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what i learned in the clay studio today

updated tue 1 jun 10


Deborah Thuman on sun 30 may 10

The summer class started on Thursday. Jim the Clay Monster and I are
sort of camped out in the clay studio. I've been working on coil built
lidded jars inspired by the Qumran Jars. (Those are the jars in which
the Dead Sea Scrolls were stored for a couple thousand years.)

I learned that keeping the inside of the jar looking nice requires a
rib. And fingers.

I learned that when the bottom cracks, just put the sucker out of its
misery and into the reclaim. It's not worth the time and trouble to
fix it. I'll take photos of the dead jar tomorrow (I like the shape)
and then it goes into reclaim.

I learned the best sandpaper for clay is a wet sponge.

So far, I'm working on large jars. I've some ideas for smaller jars.
The original Qumran Jars are about a foot in diameter and two feet
tall. By smaller, I'm thinking of about 6" in diameter and maybe a
foot tall. I like the ratio of the original jars and I'd like to stay
with that ratio.

The first jar, which is hardly a work of art, is being used as a test
tile. I was playing around with the computer and drawing out quilting
patterns. Then I filled in with color and got a shock when I saw the
results. And so I drew quilting patterns on the sides of the jar. I
used white terra sig where I'll eventually use underglaze. I'm using
Anasazi ^6 and I like the color of the clay when it's fired in
reduction. I plan on glazing the insides of the jars and leaving the
outsides plain. I want to play with the ugly jar and the quilting
designs to see if maybe I want to try something like that on a regular
jar. Anyway, I needed the terra sig to kill the color of the clay so
the underglaze would pop. I plan on glazing only the spots where the
underglaze is.

Deb Thuman