greenware-- to post or not to post?

Boondock

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Dale Cochoy made a statement in another thread about his dislike when potters post pictures of their greenware. For those who are not potters, "greenware" is unfired, raw clay pots.

As of today, after 2 years, this subforum has 27 threads. There are maybe 10 bonsai potters who regularly post pictures on all internet forums.

I can think of several reasons for bonsai potters to post pictures of greenware. First, it gives people who are not potters a chance (perhaps their only chance) to see the beauty of greenware. Greenware shines and has a special visual "feel" that disappears after firing. I hand-burnish some of my pots (burnishing is an ancient process using a smooth hard object rubbed on the surface of greenware). Burnishing produces a literally mirror-like polished shine on the surface of greenware, which disappears after firing.

Another reason to post pictures of greenware is for new potters to get an idea of what other potters are doing, and what pots look like at that stage of construction.

This week I bought 25 pounds of cone 6, stoneware clay, and have been making "a pot a day", which is my usual production when I'm making pots. (25 pounds of clay costs about 8 bucks btw)

I am a total amateur potter, with about 2 years experience. I've never sold a pot. I would LOVE for more potters to make bonsai pots, and share any picture they can.

Below are the greenware pots I made this week. They are all shohin size, about 6.5 X 4.5 X 1.75 inches greenware and will shrink a little when fired. (except the last 2 pictures which I made last year)

For all you non-potters out there, here's a couple of picture of the greenware I made this week. (The "coil" pot is actually an oval, and I'm really digging it)























I urge all bonsai potters to post any picture of bonsai pots at ANY stage of construction.

I will return to this thread in a couple weeks to post images of the fired pots.
 

Boondock

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oh, and if your curious about the feet of these new pots, I'm going thru a "foot fetish phase" right now, trying to learn to make new and interesting feet so, these are my first attempts to produce new things. My usual feet look like the feet on the last picture, but I've pretty much figured that style out.
 

RyanFrye

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For a self proclaimed "Amateur" you sure are good. I hate making feet with a passion. The pots I've made have all turned "rustic" simply because I can't make good feet!

I really like the round rustic one you posted. Feet and all. I would like to see it fired and glazed.
 

RyanFrye

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To be honest I like the feet on all of them accept for this one. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I dislike these feet. It's just it hasdn't won me over right away.

Reminds me of a door stopper...in fact I wouldn't be surprised if you said you used one to mold these feet.;)
 

okiecla

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Hey ! dont worry what others say .. I for one do my own pots and always like to see what others are doing , In all Phases ..Keep em comming ,they are looking good , Thanks CK
 

ketoi

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Thanks Boon,
That's similar to what I think when posting greenware. I'll have to post some shots of the ones I finished this morning

Except for the obvious, were the other made by coil also?
 

Boondock

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LOL! That too!:D
I did learn something from this first attempt. I made the round ball about the right size, but instead of slicing the round ball in half, I should have sliced it into about 1/3 so it doesn't stand up so tall....... lesson learned.

but to be honest, I'm not feeling this style foot either
 

ketoi

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I did learn something from this first attempt. I made the round ball about the right size, but instead of slicing the round ball in half, I should have sliced it into about 1/3 so it doesn't stand up so tall....... lesson learned.

but to be honest, I'm not feeling this style foot either
To me the feet look too big, maybe a different shape or size of container would fit a little better?
 

ketoi

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no ketoi, everything is slab construction, I use the scraps to make rustic pots when I'm finished.
I do the same thing with left-overs

As I have been only making slab pots for a 3mo, I have a couple of questions.

Do you do one long slab for the pots above or 1 per side? How dry do you let the clay get before assembling? what do you do to get the surface shiny?
 
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Boon, interesting thread, interesting points:p

You know, there really isn't anything wrongIMHO about posting greenware, so long as everyone who sees it realizes that it holds only half the merit of a finished, fired piece. Its too easy to get credit , comments, or even feedback, like we get for our finished pieces. Many people don't realize the accomplishment that comes from a good finished container. We must deal with cracking, warping, glaze/body compatability, etc. When it comes out of the kiln, in one piece, in good shape, something to be proud of, then we accept criticism.

HOWEVER, if you are posting to pass along the teachability of your newly learned skill then, by all means go ahead. Just make sure that you post (on the same thead) pictures of how they came out (good or bad). Then we can see through your process and learn from your successes/mistakes.

So, IMHO, if you are posting greenware, show us your finished pieces too;)

BTW, I like what you have done so far.
 

Boondock

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I do the same thing with left-overs

As I have been only making slab pots for a 3mo, I have a couple of questions.

Do you do one long slab for the pots above or 1 per side? How dry do you let the clay get before assembling? what do you do to get the surface shiny?
I roll out enough clay to make one bottom, then I make a coil about the same diameter of a broom stick. I place this coil between my roller guides and press it down, then roll it out which makes enough for the sides (usually it's about 2-3 inches wide and for a 6X5 pot it needs to be about 23 inches long) I make this one piece side to wrap around the bottom piece, so there's just one place where the sides join. One reason I like rectangles with round corners because it's the easiest, fastest way. I have always been inspired by Horst Heinzlreiter's bonsai pots (link to his website), and I tried to figure out how he made his pots.

How dry? If there is one piece of advice I can give to all potters is to let the dang clay dry to leather hard. It should be dry enough to bend, but not produce cracks. If your making straight sided pots, let it dry even more. I still have to make myself be patient. I always want to work with the clay too wet. In this kind of climate, it could take 6, 7, 8 hours or more for the clay to be leather hard. If you think the clay is close, and you don't have time, or you're just not in the mood, just place some plastic sheet (I use garbage bags) over the slab, that will slow down the process.

If your making more than one pot at a time, consider rolling one slab and cutting the pieces out of it, like this....

 

Boondock

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So, IMHO, if you are posting greenware, show us your finished pieces too;)

BTW, I like what you have done so far.
I think I have only posted fired pieces on this forum before today. I just don't think it should be taboo to post a picture of greenware. I'm not suggesting posting every piece of greenware produced.

thanks for the compliment. I just wish there was more resources for the newbie bonsai potter.
 
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pjkatich

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Boondock,

I don't mind seeing greenware posted as long as it is presented as such. And, it is even better if the individual follows up with some finished pot photos which would then be the icing on the cake.

I've not done much slab construction myself.

What sized pots are you making?

From the photos, your pots appear to be very well constructed. The joins have been blended well and the pots look square and level.

I look forward to seeing the finished product.

Goodluck,
Paul
 

Boondock

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What sized pots are you making?

From the photos, your pots appear to be very well constructed. The joins have been blended well and the pots look square and level.

I look forward to seeing the finished product.

Goodluck,
Paul
Thanks Paul, these pots are all small, less than 6.5 inches. I've posted some finished pots in other threads of the "Pots" forum.
 

ketoi

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Thanks for the illustration, helps a lot.

Do you do a butt seam or feathered and overlapped?

Tried an oval recently with an end to end seam, bonded good enough but I can still see where it is. Next one I'll try the overlap.
 

ketoi

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One more thing...what do you roll out the clay on? how about the drying surface?
 
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