While testing for the scavenger hunt, Ella suggested we add a thread for beginners on how to get started with clay. I think it's a good idea, but I'd like to get input from you before I implement. Maybe help finding a class would be a good start, but I'm not sure what else would be useful. Any suggestions?
This is the yarn bowl I made for my sister a few months ago. I'm pleased with it, though it was a first try and a test. I made it quite bottom-heavy and the idea was to put a piece of that grippy shelf liner on the bottom to stop it sliding. We decided it needed to be a little deeper for hand-wound balls of yarn. Nice to have a tester available! The glaze is white crackle on the outside, white matte on the inside - the flower is a variety of Stroke & Coat glazes.
P.S. Re crackle glazes. A tip I read was not to use crackle glaze both inside and out, as it can stress the clay and cause cracking when fired.
Thanks for the tip on crackle glaze. I like the yarn bowl.
I have been working with yarn once again. I am going to apply for a grant to travel and study tapestry weaving so I haven't touched clay for over a week.
I can't take credit for the idea; it's something I saw on the 'net and realized my sis might enjoy it. She tats, so I thought the small size might suit her, but I don't think she winds the thread first.
Hope you're successful with your application, Pauline. Maybe you could come our way and look at southwest weaving!
One of the places I am looking at is Norway. Not warm at all.
I am also trying to find places in warmer areas of the USA. Do any of you know of a place or teacher that is really good with tapestry weaving?
Last Saturday was the first day of my African Drum workshop. The udu we made was slip-cast for us when we arrived; we cleaned up the seams, cut the hole and decorated it. Even leather-hard they made a great sound! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udu
Next we slabbed a small djembe and decorated that. We were supposed to also make a mini-djembe, but ran out of time (I think this was the first class of this type. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djembe
Today we are supposed to get the fired pieces back, put the heads on our djembes and make some music!
My udu has a great sound, and I spent a little 1:1 time with the instructor getting a better idea of how to play it. Got the goatskin drumhead on my djembe (not by myself, but at least I understand how it's supposed to be done). It also sounds really good.
I plan to stain and wax both pieces, as right now they're just a low-fire carved, bisqued surface. Some people were going to glaze theirs, but the instructor doesn't typically glaze his---and it might change the tone. Also, the people who glazed theirs couldn't put heads on their drums or play them, so I opted for an unfired finish on mine.
We played our drums a little, and I think he may put some of the film his daughter took on YouTube. If he does, I'll post a link (if I wasn't embarrassingly off-tempo!!!)
Janet, I am looking forward to the video on YouTube. Have you ever tried shoe polish on a bisque surface? You get the color and wax together. It is best to do one area at a time so it doesn't dry before you get a chance to polish it. Once it is dry it is a lot more work to polish.
I THOUGHT I remembered you saying to use shoe polish, and I was going to ask you if I had to stain first to get the color in my carved detail. Great!! Thanks for the info---I'll try it on a spot inside or on the bottom first.
The instructor has a finishing process that he isn't sharing; I'm wondering if it's liquid floor wax.....I know my college instructor recommends that for using over raku. Have you ever tried that over the shoe polish?
I have used clear shoe polish as a wax, but never wax over shoe polish. I have used paste floor wax, but never liquid. I have a friend that tried liquid wax and didn't like it at all.
Bees wax is nice it works best if it is warmed up. A hair dryer or heat gun work well for that. Or heating it by putting a container with wax into a pan of water and heating it on a stove. The heat gun or dryer works well on any wax on a pot if you want it move move a bit.
The first part of this video shows my table-mate, Joe, playing one of his handmade wooden flutes with our instructor on udu. Then there's a short clip of the class playing our djembes together----or trying to!!!