Throwing a Bonsai Pot at Izabela’s, Part 3, The Bonsai Zone, March 2022

Throwing a Bonsai Pot at Izabela's, Part 3, The Bonsai Zone, March 2022

Hi everyone, nigel saunders, here, welcome back to part three of throwing a bonsai pot at isabella’s parts. One and two of this series were filmed on the first day and then we let the pots dry overnight.

So the clay becomes leather, hard hard enough that you can attach the feet and flip them over so part. Three, this part of the series is filmed on the second day before we get into today’s bonsai pod video.

I’M going to show you what my wife and i collected this morning and how we got it home. So the truck is off the road for the winter and we came across these giant skids they’re from a hot tub place, so they’re big, so they fit the hot tubs on them.

So what we do is we load them on the wagon here you can see the wagon underneath and then the giant skids go on top and we take them home and we go down the sidewalk and the streets it’s quite far away.

So it’s a bit of a walk, but uh you know it does the job gets these giant skids home in the middle of winter. So here we go we’re going to move it to the backyard now further and that’s about it. Okay, let’s unload the skids.

Now now be careful of my arch, i already see there’s a mark in it. Yeah there we go. That’S number two big skid number, two, okay! So here’s what you get from one of these skids you get these two by fours are seven feet long and you get one two three four five of them.

Some of them aren’t the greatest like there’s sections where it’s not the greatest wood, but most of them most of them are quite nice like this. One number two is just perfect there, the one behind it i see.

Okay, here comes the last little skid and this one’s oak. Actually it has oak sides which are really heavy and i think the tops are oak too. Aren’T they yeah? So it’s quite nice. So my wife, she takes these apart with a crowbar and a hammer and a chisel and usually they’re not nailed together that well, so they come apart fairly easily and you get all the all the pieces intact.

They don’t split or anything much so yeah. So you get some good wood for free and it’s good to reuse. This wood, for you know construction purposes and that, rather than just people burn it usually and they usually burn it in campfires and that because it’s not really a soft wood most of it.

So you can’t really burn it in fireplaces or stoves because it creates too much resin. So it’s a good use of old skids. It was nice getting all that free wood this morning. So now it’s back to bonsai pod, making part three of this series: okay, nigel! So we’re gonna do the trimming today and first you need to again wet the wheel, but this time we’re going directly on the metal wheel head and here’s my pot and you had to take the pins out, because this pot is too big a diameter.

It would interfere with that and sticking up, so the screws had to come off. So i’m using those uh circles on the wheel head as guides to find okay, the center back. You have to kind of basically re-center the pot, so i’m checking it’s not quite and it might be because it’s not centered or it might be, because you know the positioning so yeah find a good spot.

I find um. The best trick is to use a pin tool and just gently hold it, and now you can kind of see where this diameter is thinner and thicker, so i can move it slightly this way and now it’s still a little bit off now.

Why are you using the oh now, it’s perfect, why are you using the metal plate instead of the oh um? It would just slide right off this. It wouldn’t because this um this material. Yes, it’s kind of like fibers that are compressed together to absorb moisture.

So you know it’s made to not stick um and basically we wouldn’t be able to keep this on to the onto onto the bath, but on the metal it sticks it kind of crease like a suction yeah. So you moisture it just a little bit, not too much cannot be wet but actually like.

If it’s a ball or something that’s quite hollow um, sometimes people don’t even have to secure it with the clay bits that what i’m doing right now is securing it. I see because you know like experienced potters, can just put it and then the suction holds it so well, it is like a giant suction cup yeah.

It is, but i’m always using the clay bits to make sure that it doesn’t move around. So, while i’m doing this, i’m holding the pot from the top and notice how i’m pressing down towards the wheel head not towards the pot yeah, because you’ll deform the pot exactly yeah.

So i stick out some trimming tools. So, first i have to know what i want to do yeah. So what i want to do here is just take some more of the clay closer to the base and take a little bit from the bottom, not too much, because i want the pot to have a thick bottom too, so that it can hold the tree well And then i’m not gonna make a foot on it.

