I returned to the Middlebury Fall Festival for the fourth time in September. There were many similarities to previous years (2013, 2014, 2015) but this year there were a few small changes.
Slabs Rolled Here
A new addition to the studio is in place. Earlier today I rolled out the first slab on my brand new North Star Porta Roller!
I bought this little bundle of metal and moxie way back in November. It arrived in two packages:
The Circular Polarizer Makes My Pottery Better
It LOOKS better, when I photograph it anyway. I was just getting some photos of finished pottery ready to post here and I noticed the difference that my circular polarizer made when I was shooting photos. Take a look at the three unedited images to the right.
Which image do you like best?
If your favorite is not the top image then you have the same thought as I do: the circular polarizer makes the mugs look better. It accomplishes this by cutting down some of the reflection on the glossy glaze. The bottom two images are shots with the circular polarizer turned in two different directions. Both are a drastic improvement over the non polarized image in my opinion.
I’ve always noticed that there is a reflection from light bouncing up off the backdrop. It’s not a big deal for some pieces. But the reflection can really wash out the colors of other pieces. I’ve even used a circular polarizing filter before. But I guess it was just too much trouble to dig out the circular polarizer and the lens that it fits until now. Now I’ve got the lens with the polarizing filter down by my photo booth permanently since I don’t use it for much else.
You can find circular polarizing filters at any camera shop or online at places like amazon.com. Just make sure you get the right size to fit your lens (measured in mm)
Triple Beam Dreams
I’ve always wanted to experiment with glaze recipes and mix my own glazes some day.Â A couple months ago I got a step closer to making that happen in my very own studio when I purchased a triple beam scale.Â I wasn’t interested in paying over $100 for a new Ohaus scale so I monitored ebay for a while and finally got a used one for $20.44 which included shipping.Â For such a low price I wasn’t expecting it to be in mint condition and it wasn’t.Â It has a few dings and the metal tray or platform or “pan” is no longer attached.Â It also seems to be missing some weight under the pan which have been replaced by pennies and nickels.Â It didn’t come with the additional attachment weights or any other accessories.
The good news: it seems to function properly. [Read more…]
Pottery Photo Backdrop
I just shot a few ceramics pieces on my new and improved backdrop which is part of the Collapsible Photo Booth for Shooting Ceramics.Â I had been using some gray fabric from the $1 bin at Walmart but I wanted something a little darker and a little more sturdy.Â I searched the internet but couldn’t find anything within my budget (as in “free” or “almost free”) so I decided to make my own.Â I had a big roll of pre-primed canvas at my disposal so I cut a piece to fit into the Collapsible Photo Booth for Shooting Ceramics and added a couple extra layers of gesso and then painted it gray.Â I had a feeling that the gray had a slightly blue cast and my suspicion was confirmed in the test photos.Â So I re-mixed the paint and added a little red and a lot of yellow to even out the blue cast.Â It’s not quite completely neutral gray now but it is a lot closer than the first attempt.Â Below you can see some photos of the whole setup.Â And soon there will be some photos of some actual pottery taken while using the whole setup!