Thursday, July 22, 2010

Geometric Shapes

This first pot is a pedestal vessel about 9.5 x 9 x 3.75 inches. The rectangular box sits on top of the enclosed pedestal. I poked holes in the sides of the pedestal to let air escape during firing. In my sketch for this piece I was going to place strips of clay all the way around, either horizontal or vertical. But I was running out of slip so I decided to attach two rectangles on the front and back instead. I'll have to make a few more of these pedestals with different geometric attachments.

Looking at the photos of my pieces after I make them, I find I can "see" them in a different way. I can envision this piece with grapes piled inside and drooping over the edges. I can also envision an ikebana arrangement in the pedestal. It might be nice to make a geometric floral frog to use inside this piece. Or I could see a nice stain or glaze on the pot and nothing in it.

Remember I unsuspectingly purchased cone 10 sculpture clay instead of cone 5/6? Turns out I really like working with this clay. It stiffens up and yet it remains pliable enough for me to attach my geometric sprigs. It also stays pliable enough to work the edges and smooth the seams. What more could I ask for?

Well I could ask for a good firing. I'll have to see how this clay does when it's fired and glazed. I've been thinking of my cone 10 glazes for these pieces and getting rather excited to use some tenmoku, ohata kaki, teadust, and celadon. I can see the benefit of making more than one of a piece. I could make ten the same, glaze each one with a different glaze, and each would be completely different.

The second pot is a tall and narrow vase, about 12 x 4.5 x 1.5 inches. Maybe the little ovals on the sides distract the eye. What do you think? Gary is my studio critique buddy. He's always saying simple is better, less is more. I thought I could glaze this one with tenmoku and put some blue glaze on the ovals and have it drip off of them. I remember a couple of years ago I made some tea bowls with that combination and I really liked how the blue ran down. Something to think about.

Here's a shot of the largest gopher tortoise in our yard. Last time I saw him I thought he had white markings or damage on his shell. I noticed today it's sand. When he leaves his tunnel the sand stays on top of his back. I didn't reduce the size of the photo so you can click on it and see all the detail. I got pretty close to him and he was frightened, eyeing me and tucking his head back inside, so I left. When he goes back into his tunnel, he tucks his feet in and slides right in, so intriguing to observe.

I made the ovals vase yesterday and then the pedestal vessel today. Now that I can compare the two pieces here in the photos on my blog, I like the simplicity of the first piece compared to the second. I really enjoy exploring geometric shapes with clay.

Gary said all my tall pieces lean a little. I used to worry about that, but now I've decided to go with it. That's the wabi sabi of my work. I also jokingly told Gary when someone tries to imitate my work, if the piece doesn't lean, it's a forgery. I gave myself a good belly laugh over that thought. I'll be incognito for a bit while I pack up my studio so the tile can be laid, the last room in the house. Try as I will, I can't put it off any longer. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. Hi Linda,

    Thanks for stopping by at my blog.
    It's so nice to be blogging again and getting feedback.
    I like that first geometrical pot very much!
    It's so funny, I have been caught with the 'building-bug' to now, hehe
    I'm al in to boxes at the moment.
    I'll post on that when I have a couple of them photographed...

    Good luck with the tiles!!

  2. I like the geometric shapes. Keep them coming!

  3. Hi Monique, thanks so much, that first one is the one my husband likes a lot too, I have quite a few boxes drying in the cabinet too, I love making them. I look forward to seeing your boxes, thanks for the encouragement and for visiting my blog; I will add yuor blog to my blog roll.

    HI May, thanks so much for your encouragement, it means a lot to me. I thought I had your blog on my blog roll, but somehow it isn't there, I will add it in.

  4. Yes- it would be great to see them in a variety of glazes.
    I like the ovals and don't find them distracting at all- I like what they add to the piece- there is nothing wrong with being a little off!
    It's a pots your turtle kind of day....

  5. oh- that would be post your turtle kind of day- damn pain pills and fat fingers....

  6. I sure like how you are branching out on your work! Your work is becoming much more sculptural which is GREAT ;o) You bring up an interesting point about comparing your initial drawings and the finished work -I'm going to take another look at my drawings. Good observations.

  7. You are very creative! The white bark sculpture is really striking.

  8. It´s hard to make geometrical forms and you had a great result. I´ll wait to see it glazed. ;-) I love the tortoise photo, too. Thanks for following my blog.

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  10. Thanks for your kind words Linda, makes me feel a bit better...hehe.
    The pics are posted at random, so they didn't come out of the same firing.
    and as to temperature...hmmmm.... had a lot of trouble at first with my old tiny kiln. I work with cones (that's how old the kiln is :-).
    What made you think these were fired higher? Maybe I can learn something from that!
    The green ashglaze is fired to aprox. 1150C, any higher and it starts to bubble.
    some other ones are fired at 1170C, that's how hot my kiln gets, then it turns itself of... :-(.
    Probably a thermo-thing. I hope to be able to afford an expert in the near future to come and look at it.

  11. Very interesting pieces, Linda. I like the wabi sabi in your work. I've got lots of it in mine, too! :)

  12. Hi Meredith, thanks, I appreciate your thoughts, I've got to get busy and start firing all these and once the guys get done tiling I plan on launching into full speed ahead, course the best laid plans, maybe turtle speed ahead.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, I am enjoying the sculptural aspects a lot. As I look at them there seems more for the eye to explore and the mind to imagine. I really need to go back over my drawings too since a lot of pieces evolve and then I never go back and make the original drawing, so many ideas and so little time.

    Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks so much and nice to see you here.

  13. Hi Acacia, thanks, sometimes it is even harder to decide on what glaze to use for these type of pieces. I apprciate your comments and welcome to my blog. I got a chance to read your previous posts and there is much for me to learn from your work with clay. So glad to know you via the blog.

    hi 錢靜怡錢靜怡錢靜怡, thanks, that is so true, never too late.

    Hi Nu Kua, thanks, I thought those were fired lower and that they needed to go a bit higher due to the look of the glazes, thinking just a bit more heat would have matured them more, perhaps not all of them, I would have to go back and look. My previous little kiln is fired with cones and years ago with cones in the gas kiln, this new one is programed, but I will still use cones to see the exact temperature the work is fired. I am so happy to have met you through the blogs.

    Hi Patricia, thanks so much, I really like the abstract. I see my clay work as transitioning over to this more and more. I used to have a completely different decor in my home and I now like a more modern style, so perhaps that's happening with clay too. Sometimes I try like heck to get something perfectly vertical and then when I take the photo I see it leans every so slightly, what can I do, just go with it.


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