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the art of the cat

updated mon 24 may 10


Neon-Cat on sat 22 may 10

Hi everyone! I=3D92ve just posted new photos on Flickr featuring a novel
high iron and potassium-bearing clay called glauconite sourced from
Texas greensand. There are photos using the greensand in what I call
my =3D93Iron Maiden=3D94 clay bodies from greenware to cone 05 to cone 10
oxidation, as well as photos showing slips and glazes made form
greensand, too. It=3D92s a fun, simple, and rewarding material often used
outside of the United States in industry, but not so much in America.
It=3D92s a cinch to process (Mohs scale of mineral hardness 2) and has a
very pleasant aroma. In a separate post I=3D92ll provide a brief
introduction to glauconite and greensand.

For the curious I put up photos of my very first wheel-thrown pieces.
I may or may not get back to learning to throw =3D96 I don=3D92t know yet. =
many of you all do it so well and handbuilding seems to be my =3D93thing=3D=

Photos of new coiled vessels from locally collected native clays are
also shown.

My very first pit-fired adventure was a joyous experience and there
are photos of that and the resulting pieces, too. I made use of KCl
(potassium chloride) in this firing and the results are interesting
where it was applied directly to pots and thrown in as lumps with the
fuel. KCl begins to melt around 500 C (932 F), well within pit fire
temperatures. It reacted with the bricks of my fire containment system
to give them a good glaze and completely changed the color, texture,
and look of the native clay. I used wood stove pellets (hardwood) and
mixed wood sticks for the blaze that produced glowing embers for well
over 24 hours (perhaps forty pounds of pellets was a bit much).

For fans of wood stoves there are also some little howling wolves done
up with different versions of greensand to make for interesting
iron-containing, low-temperature flame flashing slips and clay bodies.
There are also some miniature pots I fired in my pellet wood stove
back when it was colder.

This time around I=3D92ve experimented with shellac as a resist and as a
surface treatment for the pit-fired work (it=3D92s a film forming finish).
There are photos of the results that I found to be uniformly good.
Shellac is very easy to use on my native clay bodies and it lets
texture show. Shellac can be tinted with oxides, ochre, umbers, and
stains. By itself it has pleasant optical properties and can be cut
with denatured alcohol to give a range of effects from non-reflective
to shiny surfaces depending on application.

And no adventure here at my humble home-studio is complete without a
couple of melts and mistakes =3D96 you can see them, too.

Thanks for looking!
Feel free to post me if you have questions or constructive suggestions.


Snail Scott on sun 23 may 10

On May 22, 2010, at 5:44 AM, Neon-Cat wrote:
> Shellac is very easy to use on my native clay bodies and it lets
> texture show..

I have seen work by Ecuadoran folk potters who
used similar stuff as the final surface - traditional for
them. It wasn't shellac, exactly; it was a tree resin.
It shines a lot and shows the colors of the slip
decoration, as well as sealing the surface of the
ultra-low-fired pottery.