Tuesday, November 1, 2011


You knew it wouldn't be long before I added some underglazes to the mugs, didn't you? Might have to round out the rim. This could have been an dessert cup if I'd left off the handle.

Now how did that turquoise smudge get near that red dot. Oh well, that's the hand made part of it.

Does anyone know the formula for making a cardboard template for a mug, so the bottom is tapered from the top? It's those curves I need to get right so the top and bottom are flat when I put the slab together. I need a compass, but I keep forgetting to pick one up.

After the mug I played around with some color and shape, and a little texture too. This little ditty is about 9 x 6 inches.It might need to be nailed to a board with some decorative tacks or nails after firing. I like the shape of this nail. Wonder if I should use a rubber mallet so I don't damage the head?

Art is My Compass
by Mandy Behrens

I need another project like I need, well you know. But check out this tutorial at Poppytalk by Mandy Behrens of Weathered Silo. Above is Mandy's original watercolor, pencil and ink, Art is My Compass. Natural watercolor wash, pencil and ink sounds like lots of fun, especially the wash using coffee, tea or wine? Just Spill the Wine, remember Eric Burdon and War?

Other natural colorants come to mind, like beets or onion skins. Fall is a good time to collect berries or leaves. There are so many plants which can be used as colorants or dyes for paper or fabric, see Pioneer Thinking for a list. Did you remember to say white rabbit this morning? Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hello Linda:
    We are always fascinated to see the way in which you continue to experiment with your work, always, or so it seems to us, resulting in most interesting and unusual items.

    Yes, a rubber hammer would, we feel, be a good idea for the 'nail' [if it is to remain in one piece!].

  2. Like Jane said, I am aways amazed how you keep experimenting. Some seem to settle into a signature piece that they keep repeating.

  3. Oh my..so fabulous..you are awesonme Linda!

  4. Hi Linda. Without a compass, can you roll a paper cone and scissor it? You might want to put a little convex curve on the top if you flatten it to cut. The bottom will be pretty close if you go straight across because it is so much smaller.
    Good Luck.

  5. i have the Lark Book, Handbuilt Tableware by Kathy Triplett... i haven't looked at in awhile but i think it talks about making templates. if not it has lots of other good tips in it.
    i have used a fettling knife to remove a splash of glaze that landed on pots before. i slightly scrape over it then rub the glaze over with my finger to smooth it out. i have never worked with underglazes so not sure that would work for you... but like you said, it is handmade!

  6. Yes on the underglazes! You have a great eye for color.

    When I make my templates I wrap paper around a form I like, mark the edges with a soft pencil, cut out the shape and transfer it to oaktag or something that weight and fool around with the shape until I get what I like. I suppose I could get all mathematical about it but I prefer a more flexible hands on approach. If you cut out several copies of your basic form you might be surprised at the shapes you will come up with.

  7. I remembered! Only took 6 months.

    To get a rough start you could cut the bottom put of a paper cup and slit the side and unroll it. Then you can scale and modify it from there.

  8. When I was making slab cups, I just got a cup from Starbucks, cut it open and used it for a template. If you want it larger just trace around it wider. I think the mug could be very cute without the handle.

  9. White wabbit, white wabbit! I forgot this morning, but hubby remembered. I think of you often, but especially on rabbit day, because you are the one who enlightened me about it.

    Glad to see your experiments with mugs. That is also a beautiful nail head!

  10. The mad scientist hard at work in her lab... :)

    I do remember Eric Burden. The Animals were among my favorite groups.

    P.S. Your last comment on my blog, I accidentally deleted. I'm so sorry. :( But, thank you for it!

  11. I really like the foot on that cup. Why not take advantage of the underglaze on the handle and make it look intentional by adding more? Using a cup with the shape you like is really the best template, and you get a free cup of coffee with every template purchase.

  12. (I'm not making fun...since online it is sometimes hard to tell)...I'm thinking mugs around the world :o.

  13. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, yes I am definitely one who experiments, Ha. I hope to find a nail like that, it is quite intriguing.

    Hi Patti, thanks, supposedly I should be settling on one area, but not yet. although I think my wall tiles are one area with the portraits which I will come back to and perhaps the cups of all different shapes and sizes can be another area. Ha.

    Hi Victoria, thanks ever so much.

    Hi Dennis, thanks, well why didn't I think of rolling up a paper cone and cutting that, I tried to draw a cone flat and cut it out and then kept cutting. Ha.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I will have to check out that book. Oh I have a fettling knife and I think I may touch up some of the underglaze I know I tried it with black and it was useless, but the other colors may work.

    Hi Smartcat, thanks, I tried wrapping the paper around a cup I like but the handle got in the way of my doing so; but I did cut several templates out; never heard of oaktag, will have to read up on it, I have heard of using roofing felt paper which supposedly holds up well.

    Hi Brian, thanks, only six months, Ha. The paper cup is a wonderful idea, now I will be going around and looking for them real soon, thanks so much.

    Hi Tracey, thanks, no starbucks here, but there is an independent coffee shop I'll be checking out real soon. I may make a few without the handles too, been thinking about that.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, oh one of these days you will remember. Ha. I do like that nail head, I must remember to look at the ones at the hardware store next time I go.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, yes quite mad; did you watch the video, he looked so young, no problem about the comment.

    Hi Lori, thanks, I do try out the ones I like, but when they are fired they always seem to be different dimensions than after they are fired.

    Hi Mary, thanks, no problem, because I appreciate your unique take on my work, yeah kind of mugs around the world.

  14. Hi Linda... oaktag is the same light weight cardboard used in cereal boxes, except it is usually a light tan sort of color. you can purchase it in sheets but, being the scrounge that i am, i often cut up cereal boxes instead! if it is for a template the fact that it is printed won't matter.


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