Pens, hand thrown and set upon rests. They’re a nightmare to make, the throwing, turning and firing all offer potential for them to fail, surprising they’re very easy to glaze, luckily. Thrown off the hump they’re carefully sliced off using a very thin length of spring before being delicately lifted and set down. I leave a skirt of clay to act as a support, which is turned away once leather hard. When I made these in Ireland, during this part I would set up ‘no go areas’ around my wheel, as the footsteps on the old wooden flooring was enough to send them toppling over. Lastly they’re hand drilled and set aside to slowly go bone dry, at this stage, once all the moisture has left the clay, they become unreasonably fragile. A drop of a centimetre is enough to crack them, as is any knock. I place them into the bisque kiln one at a time, very carefully. The last batch was the largest I’ve ever made, so I feel much more confident producing them, now I’ve figured out my methods.
I’ve been waiting and waiting to see these and my good friend and brilliant potter Darren Ellis, (@darrenellispottery), kindly laser cut some sparkly new extrusion plates for me, so I’ll hopefully find a chance to make some new rests finally over the coming weeks.
They’re very simple objects really, once all the shrinkage has been figured out. I want to make more lengthy ones in the future that are faceted and glazed with a tenmoku that breaks to a lovely kaki on all the sharp corners. I made one set like this whilst studying ceramics in Ireland and it has always remained my favourite. Although some of this new batch are great too—I can’t wait to finally get them on my shop.