Making a Chinese teapot – by hand!

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Poetry in Motion: A Yixing Teapot Master Creates an Exquisite Handbuilt Teapot

Zhou Gui Zhen, who has been designated a National Living Treasure in China, demonstrates the construction of the body of a teapot from slabs using a traditional Yixing technique.


Cameron’s outdoor studio, Yamba

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Cameron my nephew showing off some of his pottery. His first crack at it. Good lad.steven-smith-pottery-cameron

This is a small Zuluesque ukhamba made with Cameron’s Raku clay. still have to figure out how we’re going to fire these things. ┬áBack in December to spend more time in the sun.

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Got clay, will pot

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Bought some stoneware sculpture clay today. Very heavily grogged, so throwing it will be interesting. I’m trying to match Andrew Walford’s warm grey clay. This is close enough – an Aussie clay. Lets see how I go.

Pottery stamp fired

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steven-smith-pottery-stamp2I used recycled stoneware and fired to stoneware glaze temperature. the clay body doesn’t finish off to a fantastic colour. It’s a bit too pink for me, insipid. It was a bit of a test of WPA’s stoneware clay for future reference. Not sure where to go to now for the body colour. Maybe a dash of yellow ochre.

A new pottery mark/stamp

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Finally changed my pottery mark stamp from a simple “S” to a intersecting double “S” connoting Steven Smith. My previous stamp made a depressed “S” into the clay, this new one will emboss outward. Examples to follow once I actually make something to stamp! And the stamp’s got to be fired still.

Gabriella watching Masahiro

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Here’s 3-year old Gabriella’s first day with dad. Watched Masahiro for a hour and a half. Good girl. Loved the clay. Made patterns in clay and bashed around with a rolling pin. Sweet thing.

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Masahiro demo workshop

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I attended the Masahiro workshop at WPA studio today. Just fab to see someone working in clay. Working the wheel in the opposite direction to the western tradition – typically Japanese potters work on a clockwise rotation. He made a two-piece pot using a blowtorch to dry off each part as he went.

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Muddy Hands

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Welcome to my first post in my new pottery journal. It’s been years since I got my hands muddy. Really keen to get back into it. I hope this will be the first ofsteven-smith-pottery-steven many posts as I launch myself back into it. Just emigrated to Wellington New Zealand from my home in South Africa. All I bought from my studio is my small Tupperware of pottery tools. Tally ho!