Sunday, June 28, 2009

Black Mountain paperclay

Made 4 pots last night. Normally when I make these the walls are between an 1/8" to 1/4" thick, the ones in the photo are less than an 1/8. They are so thin they should be dry by tonight with the heat we are having.

Mesemb repot

Braved the 100+ heat and did some staging, not the greatest photos but you get the idea.
Light colored topdressing

vs dark. Which do you prefer?

Pot was a bit too deep, found a shallow rectangle on the shelf.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ammocharis coranica

Have been growing this bulb for years and it has finally flowered!! I don't water it enough so it aborts it's foliage in May to conserve moisture. The bulb has a 6" diameter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mesemb species

After some talk of this species at the fatplant yahoo group I thought I'd search for mine. schooneesii was out in the open and staged last week, the other two were hidden under the bench and neglected.

Aloinopsis schooneensii, repotted this one last week
Aloinopsis rubrolineata, in need of repot

Nananthus wilimanie, time to bonsai

Friday, June 19, 2009

^6 pots

I may have over fired this one, glaze ran and welded itself to the shelf. Was able to salvage the pot had to break the shelf. Body is Toki Sculpture, glaze is Jen's Juicy Fruit base with copper carbonate.

Thrown and altered square. What I like about this one is it looks like the glaze is weeping from within. Clay is Black mountain, glaze is Coyote Oasis

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homemade paper clay

Just finished wedging my 1st batch of paperclay! Had some ol' dry black mountain sculpture, soaked it for a couple of days and mixed with toilet paper (already had it breaking down when I read about cellulose). Mixed thoroughly to a smooth batter and placed on a plaster bat, 5 hours later it was ready to knead and wedge. A lot easier than I thought it was going to be. The ratio is roughly 50/50 and made about 10lbs.

Will make a few pots tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

^10 oxidation, paperclay and ash glazes

I stepped into the high fire realm yesterday, trying new clay, new glaze recipes, a 2345deg (1285c) oxidation firing and slow cool. To say the least I was quite excited when I opened the kiln a little while ago. The following were the best out of the 10pot I made.

The clay used was a ^10 Toki sculpture paperclay, it very moist and sticky. Took some time to get used to handbuild because it sticks to everything, to combat that I let it sit exposed over night to dry out some and made it much easier to work with. It's not intended for the wheel, don't tell me that! made some interesting forms, doesn't throw like normal clay. Slab building is so much easier! Roll it out, cut to shape, dry to a bone state and assemble. Made 4 pots this way and each one is perfectly square with straight sides.

I wanted to try ash glazes but everything I've read was for a reduction burn, purchased a book on ash glaze making and there was 3 paragraphs on oxidation firing and not much information regarding the process. When over to my sisters house, cleaned her fireplace out and came home and started sifting. Made 3 recipes, ochre, an artificial reduction ochre and a 50/50 mix of ash and earthenware clay. Also did a couple of oxide washes and commercial dry celadon. I did not want pots being glazed to the shelves so I did thin applications since I was entering the unknown, will try thicker coats next time.

3in tall ochre

2in tall RIO wash

4in wide 50/50

2in wide artificial reduction ochre (lovely blues out of something I thought was going to have more yellow)

4in wide RIO wash

14in wide oval, RIO wash with celadon on the rim

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More auction wins!

Cyphostemma sietzianum from ebay last month
Cyphostemma pachypus from a private collection auction, just finished a pot for this one.

Pachycormus discolor from the private collection also

Leuchtenbergia principis monstrosus

Purchased this last year at one of the shows I attended and placed in this cascade pot to hide a majority of the graft.
Never liked in that pot so I decided to shorten the graft
About 3" of the stock was removed
Potted it up for demonstration purposes only! The fresh cut needs to callus before trying to reroot should take about 2wks to dry.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Large crackpot

Made this for the Raphionacme, it's largest attempt at a crackpot so far. Not sure I like the shape, will make another today with a smaller diameter base with the same 12" opening at the rim.

Also preparing the kiln for a ^10 oxidation firing in the morning. This will be my 1st attempt above ^6, made a few ash and celadon glazes, a couple oxide washed pots. We'll see how they turn out on Monday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Raphionacme flanagani-ebay win!

Thanks to everyone for bringing this to my attention, and Jerry's comment that sealed it's fate.

It's big and heavy, it's a 10in pot and weighs 12.5lb bareroot! Largest one I've had was maybe a pound and swimming in a 6in container. It's also loaded with flowers!

I'll be making a pot for it tonight.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cyphostemma cirrhosum

A 2 year old volunteer seedling placed in a 6" pot in 2006

2years later in the same pot, you can see that it did back twice over that time.

Operculicarya decaryi

Purchased this Oppie in 2001 and was in a 6" pot, that summer I placed in the raised bed
This is how it looks today. It gets pruned heavy twice a year and I don't let get over 18" tall, has a diameter of 4" currently.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

More low-fire pots


Picked up some terracotta the other day and thought I'd try some low-fire work, up to the 2nd firing everything is pretty much the same as mid/high fire clay. Not to thrilled with the way the oxide washes turned out, but it's probably the clay color rather than the result of the ^04 firing.

Manganese dioxide

Red iron

Manganese dioxide
There is a couple of low-fire white clay pots in the kiln now, will post photos of those tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Test glaze ^6 oxidation

Red iron oxide
Copper carbonate and Black iron
Redart clay and wood ash

Out of the ten glazes I applied, these 3 came out the best. Now I'll make a few tester pots to see how it looks cover a larger area.

Cissus tuberosa

My next experiment; to take a cutting and create a squat bulbous base similar to a seed grown plant. Rooted the cutting last summer and pruned back to the base yesterday, then place cutting in pot to produce another plant. This weekend I'll put in the raised bed to accelerate it's growth and increase the size of the caudex.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cyphostemma segmentatum

Last year I took two cuttings from the above plant in July, the photo below was taken in August. This has to be the fastest rooting Cyphostemma!

Thought for sure they would not survive being rooted so late in the year, but they are waking up waking up after a long winter sleep.