Tag Archives: ceramic dishes

Ceramic Update

It’s been a while since I last wrote about my ceramic journey. Feeling deflated about my last unsuccessful glaze fire, I hesitated to start decorating my new bisque wares and left them sitting in a box gathering dust. Then recently when I had a bit of free time, I thought it was a good time to face it and get it done. How else would I know what was wrong? I had to investigate. The glazes were not cheap to buy, I may as well use them up!

I used a different local kiln firing service to see if the outcome would be the same. Happily I found out that this was not the case. Yay!

The ceramic shine I’ve always aspired to worked on every single piece. The decorating glazes look better than the last batch, although not as vibrant as I hoped for but I think it is just the brand of the glazes. I was literally bobbing with delight when I saw them laid out on the table, looking back at me all shiny. In the words of the ceramicist who did the firing, they turned out “really charming”!

I will be using this kiln firing service from now on. It helps a lot that they have electronic controls on their kilns so they can fire quite accurately to what temperature my choice of overglaze needs. It’s also more convenient because that place is closer to get to.

In hindsight, I think I also applied a little thicker overglaze this time so it may contribute to the success of this fire.

All the research and experiments I’ve done for the last two years have at last paid off. I feel really inspired to carry on developing my ceramic collection and hope for a string of successful fires. I have some lovely ideas floating in my head I want to execute in the near future and I will keep sharing my stories here on the blog.

I am not quite where I want to be in terms of style and technique (still a newbie here!) but I felt ready to sell them and want to work hard on finding my style while I continue making things out of clay. So for the first time I sold them on my stall with Paperdolls Summer Market two Saturdays ago and I was elated to receive lots of positive comments and four of them were sold to very happy customers.

I’ve listed the remaining ceramics on the shop for very good prices, do check them out if you fancy getting your hands on a quirky ceramic – and thank you for enduring my ups and downs on this ceramic project of mine!

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Experimenting With Clay

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Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

Last November I picked up an air dry clay and made pinch pots and dishes. While I enjoyed the process so much, I didn’t really like the clay I used – DAS – it didn’t feel pliable enough even when kneading it for ages or blend with water well enough but I did get it from online so it might be old or hardened. The edges were quite flaky when I cut them and obviously I am not experienced so I am not sure if it is normal.

I was putting off to paint them in fear that I would just ruin them but I realised that I got to do it some point and finally painted them. A bit wonky paintwork there but not bad for the first time, eh? Well I’ve played with clay back at my school days but it’s been many years! I only used black and white paints but the colours came out blue-ish. Puzzled.

Even the cat is grumpy, I love this one. My favourite. What about you?

When the paint got dry, I coated them with a protective varnish and it did a good job with painted area, not unpainted area as it turned them into a muddy beige colour rather than keeping the light colour as it was before. It is not obvious in the photos though.

As I wasn’t fully satisfied with my choice of materials in first round, I bought a polymer clay – FIMO Professional – online and to my horror, it came tiny and quite hard. I tried to soften it by kneading it and it didn’t seem to soften enough for me to be able to make a pinch pot out of it. I then figured that buying a clay online was not a way forward and went to a proper craft shop when I visited my sister in Bristol last weekend. Gosh the clays were so soft in comparison! I happily bought three different brands of air dry clay so I could experiment them all at home. I can’t wait! With commissions queuing up, I will have to find time in the evenings to test them out and hopefully build a lovely collection.