So it’s just trimming this excess clay. So i’m gonna start with this white tool to shave off some of the excess clay from the top to go again see how i’m always on the right side. I’M not going anywhere near the left.

You can basically just like go 3 p.m or 3 a.m. 3 o’clock. Uh. You just slide towards the 3 o’clock. It really looks like a chocolate cake. It’S really satisfying to do that. So i’m gonna tap to listen and i can hear that it’s thinning, so i don’t want to tin it too much.

I think that’s a good thickness and then um i’m gonna move to the sides. This is a really sharp tool. I like using this one, a [ Music ] lot, so see how now you can just like easily get rid of that excess clay and taper it off a little bit more.

That’S pretty cool, i’m just going to soften up this edge here. It is more pleasant and also it’s a good place for the glaze to stop when i glaze, so that i can attach my feet on this line here and then there is a little bit of the oven, yeah.

So yeah. I think that’s that’s about as much as i want to take off, not really a whole lot, but we’ll keep it nice and sturdy for the bonsai tree it’s different for like when you make uh dinnerware. I always want to make it as thin as possible because it’s you know, people have hard time lifting and holding heavy things yeah, but for the bonsai pots it’s actually the opposite.

You want it to be thick on the base and yeah. I think that’s. I think. That’S good yeah that looks really nice, so you can use those uh circles as guides as references as a reference, just maybe a little bit more to the side, also like.

If you rotate the tool like this [ Music ]. I like how you’re sporting your hands. That’S a smart move, otherwise you’re going to go up and down with a pattern. Uh-Huh is that enough yeah so feel it with your finger now and see if there is those uneven bumps that feels nice, it’s pretty good, yeah, nice, okay, [, Music ]! Now we can get a good look at it.

Oh that looks nice. I think that’s here’s! A look at the shape of my pot and now we’ll look at isabella’s. Here’S isabella’s large pot turned out amazing all right, so we got some clay. We’Re gonna make feet for the pot, get a little chunk of clay, [, Music, ] and then roll the clay a little bit to thin it out, because it is a little bit too thick yeah, i’m gonna flip it over [ Music ] trying to Make it even so i can go this way because it’s a big pot.

I think it should be more thick yeah, so i’ll probably leave it at the thickness that looks about right to me. Can you see it okay and then i’m gonna use the ruler to make a straight line? I don’t really.

I don’t really have a set uh set size for the feet, because all my pots are slightly different, so i just eyeball it, but i’m gonna start with a little bigger and then make it smaller. So if i want to make the stamped feed now would be the time to stamp it when it’s flat like this, when it’s flat and maybe before i stamp it, i’m actually going to flip it.

I think yeah i used to do three, but i find that four is a nice balance. It looks good. I find four looks better when you’re viewing the pot three, you always get it it’s difficult facing forward two that are a side on, and i don’t like that.

Yeah yeah, exactly it never looks like the front, is facing you [, Music ]. So i’m just looking because you can see this design on the stamp on the other side, so you can see exactly where it’s going to be.

So if i want to make those tippy toe feet, i’m just going to press press it down, press it down. That’S a good pressure yeah. So go do it four times and on the other side, and is this stamp made for clay working? No, it’s just a simple scrapbooking stamp that i got at michael’s.

So it’s normally does ink yeah, but i never actually did any scrapbooking. So it went for clay, it’s cool because you can get lots of different tools, use them for clay and you don’t have to spend a fortune and did it come with the clear yeah yeah.

It’S like that. Absolutely it was like a dollar at michael’s. That’S amazing! So if you go to specialty stores, it’s twenty dollars for a stamp right and then here at michaels i mean one thing to say about this is uh.

You can see that some of the clay gets stuck, so you got to be careful um now before you use it. Nigel we’re gonna dry it to make sure that, because, if it’s wet it’s more likely to crack and to prevent it, you can put cornstarch on the clay like if you’re using it a lot, but for the feet it uh, it’s it’s! Okay to just use it just like this, and then i’m gonna just cut them in half and then eyeball it my eyes better than ruler sometimes still looks like you’re making chocolates yeah.

I am making little treats. I used to do that when i was little like just play with clay by the river make little chocolates with leaves and pebbles it was so fun height is probably too high. I would say, and i could keep that powder those outer leaves here.

