May 14, 2013

The last of the tiny urns

Today I shipped off the very last of the 3" urns from the second trip to China in 09.
"You ren ma?" (Anyone here?) Wu Fei sweetly sang out as we approached the gate of a potter who slip casts small forms. I had not heard that question used. I had not known to call the potter Shifu (master).
He and his taitai are home working. They answer. We enter. Shifu, we want to look at some small covered pots. We carefully pick over the lot, choosing well a dozen of this and a dozen of that. Just what we can carry back to the studio, where I will make terra sigillata--I have to find some soda ash--and I will show Wu Fei how to apply this ancient material. And we will fire to 900C, just enough to keep the shine. I will take them home and ship them home and fire them in saggars on the cape. Many break in transit. oh well. I save the rest by re-bisquing them. We did not get them high enough for this clay which really wants to be fired to a dense 1300C.

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