Friday, July 18, 2014

Wet Clay and Frosts Dont Mix

I know its the time of year, being winter and all.  But I never really get used to the frosts!

Yesterday we had the first decent hard frost for the winter.  Followed by another hard one this morning.

While it looked pretty out the window, it was too cold to venture out to the garage to make any #bonsai pots.

I'll show you why.
 I'd spent the previous afternoon making some small pots using warm water from the house.  Kind of got side tracked and never got back to clean up my mess.

This morning when I went out there was a nice layer of ice in my water bowl and icy wet clay in the basin of the wheel. 

 Yes, the frost managed to freeze its way into the garage.  There's usually no need for heating out there, its only a garage after all. 
Even the inside of the garage windows had a layer of frosty ice.  Really beautiful though.  The crystals almost look tree like with branches spreading out from the main trunk.   It reminds me of the decoration some people use on pots called "mocha".  It has an identical look, must try it one of these days.

The real worry with a hard frost is the fear of the freshly made pots freezing.  They contain quite a bit of water and it can freeze just like the water in the bowl.
As it freezes it expands and it will crack the clay into pieces. Especially with freshly made pots. 

You might think "what happened to your #bonsai pots?".  Well, it was pretty clear that there was going to be a beauty frost, so I cleared the small table in the lounge, covered it with newspaper, and one by one brought my wet pots inside. The larger ones went underneath.

It's the second time this week I've done it.  Its just not worth the risk when you spend so much time and effort hand making them. 
These few that I'd made were still quite sticky and wet, I'm absolutely sure that if they'd have stayed out in the garage, they would be ruined.
  Still loving the cracked look, I make these quite often now.  Been playing around with adding a little white colouring into the silicate before "cracking".  It'll be interesting to see how it shows up when they're fired.
 Oh well, it looks like his jigsaw table will be out of use for quite a few days yet.  Perhaps even a couple of months. 

Just love winter time.