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teabowls + pix

updated tue 19 mar 02


Michele Williams on mon 18 mar 02


I've been at the computer until 2 a.m. this morning and since 2 p.m. this
afternoon. Saw messages to me from other folks about how they enjoyed my
post, then about how they enjoyed your response--and I had SO many posts to
answer! I just read your response, and I enjoyed it more than anyone else
did, I am positive.

I have not worked with porcelain yet (can't afford to buy any clay right
now, just an additional excuse) but people around me say it is harder to
work, so I am a little afraid of it. They say it wants to slump more and I
still have trouble getting TC and #11 white lowfire clays to go up. I'm
probably not ready for it yet (or am I just Chicken?).

I'm getting things to 1/3" thick and feeling that carving those is very
safe. So I'm wanting to go thinner, but my nerves always started talking to
me in negatives. You tell me I can cut till I can feel the blade, and that
makes me really nervous. But I'm game if you can do it. I have a pot with
a bottom so thin I practically watched the wire cut it off the wheel, so....
What the heck. We only live once, and if we don't do it now, we'll never
get the chance. Whoo-Hoo!

What kind of knife/knives are you using? I am using only the potter's
loops, but have thought/drooled over the thought of using exacto knives and
leather tools. My father had some of those for his rehabilitation after
polio when I was 5. My mother's looking for them in a horridly cluttered
basement. I also found a piece of squared aluminum tubing with sharp edges
at a construction site that would make good V-cuts and grooves. I found out
I can get a really consistent small groove with the BIC pen caps that have
that "pretend clip" on them. (That's if someone hasn't chewed on them yet.)
What's your arsenal?

I'm sending a couple of digiphotos of the tile I've done--the first carving
I ever did in my life, from a photo on the Net of a detail from an ancient
Persian doorway. Reclaimed claybin at the U. has mixed white clay and terra
cotta, so boo hoo, I've got a messy tile. I was hoping to make a mold of
it, but it has burrs and has already been bisqued. Can I take a nail salon
tool (like a Dreml but slower) and file away the burrs without breaking the
fine details? Hmmm.....If that works, do molds pick up details this fine?

I absolutely loved your post and the information you gave me makes me want
to hot-foot it to the studio. I'd be on the road right now if I could just
figure out a way around the loyalty of dirty laundry and dirty dishes....

Thanks a kazillion, Rush. You've made my day/week/month!


This angle shows some of the details, all of the white clay blotches.

Below, different angle shows somewhat different details a bit better.