It has taken over two months for stuff to be fired. I’m OK with that though… The gorgeous weather has me up to my neck in the Pacific and eating blackberries of the bush instead of sitting at the potter’s wheel. Finally some of these little textured, sea-inspired dishes are coming out.

The feather cups have finally all been glazed, as of yesterday… Looking forward to seeing my newest ones, which are inspired by those Japanese tea cups that have a little indent for your fingers. It was fun incorporating the feather design with a more organic shape.


Smaller things make it through the firing process much more quickly. I already have most of my little salve jar experiments. Originally I was working with closed form jars but I eventually decided to go with a cork lid which could be sealed with wax if necessary. I underestimated the clay shrinkage and so far they are all too small for the corks I purchased. Some slightly larger ones are in the works, fingers crossed!


Glaze experiments brought mixed results, I’m still learning how to make the glaze do what I want (if that’s at all possible!) I was a bit disappointed at first but I’m still having a ball and once I let go of my initial expectations I appreciate everything so much more.


I am making vases right now, and more marbled tea cups. This time I’m adding adding a second colour. Excited to see how that turns out…

Almost everything I make  these days is very time consuming. I spent a good portion of the day applying wax to little spikes on these dishes…

At this point, 9 out of 10 are glazed and in line for their final firing sometime this month.

I spent the rest of today trimming and carving.

When these cups are dry enough I will fill the grooves with slip like the ones in the foreground here.

A few planter components came out of the kiln this week, some successes and some surprises.

 

Feather cups: I haven’t been able to reproduce the crazy drop shadow I got on the first black and white feather cup. Our technician thinks the kiln got too hot and the pigment bled which created the effect. I will continue to experiment.

I am waiting impatiently for planter components to come out of the kiln. I work very intuitively, making separate elements and combining them after their final firing. Combinations I never would have imagined just happen. Once the pieces come together I start looking for the right plant.

Next up are more vases and a series of small textured dishes and shallow bowls.

It took almost 4 hours just to create the stippled surface on these yesterday. Now they must dry thoroughly before the first firing.

 

It’s so funny when things come out of the kiln and you can’t even recognize your work because the glaze over-fired or under-fired. I’m not sure what happened with the moss green, the test tile was such a lovely muted green colour…

 

I’m feeling pretty energized these days, it’s the magic of Spring, I’m eager to be at the studio and make things. Clearly I’m not the only one feeling this way, the glaze and kiln room shelves are overflowing with everyone’s work waiting to be fired. I have been experimenting with some new vase shapes and glazes. This Pepto Bismol looking glaze will fire a lovely muted moss green.

The little mate for my bashed up yunomi came out of the kiln. Here they are together. The shadows in this picture inspired me to try staining the base of some cups for an ombré effect. We’ll see how that goes…

Here they are from the top with some other new things…

…Tried dipping part of the cups in one of my favorite glaze combos but I’m not sure how I feel about this look.

Many more self-watering planters and plants in vases are in the works.

My current fave, a lithops, is having babies!

Here are some new planters drying.

 

Some new marbled pieces are trickling out of the kiln. The results are unpredictable, like happy accidents!

A cup flew off the wheel as I was trimming it and got smacked around. Instead of scrapping it, I chose to believe that it could be the best thing I ever made and finished it by burnishing the outside and marbling the inside. 5 minutes later it happened again with a second cup. In Japanese they call a pair of cups that go together without being exactly the same meoto yunomi. I love this, and I look forward to seeing this cup’s equally flawed mate.

 

I’ve been feeling very playful on the potter’s wheel this week. New shapes for vases and planters are emerging. Two words come to mind: refinement and imperfection.

IMG_20170330_084356I love these organic shapes and this soft green glaze makes me happy.

IMG_20170330_084619The same glaze combination turned out differently on this bud vase. So many variables…IMG_20170413_203717

This vase inspired me to go foraging in my garden.

 

Here are some plant and pottery combinations I’ve been working on. As the season progresses I will be propagating herbs and other water-loving plants in little vases like these for sale locally.

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If you have read a few posts back you may recognize these two dishes. They make cute homes for little kokedama.

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Some other passions of mine are wildcrafting and fermentation. My initial impetus for wanting to learn pottery was to make my own fermentation crocks. I did make a crock… and I made a batch of purple sauerkraut in it, as well as my usual method using a large glass jar to compare the results.

What I learned is that glaze choice is key. I used a white glaze that wasn’t super glossy and I found the inside of the crock absorbed some of the purple from the kraut. I also noticed a difference in colour and flavour between the two krauts. I have to say I prefer the glass jar method. Next time I make a crock it will choose a dark and glossy (less permeable) glaze.

Another idea I’ve had since the start was making small jars of cottonwood bud and conifer salves that I call tree medicine. I’ve made about 6 of these but only two survived the final firing. This last one had the lid fuse to the jar, which I had to break to open. Back to the drawing board!

IMG_20170322_112257This was a bummer as I still find it quite difficult to create a closed form vessel with a lid.

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Here are the first of my black and white marbled cups. I love how the smooth un-glazed exterior combines with the spontaneous ink blot quality of the inside.  I’m making more of these. I just love playing with this technique.

IMG_20170225_110058I can’t wait to see how these two turn out.IMG_20170225_145253720

And here are some of the faceted Navajo pieces.

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Here are a two little dishes I’m not super happy with. I love the poured glaze, but it feels like the wrong glaze.

IMG_20170209_130144101…Turquoise tea bowls with my brand new business cards!

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