Monday, December 21, 2009

Coiling, Pinching, Rolling

White Feather Vase by Linda Starr
coiled, 11.5 x 5 inches

I'm hurrying to use all the clay in my RV so I can get them fired before we leave on our travels. I'm coiling, pinching, and rolling the clay into forms which will fit in the upper RV cabinets. I wish I'd smoothed the coils more for the feather vase, but it dried quicker than I expected so I was left with the undulating shape to apply the white feather.

Jar by Linda Starr
pinched, 7.5 x 4 inches

For this jar I pinched the bottom half and pinched a top half and put the two together. Then I cut the top off and fashioned a lid. This cassius basaltic clay is so wonderful to work with. It stays moist for a long time and doesn't dry out easily while I am working with it.

Egret by Linda Starr
slab built plaque, 9 x 9 inches

I made this small egret plaque because I am unable to make something really large now due to space limitations in my RV. I have a plan to make a large three piece wall hanging with a blue heron.

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

This basket is a repeat for the one I did the other day out of the Texas white clay. As I mentioned in my last post this was much easier to make since I was familiar with the form. I hope to have a stainless or copper wire handle for this basket.

Happy holidays to you and your families and loved ones. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. I like them all Linda, but I have to say I think the feather one is my favorite of these pieces. Wow, you must feel like a whirling dervish, making so many things before hitting the road. I hope you'll be giving daily updates of your trek across country.

  2. Nice Work Linda, as always. Love the feather vase! Very Cool

  3. Hi Barbara, thanks, yes I wish I had a studio somewhere to leave all this stuff, but perhaps it's good I don't otherwise I would be making more. I am not sure how I will transport it all to get fired. some are easy but others kind of fragile to move.

    Hi Mary, thanks, I had the sketch in my book for this vase for a long time and when I finally got the black clay I was able to make this vase. I want to make a white vase with a black feather too. I seem to keep going back to the white and black clay and the white and black contrasts.

  4. Hi Linda, I really like the Feather Vase. The lidded pear jar is my favorite. Get those Babies fired!!!
    Laguna has a dark chocolate brown B-Mix that I really like. I love using Laguna Castile Blue on those dark clays as it contrasts and breaks very striking. Let us know how your firing goes.

  5. Linda, Love your coiled pots; hope your journey starts soon and brings you great adventures and happiness. I am sad I did not get to see your farm but you described it all so well I felt like I had been there. We are longing to also take off in our rv.. but work gets in the way... lol .
    In the future we will try to spend winters where it's warm and do summer in Washington.Firing a load today.. would have a blast.. talking pottery if you were closer to the studio. Coffee and mud what fun. Joan and Lana wish you Holiday Greetings.

  6. Hi Linda:
    Good luck firing everything! I too am drawn to the feather vase. I like the naturalness of it. Almost looks like a tree trunk or bamboo. Lovely! Happy holidays.


  7. Hi Cindy, thanks so much, I really appreciate the input. I didn't intend the pear jar to be that shape it just happened. This is that cassius basaltic clay that should only go to cone 4 and doesn't take glaze very well. It is known for its very black color when fired and it is most often used as a sculpture clay. It is very smooth. I was thinking of making a couple of smaller jars just like the bigger pear one, kind of like a poppa, mama and baby jar. Now I have to wait to get all these fired together as hardly anyone fires cone 4.

    Hi Joan, thanks so much, I am trying to improve my coiling. Reading about Maria Martinez and Lucy Lewis has inspired me. The indian pottery is so perfect and so smooth I hope one day to achieve even part of their skill. Are you in Oregon or Washington? I am sure one of these days we will meet up. I love the Pacific Northwest or perhaps we will meet up at a bead show.

    Hi Miri, thanks so much, this vase came to me when I found a white feather on our property and I sketched the design months ago. I burnished the pot, but there are so many indentations that only part of it is burnished, we shall see how it looks after it is fired. I may have to make it over again if the texture is too funky. I have another drawing for a similar shaped pot which I want to make too, but I don't have enough clay for it right now. But I want to get some more of this black clay before we leave the West Coast as it haven't been able to find anyone else who carries it further East. I wish I could because I don't want to put any more weight into my car.

  8. Hi Miri, perhaps I should embrace the uneveness and undulations of the feather vase. Sometimes pots don't come out like I envision, but that's ok it just takes me a while to get used to then.

  9. Linda your work is lovely... feathers are a something I hold dear...

  10. lovely white feather vase linda, is it an egret feather?

  11. Happy Christmas Linda and Gary.

    It is a lovely white feather vase, and the jar below it appeals to me too. Something really organic about the shape. I like the sound of cassius basaltic clay. Is some of it basalt I wonder??

  12. I love the feather vase and jar - very earthy yet elegant. Did you burnish them?

  13. Hi Gwen, thanks so much, I too love feathers. I have always picked up feathers when I saw them on the ground and considered it good luck when I found them.

    Hi Jim, thanks, yes I think it is an egret feather. When I found it at my home I wondered about it. We routinely had blue heron and an occasional egret fly overhead there. I have a bunch of feathers in my RV and hope I can make a few more feather vases. I have several hawk feathers and a wild turkey feather too. It isn't that easy trying to get them realistic with slip as I can't seem to get the lines thin enough. I could have did sgraffito, but I wanted the black clay to show when fired. I am out of the white clay now and Gary will have a fit if I get more clay right now. Ha.

    Hi Peter, thanks so much, yes I think the clay has basalt; I also think it has managanese in it, so not functional. although recently I read on the clay art forum that a scientist in Canada did research and stated manganese is only dangerous as fumes and not otherwise.

    Hi Sue, thanks, yes I burnished the feather vase, but it undulates and I didn't get the burnishing in the depressions, not sure how that is going to look, some spots shiny and some not, but in an uneven pattern. The pear shaped vase is still wet so I smoothed it, but the burnishing will have to wait till it dries a bit more. I am not sure how this clay will react to the burnishing. This clay can only be fired to cone 4 because it can bloat and I wonder if I burnish it if it will cause it to bloat more? I don't have enough experience using this clay and very few other potters do either so no one to ask. I love the black color of the fired clay though.

  14. My best wishes to you and your family for a very Happy Holiday season!


  15. Hi Kat, thanks so much, same to you I enjoy your poems and reflections.

  16. I thought of the jar as an eggplant jar, but pear or eggplant, it is a great shape and the lid is great, too.
    i used to sign as Barbara

  17. Hi Barbara, thanks so much. You are correct the piece looks more like an eggplant than a pear. Once you said that I started envisioning the tiny lid shaped like the rough attachment which comes on the eggplant, that would be so cool looking.


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