Skip to main content

A ceramic adventure

For our ninth wedding anniversary in May, Patty bought us a joint gift of a 4-week course in hand building at Chicago's Lill Street Art Center (because pottery is one of the gifts that goes with the ninth). I finally got my hand built stoneware pot back from the kiln, and it looks like this:

Hardly the best thing you've ever seen, I'm sure, but I'm putting it up here because, well, it's my blog. And the glazes are really quite lovely. It has two contrasting glazes of antique white, one on the outside and the other on the interior. The 'coal circle' pattern is one of those Asian iron-based pigments, which fired to a nice green-brown colour.

The surface is very smooth, and glassy, but with the suggestion of a lot of texture. And the circles, which when painted on looked like dark red, almost black-red smudges, fired to this set of patterns with interesting variations in tone.

It's nine inches high, and about 3.5 inches in diameter. If I ever get the time, I would like to try and make more of these, and perhaps with more refined shapes (though that is not so important to me aesthetically).

 Subscribe to Praeterita in a reader


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.

A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…

Restoring my Printing Press

I've just finished restoring and assembling my large etching press -- a six week process involving lots of rust removal, scrubbing with steel wool, and repainting. Here is a photo of the same kind of press from the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative:

And here is a short YouTube video of me testing the press, making sure the motor still works after nearly seven years of lying in storage: