That's funny some of our signature icons are taken from the step we feel the most stimulated by.
For me it's sculpting; watching the sketches I've made for a concept come to exist in 3D reality is like having some strange power. If the question had been 'most successful' step, I'd say the drawings themselves, as the clay object resulting doesn't always turn out, however I do drawings all the time for all sorts of ideas, the drawing step has lost it's challenge so to speak. Recently I've been doing some small pieces with no drawings at all, just free-carving into a lump of clay, what I've come up with is a lot of tribal-looking faces that have given me further ideas that I can't wait to try.
I have an easy ^6 cheat for this, sort of, since I also love the way 'American' shino looks; but this doesn't include the peachy blush bit: Slip paint your piece with a speckled buff clay first, then use your basic white glaze; I use a fairly inexpensive food safe white that is supposed to be an opaque classroom underglaze, in two layers brushed on with a hake brush. How much speckling and variation comes through depends directly on how thin I apply it, but it always comes out with that sort of pleasing ancient Japanese Wabi look. If I were going for the 'blush' effect, I might try and brush on an area of slip with more red oxide in it. If fact now I'm going to have to try this.
@Pres, -I appreciate your posting some of the more 'artistic' questions, the technical ones about physical ceramic making are also very useful for prompting me to do my research, but personally were kicking my butt since I have a lot to learn as yet. These more introspective questions are a fun variation and also cause me to learn new things, even if it's only inward things, they are still very helpful for me in my artistic process. Ruh-oh, here comes another epiphany...
Instead of doing my assignments in class, I often would draw in the margins of my paper. These were usually long winding depictions of a little girl leading a caravan of horses and oxen pulling wagons. I think the idea was I wanted to run away to find my own kind. I also drew a lot of this kind of stuff out of school as well. Really I think I was screaming for someone to take me out of school and educate me as an artist exclusively but in our 'civilization' we don't do that kind of thing, especially for girls. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time.
What Denice said. Pay careful attention that the entire bowl dries evenly and if you smooth it with a sponge after it's partly dry, make sure you do both inside and outside at once, I made a nice big bowl using this method and had the top pop off in a ring because I applied too much water to the outside without thinking about the inside...
Have you seen these NHK sponsored video series on Youtube?!
Both braincandy and educational, I can't stop watching them. I've spam-watched maybe a dozen of the pottery videos and other things like kimono dyeing and lacquering wood and on and on. Stumbled across this stuff by accident yesterday and they're just awesome to put it mildly. Love of the Arts is just a whole different animal in Japan.
Soylent Green, The Road Warrior, and Sleeper (woody allen).
Also a bit of the Little Mermaid, just for variations of color and it always makes me think of the "greatest phone message of all time" which I will link here if you want to hear it and the story about it:
Warning: https://www.thisamer...eone?act=1#playThis has nothing to do with art and has some friendly cursing, it's also a great radio show if you don't know that already and you should listen regularly.
Pres -good lord I have a Bernard Leach book first published in 1940 and I didn't make the connection that Simon was in the family chain, I thought it was just a coincidence. Also I thought he was Australian.
I consider myself an oil painter and I've done quite a lot of it, however my main talent probably lies in drawing. At one time I was successful enough as a botanical watercolorist to trade them to my dentist in lieu of paying my bill. Also I've written a few unpublished short stories, design houses and gardens strictly as a hobby, and have gotten rather good at landscape photography merely as an adjunct to building a file of things to paint. My artistic interest tends toward science fiction and using my experiences and imagination to depict the future in various artistic media. Also, at the moment I'm focused on art jewelry with strong post-apocalyptic themes, using "permanent" materials including pottery.
I like Magnolia's ideas, they are probably a lot easier than what I've been doing:
I'm a more or less beginner doing small work like you are dAO, and on a steep learning curve. So far I have only used wax resist, usually painted in the hole as you described. I've had issues getting too much wax resist around the outside of the hole which is not the look I want. From what I've read on the forums the only way to get wax resist off clay is to bisque fire it again. Since I don't have a kiln of my own yet this is a big problem for me. Recently, I had to use a plastic knife to carve the dry wax resist off the threads of the jar to get the jar open. I had the idea to roll the dry wax into little plugs and insert them into the jewelry holes. This stuff really stinks in a chemical way, so I'd wear gloves. anyway I left the plugs in, but you could probably push it out and it would leave enough wax to resist the glaze easily. The dryish wax was easier to handle this way, and I like the idea of reusing as much of it as possible.
I'm thinking about trying little paper pulp plugs, maybe coated or mixed with a little wax or white glue? They should just dry out quickly and shrink, and burn out quickly, but so far untested idea.
The only thing worse than putting clay down your drains is maybe aquarium gravel. Don't ask how I know. But clay pretty much immediately forms a sediment that builds quickly with each little bit that goes down the pipes. You don't want to have to replace those pipes, from what I understand they can't really be cleaned out with any standard plumbing equipment because the sediment gets rock hard.
You and I may have one idea about a piece of ceramic, while trust me, the oil painters in the gallery/art school/art faire may have another. (Personally, if it's non-utilitarian IMO it's art. But some utilitarian work is so artistic it crosses the line into Art as well. Also, it's a bit like defining God, I feel a bit full of myself just trying. Your opinion may differ.)
Is there a genre of ceramics that you hate?
Hopefully no one will get offended. You'll notice I didn't give an opinion.
Do you tend to end up using the same general color schemes in your glaze work intentionally or unintentionally? (I do. It's various whites over dark clays, usually with the speckles coming through.)
(I'm sure I can come up with a few more questions of the noobish sort, just can't think of them right now.)