Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Deluxe Sunflower: Ribbon

Anyone who knows me will tell you: I definitely have my obsessive side. (OK, don't get all snarky on me; at least I admit it - freely!) When an idea grabs hold, I tend to keep pushing on it until I either get sick of it or can't think of one more thing to do with it.

The Deluxe Sunflower series has been no exception. When I first returned to these designs a couple years ago, I went from three initial concepts to a total of ten. (Now twelve.) I had a lot of fun with the pastry-bag/slip combo, visiting Michael's to find new pastry tips that might make for another interesting design. I had already used a star or scalloped tip, as well as small and large round tips. I found a ribbon tip that reminded me of the tips I had used while decorating cakes at Baskin Robbins and decided to see what I could do with it.

I fabricated the sunflower in the same manner as I had the Bubbles and Cake sunflowers, draping the slab over the hump mold and applying the three layers of petals. My plan was to use the ribbon tip with slip for a new effect for the center.

The ribbon tip I used was scalloped on one side and plain on the other, like those illustrated here. (I honestly don't know why I didn't get the one that was scalloped on both sides, except that maybe, subconsciously, I was thinking I could do more things with the two different sides. Haven't. Yet.) I used a technique I learned for decorating the edges of the ice cream cakes I used to work with - but only doing one arabesque instead of a continuous line of them. I worked, as previously, from the outside toward the center, making a row of arabesques, then making another and another, working concentrically inward. for the center, I just made a little "pillow" with the tip - but I think it might look better (but be a bit more work) to use a star tip for that final "touch".

The sunflower is finished as are the others, with holes in the back for hanging wire and a receptacle for a copper fitting for a stem, once it is leather hard. Once bone dry, the greenware is fired to cone 06.

I glazed this piece with Amaco's Potters Choice Temmoku for the center and Iron Lustre for the petals. I really like the subtle satiny quality of the latter glaze, plus the fact that it is the same color as my cat Doni's coat - the best recommendation I can think of for just about anything!

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