Monday, April 9, 2012

Black is Beautiful

Squeezed Bottle
8.75 x 3.5 x 3.25 inches

This is a great bottle to grasp, my favorite of this firing
you can see a few mica and white sand specks on surface
some day I'd like to incorporate more mica into this clay
 and make a similar piece

Slip Decorated Bowl
3 x 14 x 13 inches

most of green slip turned brown in interior of bowl

Tall Flower Brick
11.5 x 5 x 3 inches
(I applied slip hoping for a worn and aged look; I love the form)

Tall Leaf Bottle
14 x 3.25 x 2.5
(green slip stayed green on this one,
shape didn't curve till after final firing, clay has a memory)

slip detail

Tiki Lidded Jar
10 x 5.25 x 4 inches
(lid won't come off, hesitant to try and break it free?)

7 x 9 x 3/25 inches
(Florida clay slip deco, enclosed form with escape holes,
and it didn't crack?
this stands on it's own but will rock, 
I'm thinking of another media to hold it firm,
 perhaps bamboo stacked slatted plinth)

Buttons and Squares Vase
12 x 3.5 inches

Pencil or Brush Holder
5.5 x 2.5 inches
(made this in my motor home while traveling
wanted to see if I could get open form to stay together after final firing,
it worked!)

Offering Jar
11 x 6.5 x 3 inches
(cracks developed in top and bottom at bisque due to enclosed form?
I put in holes at top and sides but maybe not big enough
perhaps I can make offering jars with stoppers
instead of attaching them
slip is made from hand dug Florida clay, I love the color contrast
I fired it so I can use it to test sealant)

Bathed in Sunlight
13 x 5.5 x 3.5
(wire and bead head dress fired perfect, 
crack at top and bottom seams, due to enclosed form?
another piece I can test the sealant)

The pencil holder best shows the ebony blackness of this cassius basaltic clay after final firing. Cone 3 and 4 were flat; I fired on a slow 12 hour schedule. I need to make more bottle shapes, I'm liking that form. I won't have time to apply sealant on these till next week. Of course I'd like to order more of this clay, but it comes from the West Coast, can't imagine what the shipping would be. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Stone Mountain clay company makes a couple of low fire (up to cone 5) black clays, they might cost less to ship to FL.
    I love the tikki.

  2. Stone Mountain clay company makes a couple of low fire (up to cone 5) black clays, they might cost less to ship to FL.
    I love the tikki.

  3. Spectacular! I love so many of the pieces but I think my favourite is the tiki lidded jar.

  4. the lidded Tiki Jar is so cool! I also like the pattern on the first bowl... it's really interesting, reminds me of the southwest.

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  6. Very striking work! I especially like the brush/pencil almost looks like a group of figures linking arms.

  7. I like the contrast of the green leaves!
    here they make a bottle that has the squeezed in thing and place a cup on top- they use to place them in bedrooms filled with water so you could get a drink of water in the middle of the night.

  8. Really interesting clay. Has a bit of smoke fired look to it.

  9. Hi Lori, thanks, I heard they made a dark clay, I think Judi is using some, but none is as black as this fires I don't think. Oh and it does stay pliable a long time to work it.

    Hi Elaine, thanks, yeah I made another tiki but the seam blew out. I'll have to make more.

    Hi Michele, thanks, that bowl is a lace pattern that I individually slipped with dots of slip but the green kind of blended, took me forever. Ha.

    Hi Mark, thanks, sometimes I like to try things just to see if I can succeed and that's what the pencil or brush holder was. I should make more.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, too bad that bottle has a big curve in it, oh well, you know how I say if it doesn't lean it wasn't made by me. Ha. A bottle with a cup on top, what a good idea.

    Hi Melissa, thanks, except this clay is so smooth and evenly black.

  10. these are all very interesting pieces. I haven't heard of any black clays here in Oz - only clays that have been purposely coloured for individual use. Did you get the lid off? Best way I have found is to hold the lid and firmly (not too hard) tap the base in a downward stroke with a thick wooden dowel or rolling pin.

  11. Hi Anna, thanks, I do love this black clay strictly because of the matt ebony surface it has. I haven't tried the lid, I hate to break it and since it is unglazed and high manganese content it isn't functional anyway. I may just leave it as is. It fit pretty tight when I made it.

  12. Hi Linda
    I love your tall flower brick. How did you make it? I love the surface design as well!

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  14. Hi Connie, thanks, the vase is slab constructed, then I cut out the top pieces from another slab and inserted them into the top and attached them. I am amazed the attachments stayed put. For the surface I dabbed a sponge into stained slip and then dabbed slip off so sponge was almost dry, then applied flowers.


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