Ceramics, 6th and final week this session

Last week I showed you this photo of the tiles with the glazes on, waiting to be fired.


This week when we arrived for the class (I am assisting Gill this week) we got to see our finished products, and I must say that I am delighted!! Especially with the tile on the lower right. They all show details to a greater or lesser extent, but with that tile I was very careful to wipe off any excess glaze with a sponge to reveal some of the pattern below.


We laid out all the student work so they could identify their pieces.


The green which we thought was a glaze turned out to be an oxide, which is a different creature altogether! As a result, those who had used it needed to apply an extra layer of transparent glaze to retain the colour, as the oxide is not very stable on its own and tends to brush off. From what I know about oxides, ideally you put them on to highlight texture and as such wipe off any excess before adding an over glaze.


The students could now begin assembling their “fish” project that they had been working on with Gill. They had created a fish head and a tail and a series of pinch pots with central holes. These are strung onto a sturdy string along with beads to act as spacers.


The result is an interesting hanging ceramic sculpture, which looks lovely in the sunshine and makes small tinkling sounds as it moves in breezes.


Another ceramic tile, showing a fantastic variety of colours and textures.


One of the student boxes. She had been worried that the scratch line details would be lost under the glaze and was delighted to see them revealed again after the firing. She wiped a metallic glaze into the scratch marks and then over-glazed with a colour called Norwegian Blue, the same one that I used on 2 of my tiles. The random results of this blue glaze are fantastic and really bring the pottery to life!


James Hayes

Ceramics part three!

I was asked to come in again for the Wednesday ceramics class, which I was happy to do as today the students begin the glazing of the bisque fired works.


Some of the glazes come ready mixed and some come as a powder. Wonderful to see them going on, and the wet glazes look nothing like how they will turn out fired so it is always with a great pinch of imagination that the final result is pictured in your mind.


Painting delicate hearts over another glaze.


Dripping an oxide glaze over another glaze.


This is how my little coil pieces look bisque fired – no cracking or popping!


and here are the glazes drying in the sun. Can’t wait to see them fired!


Wednesday afternoon the youth group was in again, and I helped demonstrate turning pots on the wheel, something I haven’t done in YEARS but just like getting back on a bike I was able to show them a few things.  It is so good for the mind to make things with your hands, I always feel refreshed afterwards.

Enjoy the sun! James Hayes