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THIS PAGE IS ABOUT MY CURRENT PASSION – CERAMICS.

In March 2016 I enrolled in a 6 week beginner wheel class and I have never looked back! I record my progress on this page mainly for my friend Cara who inspired this blog, but also for anyone who might be interested in pottery and the creative process.

I’m working on my 4th teapot. So much can go wrong in the trimming, assembly, drying, firing etc… Here are some pictures of it coming together. I know, so many holes… What was I thinking? Is this a colander?

Now everything hinges on the bisque firing and glaze firing. I am hoping the chrome green slip will create the same effect as it does with this teapot. But anything can happen.

I got some pieces I glazed in jade green with a streak of lichen poured over them. This feels like a natural progression from a series I did last Summer:  pieces that were raw on the outside except for a streak where I let glaze run down the sides.. I’m not sure if I love it or hate this new combination. I have a few more pieces coming, it’s very unpredictable so it will be interesting to see how they turn out. This little cup has a raw charm that’s growing on me though.

Here are some red clay things… I still haven’t found a combination of glazes I absolutely love on this clay, except for lichen.

It never ceases to amaze me how much pieces shrink from when I first make them. This cup feels way too big for my hand now, but I hope it will be just right after it shrinks about 15%.

Fresh out of the kiln.

 

My second and third teapots have made it through their final firings! I tried different handles and different shapes on each one. The thick brush strokes of chrome green slip on the second teapot give an interesting patina effect under the turquoise glaze. I will be experimenting more with this look. The first teapot I made was way too small, the second one is more of a two person teapot, and the third is just right for me. All in all I learned so much and I’m pleased with the results. Here is number two.

… and number three.

Number three has a matching cup!

I have been working on more vases in mixed clay, and plant pots big enough to insert a plant in a 4 inch pot. I’m not quite there yet…

I love this glaze called lichen. I tried painting it on for the pot on the left, and dipping for the one on the right. Dipping is where it’s at!

I will glaze these two dark red clay vases in lichen.

These shallow bowl/plates are glazed in jade with a slash of lichen on top… It will be interesting to see how they turn out.

 

I’m making a new series of vases blending light and dark clay. Here are my first two pieces.

More to come… I’m trying to work larger ultimately aiming for something around 8 inches tall with a 4 to 5 inch opening.
Other current projects are more tea pots and my constant quest for the perfect bowl. Here’s tea pot number 3. I’m liking the side handle!

Some failed bowls (too heavy!)

More current projects.

 

I am like a metronome, going from light to dark clay and back. I don’t like to stay with the same thing for too long, choosing instead to work in open ended themes I keep returning to.

I’m working on my second tea pot. I just need to make another 9998 to become an expert! I draw design ideas but it’s only after crafting an object and using it that designs get perfected, combining ergonomics with beauty.

I made a few lids but this is the one I like best for now.

This tea bowl has the same chrome green slip slathered on the side with my favorite clear turquoise glaze. Hopefully the tea pot looks similar…


This bowl in red clay has a very runny glaze over a cobalt blue glaze.

Jade glaze dripping down the sides of some bud vases.

My newest favorite glaze: lichen.

 

I have been working with textures and glazes to add spontaneity and immediacy to simplified shapes.

I still love the range of colours I can get using a clear turquoise glaze. Here are some new jars for Tree Medicine. Soon I will be foraging this year’s cottonwood buds, can’t wait!

I will be making more mugs like this, most comfortable handle I ever made.

I was a bit sad when this cup broke during it’s trip home, but the texture gives me an idea for a new teapot!

I’ve also strayed into new colour territory, exploring some ochre/turmeric hues on little bottles for infused oils.

These recent pieces are taking my work in new directions. I love how the surface of this little pot reflects the architecture.

I also love the contrast between the raw and glazed areas.

I am making small bottles and vases in white clay right now but I’ll be going back to the red clay again soon.

 

 

I have been enjoying working with a deep red clay called Navajo again. In progress are little jars for my newest black drawing salve, and some mugs and vases. I haven’t been very productive because I’m trying to stretch my skill level and create new shapes, and that means lots of fails at the wheel this month. I really like this vase though, I hope I like it as much once it’s done!
These two mugs have fun round bottoms.

Who doesn’t like a nice round bottom!

These are ready for the bisque firing.

I hope I like this combination just as much as I do on the mug below.

The clay body makes a tremendous difference in how the glaze turns out, not to mention the contrast between the raw clay base and the glazed areas.

I will never know if I don’t try, and it’s still fun to experiment and perfect some shapes I enjoy.

Salve jars!

Work from May and June is finally starting to trickle out! The chrome green slip experiments yielded some nice texture and transparency on tea cups…

… and vases.

Thick chrome green slip under white glaze yielded a strange patina on this dragon bowl.

Here is the chrome green slip under white glaze on a stubby bottle shape,

and textured white slip under clear glaze on a cafe au lait bowl.

Here are some salve jars with my newest Tree Medicine, a black drawing salve made with activated charcoal, herbs from my garden, and healing essential oils.

I am working in a dark red clay called Navajo now. It has been very hot and I’ve been careful to let things dry very slowly so nothing cracks in process. I may continue some of the same experiments over the dark clay. The possibilities are limitless, and I’m trying to avoid over-thinking everything. It’s fun to be detached and just try new things. Sometimes a form you really like can be ruined by a poor choice of glaze but it’s worth it each time an unexpected treasure comes out of the kiln.

 

There’s a surface treatment I’ve been playing with since I started working in clay.  The horizontal grooves remind me of wood grain or tire tracks in the snow. Recently I had the idea to use beeswax as an inlay, here is a bowl I tried it on.

I’ve also been playing with chrome green slip, layering it under transparent turquoise or milky white glazes. This vase is one of my favorite accidents.

I will also be working with this combination more.

I’m currently working on vases, tea cups, coffee bowls, and salve jars for my newest Tree Medicine.

Some Salve jars drying.

Here is a coffee bowl waiting for its first firing.

And here is a finished one.