home ceramics studio 7.2.2020

In mid March of this year, I began my self retreat at home in hopes of avoiding the Corona virus. I haven’t worked much at the community clay studio where I typically used to spend 2 or 3 afternoons each week. Midwest Clay Project (MCP) closed altogether for awhile, and now it’s reopened with social distance rules and masks required. I’m still not comfortable being in social situations, and reserve the entire MCP studio to myself every other week for a few early morning hours, just for dropping off pieces to fire, and for most of my glazing. Since I don’t have a kiln at home, I depend on, and am thankful for, MCP for glazing and firing.

Thankfully, I already had a small studio set up in my home to work on ceramics. And I’ve spent a whole lot more time there! Thought I’d give you a little tour:)

Here I am! Working on a couple of my orb vessels at my clay table. The plastic container on the floor holds all my clay.
Since I don’t own a potter’s wheel, I hand build all my forms from slabs and coils of clay. Here are my current favorite tools for hand building at home. Rolling pin, clay flower pot, big water sprayer, puki, MudTools sponge and red rib, serrated rib, wooden spoon, Shimpo banding wheel, Dolan knife, Kemper wood tool, soft paint brush, and bone tool.
And here are ALL my toys!
I use the dryer and washer for storing and drying pots.
My clay studio is in a room that was a kitchen a long time ago, so I have running water and a double sink!
Clay is not good for plumbing pipes, so I try to keep it out of the sink drain. I rinse my hands, tools and sponges in a big plastic container. The next time I use the studio, the clay has settled to the bottom of the container. I tip off the clearish water at the top onto the hanging baskets on my back porch, or just pour it over the railing onto the ground below.
The water at the bottom of my rinse bucket, where most of the clay has settled, gets poured into this container. It settles even more and I continue to pour the clearer water at the top off. Once I have enough settled clay, I’ll pour that out onto newspaper and let it dry up enough so that I can use it to make another pot.
This is my latest invention – using a hook to hang a bag that holds a round orb as the clay and form settles in to itself. This keeps the orb perfectly round.

I hope you enjoyed this tour. I’m very grateful to have such a great place to create and play with clay!

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