Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spring Firing

Last evening we had one of those rains which rains in one place and it's clear a short distance away, like the tropics. The cloud burst was right over our house. It cooled the hot and humid air wonderfully. Perhaps you recall I was inspired to make this river birch plate from a napkin sent by Gary's cousin's wife from Finland. I think this is the nicest plate I've ever made, my colored slips turned out so crisp under the clear glaze. I'm going to hold on to this plate till I can make more to form a set. The plate's made from little loafers stoneware and is about eight inches in diameter.

This turtle in the ferns plate was made when I was missing the turtles in Florida. Normally I don't like to see the brush strokes of the colored slip but on this plate I like the effect. The other day on his way to the dump Gary saw a huge snapping turtle crossing the road. He said everyone drove around the turtle giving him a wide berth. Too bad I wasn't with him to take a photo to show you. This plate's about eight inches in diameter.

This fern dish, about four inches in diameter, is made with the speckled brown stoneware clay. There are four of these; there's also a large plate to go with them which will be fired this week. For some reason I'm not liking it's earthy style. Perhaps a sharper contrast of black slip would be better. Gary's been telling me for several years, use color, make it bright and shiny. Did I listen? No! I think the river birch plate is an example of what he had in his mind. Why didn't I listen? I guess some things have to evolve on their own.

This small heavily textured dish is glazed with one of the Helen Art Center glazes and is about seven by five inches. I textured it with a bumpy gourd of all things.

Here's one of the cherry blossom bowls which is about ten inches across and perhaps six inches deep. Perhaps you remember I was inspired to make some cherry blossom pieces when a neighbor's beautiful cherry tree was in bloom.

My camera ran out of battery power right after this photo so I can't show you the rosey red glaze I used on the reverse of the bowl. I only had enough clear satin to use on the interior. I brushed the rosey red glaze on the edge and it ran down the inside a bit. This rosey red glaze breaks to a white. Even though you can barely see the slight cracks which I patched on the edge, the bowl has a nice ring to it when tapped. The satin clear I used over the cherry tree makes the interior appear as a water color painting; I am more than happy with the effect of the surface. I'll be making more cherry blossom themed pieces in the future.

This morning we've cooled the house down to 71 from 84 with the windows open. At first light I'll open the doors and turn on the fan and lower the temperature even more. A sweet smell is drifting in from the forest which surrounds us. With a couple of successes under my belt it's back to the studio to make more. We finally got the last cabinet in the studio and the counters on so stay tuned for photos after I get all the boxes unpacked and organized. Gary said he'll have to help me or I'll never get it done. We do have several other home projects pulling me in different directions so there's an excuse. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Beautiful work! As for the camera battery, perhaps you should buy a spare one so you can switch batteries when one dies.

  2. Hi Gigi, thanks, I just bought new batteries and had them freshly charged, this is Gary's camera and it may have a problem making the batteries discharge or something. I'll have to get more batteries so I'll have some spares as well.

  3. The turtle and the fern is a really beautiful plate. I've learned that underglazes like some clear glazes better than others.

  4. I think you love your new house! The cherry blossom bowl is excellent.

  5. So beautiful...the birch is rendered just right, and the cherry blossoms too! I go back and forth between speckled brownstone and little loafers clays...love them both for different things.

  6. Hi Lori, thanks, I think if the clear has zinc it will change or fade the color of the underglaze or stain.

    Hi Joanne, thanks, I am happy how that bowl turned out. Making the home our own is making us like it more.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, I am once again getting used to which clay to use with which design, sometimes hard to think it all through but getting there.

  7. Your cherry blossom bowl turned out beautifully and your plate is suburb.

  8. Hi Dee, thanks ever so much, I am happy indeed, clay is a lot of work and has a lot of disappointments but this time I was rewarded for my work.


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