Sunday, April 29, 2012

April Pots

I just finished a cycle and this batch was special to me. . .
My journey through various methods and styles has slowly but surely led to a style that I can confidently state is mine.  I've enjoyed the experience and now am producing pots that have my style and do what I want them to do.  It's just clay . . . mud, if you will, and the effects on the world are minimal.  But if a life needs passion to be a full life, and this medium is a catalyst that allows my passions to emerge, then it's effect is well worth the time and efforts involved.

Here's the latest batch, fresh from the kiln -
The phone-cam photos are a bit rough, but you get an idea - click on the images for more detail.

Great outcome - no glaze runs, no stuck lids, a solid ^5 firing. . .

This teapot is very light

Cookie jar with design relief

Genie Lamp Teapot

Udon Bowl

Experiment with Tenmoku glaze on inside, very nice results

Covered Casserole

A couple of the mugs -

Add caption
A 15" Platter

Friday, April 13, 2012

Slab Roller!

I decided to build a slab roller for my studio and went to the internet for guidance.  There are a couple of designs floating around, and I soon formulated some criteria -

1. The slab roller must be available as a table surface when not in use.
2. Construction must use relatively simple carpentry methods.
3. Cost must be less than $300US
4. The slab thickness should be easily and quickly adjusted

I found a set of plans and cut-sheet, along with some instructive videos at that seemed to meet my needs and capabilities.  A PDF version of the plans, with parts-list was very helpful.  The cut-sheet is set up to cut 2 sets of wooden parts, so I adjusted the cut sheet so that the grain was correctly oriented for the application.  I used a cabinet grade 3/4" plywood that I found at Home Depot and was very happy with it's strength and appearance.  No need for hardwoods or expensive plywood for this application.

EDIT It's become evident that the web address listed above is not available.  I have uploaded the plans and cut-sheet to my server so they are available to interested parties.  Select the "SLAB ROLLER PLANS" link at the top of this blog for the PDF plans and cut-sheet.

Also, please consider donating to the author at the above address, when it is online again - Timo

The only issue I came across, while building this tool, was when I glued the guide rings to the rollers.  I needed to use a "hot" blue colored glue to get a good bond and this left the visible residue in the video.  Because this is a tool - not an art piece - I can live with the residue as the price for a good bond.  The next one will be neater.

Here's a video of the project in my studio.

Home Made Slab Roller from Tim O'Neill on Vimeo.
A look at the design and use of my home-made ceramics slab roller.
Plans and info at (not my site)
For a look at some of my work, go to

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I've started playing with a new technique.  It;s called shellac resist.  By painting a design in shellac on my leather-to-bone-hard post, I can create a a surface relief of the design by wet sponging away the surrounding clay.  The shellac doesn't allow the clay to be removed.  It works well and I'm still experimenting, but I like the results, so far. 

I also used one of my new gadgets.  It's an adjustable wooden mold that allows me to build a hexagonal shaped tray, any size up to 9 inches per side.  Here is a 22" platter I made with the jig.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rain Pots

Normally, when I'm off for a few days and the weather is nice, I go paragliding or kayaking or do something fun with my wife.   When it rains I get to go into the dungeon for some serious clay work.  This week has had some weather days and this is the fruit of my labors.  It's all still leather hard (I've found that the more patience I practice during the drying phase, the less issues I have with minor cracks at my joins.

This batch includes a couple dozen mugs and numerous Udon bowls, as well as some more decorative vases.  I've been on a bit of a tea-pot jag lately and here are some pics - obviously these are unfinished until they've been bisque fired.

Tea Pots drying

Genie Pot

10" X !0" Vase

Lidded Vase, Crock, and Casserole