Thursday, December 17, 2009

Basket in Process

Basket in Process by Linda Starr
slab built, 5.5 x 10.5 x 8.5 inches

Sometimes my ceramics pieces evolve as I go along. This basket is what I ended up with today. Originally I intended to make a boat shaped piece with a foot but I just couldn't figure out how to make a template in the shape I wanted, so I made this basket form. Perhaps I need to get a book on origami and that might help me with my templates.

I pinched the sides and the middle flopped in a wavy pattern so I decided to enhance that feature. I'm traveling in my RV and the closest thing I could grab to prop up the side were a few bananas so that's what I used. Later I found soup cans worked better to hold the sides.

After I made the basket I thought about a handle. At first I was going to have a handle on a diagonal across the sides. Somehow that didn't look quite right. Then I decided to make a handle across the middle meeting at the section leaning to the middle. I didn't like that either. So those two handles were recycled.

I decided to try sketching a metal handle I had in my mind. I wanted the metal wire to crisscross across the top. I also want some metal wound around the two handles at the top center. I'm picturing that black metal about the diameter of a clothes hanger. What do you think? Can you picture this type of metal handle on this piece? I drilled four holes to insert the wire through after the piece is fired.

Then I thought about how I would glaze the piece. For some reason a worn surface came to my mind. I decided to paint in a few lines of green slip like a basket weave that had worn away. I painted in a some dots along the edges like there are buttons or rivets holding the basket together.

I want to make a few more of these baskets. This form is fun to make, especially now that I've made one. The first one is always the hardest to make. After that each one gets easier. Please come back again in a day or two, I'd like to show you more goblets and a tall vase I made. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. going bananas!
    Or yes we have no bananas.
    I love the fact you are using what you have on hand.
    I really like the shape of the form- very organic.

  2. Hi Meredith, thanks, I was almost going to call it a banana boat but then when I looked at my sketch with the handles I thought a basket was a better name. I like the draping slab part of it, clay is amazing.

  3. it's great that you are so true to your sketches... i don't sketch 'cause i can't keep to them. the use of bananas is a winner! have to keep that in mind and keep bananas handy

  4. Hi Jim, thanks, don't give much thought to the bananas, although they have some nice weight to them, I found out they aren't too good as a prop since they have ridges and the stem pokes into the clay, soup cans, plastic bags of rice and paint rollers work well; although the paint rollers don't have enough weight to them.

  5. I really like the organic shape of the basket and think that a black wire may be to heavy looking for the piece. There's some great inexpensive paper wrapped floral wire (like Fiskar's) that I envision for your basket - or a walk down the aisles of Home Depot or Loews might give you some cool alternatives as well.

  6. Hi Sue, thanks, you are probably correct. I could have used kanthal wire, but I have limited storage in the overhead cabinets in my motorhome so I thought I could put the wire on after I get the piece fired and then I won't have to worry about the handle till then. I'll probably have to bring the piece along with me to see which wire looks best. I've always wanted to incorporate another media with clay and now the opportunity has presented itself. I really appreciate your input. thanks again.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment