Pottery Lessons – Hand Building | Clay

A little bit of slab work and the second attempt at a lemon juicer.

My first attempt at a lemon juicer ended up an utter disappointment. I have over worked the clay trying to get it right and the whole thing was a cracking disaster. I’m a bit of an impatient human and tend to dive straight into things without thinking it through first. So after learning how to attach a handle to my jug, I moved on to my lemon juicer 2.0.

Lemon Juicer Success

I used my fingers to create the wedges. After fiddling around a bit to see what worked I restarted on version 3.0. It was a success! I just hollowed out the middle with what looked like an apple-corer. My teacher suggested this to speed up the drying process. I guess it also makes the utensil a bit lighter and easier to use. She also suggested I flatten the bottom so it can be waxed and stand upright in the oven. Apparently, these are the things you need to think about.

Clay Citrus Juicer
Citrus Juicer 3.0

 

A Slope-y Soap Dish

I still had a bag full of clay and some time so  I decided to make a quick soap dish using the slab technique. Once my clay was rolled out I just cut my dish to size, folded in the edges and added bumps and holes for draining. I lastly decided to add some feet. When I flipped it over my dish sank in the middle which turned out to be perfect to assist wth draining the soapy water. Win!

 

In my first ever lesson I had created a mieliemeal stamp. However, I was sad to discover that this stamp will not be ready for a while. It turns out there is a lot of waiting in between creating your item and taking it home.

The Clay to Kitchen Process

Here are the steps involved (according to my knowledge):

1. Create an Amazing Item:

The time for this step ranges from minutes to weeks depending on the size of your item and how detailed you are going and quickly you can work.

2. Leave Your Creation to Dry:

So apparently your clay item has to be completely dry before the first baking. If not it the water in the clay explodes in the kiln and the shrapnel will annihilate everyone else’s work. Nobody wants to be this person.

3. First Baking:

You can first sand down your item slightly to get rid of any bumps that aren’t supposed to be there. It then gets stuck in the kiln along with everyone else’s work that is unlikely to explode. What comes out of the oven is your clay bisque. I haven’t baked anything yet but I hear your items can shrink slightly.

4. Painting and Decorating the  Clay Bisque:

Go wild. Let it dry.

5. Glazing and Final Baking:

Your item gets waxed at the bottom, glazed and the stuck back in the kiln for the final banking.

 

I’m quite excited for next week. Dee promised me that I could make my own casserole dish using the slab technique.

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