Wednesday, August 6

Mug handles and slip

I handled a bunch of mugs today. It was awful. Sometimes this clay is just not plastic. My handles would just keep breaking in half and I'm quite sure it wasn't my application. Right out of the bag sometimes this clay, although it feels a little slippery and even sometimes has signs of mildew (good things to me as far as clay is concerned) when you do the bend test it breaks right in half. I've had this for at least two months so even if it was fresh when I got it it shouldn't be now.

So I was thinking. I'm not thrilled with my handles. They're fine, they don't suck in an obvious way, but a lot of them just are not complimenting the cups. Some look really good and so I was thinking that for my next post I will compare some of the cups and discuss why I think some are successful and why others are not. This will be good for me and hopefully help me figure out what I am after, and hopefully you might enjoy it too.

So I was wondering in my last post about dipping some things into slip but unsure about waxing while the pots were green. I was afraid the wax would trap water and start blistering up. Emily Murphy

responded to my post and said she thought waxing would be fine and it worked great. You may be wondering why I would want to dip my darker stoneware into white slip and I'll tell you. Below you see two test pots glazed with exactly the same glazes outside. The one on the right has been slipped first. It really makes my white pop and my orangy-brown a much brighter orange. I like the one on the left very much. It has a nice earthiness to it, but I also love the brightness of the slipped pot. It makes the pot feel a little more vibrant. I intend to do both and it's nice having the option.

So, stay tuned tomorrow for another episode of One Cup To Handle.


Judy Shreve said...

I hate getting clay - right out of the bag that doesn't cooperate! I took a workshop with Ellen Shankin this summer & she gave the best handle making lesson. It's amazing how a handle can affect a piece --

I like your slipped work - lovely!

Deborah Woods said...

I'm thinking of trying to make up some samples of clay and make my own-but 1. I swore after college I'd never make clay again, and 2. I'm just not set up for it. We'll see.

Ben Stark said...

Thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! I posted a response to your comment over at my blog. I think that handles are my nemesis. I am rarely pleased with them and they usually feel they are too dainty for my pots. But anyways, great blog and good luck with your handles!

Deborah Woods said...

Thanks Ben-I think I misunderstood what you were doing with your kiln and I think I see now from your response.