NOVEMBER POT OF THE MONTH
Our pot of the month is on display at Mareeba, Port Douglas and Yungaburra markets. November's pot is Veni, Vidi, Vici, a bright orange raku pot with lid made using a mixture of stoneware and raku clay.
Veni, Vidi Vici is inscribed on the pot in Mason’s code which is created by placing the alphabet in a grid system.
Many favourable comments so far; perhaps someone will receive a unique Christmas gift.
@ THE MARKETS
Think you have something to sell at the local market?
There are sixty plus markets each month in Cairns and surrounds, giving a wide choice to suit you and your product. For example, short-term tourists are unlikely to buy plants and produce; items favoured at local markets such as Rustys and Mareeba.
There are some amusing attitudes to market traders. I’ve heard, ‘I’m glad I don't have to do that,’ and ‘Do you have a real job?’ Stallholders are from various backgrounds; a microcosm of humanity often ignored in support of one-off events. For example, closing roads for races and locking customers in or out and delaying access. Customers stay away, and stallholders lose a week’s wages because of these events.
Many stallholders are self-sufficient and make, pack, sell and run their micro-business. Some have an on-line presence with national and international customers. Others supply to local business and keep the economy turning. It is hard work with few perks and more players than stayers. But being a stall-holder offers freedom and independence not found elsewhere, and the weekend market family is always fun.
They do for themselves and earn a dollar instead of picking up a pay envelope.
Interested? Perhaps you can give up your real job.
This Sunday, 10th we will be at the Leukaemia market in the Fred Moule Pavilion at the show-ground. See you there. Opens at 9 am.
This month’s gallery feature is a yellow double wall bowl made with my raku mixture of stoneware and raku clay and wheel-thrown in sections before joining using slip. After a bisque fire, I apply the coloured glazes with the aid of masking tape and fire to 1080 degrees. The final fire is in the raku bin.
Here is a photo of a commission completed for Nautilus Restaurant in Port Douglas. Check them out if you dine there. I believe Nautilus has an exceptional degustation menu which we intend to try. (As a special treat for the secretary, bookkeeper, marketer, web page designer, blogger, typist, salesperson, debt collector, accountant, IT specialist, photographer, tax agent, file clerk, systems analyst, purchasing officer and cook.)
The striking and vivid glazes on Ken’s raku pots make the metallic effect of traditional raku seem dull. Red, yellow and orange add liveliness to his unique shapes and designs. See more Raku in the gallery
Here is how he made Fiddlesticks.
To make a raku pot, I blend 50/50 Keanes White Raku and Walkers #10 Stoneware clay and process it through a pugmill to mix the clay. This blend makes an excellent throwing clay and is easy to polish.
Next, I throw the pot. The pot is polished on the wheel when the clay is leather hard using either a polished rock or small light bulb. The polishing continues at various stages during its drying time until the pot has a high sheen.
Note: if the pot is too dry when polishing it may scratch.
FIRE #1 BISQUE
It is now ready to bisque fire to 1000°/cone 06.
After the bisque fire, I draw a design on the pot and use masking tape to mask the area not being glazed.
FIRE #2 GLAZE
I apply a commercial earthenware glaze and fire the pot to 1080°/cone 03
After the glaze fire masking tape is again applied to the fired, glazed area followed by a slip to the exposed part of the pot. I prefer a naked finish which involves applying a thin layer of clay. The clay will craze during the raku fire.
FIRE #3 RAKU
The next step is to fire the piece in a raku kiln 1020°/cone 05
When fired the pot is removed from the raku kiln (I use Kevlar gloves and tongs to handle hot pottery)and placed on a hot shelf from thirty seconds to one minute. Using the tongs, I put it in a metal rubbish bin or pit containing sawdust shavings or mango leaves and strips of newspaper. Care needs to be taken as these items will fire up. A lid is placed on the bin to extinguish the flames and produce reduction effects.
Now the pot is left in the bin for approximately 15 minutes before removing and lightly spraying with water which highlights the crazing in the slip. Set the pot aside to cool.
Now the work begins.
A good quality scourer and water is used to scrub the pot to remove all the loose carbon residue.
When the pot is dry, it is polished using neutral Nugget shoe polish and a soft cloth.
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