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Mar 20th, '15, 02:39
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Jaymo » Mar 20th, '15, 02:39

Cool! Can't wait to see the results of the wood firing! I absolutely love the look of wood fired pots/bowls!

I'll try to take a photo of my attempt sometime for you. It was just a very first learning attempt for the beginner class I was taking. It was just basic earthenware clay and the end of the spout is too low, so I didn't bother glazing it. I've been working with some new stoneware clay now, so hopefully I can have an actual finished pot to share sometime too. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing more of yours when they are done!

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Mar 20th, '15, 11:53
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by BioHorn » Mar 20th, '15, 11:53

I think this is one of my favorite threads. That last pot is really getting there. What a great job. I cannot wait to see what comes up next! Thank you for sharing.

Apr 26th, '15, 10:04
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Apr 26th, '15, 10:04

So... sorry it has been a while since I last posted something.
But without further delay — Number thirteen!

It is a special one as it is wood-fired. As I mentioned previously my teacher allows his students to put in one piece when he is doing a wood-firing. He shares with a other potters, so space is scarce, especially the "good spots" in the kiln. Which me as a guest-student obviously do not always get.

This time I was not lucky as the spot where my pot was put, had the fire coming to strong, which bent the handle slightly (you can see that in the top view). There are also more bubbles and ash deposit, which makes one side a bit rough. That can be a nice effect, but in this case it is a tad too much for my tast. But that's how it is, wood-firing is hit and miss!

I am still quite happy to have my first wood-fired teapot!

As for the most important part, the usability:
Pour is ok, but not a nice, steady stream, which is due to improper alignement of the mesh holes and the spout, as well as the spout ending, which schould be a tad narrower (well that's how my teacher put it, if I got that right with my mediocre chinese).

Handle is a tad to far apart from the body, which makes handling not ideal.
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Last edited by Bok on Apr 27th, '15, 00:43, edited 1 time in total.

Apr 26th, '15, 10:14
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Apr 26th, '15, 10:14

Some more details of Mr.13

You can see the inside of the pot, which this firing resulted in a metallic green colour, almost oily metal, I would say.

My teacher also took the opportunity to point out some misstakes in my lids.
The inside rim curled inside as I was trimming it, as I (misstakenly) tried to correct the width to match the body.

He also mentioned how my previous lids where much better: First you know nothing and just do it, then you start to know things and loose the natural ability to do it, next step will be to become natural again. More or less in that sense, the chinese saying was more cryptic (first a mountain is a mountain, then a mountain is not a mountain, in the end a mountin is a mountain :mrgreen: ).

Seems to be a current thing in chinese culture, heard a similar saying from chinese martial arts teachers!
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13-Thirteen-Inside.jpg
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Apr 26th, '15, 11:44
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Drax » Apr 26th, '15, 11:44

Oooh, very lovely texture, and wonderful coloring from the firing....!

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Apr 26th, '15, 13:05
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by debunix » Apr 26th, '15, 13:05

Sweet result even from the less-preferred position in the kiln!

And I can definitely relate to doing something naturally, then doing it with effort and precision because now you know how to do it 'right' while getting it stiffly, awkwardly wrong, then doing it easily and fluidly thereafter when it is has become second nature.

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Apr 26th, '15, 15:22
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Apr 26th, '15, 15:22

My wife is working on her pots as well, perhaps in a similar place on the journey. So she has enjoyed my showing her your process. Congratulations on the new piece. It has a very warm, natural presence and really appealing shape and balance of proportion! Beautiful!

Blessings!

Apr 27th, '15, 00:07
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Apr 27th, '15, 00:07

Thanks everyone for the kind words. Not that I need encouragement to continue :mrgreen: , but it’s always good to get such nice feedback and it motivates me even more to push things further!

As nice as glazing with normal firing can be, for me the summum of beauty still is the random and unpredictable colours of a wood-firing.

The Taiwanese clay we are using results in colours from Light green (where lots of ash got burned in), olive greenish yellow to dark purple, burgundy, over to dark metallic tones. My personal favorite are the more purple-ish tones.

