I started to cut a plaster master on the wheel today.  Earlier this week I thought of a new design for a tea bowl.  I made a rough mock-up out of some cardboard and tweaked my dimensions. 

Today, while waiting for more slip to be delivered, I could not resist the temptation.  As I could not 'work', it was play time in the studio!

The first attempted got converted into another shape, as silly me was reading off the finished size chart, instead of the bigger ones that allow for shrinkage of the claybody during drying and firing.  Damn.  But I like the little tumbler I did create.  I will cast a mold off it tomorrow and dry it overnight to see how it looks in clay.  My second attempt was done with more concentration and it came out 'right'.  I have already casted 2 molds from it, and then I altered the design.  I want to use the same shape, but add some tactile differences to it, so that I have 3 different tea bowls with the same basic shape.

Here is some images I took earlier today.
The first one is the cardboard mock-up of the tea bowl.  I am glad I did this, as I found that the height was wrong.  I changed the dimensions and did my calculations to allow for shrinkage of the clay body, and cut the master on my wheel.

I casted 2 molds from this master.  One mold would be used to cast another master again.  The master was then altered on the wheel.  When I make the next 2 molds, I will have to make split molds, to accomodate the undercuts in the master.  And I dried the work overnight in the dryer, so this morning I casted the first 2 tea bowls of the unaltered shape.  The white stuff you see on the claybody is a bit of plaster dust.  Once the body is dry, I will wipe that away.  This normally happen only with the first casting.
 
I cannot believe that the month is half way through, and by the end of this month half the year will be done and dusted too. 

To me, 2012 actually started the 1st November 2011.  That was the day day when I moved into the studio.  In the summer months I used to catch the 6 'clock bus to work.  But it is a bit cold and very dark now (even at 6:45 - the time I leave for work now) when I walk down the street to catch a taxibus.  It drops me off at the bus station. 

I am still busy with orders, and is slowly preparing for a new Expo in August.  My little studio space has changed so much in the last few months.  When I started, I had one wall of shelves.  Almost all of my work fitted on it.  But I have made so many new masters and molds, that those shelves house just molds these days.  Another 2 sets of shelves houses my drying work.  And about 2 months ago we got a whole lot of shelves at the studio.  I got 2 square meters of them.  They house all the bisque ware, sorted per order.

here is some images.  The first one was taken about a day after I moved into the studio.  I thought I would never use all the space!

The last 2 photos were taken this past week.  I had to get more shelves ...  And they are sometimes overflowing full! 

    Diana Ferreira

    I am a ceramicist, and work with a black clay slip.  When I am not busy getting dirty with the clay, I sit at a wheel and cut my molds on a potter's wheel.
    I share a big and airy studio with 3 other ceramicists in our lovely studio in Paarden Eiland, Cape Town, South Africa. 

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    June 2012

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    Diana Ferreira