Wednesday, May 18, 2011
This is the beginning of what I hope to become a collection of insights into what happens on an average day in the Pottery Studio. I hope you enjoy!
Izac (an Aussie friend visiting) came in yesterday to find out a bit more about what happens in the studio and ended up recycling a whole lot of clay. He couldn't help but break the clay pieces with true percussionist beat and a hammer in each hand. I think it is so wonderful that broken greenware can be salvaged and given a 2nd chance. It is also excellent to see JustPotters working hard to minimise waste in all areas. For anyone not familiar with the process:
1. Broken greenware* is collected in bags according to clay colour
2. Once fully dry, broken pieces are broken down even further into small shards and fine dust using a hammer (or two)
3. Broken clay pieces are placed in a large bucket and water and a little vinegar is added
4. Clay mixture is mixed thoroughly with a paint stirrer type attatchment on a drill until mixture is smooth (sometimes it's necessary to get your hands pretty dirty to confirm this...)
5. Slushy clay mud is then poured into a plaster batt lined with a cloth (allowing water to evaporate) and left to sit and harden for 1-2 weeks depending on the weather.
6. Clay is bagged and labelled and can be used to create new pieces!
*Greenware I understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is ceramic ware or clay that has not yet been fired.
Izac loved the slurping sound the mud made when mixing. It's a little like making a cake really, the ultimate mud pie!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
On Wednesdays I have been volunteering at the pottery studio which is home to JustPotters to help out where I can. My husband and I are new to Vancouver and while settling into the neighborhood and looking for work I wanted to keep myself a little bit useful. I have wanted to work with porcelain for a long time, and had looked into doing a short course in the past, so this has been an absolutely wonderful opportunity and I have learnt so much in a short time (there is SO much more to pottery and ceramics than I imagined). I have been making ceramic crosses which will be glazed and re-fired and sold to support the Just Work social enterprise - Just Potters. This such a fantastic initiative, born out of a desire to help the people of East Vancouver in a practical way - through employment opportunities. Stay tuned for pictures of the glazed crosses. Sharolyn