Apr 27th, '15, 00:41
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Apr 27th, '15, 00:41

From Wabi Sabi back to more predictable results :wink: :

Pot number fourteen.
I tried something new with this one (or should I say dared?), I sprayed standard white and then dipped it into japanese white (that’s how my teacher call it). Only one chance to get the dipping right and seen that making a teapot is still lots of sweat and tears for me, a risk, every failed pot still hurts… but this one worked out well and I am really happy with the result.

I also tried to mor space for tea this time by making it rounder. Somehow magically almost all of my pots seem to hold the same amount of tea!?

Probably that is somehow related to my specifique physique, size of hands etc. So in a way my natural size.
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Apr 27th, '15, 00:50
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Apr 27th, '15, 00:50

This pot also works well, the pour is a nice steady stream, and the round shape brews the tea better than some of my previous forms.

The opening is smaller this time, which helps not to let heat escape too quickly.

I also did a (sort of) set in the same glazing style.
I always plan to make a set of matching cups, but every week time is passing so quickly that after doing my teapots not time is left.

so I mostly quickly raise one cup here and there, when a bit of clay is left on the wheel… apart from that I am not yet capable of getting the exact same shape every time :lol:

But the same glazing kind of pulls it together a bit.
My cups are getting lighter too. If I compare them to previous ones, they are almost half the weight!
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Apr 27th, '15, 01:12
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by debunix » Apr 27th, '15, 01:12

The dipped glaze results in a very nice appearance.

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Apr 27th, '15, 07:23
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Drax » Apr 27th, '15, 07:23

Oooh, I really like the look of #14. Aside from the new glaze, did you have any challenges on this one, or are many of the parts becoming easier?

Apr 27th, '15, 07:53
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Apr 27th, '15, 07:53

Drax wrote:Oooh, I really like the look of #14. Aside from the new glaze, did you have any challenges on this one, or are many of the parts becoming easier?
It is definitely getting easier -ish.
I think the main problem I still have is stability. Stability in the sense that I can achieve the shape I aim for, no matter how tired I am, or how stressful the day was. When I am tired I have a much harder time keeping the clay centered and raise it evenly. Usually in one session I can raise two sets, (two bodies, four lids and four spouts, extras are just in case something goes wrong later). The first set is usually better, as I am still more concentrated and fresh. Second one is often hit and miss.

One progress I noticed is that I do not really need the extra lids and spouts anymore, first time trimming usually works, they do not fly away as they used to... :lol: I still prepare the extras though to practise – and also I would curse myself if it did go wrong and I have no backup.

Number 14 went quite smoothly. I only really do know afterwards when I test them if everything went well. After pots 13-17 my teacher made me work on the lids and refreshed the theory as those pot's lids all had some formal misstakes, mainly due to how I raised them, which then made it harder to trim and in the end not optimal to use.

That is better now, 18 and 19 are much better already – hey spoiler alert, we're not there yet :mrgreen:

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Apr 27th, '15, 11:15
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Drax » Apr 27th, '15, 11:15

That's great! It's interesting that you find your first set to be of better quality due to tiredness in the second set. I would have thought you might do better in the second set because of "warming up" in the first set.

In any case, if you do ever find yourself without a backup spout or handle, you can always call it houbin or a shiboridashi.... :mrgreen:

Apr 28th, '15, 00:28
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Apr 28th, '15, 00:28

Along comes fifteen.

Although I am quite happy with the overall shape, this pot has some issues.
First of all, the lid does not fit very snugly. However it is flat enough to not let any air in, it just moves sideways. When i trimmed that pot I enlarged the interior rim to much, so none of the lids I had prepared fit perfectly anymore.

The lid handle instead of a knob works well though and I like the look of it.
I also tried another style of handle which is quite comfortable to hold.
This pot is also a lot lighter than my previous ones.

The bigger issue I have with that pot is the colour…
It was supposed to be a sort of dark green with lighter undertones. My Dasixiong (older student brother, like they also name it in Kungfu schools) advised me not to spray this particular glazing to thick as it thickens up and drops down, which can glue things together.

I guess that made me to cautious and I sprayed it too thin. The colour is now more of an olive green and at times even orange where the clay shines through. You can even see some fingerprints of mine, where I held it while cleaning the glaze off the rim and bottom of the pot.

Waterflow is also far from perfect and trickles unevenly.
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