Well I ended up making a lot of custom work over the past month or so and, as with custom, making extras is the key! Now that the orders are almost all off and on their way, I have some of the extra pieces I'll be posting in my Etsy shop as I seem to have gotten some positive feedback on the new shades and styles of vases I have been working on.
I recently had a short turn-around request for a large order with a design firm for a show home with some of my new vases in my classic glazed stripes. They asked if I would be able to create a custom yellow glaze for the design and sent me a swatch of fabric they were trying to match. As luck would have it, the yellow stain I thought would be perfect for the fabric swatch was no longer available so I mixed 3 different stains and then glazed blind the order (with extras) for this new harvest yellow glaze, crossing my fingers it would turn out ok! I really like the new shade- it's got a wonderful golden glow to the yellow that I think I'll keep as part of my regular work for a while.
Speaking of new, I am starting to really get the hang of my newest slip-cast glaze designs- the round cylinder 9" and 12.5" vases that you see above! Over the past few years, I have been wheel-throwing my cylinder vases and was having trouble getting my grey glaze to fit the wheel-throwing clay body I have been using. Lots of bubbles and blisters in the throwing body, silky smooth in the porcelain slip-casting body. I also find it hard to sit at the wheel for long periods of time- I like to throw multiple shapes in one sitting, not just the same thing over and over. So when I start dreading throwing, then I start planning how to make the design into a mould.
I currently have only 1 master-mould of each and they are not easy to cast, but I'm slowly figuring it out. This big grey striped vase, along with 3 others that went to the show home, was the first of the big vases that actually turned out and didn't warp (longer casting time + very little handling when pulling the piece out of the mould = no warping :). So I'm very excited about the new size and am looking forward to getting a few more of these finished in different colours. These are real statement pieces- they really hold some presence and look great in a grouping!
Lastly I have some new wheel-thrown vase designs I have been working on. It has been nice to try out new forms and play with the herringbone pattern or colour dip pattern on them! These are ooak vases and perhaps at some point I would make a mould of them, but for now, I am enjoying the variety of them. Slip-casting some of my work frees me up to explore new forms on the wheel and also new glazing designs, so there have been some big advantages for me to move into that direction, especially with vases. On the other hand, I have spent the week on the wheel, throwing teapots and bowls, and I would never dream of slip-casting those pieces. It's nice to still see the throwing lines in a bowl or on the inside of a teapot and I still cherish making these items in this way.