Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ferns and Clay Props

Binky is helping Gary look at the computer. Binky likes to 'crawl' up in Gary's lap for a few minutes just to get some attention. If you don't pay attention to him he'll give you some gentle love bites till you do. Ha.

Here's another tidbit from the studio. I save our toilet paper rolls and cut them up and use them for clay props. Above I'm using them to prop up the rim of one of the fern plates I made. I keep the paper rolls under the rim till it firms up a bit and then I remove them. I've also used foam and paint rollers as props. Paint rollers work well because they have some give and allow the clay to shrink.

One of my fern platters sold recently at The Garden Shed in Homosassa so I decided to make more fern plates and platters. I used slip resist on the platter with handles, the fern is the color of the clay and there is a satin clear glaze over the top. I love letting the natural color of the clay show in some of my work. There is something pleasing about the black slip and red clay together, very earthy looking.

This time I left more negative space on the plates, thinking the fern will stand out better that way. The ferns I'm using are native Florida ferns. I take a scissors or clippers and harvest the leaves without damaging the rest of the plant.  I only use part of any plant I harvest from the wild so there will always be more for the next season. This is part of the Mud Colony whats happening in the studio. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I really like that black platter. The ferns look great!

  2. Beautiful! Also, congrats on the sale. I have found that incorporating your natural surroundings into your work really appeals to customers

  3. Thanks for thinking about the environment. It's so important to your work to know how to share with the plants. The platter looks beautiful, It's a given that it would sell.

  4. Oh, I love the photo of Gary and Binky! Made me chuckle. The fern platter is beautiful! It is nice that you used a native fern, too.
    And harvesting the ferns that way does make them grow nicer. I have tons of ferns and the ones I trim are enormous. Now I am going to catch up on your other posts. Thank you for the great hints, too.

  5. Hi Robert, thanks so much.

    Hi Michele, thanks, still learning what folks like, different locations in the country seem to have different likes too.

    Hi Lori, thanks, I like to mention about only taking part of the plant in case other readers may not think of that especially with native plants which sometimes are rare or fragile. I've seen people along the roadside in my travels pulling plants up and sometimes that pulls the whole plant right out of the ground. I carry clippers or a scissors in my car and when I travel I can use them to harvest rather than pulling at a plant which may damage it, although a thumb nail works pretty well too. I know you know this but others may not, I figure it doesn't hurt for me to incorporate an educational tidbit about plants in my blog. Ha.

    Hi Charlene, thanks, Binky is a very funny cat, he was lost in the snow when he was young and nearly died and we miraculously got him back, he needs his encouragement and is about 12 years old now. I didn't realize that cutting ferns would make them grow. I don't dare walk into the woods for fear of snakes and ticks but alongside the road are a few I can get to easily. I am sure folks who don't work in clay wonder why I have toilet paper rolls lying about. Ha.


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