Actually, i think it’s neat or i could do it more triangular like in my other pot yeah. So it’s you know, there’s lots of different things. You can do. You can trim it a little bit. You could do it that way as well, depending on on the design.

I think i’m going to go for the triangular feet, so i’m just going to use the design of the stamp to cut around use that as my guide and make it a little bit smaller. Here from the top, so this will be somewhat like that.

I better start thinking about what i want now and i’m guessing you’re, probably gonna spend a while, like making sure it’s perfectly cut, i’m just eyeballing everything yeah, it’s like uh yeah, it’s imperfect! I like it when it’s imperfect, i’m gonna have to find the spacing for them once once i have them all out yeah.

I have to turn my head upside down to see it. It’S a chocolate factory, [ Laughter, ], it’s pretty nice handmade chocolate, limited quantities, [ Laughter, ] yeah. I think laura would like that nigel yeah, i think she’d prefer the chocolate over the thoughts yeah, but you can eat a chocolate out of this pot.

I mean not that bad fun but fill it with chocolates yeah. I could find it with food. Make a salad. Let’S see how that looks like. I think the triangle feet really sh suit the tape it does because it flows.

Doesn’T it yeah you’re right. I i like that with that shape, it’s like a continuous sweep, because if you had a shaped foot, it might break it up. I don’t know yeah. I think it’s an interesting design for the brazilian rain tree because they are triangular too or, like you know, someone they do get this oval around canopy.

But i see a little bit of a triangle too and like in the way that they grow yeah, yeah they’re. Still angular, aren’t they okay, so let’s mark it up now so now – and i know where my feet are: yeah, i’m gonna mark on the edges, so just using my little wooden tool so that i can you know score in those sections, yeah slip and score.

This is the attachment part yeah. I’M gonna use some of that slip. We made on the wheel the glue that binds it in as you can see how it goes in between those grooves yeah and then when it dries. It holds it together better than if you just put flat surface to flat surface increases the surface area.

Doesn’T it yeah contact point, so i’m actually gonna score on the bottom of the feet as well before? Attaching them i’m just pressing on this, i’m trying not to touch the stamp yeah definitely looks the right thickness.

Isn’T it yeah, it’s pretty good, which is nice because uh my bottom is quite thick and heavy, so pretty good. So the next step is to roll a little coil and fill in that gap here, because i’m not gonna do it on the outside, because the stamp is there.

So i’m gonna put some reinforcements here, yeah just to make sure that those feet don’t crack or come off during firing and to make them more stable, also like for moving the pot yeah, because this would be a very suspectable uh part of the pot to Knock off accidentally yeah make it structurally stronger when somebody roll a little coil and just slip it a little bit on the side of the pot, because it’s a little hard there not too much, because the feet are wet.

And then you want to press towards the pot first and then be like go with your finger towards the foot holding the foot on the other side, yeah and just like very gently towards the foot, because the foot is still wet so make sure you don’t get Any air in there and i’m making sure i don’t deform it accidentally, so all this stuff i’ll clean that up later it looks really good for now putting the coils and this i go over over and over and over multiple times until it’s nice and smooth.

So right now, i’m attaching it and you’ll see how quickly it will actually dry, because the dryness of the pot will draw moisture from the wet clay yeah and because it’s so small, it doesn’t take long yeah amazing how water transfers in within the clay.

Isn’T it yeah? It goes when the reverse room you can also. You know like do different things with the feet. You can push them outwards, curl them a little bit like those lots of options. Yeah. So are you ready to start on your feet, nigel? I think so yeah that looks really nice, that’s amazing! So now it’s the cleaning part whenever there is like a little bit of slip sticking.

I just use my finger to wipe it off. I’M now going to reinforce it on this side, but actually this little bit of slip is kind of filling in the gap nicely two and a half centimeters. We can put a little bit of cornstarch on it just to be safe.

Okay, it might as well encourage good habits, show the technique, people who use it. I that’s right, but the corn starch, if you’re using uh commercial, stems the cornstarch is gonna be great because it’s never gonna suck.

