Friday, May 25, 2012

Banty Rooster

When I was about eight or nine one of my Aunts called me 'her little banty rooster'. Now what could she have meant by that? I prefer to think she meant I was persistent, but she probably meant I was a little fiery. Of course if Gary reads this he'll say 'a little fiery?' Ha. Anyway being persistent has paid off; I finally got one basket to hold up. This one is about 6 inches high and 8 inches side not including the handle. The handles are braided. The top of the form needs refinement but at least I have one to fire to see how it does. It sits up on a skid type feet so I can glaze the whole piece.

Dutch Bantam Roosters, photo from Wikipedia

When we lived in Arkansas I had an antique booth in an large warehouse antique type store in Little Rock. I gathered things I thought would sell to make a little extra money. One of the items I put in there was a vintage chicken feeder similar to this one shown which sold on etsy. When Gary saw I was putting my faded vintage feeder in my antique booth he said 'that old thing will never sell'. A short time later I got a call from the folks running the antique store and the feeder was the first thing that sold out of my booth. When Gary came home that day I said chicken feeder, chicken feeder, chicken feeder and told him it sold. He just shook his head.  

Right after I was successful with this basket I thought I'd try another one. I left it on the form too long and when I pulled the form out, it pulled some of it apart. I'm not sure how much time I can spend making these only to have them fall apart on me. Years ago I made woven serving trays and trivets and those did fine. I think a bowl would be easier to make as well. Since the baskets walls are straight up and down it's easier for the clay to slip down or break apart when I take them out of the form. I'll be thinking about how to increase my success rate. In the meantime I'll go back to a few forms I know I'll be successful with. Thanks for all your encouragement and comments.


  1. Hello Linda:
    The 'basket' format really is very attractive but we can well appreciate the difficulty of ensuring that the clay strips remain in place. And in the days when we kept chicken, then we should have loved the vintage feeder!

  2. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, aren't those chicken feeders great, with the advertising on the. I can't remember what mine said, but it was faded and obviously had been used for chickens, these baskets have me really frustrated, practice makes perfect, well as close as I can get anyway. Ha.

  3. I love baskets, both thrown and hand built. I have been using a thin layer of sponge (the type that comes in cone boxes) between the form and the clay, with a layer of tissue paper over the sponge. That way the clay can stay in the form a bit longer. I think you could use thin layers of fiberfill, anything that will provide a little give as the clay shrinks.

    I will not even begin to talk about how much work I lost, until a friend who built 'tombstones' using this method clued me in.

    Or how about a form made of high density memory foam?
    You could get a mattress pad and cut it up to make your forms....expensive outlay, but they would last!

    Keep on trying.

  4. success! looks great. reminds me of a handmade basket that i have, very similar shape.
    i like the black-eyed susans in the chicken feeder, it would look great on my porch :-)

  5. Oooh that basket!!! Can't wait to see it finished. It's just wonderful...

  6. Hi Linda - Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your lovely compliments on my craftwork.

    I am loving your blog and and your basket. I had a big smile on my face when I read your anecdote about the chicken feeder. Sometimes you just sense and 'know' that something is going to work out, or, as a crafter and artist, that something is going to appeal to others in the same way it appealed to you when you created it.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your stuff. Have a lovely weekend - June

  7. Your persistance has paid off, I can't wait to see it completed. Basket weaving with clay has to be so difficult and time consuming, I understand wanting to move onto other things now that you've had this success. Some of it is learning curve but some of it is just the virtual impossibility of the task. Well done, you're a super woman.

  8. Those Dutch banty roosters are too beautiful to be believed. Whenever I go to the State Fair, the poultry building is one place I always check out. I haven't been for many years even though it's only five miles from where I live!

  9. Congratulations! You did it.


  10. Persistence in the face of failure always makes that success the sweetest ever! Congratulations on the lovely finished basket, and I'm sure you will figure out how to get consistent results.

  11. Love your successful basket. I'd go with persistent. You do get like a bull dog (oops, another animal reference)at tackling a problem.

  12. Hi Suzi, thanks so much for all the tips. I have been using foam, but it's hard to cut and get it even. I'll see what I can come up with. I may try a wood block covered with foam. Clay takes so much equipment and it all adds up that's for sure.

    Hi Michele, thanks, there is no way to tell when the basket is try enough to stand up on it's own. Maybe I'll time the next one to see. Aren't those chicken feeders cool.

    Hi Turquoisemoon, thanks, I can't wait to see if it makes it in the first firing. Ha.

    Hi Lori, thanks, I have more ideas in my head of other forms, once I can perfect these I can move on to those. never satisfied with the current form always wanting to go further. Ha.

    Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks aren't those banties amazing looking they don't look real do they? Chickens are fun to look at that's for sure, their feathers are so beautiful. Perhaps I have inspired you to go see the chickens again.

    Hi Elna, thanks, all is not over yet still trial by fire, keep your fingers crossed.

    Hi Julia, thanks, I hope I can find a way to make them all come out I hate making them only to have them break apart.

    Hi Patti, thanks, yes that's me like a pit bull, Ha.

  13. Hi June, thanks, yes sometimes you just know about certain things, and then again sometimes I get it all wrong too. Ha.


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