Friday, September 30, 2011

What's going on in the studio?

I know, I know...I've been all introspective lately.

So here I am, sipping an Americano (single decaf espresso with hot water to make a full size cup of coffee)...and wishing I'd taken some new pictures of the new pitchers and platters.  Well, sorry about that.  My hands and life have been too full to take care of lots of little details lately.  And you don't want to know the condition of my laundry.

I've kind of spent the week working on a coffee pot.  Seriously.  I threw the body, and then just before trimming it, I set the bat it was on sort of leaning on the wheel head, while trying to make some space for my body and legs and all around the wheel.  And pushed against the pedal to move it into position, only to have it flash "ON" and the wheel head spun rapidly...not just a little, I mean FAST. 

I grabbed the flying coffee pot, said a word that was repeatable but not exactly legal according to the commandments...and looked to see the damage.

The rim had been altered with several nice deep dents.  And the sides were just a bit off round.  I decided it was fixable...which meant really cutting off the top and re-throwing the rim.  Fortunately I was able to wet it down enough again to do some more work on it.  It continued to have a bit of a limp as it turned on the wheel, even when I tried to round it up again.  Finally I put it aside, and was glad at least I'd cut it off the bat...though if I hadn't then all the drama wouldn't have happened probably.

I'd already made the lid, so I just remade the rim to fit it, I hoped.   Then in the next few days in the studio, I made a high spout, which was to be cut into pieces to make a curved spout that starts at the bottom of the tallish pot.  I also made a slab for the handle to be cut from...since I've enjoyed making loop-di-loop handles this way rather than true potter's handles which are "pulled."

Trimmed the original pot by throwing a big chuck of clay which could nest the narrow top of the pot...and I discoverd a thin bottom on it...and still pretty thick walls.  Oh well, this was going to be my first coffee pot, and I was determined it would be finished, even if it failed sometime (again).  Then a day later cut that spout to pieces and reassembled it, fastening the handle on it, and left it covered to simmer, er, to all become the same level of humidity.  Today perhaps I can finish the spout's joints so they are pretty.

Did I mention I made 2 coffee cones?  One for a single cup, to be placed right on the rim of a mug.  One for the big pot, which is also usable for single cups...but will be part of the big pot system.  Yep, this isn't just a serving pot, it's designed to make paper filter drip coffee. 

Why did I spend a week doing mainly one pot?  Because I never had before, and I wanted to see if it was something I could do.  I would be thinking about the next steps when I fell asleep.  That was a good thing.

Oh, I did throw several platters too.  Just to use some of the time I couldn't work on the coffee pot!  And I glazed a couple of things as well.  I may focus on one pot for a whole week, but I am aware that there has to be more than one pot in my life!  So dear friends who are production potters, sorry about that.  I like using the scientific method to discover what is possible...and to take me where I've never been before.  Also, and this is very important, I needed one of these. 

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