Friday, March 1, 2013

Hollyhock Inspired

Here are some hollyhocks I grew at my lavender gardens in California. These are called purple whirlygig. Oh they were a sight to see on the hillside in the middle of my herb garden. I thought of these because Gary sold my hollyhock vase yesterday.

I made the vase in 2007 and reduction fired it in 2008. It's slab built with an applied hollyhock leaf sprig on either side of the vase and is 6 1/2 inches tall x 5 x 3 inches wide. I used black mountain clay and a celadon glaze. Nowadays I wouldn't use celadon on a dark clay but beginner's luck sometimes happily occurs. The lady who saw it said she just had to have it. It was thick and heavy but beautiful none the less.

Here's a hollyhock platter from the same time period. It's slab built with applied sprigs of hand formed hollyhock flowers and leaves and is 12 x 9 x 1/2 inches. It was made with Rod's mix clay and glazed with Jensen red and celadon glazes. It's one of the few high fired platters I made back then which didn't warp, but the glaze crawled a bit. The plate was meant to be hung on the wall with a plate hanger; it's another piece someone just had to have. Before I let Gary take any more of my pottery to the market I should take better photos. I may have to make more hollyhock inspired pieces. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. love the purple whirlygigs, I can see why they inspired you. Sometimes a pot just needs the right person to come along :^)

  2. what a pretty flower. i love your warm colors that you painted.

  3. Lovely works of art. How wonderful to start March with Hollyhocks on the mind visions!

  4. Hollyhocks are so pretty. You are much better at growing them than I am. Some customers have told me they actually prefer a heavy vase, it makes them feel more secure about it. And they aren't picking it up a lot of times like a mug.

  5. Congrats on the sale, I guess you owe Gary a commission ;-).
    You are so lucky to have such a green thumb, the hollyhocks are beautiful.

  6. Always impressed how you incorporate nature into your work.

  7. Hollyhocks are one of my most favorites of flowers. Seeing yours made me smile on this gray-misty morning. My daughter-in-law, in the Berkeley hills, grows beautiful ones (their house is above the fog.) I am down near the shoreline and with the fog, they don't as well. I make my vases a little heavy on the bottom, too. I can't abide lightweight vases. Nice platter, too!

  8. The vase was waiting for just the right admirer to come pays to keep art. Love Hollyhocks...reminds me of simpler days.

  9. The vase was waiting for just the right admirer to come pays to keep art. Love Hollyhocks...reminds me of simpler days.

  10. I love Hollyhocks, and the purple whirlygigs are spectacular. I like the hand formed flowers on the hollyhock platter.

  11. That is a truly beautiful hollyhock!
    It made a lovely vase as well.

  12. I'm a sucker for any variety of purple flower, & a great lover of purple roses. The hollyhock platter is my favorite. ~Mary

  13. wow, hollyhocks! like the celadon glaze--- hard to find good celadon glazes that are translucent! if you know of any recipes for some, I am always on the lookout...

  14. Ooooh, hollyhocks. Sadly they were among the things that our summer inferno turned into crispy critters this year. Next year.
    I love both your vase and the platter. Both beautiful - thank you.

  15. Hi Anna, thanks, I too love purple and these are so vibrant they hard not to love.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, flowers and paint seem to brighten things up a bit around here

    Hi Willow, thanks, I had almost forgotten February was a short month, yes a great welcome to March.

    Hi Lori, thanks, well if you put a lot of flowers in a vase they really need to be a bit heavier otherwise they are tippy.

    Hi Michele, thanks, yes a commission.

    Hi Patti, thanks, oh I do love nature so, so it is easy to utilize it as inspiration

    Hi Charlene, thanks, oh I do love hollyhocks too, they seem to grow and thrive on very poor soil; yes the weight needs to be near the bottom to keep them sturdy

    Hi Dee, thanks, yes just the right admirer is what it takes.

    Hi Peter, thanks, it doesn't hurt to look at old pots for new inspiration does it.

    Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks, I could have a whole yard full of hollyhocks if I had the time and money, Ha.

    Hi Mary, thanks, if you only saw the rose we had in Arkansas that thrived on little to nothing, it was the most lovely purple I've ever seen and fragrant too. I must look to see if I can remember the name.

    Hi Amy, thanks, that celadon is from high fire days and is an Aardvark Clay glaze, but it usually came out a bit gray unless I added in some copper carbonate or yellow ochre, then somehow it was more translucent and a nicer color.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, oh so sad about your hollyhocks, those I had to water where we lived as they were on south facing hill but we had gravity fed irrigation there so we were lucky.


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