Building a wet slab bonsai pot

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
I’m experimenting with a new form. I like flaring sides but shadows obscure the surface under the flare. I’m hoping this is a solution.
 

Attachments

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
So I thought I'd give a tutorial on how I make foam form plugs. This is a bridge pot I hoping works with my kwansan cherry. I always do a drawing first to let me think the design through and ponder its process. Templates are done with folded paper to maintain symmetry. Bandsaw is very handy!!
 

Attachments

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
Fairing out the any bumps from the bandsaw can be taken out with a sanding board. Since I want the bottom to have soft corners I want to round off the foam with a carving burr and pneumatic drum sander. I save the bottom and top cut-outs for use later to support the wet clay.
 

Attachments

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
Wrapping neatly in newspaper can be a challenge. Wrinkles can make cleaning up the inside of the pot a long job. Spending time to wrap is worth the effort.
 

Attachments

penumbra

Omono
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
1,743
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
I am truly astounded. I am a potter of sorts and I only wish I had a modicum of your talent. Wow!
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
I am truly astounded. I am a potter of sorts and I only wish I had a modicum of your talent. Wow!
Thank you for your kind words. I think that it’s just taking the time to think the problems through. And the rest is just like playing an instrument..... practice practice practice.
 

penumbra

Omono
Messages
1,767
Reaction score
1,743
Location
Front Royal, VA
USDA Zone
6
And with practice in presence is a practice in patience. Again, if you ever decide to do a workshop please let me know. I am more of a hands on kind of guy. I was thinking about you yesterday when I was loading my kiln.
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
And with practice in presence is a practice in patience. Again, if you ever decide to do a workshop please let me know. I am more of a hands on kind of guy. I was thinking about you yesterday when I was loading my kiln.
Patience is nothing more than “time + desire”. Most people are lacking one of those components. I’ll keep the workshop in mind. I do kusamono pot workshops for our club, but I don’t think that’s what you’re looking for.
 

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
This is how you can use foam as a female mold for texture. This is round cornered rectangle band-sawed out. The texture was created by picking at the foam with my fingernail. The clay is added while the mold is in pieces. First just enough the fill the divots and then squeegeed in with a rib.
 

Attachments

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
The pieces are now assembled by wrapping the perimeter with packing tape. Each corner joint has strike-up marks showing which corners line up with each other. Once assembled the clay gets a light spritz of water and then a slab is added to get an even wall thickness. A bottom is then put in and allowed to set and firm up. Once firm, a loose fitting piece of foam is inserted to support the bottom so it can be flipped over and apply the feet. This pot sat out drying for about 40 hours before removing the foam.
 

Attachments

ABCarve

Omono
Messages
1,398
Reaction score
3,461
Location
Girard, PA
USDA Zone
5a
Determining when to remove the foam is trial and error. The foam is soft and the clay is somewhat soft so as not to break the texture. Wiggle the mold at intervals and it will become evident when it ready. You can see where the foam tore out on some of the deeper texture. This would not work with a plaster mold. The finished pot is from the National Arboretum pot show in 2015.
 

Attachments

crust

Omono
Messages
1,311
Reaction score
1,752
Location
MN
USDA Zone
3A
thank you so much for documenting your work. It is fascinating and the results are amazing.
 
Top Bottom