Workshop outcome 

During college I would always avoid clay, I did not get on the material I couldn’t manipulate the way I wanted. How ever this was hand building at uni I got the opportunity to throw which is very different to hand building. I love the fact that with minimal effort or direction I can produce something beautiful and solid. As long as centring and you don’t push the clay too far I can produce something I’m proud of. I can’t make something large or perfectly centred but I like slight off centre work, I think it represents me as an artist I seem to always make rounded shapes or bowls. Over the next few years I will work towards improving my ceramic skills.

Raku is a fairly dangerous process there’s hot open kiln, smoke chambers, the occasional bit of fire and the most beautiful ceramic products I have seen. The best advice I could give to someone doing ceramic is have no expectations. Depending on the heat you put it at how long you fire it for how long you smoke it for depends on the outcome. Every Tim I have done raku I have got completely different results even though I used the same glazes. I. Also a big fan because of how quick a firing is which only takes 2-3 hours including the reduction process. I am in love with vibrant colours especially metallic copper finish and the white crackle. They have a rustic care free feel to them because the glaze does what it wants I am able to guide and influence the result but I will never know the outcome untill i clean it. 

Glass

During this term my main workshop was with the medium of glass. It can produce beautiful and delicate results but can be tricky and painful to cut and manipulate

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Our first experiment with glass was with sheets of clear 3ml window glass. By attempting to cut 2 identicle ( as close as possible) piece of glass. This is to strengthen the design and create smooth and strong edges. Having a double layer also enables you to trap items inside.

I used the running theme of blues, teals and grey paints with cooper or bronze powders. I also used lots of copper wire or mesh. Unfortunately the copper  looses its amber glow when fired, but did turn a lovely wine red.

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The next technique was to create clay moulds and cast glass from them. I rolled some clay to roughly half a cm thick. With that slab i folded it over a bowls until it was semi dry, slumped between pipes and folded into unusual shapes. I also used stamps a fruit moulds to create texture and patterns that would hopefully effect the glass when slumped.

The clay had to be bisque fired so it would support the glass during the slumping process. After the clay had been bisque fired i gave each piece 3 coats of back wash. This pink liquid stops anything from sticking to the ceramic during the firing process.

I then cut glass to match the shape of the clay although a little bit small so it doesn’t hang over the side of the mould. The moulds then go in the glass kiln with the cut glass overlayed. The glass will sink down on to the mould and slump, if its done right it will then come off the mould but can sometime entrap the mould and not come off.

Bullseye glass is incredibly beautiful for jewellery. It comes in many colours, patterns and even textures. During this session we used a cutting tool that is like a mini ban saw for glass and a sander this helped create smaller and nearly identical pieces. This process again needs two layers of either the same bullseye glass or one layer and one clear.