Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Towers in the Garden

This is my favorite tower from this firing. It has a slightly feminine shape and I thought of the phrase, 'she's in balance' when I took it out of the kiln. There are four rings balanced at the top and amazingly I got them to hold during both firings. This tower is 14 inches tall by 3 1/4 inches wide at the base and top.

This tower has three suspended looped spirals across the top. When green I supported them with cardboard till they firmed up enough, then I had to gingerly extract the cardboard without loosening the edges, miraculously it worked and they held. I purposefully alternated every other seam in the front and back. I'd like to work with this effect a little more in future towers. This tower is 10 inches tall by 3 1/2 inches wide. It's slightly wider at the top and the middle goes in a little. I like to vary the shapes as I go up to see what I can come up with.

Perhaps you recall this tower I called the pencil tower. This tower also looks like a rocket to me. It's approximately 18 inches tall by 3 1/4 inches wide at the base and tapers to 2 1/2 inches at the top. The pencil head is removable. I was disappointed with the pencil head because I had brushed it with red iron oxide but the clear glaze all but obliterated the color. I'm trying to think of an embellishment to remedy that. I thought of gold luster but that doesn't seem to go with the piece. I may use some acrylic stripes following the carved pattern embedded in the surface. One thing I want to improve is making the pencil stopper longer to make it more secure on the top of the tower. The pencil head has a small  hole at the top for me to add a flag or a knob; I haven't decided what that will be as yet.

This tower is glazed olive on the interior and multiple underglaze colors on the exterior with a satin clear over the top. It has a few random windows going around the top third. This tower is just shy of 15 inches tall and 2 1/2 inches wide. The base of this tower isn't wide enough and it's a bit wonky. When I'm building these I use soft clay; as I go higher the strips (especially the thinner strips) tend to compress and I allow the clay to take the shape it wants. That in turn puts down pressure on the bottom and sometimes compresses more than I want. I'll correct this by making wider and thicker bases and I'll keep a better eye on compression from the weight of the top.

I keep my bisque fired work either in the kiln or covered till I wipe them down and glaze them. I do not immerse them in water. When I was glazing the interior of this one I peered inside to check the coverage and a scorpion was running through the glaze and up towards my eye. I had quite a shock. He must have entered through one of the windows. I tried to get him out but he scurried down through the glaze so he's now embedded somewhere near the bottom forever.

Here's another tower basket with windows cut out all the way up the piece. Each window gets progressively larger the closer it gets to the top. This piece is 16 inches tall and 3 inches wide. I was disappointed with the glaze which I thought would be shiny instead of matt. Also certain sections slightly resisted the glaze.

Here's the same piece near the pool. This tower basket would be great photographed at the beach, perhaps with a grouping of three in different sizes. Isaac was thankfully rather mild for us, hope others further to the north fare as well. Stay tuned for a couple of woven baskets and other project prototypes. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I glad Isaac didn't do any harm. I really like the brown tower with the three spirals on top. Very nice!

  2. Did you feel Isaac at all?
    I think the first tower is just about perfect.....and perfect in it's setting!

  3. So thrilled to see the finished towers. They are diverse and beautiful.

  4. A connoisseur of towers. The light blue refreshes me & the pencil tower reminds me we will be giving out much-needed school supplies at the food pantry tomorrow. ~Mary

  5. the tower in photo #2 is my favorite of all of this series so far... it looks great outside and would make a nice garden sculpture.

  6. Glad you're safe re: the hurricane. Am thinking about all those getting lots of rain.... tall towers! you have such patience with all that. Can't imagine all that it takes to build those. I really like the tower of the one that is white (that you wanted red, I think).

  7. Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks so much, we are lucky this time.

    Hi Suzi, thanks, just some light wind and rain, not bad at all, thankfully, my favorite one too.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I am having fun with this series, several sub series can be developed I am finding.

    Hi Mary, thanks so much, the pastel colors are somehow uplifting and the solids calming and the pencil tower, well just plain fun I think. Perhaps that's why I made a pencil tower thinking of children going back to school.

    Hi Michele, thanks so much, these are kind of dwarfed on the ground, if only I could go really huge, don't let me go there, Ha. Perhaps PVC or concrete, I could see these same shapes made in other materials. or they could be set inside a wood or rock niche. Never ending for me. Ha.

    Hi Amy, thanks, the pencil tower is cool because it's so tall, I may get used to the white top we shall see, better than ruining it with some color that doesn't look good I guess.

  8. These towers all look amazing in their garden setting. I like every one for different reasons, but the pencil one has really captured me. You are doing such good work Linda!

  9. Those towers suits the garden. Its like they are made to be in that place. Its brilliant towers.
    compare electricity company prices

  10. Wow, your stuff is really inspiring. Thanks for posting :)


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