So you just kind of you wan na spread it with your fingers. Okay, like this, i just want to sort of just come over here now: you’re really making cookies yeah sugar icing sugar yeah, and that way it’s not gonna stock.

Okay and i’ll use the dry side, which is here, okay, foot number two well that worked really well, it’s much easier right. It came off just like just and the clothes are just gonna burn off, so it’s gonna be no trace of it.

It’S still clean after attaching it to because they do get a little bit deformed yeah now. Can i just sort of imagine yeah? Are they looking too too taller? I think they look fantastic. You remind me of the castle tower yeah the flanks on top or a crown you’re, making a crown that yeah, it kind of looks like a crown.

Doesn’T it that’s why i was saying it’s like for the boogaz because they’re like queens, so they need a crown. That’S true, they’re royalty. Think a single hole would be fine in this pot yeah because you don’t cut down your trees.

No, i know just use the fancy cookie powder set. Okay, the brush. You can use this side whichever size you prefer. That’S a good question. I think i’ll go with the the slightly larger one yeah. I usually use the larger one because they do shrink yeah and i think that’s because there’s only one hole, i think it’s the perfect size.

So, let’s turn it on the right side on okay and then that way you can press against the um. Should i just flip it by hand. If you want to use the sandwich method, then you can take off the feet and then i think i can.

I think it’s sturdy enough. I think it’s sturdy off yet just set it down like that. Then i use this size and i’m gonna find my center. I don’t have to wet it or anything. It just helps yeah, okay and i just twisted them don’t have to.

It was quite thick yeah there’s my here’s, my thickness, which is really it’s about a centimeter thick yeah. Do you think that’s too thick or anything that’ll be all right quite thick? Is it going to cause problems? Do you think i don’t think so? Okay, um, i mean, i don’t think it would cause problems, it’s just it’s gonna be heavy, and then i know it might not be a bad thing because it will make the tree more stable.

I know you break the edge and you can do it on the wheel like this: it’s not pushing dude. If you’d like we can try to trim it more. Hopefully you think it’s too thick here’s a shot of how thick the bottom of the pot is.

So you can see it’s a little too thick, so probably a third of that removed would be perfect, so i’m going to try that taking it out from the inside [ Music ], it’s coming up nicely. It’S looking good! Isn’T it a little thinner? I think yeah keep going.

You still have lots, [, Music ] fantastic, a little bit of slip too much. Then i put the coil in here and then i blend it in just blend that in okay the feet are looking salty. Now i want to determine the angle of the feet: do i want to splay them out? I’Ve got to kind of look at the pot, so the pot kind of has a bell shape and then it comes up fairly vertical.

So if they were splayed out a bit, i think that would look good if they’re splayed out just a little bit. I think that’s, okay, that should does the job okay. Here we go. I’M going to flip it over for the first time, see how it looks here.

It is looks very tall and elegant. Doesn’T it it’s on its tippy toes polish it up. I will be glazing my mind, so i don’t think i need to put too too much here. We are at the end of the second day. The pots are all finished, so they’ve got ta dry and then they’ll get their first firing, their bisque firing and then possibly a glaze.

So there they are so i’ll. Show you my one. First mine’s the tall one on its tippy-toes, here’s isabella’s, similar style, but definitely more planted. Looking both beautiful pots, you can tell they were both made together on the same days, brother and sister, or something awesome.

Well, that’s wonderful! Thanks very much isabella for having me over again, and i really appreciated you teaching me everything and all your knowledge. It was fantastic. Welcome, michael, thank you for inspiring me to make it all for my personal arrangement.

Oh it’s going to be beautiful. The rain tree is definitely going to grow into it. Someday [, Music, ]

Izabela demonstrates the final stages of creating a bonsai pot on the wheel.
At the end of the day, two fine looking pots emerge!
Thanks so much Izabela for having me over and sharing your knowledge and experience!!!
There will be a part 4 to this series in the future and Izabela will show us the glazing process, I can’t wait!

Check out part 1 of this series here….

Check out part 2 of this series here….

Check out Izabella’s YouTube channel ”Gaean Gardens” here…
Here is Isabela’s Etsy store….


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