The Spaceship Urn


My Dad died last Saturday (30th June). It was sort of a shock, but not 100% unexpected.

Anyway, me being an Aussie Expat living in the UK, and my parents being in Oz, I wasn’t able to go back for the funeral. However, I am able to make a contribution to Dad’s next great adventure and what better than a spaceship?

Being primarily a thrower, the classic 1950’s rocket style ship lent itself most handily to my design. The clay I chose (after very careful thought) is Scarva Porcelain Paper Clay. I’ve tried quite a few different clays in my time, but the most unusual to throw with has to be this. It’s pulpy, and doesn’t form a slip in quite the same way. So I started throwing them yesterday and ran out of clay, which is just as well as I wasn’t coping on my own too well.

Because of the size I’m making, I’m throwing 2.5kg at a time so I’m only getting 2 vessels to a bag. So my hubby took me off to Bath Potters (again) for more clay. £53 is cost me for 25kg!! But for this, no expense will be spared.

Today was easier, and there were lots of people around so if I wanted to talk I could and I did quite a bit of wandering around between vessels. So at the end of the day, I had another 4 made, as well as thier saggar slabs (for the glaze firing). And I managed to make a couple of swirl mugs as well.

 So back to these spaceships….. Why so many if you only need one you ask? Well, I need some redundancy, as well as each one will end up with its own personality and I probably won’t know until I’ve glaze fired them which one I will choose. Then I will do the lustre firing. I bought gold, platinum and blue to do the markings and such. AND I plan to name it the R.A.S.S Neil Cross (Royal Australian Space Ship) and hopefully I will be able to stamp that on with the lustre to give it that true Star Trek/Honor Harrington feel rather than clumsy and hand painted.

So anyway, the ships are going to turn out like the unfired junkyard dog in the next pic, only in porcelain and I will seal the bottom and cut the top off adding a small ring inside the lid to give it a gallery. The spike/antenna will be fired separately and added after all of the firings, this will reduce the height and reduce the chance of it actually slumping over at max temp.

the spike is just a plastic dropper to give an idea of the finished product the spike is just a plastic dropper to give an idea of the finished product.

Now I have to wait a day or 2 before I can do the next step which is trimming them into the desired shape. One of the advantages of using the porcelain paper clay is its more robust on account of the flax fibres and the end result is lighter and stronger so will travel better. That’s it for now, more when I get to attach the fins which I will cut tomorrow and get drying before I shape them, that paper clay is WET!

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