Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Carved French Butter Dishes -I call mine Butter Bulbs (TM)

My simple French Butter Dishes continue to entertain me. I do call mine Butter Bulbs (TM) because of their butter chamber shape.
I've taken to carving into the soft clay during the trimming on the wheel. I'm experimenting with designs that play particularly well with my current glazes. Of course, as the French butter dishes get more refined the walls become thinner and the challenge is to get enough glaze on the piece itself. These are the times I wish I had a glaze spray booth! The water content of the glaze becomes less of an issue when spraying. When dipping into a bucket of wet glaze, the water needs to escape into the clay body. The thinner the piece, the less capacity it has for taking on that water. I've seen blisters form in the glaze coating as the water backs out, finding it has no place to go. Once the glaze has finally dried I can de-air those blisters and not end up with glaze faults. But if I miss one blister, it will "crawl"(pull away to bare clay during firing) and the piece becomes a "second". Not something a potter wants, especially with complicated lidded pieces with elaborate carving. But I love the thin walls because the pieces are lightweight. They also fit nicely in your hand and have plenty of room for butter! They're available through my etsy shop.


FetishGhost said...

I love the surface textures you create.

WolfeWoman said...

Great pieces! I throw on the thin side, too, and blisters and pinholes are the bane of my existence! I bisque fire very high so that the clay is less porous, and then use a thick glaze. Not a perfect solution, but it helps.