Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wheel Results

Last night was my last ceramics class of the session. I have clay left over so I really want to take another series, but I have to see how the summer plays out to see if it'll fit into the schedule.

To help pay for the glaze and gas to fire the pieces, the arts center charges 2¢ per cubic inch for your high-fired glazed pieces. Fair enough. For bowls and all things round, you have to resurrect your memory of the formula for volume of a cylinder: πr²h

These are seven of the nine pieces I picked up. One bowl is in the dishwasher and the other item is a pinch pot Kevin made and I forgot to collect it for the picture. The total for the nine was about 500 inches³ for $10. I only had a $20 and eight $1s. The guy at the desk took the $8. He didn't ask for it, but I'll have to remember to give them $2 next time I'm in.

Overall I had a good time in class. I've taken the stance to try to be patient and just enjoy, not to worry about not being able to create every piece perfectly.

Centering the clay is the hardest part, it takes firm hands and leverage. I think one of problems I've been having was I was trying to center hunks of clay which were too large for me to handle before my skills were ready. I was able to work with smaller hunks towards the end, but that doesn't help create larger pieces.

The other step I had trouble with was pulling up the sides without pulling the piece out of balance. I would try to pull too much too quickly and the thin area wouldn't be able to support the thick walls above. I was able to create a decent cylinder last night that was about 7" high after more practice. I hope it will be a nice mug when it's done. Even though the class series is over I'll be able to go back in and finish the pieces later.

Another thing that is hard to get used to is how much the clay shrinks in the firings. That 7" mug will end up between 4 and 5" high, the cups in the picture above started out over 4" tall and now they are pretty small for tea or coffee.

When I brought home the box of pieces from the last firing, Dan wondered about where it all would go, our cabinets are full enough. I bet my mom would love to have some of my pieces. Anyone else?


AM Kingsfield said...

I'm looking forward to a closer look. I'm curious about the one with cut outs. I think they are all beautiful!

VE said...

It is hard to do. I remember it from high school. I went to a polytechnic school so we had to do things like that.

Kathy said...

Those look neat!