Friday, January 23, 2009

A little hand-made lovin' for Valentines Day!

I've worked hard for the past 3 weeks renewing my 'stock' and am in the midst of firing my first glaze load of the New Year! So one of the things I've worked on again are these bottle vases, which would make a really great Valentines gift, by the way!
Here is a little demonstration on how bottle vases get made: first I throw these bottle forms without a bottom on the wheel, and then, after they have dried over night and after making the bottom part oval, I attach a new base onto the bottom. I use this super-high-tech tool that I made myself out of a yogurt container, with a little cut for the shape of the base (see photo above! Nifty- hey? Works like a charm, and pretty cheap!) So the big question here would be: Why go through that much work to oval it off? Well, because I really like glazing, and I have more room to glaze the vases if there are some flatter sides!
So once the forms have been finished, dried out- slowly, fired in the kiln for their first firing, I get to glazing them!
Heather's Glaze Demo 101:
Day 1: pour glaze inside bottle forms and wax the bottom of the pot (so it doesn't stick to the kiln shelf), let dry over night.
Day 2: hand-cut my resist design, place on pot, paint glaze on parts, wax, let dry, dip one side into one glaze, dip other side into other glaze, paint stems, wax around resist, let dry over night.
Day 3: peel off resist, wipe with sponge and touch up funny spots, paint 2 different glazes on design (ie paint the poppies red or peach!), clean up bottom again, load into kiln.
Day 4: fire in kiln for 10-12 hours.
Day 5: let cool. Open lid and see what turned out!
So think about it.. wouldn't the love of your life deserve a little hand-made love at Valentines Day this year!

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