Alternative Mark Making

Whilst we have tested mark making with stencils, glaze dipped material and sponging directly on to the pots, we had some a chance outcome on one particular pot which we had not even planned.

Whilst removing the pot from the mould, transfers of fingerprints were left and serendipitously fit with mapping the ‘hands on’ experience of the making process

We will be testing ways of highlighting these further over the next few days.  Using mark making tools and tearing into the pots also produced interesting outcomes

AsIWasSaying

 

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All Mapped Out

With the regeneration process well underway, we feel it would be poignant to ‘map’ the area by inviting workshop participants to mark their territory and put themselves on the map as it were.

We are creating stencils of the local area to use as transfers to decorate the pots

Our tests produced interesting results

 

 

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Tall, Small and Somewhere In Between

As with our test bricks, our colour test pots have emerged out of the kiln

 

Some of the glazes have come out much darker than we anticipated but some interesting results nonetheless

 

 

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Firing Test Bricks

Our brick samples have emerged from the kiln

Brick1

Different firing temperatures producing different tones

Brick2

Although the paler ones are yet to be fired…all stacked up…

Brick3

 

 

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Mark Making & Colour Testing

Our first batch of colour testing came out of the kiln today.  We have chosen four glazes to work with and they seem to work well with the clay

The next step was more fluid and we incorporated other materials in applying the colour such as thread, twine and muslin as well as dipping, layering and scoring into the glaze to reveal another layer underneath

We were pretty happy with the outcomes, but the real test will be how they look when they come out of the kiln…

We will continue exploring different ways to apply colour and mark making over the next few weeks to see which are the best and simplest ways in helping the community get started when they join us on our workshop days.

 

 

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Fresh from the Kiln

Our first batch came out of the kiln looking reasonably ok, albeit the tallest seemed to be on a slight lean in true chimney pot style, but it seems to have rectified itself during further castings

Having tweaked things a little, we have since cast more moulds in order to start our testing with mark making…

 

 

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The Great Unfired

As with any process, the more you practice, the better you become…and so it is with our ‘chimney pots’.

They are becoming more and more refined as we go along.  We have cast our first round of tests using three different recipes to see which one will work the best in terms of shrinkage

Before firing, they need to be tidied up around the edges…

Using the same three moulds for all three tests, our first batch are looking promising, although time will tell how they react when in the kiln

 

 

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The First Mix of the New Batch

Making clay is all about process, there is the breaking down and drying..

Slaking, mixing and sieving..

A repeat of certain parts of the process and then the fun bit of spreading it out for the final drying before it’s used for testing as slip…

 

 

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The Making of the First Mould

For the slip casting process a mould has to be made and for that, a shape has to be created.  Using plaster and a lathe machine we fashioned our first ‘chimney pot’ which is basic to say the least

Our plaster mix needed some refining but it proved adequate

The mould building process in progress

Although a rather cumbersome mould, it produced the first cast which we cast using white earthenware as a test as we are still working on our ‘Tottenham Clay Recipe’

 

 

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How Do You Collect Half a Ton of Clay?

As testing had only just initially started, we needed to collect more clay…this time a large quantity as it would also be the material used during our workshops and we need to ensure that we were using as close to the same batch as possible to avoid any ‘recipe’ pitfalls.

The contractors on-site at the new stadium site have been amazing and extremely helpful.  So having organised a day to collect and enlisting the help of a friend with a van, the big pick-up began…

After several trips and a bit of a strain on both vehicles suspension (and our own!), we managed to get all of the clay back to university and off-loaded

IMG_5357And so the real work begins…

 

 

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