Saturday, October 30, 2010

Size Matters!

Really. But not exactly like you might assume!

A set or series of functional pottery should be of similar size. This will give the customers confidence in the quality and craftsmanship...and it will stack nicely in cupboards. But aside from these obvious issues, the size of a piece can have a significant effect on the quality of the glaze. Many potters complain about inconsistent glaze effects but can figure out why. Perhaps we should investigate the thickness of the pot wall! A thicker wall picks up more glaze than a thin walled pot. Keep this issue in mind when you make your test tiles...the tiles should simulate the wall thickness of the pot you intend to make.

So, yes, in order to ensure consistent height, diameter and thickness, it is recommended that we weigh and measure our clay. Even if it sounds scientific for no obvious reason!

Here's how I do it. Use a scale to weigh the clay...if you start with the same weight , there is a better likelihood that the finished pieces will have the same dimensions.

Then, I throw the pot to a specified height and diameter using a gauge (and yes, I actually measure it with rulers). This is how I ensure a consistent thickness in the wall of each of the pots in the series.

Consistent wall thickness for each piece in a series will ensure that each piece picks up the same amount of glaze with each dip...and the glaze effects are closer from piece to piece. Of course, there are lots of other factors in the firing of the pot that can effect the glaze, but at least we've ruled out one variable.

So, size (weight, height, diameter, thickness) is important to consistent glazing.

Size Matters!

The Moose Show @ CBC Toronto, 18 -20 Nov

Looking for some downtown Christmas shopping? Come to the Barbara Fromm Atrium at the CBC on Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 November to see a great selection of fine craft from some of the best craftspeople in Ontario. I will be there (unfortunately, Fish and Chips can not be's a little to downtown for them!) If you have a chance, please joins us. Admission is free. More details are available at the website for the Moose Show.

the Maker's Hand, Picton, 5-7 Nov 2010

I am heading to Picton this next weekend to join my colleagues who make fine craft in a fabulous show! There will be lots of well-crafted work that is ideal for Christmas gift-giving (or for yourselves!) The show is from Friday 5 Nov to Sun 7 November and is at the Community Centre in Picton. Admission is $5. Please join us if you can. More info is available at the website for the Maker's Hand

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Union Gallery, Stauffer Library, Queens Universtiy, oct/nov 2010

In an effort to raise funs for the Union Gallery, the student-run gallery at Queen's University, I painted a piece for Mini-Works! Yes, I painted a canvas! And then, of course, attached clay to it (what would you expect from a potter?)

The theme of the show is "Green". I have chosen to investigate the idea of environmentally green aspects of our lives. My canvas in entitled "Sometimes..." and involves porcelain leaves, attached with embroidery floss. They can be lifted up (like an Advent Calender) to reveal more to the story on environmentally "green" things in our world. Unfortunately, the curators think it's art (whereas, I think it's craft). I wanted you to touch it...but they put it in a vitrine!

If you are down at Stauffer Library, please check it out...and you can place silent auction bids on all the work exhibited...but you can't touch!

Fusion Clay and Glass Show - 15 -18 Oct, CNIB Office, Toronto

I mentioned this earlier, but thought you might like a reminder...

About 45 potters and glass blowers from around Ontario (and even a few from Quebec and New Brunswick) are showing their work at the CNIB Office on Bayview Ave in Toronto (beside Sunnybrook Hospital) on Fri 15 - Sun 17 Oct.

There will be lots of parking and tons of great work. Come early and get lots of excellently-made, hand-crafted , well-priced gifts for the holiday. The details can be found on the Fusion website on on the invite below.

Candela 2010 - Cube Gallery, Ottawa, 14-17 Oct

My rice lamps were accepted into a show called "Candela" at the Cube Gallery in Ottawa that is sponsored by several different agencies in the lighting industry in support of Habitat for Humanity. Most of the work from the other artists is fine art that involves light.

Here is my lamp.

And here is the info on the show entitled "Candela"....if you are in Ottawa from 14 - 17 Oct, please check it out.