Ah, the joys of terra cotta, they are numerous and nearly infinite, followed only by the realization that after several months away from the red clay, it is as if I had forgotten how to throw entirely. When I get in that rhythm of throwing stoneware, at times, it seems anything is possible on the wheel. The clay is so compliant and cooperative, it has body and it stays just where you push or pull it. Terra cotta on the other hand is vastly different and each cycle with the demon red clay requires its pound of flesh to get the ball rolling. Over all the years of working with terra cotta, I have fine tuned a way to get back into the swing of things; start simple. The first day is at best, a so-so day, so work on small bowls to get back the touch to work with red tooth paste.
I was recently asked (commissioned) to make a small dinnerware set in terra cotta which was the genesis for this new cycle. Since I will also need some terra cotta pieces for some upcoming shows, I thought now was as good a time as any to get going. Plates, bowls, serving pieces, covered jars and some tray forms are on the agenda to be decorated in my abstrakt resist, tebori, Its Still Life and black and white slip, when all is said and done, probably 3 to 4 kiln loads and about 120 pieces or so. Since I only started on Monday, I think I have a few more days to go, before everything is thrown or made and in the mean time, I will use every extra moment to moan and groan about working with the red menace.