Will it leak?

May 18 2015

Porcelain VaseI used to watch Letterman all the time before we got rid of cable and started watching everything through Netflix, Amazon and the Apple TV.  He was always my king of late night comedy and one of his surrealistic skits he used to do was “Will it Float”?  Call me weird but I loved it and it makes me think of my latest query — Will it leak? I even sing the theme song while I am conducting my testing.

One thing I have been asked throughout the years is why I don’t typically make vases.  For one, I don’t personally use vases.  Not that there is anything wrong if you want to use vases but I like my plants to live for long periods of time, green and happy in their soil.  When a plant dies, I get depressed.  I think I got too attached to The Secret Life of Plants, a book, movie and Stevie Wonder album that put forth the first evidence that plants might have emotions and caused Seventies housewives to be the first to talk to their plants.

Anyway, I digress.  The second reason is that clay can still absorb water meaning that even through glaze, a clay body that doesn’t have a super low absorption rate can leak water.  It’s the difference between a terra cotta plant pot and a bone china mug that is so thin and white, you can see through it when held up to the light.  This is a lot of pressure.  I would never, ever recommend using any ceramic item on a baby grand piano without a coaster or trivet but I’ve heard horror stories of folks that have done just that which causes all ceramics artists to quiver in fear.

In my clay body quest, I’ve been seeking clay bodies that I enjoy working with, that have the right color and that have low enough absorption rates that they can hold water even if the glaze has a tiny pinhole in the bottom.

Vase Test

So, here they are — my first batch of new clay bodies as vases and guess what?  Only one little bad boy sweated water after being filled with water after sitting on a white paper towel for one week.  That clay has been eliminated as a candidate and the vase will never make it to your house.

As for vases, I think I’m up for the challenge and hope to continue expanding my repertoire.

As for Dave, a fond farewell and thank you for making me laugh throughout the years!