Bowls

Freshly thrown bowlsI have been making bowls this week. I throw about 12 to 15, then let them dry for 24 hours. Next I invert each one and place it back on the wheel to trim the foot. The clay feels like the consistency of cheese at this point, like cheddar or pepper jack (not brie or goat cheese, they are too soft). I use a sharp trim tool to take away the excess clay on the bottoms of the bowls.
 
After trimming the feet,  I usually need a light snack because I've been thinking of cheeses. While I am snacking, they are left to dry a few hours so that later I can apply slips to them. Slip is a liquefied suspension of clay particles in water. Slip is usually the consistency of heavy cream. Coffee anyone? I first use an iron slip on the outside that will fire to a dark reddish brown. Then I wait about 4 to 6 hours and dip them into white slip. While the white slip is still wet, I wipe through it to make a decoration that shows the iron slip underneath. I use slips instead of glaze for decoration because slips stay exactly where you put them.  Glaze melts and moves more due to it's high silica content.  If decorating with glaze, the decoration can move and turn into a big blob of color. With slips what you see is what you get.
 
These will now dry for a week until all water is gone,  then they will go for their bisque firing.Trimming the bowl's foot on the wheelAll feet trimmed on bowls. Bottom shelf slipped with iron slip, the rest need to dry a little longer.