01 September 2008
First batch of Jie Sen Pottery
Roughly a month in the making, my first pottery pieces sat waiting for me on my shelf at the studio this afternoon. I'm jazzed! The photos and descriptions are below.
Some of them delight me, others disappoint me, but I learned several valuable glazing lessons with this first batch.
Here are two pieces. Atop the clear-green glazed shallow bowl is a tea caddy I glazed with a tenmoku approximation. Because I layered the glaze too thin, a black/brown glaze turned eggplant, and has the look and actual texture of mussel shell. It's a neat effect I didn't intend. It does a look a little like a witch in this color...maybe I should add a warted nose?
The shallow bowl was meant for use in Taiwan-style cha xi. I envisioned it holding a small pot, proud to be the bland background that made the pot's clay pop. However, the clear glaze was contaminated with some green glaze, and I got this yellow-green bowl that also shrank too much to be used with any but the smallest of pots. I don't know what to do with it now, but it's pretty.
This shallow bowl has a lip. It's also a little useless, except maybe to hold olive oil and spices for bread dipping, or some other sauce/dip use. A clear-green glaze coats it, and brown line is a streak of tenmoku. The glaze interestingly crackled, as is seen in the detail photo.
I like the idea of this piece, and I think I'll repeat the effect with a thicker application of tenmoku on the exterior for more drama. I do like the ghost-under-the-glaze feel it gives the bottom of the interior of the bowl, though.
The two pieces below are two teacups, one in a thin brush of white glaze and the other in a combination of clear and straw glazes.
I'm happy with both of these. The white brush design is impromptu but balanced, and the straw glaze's uneven application complements the uneven finger lines on its cup. Both say "organic", but the white cup speaks to organic decoration while the straw cup speaks to organic form. UPDATE 9/2/08: The white brushed cup has found a loving owner, one of my coworkers who called it her favorite of the batch!
This chawan is probably my favorite piece. I made the decoration without thought, and when the pressure from the circular indentations threw the piece off-center, I was annoyed. But in the end, I think the lines display the clay's nature despite the unintentional imbalance.
The piece below is yet another small bowl, thrown by me and decorated by Davin. He used two glazes like paint and covered the whole piece in a third glaze, the clear contaminated with green. The result was the slight ripple at the lip you see on the piece. I like the way the clear glaze shows off the specks of iron in the clay. I've also shown you a closeup of the lip, which Davin chose to leave bare, so your bare lip touches the naked clay.
I made three other pieces. One suffered an odd fate: a lidded jar, the jar expanded in the kiln, dropping the lid to the bottom, where it stuck. Two other pieces I glazed using a thick coat of the white, but the glaze developed pinholes and looked gross.
More photos when they're ready...for now, here's my current signature: