Friday, March 26, 2010

Imagine a Treasure Chest

Patience is wearing thin in the RV. Gary was talking on the phone and asking me questions while I was trying to put this box together and I pressed too hard. The top caved in, the sides came apart, and the straps started to separate. So I worked like a mad woman for over an hour trying to salvage the box. Then I tried to smooth the rough edges and they got even rougher; but I persisted. Now the trunk is a rustic and worn treasure chest instead of a nice looking wooden trunk with leather straps.

I was inspired by the cover of this magazine to make a trunk shaped box. The trunk shape stayed in my mind, but not the details of the trunk. At one point I even wondered if I could make a hinge to the lid so it would open like a trunk. Have you ever made a hinge in your ceramic work? If so I would love to hear about it. I remember seeing a ceramic piece that Lana Wilson made with a hinge.

Be sure to click on the link on the right side of Lana's website to hear an interview with her. Lana talks about not paying too much attention to your teachers, but doing what you like to do. She also said it's important to remain excited to work in the studio. I can't remember a day I didn't want to work with clay; I love it. I think I could make a hundred different treasure chests out of clay and not be bored - different shapes, colors, textures, hinges, surfaces, glazes, firing techniques, clays, and on and on.

Can you imagine a treasure chest just pulled from the depths of the sea. The chest having fallen from a ship wreck of long ago, worse for wear, but still intact. The chest is filled with jewels and Spanish doubloons gathered by pirates who sailed in ancient seas. I'm sure your mind can embellish the chest much better than I can describe. The trunk looks rough and simple now, but I envision a mixed media piece developing from this treasure chest. And to think I came ever so close to giving up; close to crushing this piece. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. Potter Julie Olsen uses hinges on her boxes here is a link
    I like to use all the marks that are made in the process to highlight the fact that the piece is handmade. In Raku they seem like a perfect fit. Nice job on the box!

  2. Hi Tracey, thanks for the link I will check it out. In the past I was so concerned with covering all my maker's marks and seams, but I might try making some pieces and showing the seams and marks to see how I like them, things worn by weather or the ages, thanks so much.


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