Saturday, November 10, 2012

Handle the Handle

Yesterday afternoon I made this basket, strip stacked, slipped and stained. I hope it stays this burnt red color after firing. The color reminds me of mahogany wood. With the basket being this color I imagine it being made from thin strips of wood. After I decided to put a handle on the basket, I realized I'd have to figure out how to handle the handle. It was touch and go inserting the handle through the holes in the side and then holding up the handle till it firmed up enough.

I used some foam and crumpled newspaper to keep it from sagging. That's my cat Betty in the background on my studio table looking out the window. Thankfully she didn't interfere with my making process. Then I had to move the basket from the studio to the drying cabinet, another precarious feat. But somehow I carried it without the handle breaking or the foam and newspaper props falling out. Sometimes I amaze myself.

After it firmed up for half a day I moved it back to the studio and carefully applied the red clay slip and the stains. The red clay slip I've made from some Navajo red clay I got on the West Coast. It's really smooth without much grog at all. Now for more drying, then a bisque firing, and then a glaze firing. Lots of steps before it's finished, and there's that fragile handle to contend with. Sometimes nerves of steel are needed working with clay. Hope you are having a great weekend. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. I love that. You are sooooo clever.

  2. I love this piece Linda - wonderful handle! You sure are brave to have your cat o your worktable!

  3. Good job with transporting the pot around...and it's a really nice faux mahogany color. Let us see it after it's glazed! Good luck!

  4. You are a braver woman than I, Linda! Good job transporting such a tall piece here and there. I sometimes use IMCO Navajo Wheel. It is, as you say, smooth and makes a nice slip. It also burnishes nice and shiny. Best wishes for a good firing!

  5. Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, I just grab whatever I can find to help hold up the works. Ha.

    Hi Gayle, thanks, I was hoping my cat didn't decide to run by the work, thankfully she was busy looking at the birds outside. Ha.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I hope it looks this good after firing, we shall see.

    Hi Charlene, thanks, I love that Navajo Wheel clay, hope I don't run out of it. I have never tried burnishing, one of these days.


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