatly appreciated. Some forms, if they seem like they may do well in the market, may become a part of my regular production.
Week 6

Last week's endeavor was into the world of baskets. It was initially just to try an oval walled vessel in several ways, and turned into baskets or what-not holders. Here is the first method I tried for making an oval vessel:
 I threw an open-bottomed cylinder on the wheel and then elongated the sides into the shape of an oval.
 I threw a flat circle at the thickness I wanted for the base.
 While the two pieces were fairly damp I placed the open-bottomed cylinder onto the flat disc. I then cut the excess of the flat disc away from the base and smoothed the exterior and interior with slip where the two pieces joined. Here is how this piece turned out:
 I pulled a somewhat wide strap handle and after it set up for a bit, attached it to the interior of the form and added some little bits of clay to the edge for decoration.
The above method felt very comfortable to me. However, I was aware of another method that sometimes seems a little quicker. Check out this David Cuzick video for more details on this method:

I had a few issues and hiccups with this method. I made the cylinder:
 I wired the bottom, and then cut a 'feather' out of the base:
 When I pushed the two sides together, every time I got this:
One side of the oval split every time I tried this method
 I suspect my 'feather' I cut out of the bottom may have been too pointed on the sides, or perhaps was too wide. I tried this method several times with the bottom cut out being different lengths and widths, and every time I got the little split on one side (as seen in the photo above). Laying a bit of clay and working some slip into the cracks did cover it all up, as the video above talks about, but that seems unstable to me. Shifting the vessel like this also created an uneven bottom on a few of the pieces, which I don't particularly enjoy. I think I am going to stick with the first method of making. Though the second method seems quicker, it's a little bit more fussy than I like.
 At some point, while one of the pieces was sitting on the wheel, I thought, "gee, wouldn't an undulating rim look nice?" Altering is usually something I have an aversion to because I'm not usually happy with the result. This, however, was a pleasant surprise and I enjoyed the outcome very much!

Here are how the somewhat final versions look after I stamped "Liberty Stoneware" on them and put some white and blue slip on the surface. I am not sure that they all will make it into the upcoming kiln firing because they may be too damp, so the final results may have to wait until next month's firing! On to week 7!

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