Be An Optimist

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Crow’s Seasonal Dress

Hand-built ceramic slab with handcarved surface detail.  Commercial glazes on the inside and outside, iron oxide wash, fired to Cone 6.
Hand-built ceramic slab with handcarved surface detail. Commercial glazes on the inside and outside, iron oxide wash, fired to Cone 6.
Handcarved surface detail ensures a firm and comfortable grip for daily use
Handcarved surface detail ensures a firm and comfortable grip for daily use

Sometimes a black dress just won’t do.  A little brown and a little blue and crow’s ready for a ball.  Or a wedding party in Spring, maybe?

Standing at 4.5 inches tall, in food-safe glaze, oven safe and microwave safe, overall, a great (and safe) bird to have at the table.

Duck, Duck, Goose

I agree, the title for this post needs reworking, but it’s the newest game Sammy picked up at preschool and he has been walking around saying “Duck, Duck, Goose”.  In any case, this waterfowl pitcher is a different form I am experimenting with.  It has a more elongated base and a wider mouth.  The effect, to me, is a bird on the water.  The combination of form, texture and glaze recalls the style from a couple of decades earlier.  Don’t you think?

Waterfowl
Hand-built ceramic slab with handcarved surface detail. Commercial glazes of contrasting colors on the inside and outside, iron oxide wash, fired to Cone 6.

 

 

Mr Jay Next Door

The idea for this little guy came from the beautiful midnight blue family of jays that lived in the tree next door all summer long.  I miss them.  The photo does not do enough justice to the actual glaze, which is a deep, dusky charcoal with undercurrents of blue.

Mr. Jay
Hand-built slab with hand carved textured details. Commercial glaze fired to Cone 6.
Mr. Jay (Top)

Red Jacket For Winter

Off to the season’s best parties
Hand-built slab pitcher with carved details. Commercial glaze, iron oxide wash, fired to Cone 6.

Like birdsong in winter, I’ve been too busy sheltering from the cold to throttle about much, but oh, I’ve been busy in the studio making pitchers, and ceramic jewelry (a post on that coming later this week – I have a case made for a Wearble Art show at the Orcas Center, opening this Sat, Dec 1).  My newest bird friends will attest to that.  Enjoy the next couple of posts.  These birds are all very versatile 5-inch tall pitchers that fit snugly in the hand for pouring.  Use for milk, olive and nut oils, dressings on your table, or for bath salts, soap or shampoo holders.  Food safe glazes and textured wings provide a firm grip.

Red Jacket back detail

Palm trunk vessels

The idea was to create a set of vases to set off large fronds of palms, no flowers required.  This is a test set of flattened coil vessels inspired by the trunks of the palm trees you see everywhere in Singapore.  The rings in the trunks are repetitive in such a modern way, and yet so tactile; I always want to reach out and feel its roughness on my palm (no pun intended).  The two on the left are made with white and toasted clay and a single colour glaze – the two toned effect is the result of the glaze on two types of clay.

The vessel on the right features a long oval base that demanded a little more hand control to maintain the shape as I built up, but the result was that the body fits snugly in my hand when I held it, giving it a lot of potential as a drink holder of some sort.

Coiling and toiling

Coiling is an handbuilding technique that has been used for centuries to build very strong, hardy functional ware. Here I was playing with flattened coils.  Basically, I rolled the clay into long ropes and flattened each rope into a ribbon of clay with a rolling pin.  I had to be consistent in rolling out the width of each strip so that whenever I joined the coils to build the shape I wanted, I could seamlessly blend the joints.  The effect I wanted was to make the vase look like it was coiled from one looong flat ribbon of clay.  Do you see the little lip near the neck of the vase?  I designed that so that this piece can also be used as a carafe.