Monday, October 27, 2014

A Weekend Out Potting in the Garage

Being a long Labour weekend, I thought it was  a great idea to get out in the garage and make a few pots. The shelves were looking a little empty after a visit from the Dunedin Bonsai Society a few weeks ago.

I'd made a couple of larger crescent pots during the month and they're slowly drying.  Perhaps I should say, shrinking slowly, I  suspect they may now not be big enough for what they're intended for. 
 While I like the shape of this one, I'm not particularly happy with the feet.  Its incredibly hard to turn the crescent over and attach any type of foot without putting too much stress on the leather hard clay.  If the feet are too far back/or forward it wont sit properly.  The very small ones look ok with feet though 
 I personally prefer them without "feet".  Some will say that you have to have feet to raise them up off the ground so the water can drain out the holes - yes quite rightly.  But 3 or 4 discretely placed stones underneath will do the same job.  You can adjust the size of the stones to match the angle you want the pot on....really easy.

Sometimes I do make little feet and add them on with araldite glue after firing.

Clumsy looking feet can spoil the hole look of a crescent pot in my opinion.

Here's a couple more examples of pots without feet....look so much better 

When they are still reasonably soft you can flatten out the bottom and they will sit nicely without falling over.

I'm wanting to make some larger crescents and am about to go fossicking around the second hand shops next week to try and find a larger round shape that I can use to help support the clay when they're being made.   Hmmm... be interesting to see what I can find.

I found an old bonsai pot mold yesterday that had been stored at the back of one of the sheds for ages.  Yes, I thought I'd give it a go as I hadn't used it in a few years.  Now I know why it was put there.

Some people are happy to use them, yes you can make lots of pots, all exactly the same size, but there's no enjoyment at all in it - not for me anyway.  By the time I'd rolled out the slab of clay, spent over an hour just getting it pressed into the mold properly, making sure everything is the same even thickness, no bumpy bits, shaving bits off etc, I was well and truly over it. 
I'd used too much grog in the clay, so the pot was never going to have a smooth surface.  So I got my trusty old "scoring comb" (an old head lice comb cut in half) and proceeded to rough it up.  It's certainly not your traditional smooth looking pot now, but as I'll be using it myself it doesn't really matter. 

Give me the potters wheel any day!  You can be creative, make different shapes and sizes and basically do whatever you like. 

I've had some people say that I should be making vases, mugs, jugs etc, not just "planters" as they call them.  My reply is usually the same - "but I don't want to make anything else but bonsai pots", what's the use of making something that doesn't interest or appeal to you?

I suspect there are quite a few people out there that are doing things because others expect it of them and its what everyone else does.  I have a lot of respect for those who are doing something a little away from the norm and different.....its not easy. 
 Once again I've had to bring some pots inside to help the drying along.  I'm getting used to the rolling of the eyes and "not again!" comments from the family.