Blogging about Matthew Tyas' pottery and explorations in making.
New pots have been scarce recently, so I thought it was time for an update! I don’t have much time to make, but I’ve been trying to get into the workshop a bit more consistently. I’ve been working on bringing more colour into my pots, especially in a nonchalant way. I first started with the clay body which I’m now fine-tuning: a rich red/terracotta that is fired to stoneware temperature. This will provide a base for the colour. It is my hope that the unglazed areas will be just as engaging as the glazed areas and, perhaps, even more tactile.
In the little batch of work featured here, I used some imported La Borne clay (kindly donated by Jeff Oestreich who’d been in the UK doing a residency at the Leach Pottery) to throw a few yunomi which I’ve then variously decorated. The clay is very carbonaceous, hence it’s dark colour, but it will actually fire to a colour that’s more buff (you can see two final-fired thimble-sized tests of the clay in the images below). After I’ve done small batches of material tests, I like to scale-up to the yunomi as it’s a form that I enjoy making. It also gives a good indication of how a clay throws and turns, and also offers a reasonable decorative surface: it makes a nice gift too!
New Pots: Not Long Now
I’ve made these yunomi, and some lidded pots, and am just in the process of building-up enough pieces for another gas kiln firing. I’m planning to take the kiln up to just under Cone 6 (which is 1220 degrees) and will probably fire it in a slightly reducing atmosphere. My aim is not a heavy reduction but to achieve a soft disposition to clay and glaze. Gas firings certainly help glazes mature better but as my background is based in electric firings, I don’t entirely rely on the effects of reduction for the look and feel of my finished pots. The tiles below also show how the yellow and red colours look post-firing.