I discovered a new tool in my pottery class last Sunday that works like a dream. It's not an official pottery tool like the extruders I have been looking at, but does the job and does it well. Most extruders push out pieces that are way too big for my purposes at this time. This one was found in the children's section at Target and put me back $4.99. It's the Play-Doh Fun Factory - and it is fun. What a deal! I have a hard time rolling out clay "snakes" (they always want to go flat on me) and this tool does them perfectly. I made the handle to the greenware (not yet fired) pot above with the snakes that came out of the Fun Factory. I think I'm in love! It does other equally wonderful shapes too.
And, here are a couple of pots that I've done recently that are... so-so. I'm looking forward to the day when I have a wheel at home so I can practice more. A few hours on Sunday morning just isn't enough - especially since I spend a lot of that time glazing and trimming too. Anyway, the plan is for me to have a little pottery studio at the farm. I'm not sure what I'll do with all the pots I make, but I'm thinking as I get better and better I can sell them. It won't be a big money-making venture; more just a way to pay for my supplies so I can keep doing it. I'd love to make Mike and me a set of our own dishes one day; that would be fun.
I'm still struggling with the glazes in my class. Found out one of them had been mixed wrong for three weeks! So, it wasn't me! Good grief. They are still unpredictable though, even when they are mixed correctly. Here are two glazes that I actually like. But they could look totally different on the next pots I do. So... in addition to needing my own wheel, I need my own kiln too! I used to have one, but that was back in the 1970's. I paid somewhere around $200 for it then and one like it now would be at least $1800! That's just not right.
On the soaping front, I ordered some supplies yesterday from Snowdrift Farm so I can get going next weekend. I wanted to buy some exotic butters and oils, but reasoned that until I have a few soap making successes under my belt it would make more sense to use reasonably priced ingredients. So I got almond, olive, coconut, hempseed and castor oils, along with some mango and shea butters. I was even able to purchase lye, which surprised me because of the crystal meth problem. It's hard to come by because it's so regulated now. I also ordered some sample fragrance oils from Peak to see what I might like of theirs, though I'm very anxious to try some from Oregon Trail. My goodness they have some luscious sounding fragrances. But for now, I'll stick with this first batch of ten I ordered. I'm particularly looking forward to sniffing the Asian Sandalwood. Sounds like my cup of tea.