Studio update from Servant Ceramics

Considering how the Mudcolony blog (collection of ceramic and pottery related blogs) only has two more weeks until it shuts down…

… I thought that I’d actually fill you in with my week in the Servant Ceramics studio in an old school run down kinda way. Hopefully it’ll give you an insight into my studio work this week – so let’s go back to Sunday!

Sunday – Finders Keepers market! There was such a good vibe at the Old Museum as I wandered around, enjoying stalls, seeing old friends and meeting new ones – especially Elke from Elke Lucus Ceramics whom I previously enjoying instagram-stalking.

Monday – Threw and turned a stash of altered beakers. Been receiving a lot of interest in these heart beakers so I’ve been making a few for their debut at the upcoming Handmade Redcliffe market, Dec 7th.

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Drying nicely

 Tuesday – Had to unload a glaze kiln but when I opened the door…

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Not shiny at all!!
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Still powdery

This was not what I was expecting! Instead of smooth, shiny, glossy surfaces, the glaze is powdery to touch. My heart sank and my head started racing. Obviously the kiln had underfired – that’s why the glaze hadn’t ‘melted’ and formed its typical glass-like surface.

Up here in QLD, we’ve been having quite a few late afternoon and evening storms. The power didn’t go out on Saturday night but we did have a storm and our only guess is that it was strong enough to disrupt the kiln mid-cycle.

There was nothing else to do but close the door and start the cycle up again. I started the kiln around 2pm and the bungs went in before 8pm. At 6.40am the next day, the temperature read 1104degrees Celcius and by all accounts, this firing was going to be successful. That didn’t stop my nerves from having a raging party in the lead up to Thursday morning when the door could be cracked open and the wares viewed.

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Please, please be shiny!!

Wednesday – Spent some time at the wheel… I threw some more beakers as well as  some smaller bowls, more for fun than anything else. It was really nice to throw without worrying about dimensions or consistent shaping

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Selection of little bowls

Also worked through some paperwork and updated financial tables.
Dry, but necessary work.

Had a catchup with a dear friend that evening and it ended up with us experimenting with (temporary tattoo) facial hair…

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#mosistas for life

My stomach still hurts from all the laughing!

Thursday – Got stuck into some prototype bowls for a special custom order. Between throwing and turning the bowls, I was able to pop into my local supplies store to replenish clay stocks and even snuck in a coffee with another small business friend – joy!

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Under wraps…. custom order

That afternoon, the kiln was cool enough to unpack…

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Shiny!! Oh, my heart was relieved!!!

So much delight… this second firing was perfect. There’s something to be said for the satisfaction you feel as a maker when you are happy with your handiwork.
It’s also so much quicker to unpack than pack a kiln!

To complete the wonderful day that Thursday was, together with some friends, I got to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire on opening day/night!

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I’ve been trying to remember the last movie I saw on release day but I can’t come up with anything! Quite different to the book and I think I need to see it again, watching it as a movie – and not comparing it to the book – until I can make proper comments on it. Hope that makes some sense!?!

Friday – Handbuilding at its best….

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Handbuilding in-front of the Ashes coverage

I set up in our living room on Friday for a couple of reasons:
a) The Aussies bowlers were tearing through the English batsmen!
b) It’s cooler with the overhead fan than in the studio
c) Its the ASHES!! Coming from a cricket tragic family, it’s compulsory viewing haha

It was a great day for the Aussie cricketers and for Servant Ceramics too.

I went through all the wares from the successful firing while the slabs took form over the molds – separating the orders from the market stock and contacting customers with delivery dates.

Saturday – Been back at the wheel, throwing beakers.

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More beakers…

I’ve been using their drying time to write up this post 🙂
After I’ve turned my current run of beakers, I’ve got to sand the bases of my finished orders so that I can pack them up for shipping tomorrow and get them on their way first thing Monday morning.

So yes, that was my week, minus more normal life stories, including a Tuesday night family dinner, cooking, grocery shopping, my daily exercise routines etc, I save you from those fascinating details haha.

 With a big smile, Rachel.

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