Sea Shaker

This is my entry for the Etsy Mud Team Salt & Pepper Shaker’s challenge. This is a simple closed form that I threw on the pottery wheel. After it was closed, I allowed it to dry and when I was turning it around in my hand decided to put tiny legs on top and use the flat ‘bottom’ as the dispenser. The plug is allowed ample room because of the legs and can be easily removed and re-inserted. I should have put the holes in when it was leather hard, but I waited too long. So I bisque fired this and then used a tiny drill bit to drill the holes as well as the bottom (I LOVE TOOLS!). The holes are okay for salt, but the salt comes out just a bit too fast. So I slowed the process down by trying Kosher Sea Salt. The ‘release’ is perfect.

But what happened to the pepper shaker, you may ask … it was also a closed form and it exploded during the bisque fire. I think I fired this particular batch of bisque too quickly. Usually I allow 45 minutes between each stage of turning up the kiln. However, that closed form was rather thick and probably needed an hour and a half between each stage.

I got to thinking about how humid it is here in Texas … I say Texas with the teeniest bit of a drawl because having lived here 20 years I’ve grown fond of the state … and rather than put in the normal rice kernals to keep the salt from clumping, I realized any extra moisture would be absorbed by the bisque clay. No clumping! The Red Taos Clay is a beautiful color in the bisque state, and it matches my kitchen perfectly. That’s right. It’s a keeper.


2 thoughts on “Sea Shaker

  1. Natalie
    Your salt shaker is interesting especially with the feet. They add character!
    I’m not sure humidity and altitude would have the same affect, but my pots develop cracks during the glaze firing and having tried various alternatives, finally decided the altitude was a direct cause of some of my grief. Started placing (especially the thicker ones) in the oven set at “barely on” for 8-10 hours before glazing them & firing. . . works like a charm!
    Say Natalie . . . Last night i managed (a new experience for me) to post a chatroom on my blog for potters and artists. Am hoping to get some “live” discussions going amongst us about pottery, glazes, techniques and art-related subjects.
    It sure would be swell if you would come over and join in!

  2. Thanks for the invite, Chae … I’ll pop in from time to time.

    Yeah, there’s something about letting things fire and get all those vapors, fumes, water, and chemicals out of the clay that makes for a great batch of pottery to emerge from the kiln. Yay!

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