Finished Pots with the New Tools

Well, finished with this portion, anyway. I found the tools I made to be most effective at scraping away large areas of slip/engobe without digging into the clay. They are indeed quite sharp and remove the slip with ease. For detailing, I still found myself going back to my old Kemper sgrafitto tool, although the tool that I made that was somewhat pointed was excellent at carving out broader lines as well.

The rounded bowl you see pictured to the left was carved out in a woven basket pattern using a citrus zester through the engobe, then when dry, I lightly sanded the edges of the ‘weave’ in hopes that once fired, it will give it somewhat of a shadow and add to the dimension of the textured weave pattern. Both this bowl and the large flared rim bowl below are thrown using a clay that fires to a deep espresso color. I am hoping that combined with the Vanadium mason stain engobe, really makes the pots contrast stand out. I am planning on finishing this pot off with a reed handle.

This large flared rim shallow bowl was thrown especially with this design in mind. Again, my hopes in using this gold stain against the black clay, will really make the little guy stand out against the ‘moon’ behind him. I carved this design out mostly freehand, just putting in a few swirls of pencil lines for guides. I wanted it to look spontaneous rather than contrived and so far, am happy with the results. I hope I’m just as happy after it comes out of the kiln! I hope to single fire these vitreous engobe pots to cone 6, using only a clear liner glaze when warranted.

Off to a special meeting later of Central PA Potters and a Pam Cummings workshop hosted at Riverbottom Pottery in Harrisburg. The topic will be “Fine Tuning”- lids that fit, mugs that work, finishing touches, refining the basics. Sounds like a perfect end of the day to me!

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