Making Cups

Amongst other things this week I’ve started making some cups. This is very much a work in progress at the moment as I’m still unsure what the best way to do this is. The easiest method would be just to throw them but I think this will look incongruous next to the rest of the slab built tableware. My initial plan was to try throwing a beaker and then altering in by inserting a thin rolling pin and rolling it on one of the plaster bats. I thought this might hide the fact it had been thrown and result in a thinner and lighter cup than using slabs and formers. I’m using ungrogged black clay for these. Obviously the rim can’t be treated in the same way as my other pieces as it’s just not functional for drinking out of.

I had one go at the throwing and altering method which wasn’t all that successful so I quickly moved on to using a slab. The thrown cup I left deliberately thicker to give it strength for the rolling process so it didn’t end up feeling much lighter than the slab built ones. It also folded at the top as I rolled it. I think in hindsight I should have waited until it had firmed up a bit more. I will maybe have another go at this. So far I’ve concentrated on just a straight sided cylinder but I’d like to experiment with a more conical one so I’ll need to work on a template for that.

With a whole heap of stuff back from the bisque firing I spent a good while on Thursday applying slip to them. The majority of pieces were covered with white slip and this time I’ve used the white slip made with china clay and ball clay, not the Parian. I have experimented with applying coloured slip to four of the bowls. I just used what was left from the test pots of the Azure Blue, Emerald, Crimson and Sun Yellow. These were all the tests that had had iron oxide added as well. Like the white slip they were rubbed back with wire wool, wet sponged in areas and also chipped slightly with a metal kidney. It’ll be interesting to see how they come out.

Despite being busy in the glaze room I still managed to make yet another plaster bat! I’d decided that I needed a better sized dinner plate as the first one I’ve made is a bit too big and the subsequent one too small. I clearly need a Goldilocks size one – just right. Hopefully the one I’ve made this week will be. I’ve also chosen an area of salvage board with slightly less texture this time too. Managed to make a couple of very small bats too, to make tiny bowls with.

Quick photo here of my wash basin that’s now fitted and working at home. Really pleased with how it looks. Unfortunately the water pools slightly at the bottom and doesn’t entirely drain. Oooops! Will stick with it for now and then maybe when I’m not so busy make another one to replace it.

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