First ever pot. Thoughts?

just.wing.it

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,619
Likes
8,793
Location
Blips and Chitz (Northern MD, 6b...ish)
USDA Zone
6B
#21
I'm not skilled in pottery so all I can say is it seems like more time should be spent in surface preparation prior to firing. All those imperfections are going to be very obvious after firing. If that's what you're after then fine but if not then better address it now.
Agreed...and that's my whole gripe with some of these "natural stone" looking pots I see...not that they aren't cool, and don't have their place... But half of them look like something a 2nd grader made in art class, to me...

I prefer the traditional "bonsai pot" look.
 
Messages
221
Likes
677
Location
Cluj Napoca Romania
USDA Zone
6a
#22
Agreed...and that's my whole gripe with some of these "natural stone" looking pots I see...not that they aren't cool, and don't have their place... But half of them look like something a 2nd grader made in art class, to me...

I prefer the traditional "bonsai pot" look.
You're right of course. Given that I've never done this before, I was thinking that I'll give them a go over with very fine grit sandpaper once they're bone dry and finish them off with a damp sponge then leave to dry again. Don't know it it's the best course of action though. I'd be glad if anyone more experienced chimes in.
 
Messages
1,450
Likes
1,167
Location
Michigan. 6a
USDA Zone
6a
#27
For the carved portion, the corner section, I’d be less formal. Less straight. More uneven in depth and uneven, perhaps even curved on the edge. A less sharp edge would likely match up better with the unevenness of a rough barked tree....picking up a special feature of the tree. I like a pot that has an unpredictable carve but yet has a smooth finished surface on the pot areas not carved. The less the carve is straight the better it may match to a tree. Personally, I like legs recessed for more of a floating visual appearance or flushed and finished with the edge.

You have a talented imagination and ability to carry out a design. Well done work!
 

Smoke

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,994
Likes
14,329
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
#28
I liked the pot for a couple of reasons. First, not round.
Second, hand built from slabs.

Of course this will have to be glazed and will enjoy seeing it when complete. Nice work
 
Messages
221
Likes
677
Location
Cluj Napoca Romania
USDA Zone
6a
#29
@Tieball thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated :). For the next one I carve I'll try to go for a more random approach but it's kind of hard for me as I'm pretty much addicted to symmetry.
I'll try to give the rest of it a more even surface after it dries and I'm thinking that the iron/manganese oxide wash I'm thinking of putting on it after bisque firing will help the texture even more.
Next one I plan to make, probably tonight, will be an elongated hexagon and I'll make the feet recessed :).
@Smoke thanks for the vote of confidence :). Haven't decided on the glaze yet but I think it will go well with something bright and glossy.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,687
Likes
25,573
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#30
Where's Bonsai Nut's Premier New Potter?
@sorce
Here I am! But what's the question?

playing with his kiln..
Thats the nice way to put, "getting raped by the kiln Gods!" Lol!
Learning!

So.....

I think these pots are nice! Kill in fact, for a first go!

I would only suggest, if you are glazing them, really understand the glaze. If you can't find examples of it fired to that temperature, on that clay, you may want to carve the slightest indent on the bottom face of the flush feet to catch the glaze if it runs and keep it from sticking to the shelf.

Sorce
 
Messages
221
Likes
677
Location
Cluj Napoca Romania
USDA Zone
6a
#31
Hey @sorce thanks for the glaze tip. Not going to try it yet, feels out of my depth. I want to make a few more and bisque fire them first. The question for which @just.wing.it summoned you was: how do you smooth your pots after building. So far, when working with leather hard no matter how hard I try I still have rough patches and dips and bumps in the surface. Have you found a way to get it really smooth?
Have a great day!
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,687
Likes
25,573
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#32
I'm pain in the assing finish lately.

The grogged clay can be worked with a lot of pressure, to get a nice smooth edge, but then the edges break out from the grog. Thinking now, seems adding clay to finish groggy clay makes sense, while removing clay from smoother clay can make a nicer finish....but then you are adding thickness to a body that shrinks at 10%, and removing clay from a body that shrinks at 14%, so that's kinda ass backwards!

Just getting back to clay with less grog, and while the edges are easier to keep nice, it's a different pressure hand to make nice the broad side finish.

This attempt to narrow down to a couple specific clays in order to focus on their nuances is difficult, as each one seems to produce different forms easier, each of which I like!

I think about what @Stickroot said about that initial precision. ....
And about a lady who doesn't even use slip in joints cuz it adds more material.....

I think the better you can use a "magnified vision"....
That is..
Attempting to see each individual clay molecule...
The easier it gets to finish.

Sorce
 

Anthony

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,346
Likes
6,783
Location
West Indies [ Caribbean ]
USDA Zone
13
#33
To smooth, with a grogged body. often a slip glaze is applied and finished
with a smooth surface. The Chinese use buffalo/cow horn.

Or you can ask your friends if they have a vitrifying slip that will melt on the body.
It can be a stone finish, matte, satin or gloss.

Please be aware that it was not the usual practice to leave Bonsai in the snow with pots.
The soil freezing can also break a pot.

Really good work!

Maybe one day you can dig your own clay.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Vin

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,076
Likes
7,099
Location
Panama City, FL Zone 9a/8b Centr
USDA Zone
8b
#38
Manged to finalise the second one today.
Iron+manganese oxide for the body and copper carbonate based pigment for the details. Used a pseudo terra sig (thanks @Anthony for the idea)
1200 grit sandpaper did wonders for smoothing my noob mistakes.
You nailed it! I would buy this pot without thinking twice. You really have done well. Keep up the great work.
 

Adair M

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,429
Likes
18,036
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
#39
It looks like a Kintsugi repair of sorts!

I know nothing about how to make pots. But the Japanese potter “Bigei” produces “burnished” unglazed pots that are smooth as silk. And yet, he’s able to draw pictures, and texture the interiors, and shadow the undersides of the rims, etc.

As I said, I have no idea how he does it, but I think it would be worth your time to find out!

As Smoke said, he liked your pots because they weren’t round, and were slab built. I would like to see more American potters making unglazed pots without having to use the oxides and crazy textures.
 
Messages
221
Likes
677
Location
Cluj Napoca Romania
USDA Zone
6a
#40
@just.wing.it , @Vin thanks a lot guys. Hoping the fireing goes well.
@Adair M thank you so much for the feedback. It's the first time I heard of Bigei pottery, but his work is amazing! Spent this afternoon scouring the internet for his pots.
The reason I have to dabble in oxides is that the clay bodies I'm using are so lightly coloured that when fired they look almost white and unglazed wouldn't match any tree. Sadly I haven't found anyhing that I can get my hands on that's naturally a darker colour and can stand high fireing temperatures :(.
Anything I do in the next months should be seen as an experiment. As I'm so new to this, I'm still trying to figure out what's what, what goes, what doesn't so honest oppinions whether good or bad will help me a lot.