Seed pods and seed heads have been a constant source of inspiration to me over the years so I was happy to see they were Art Elements theme challenge this month. I have used them in my porcelain painting over the years, here’s some lustre painted pieces that I did earlier.
This vase has penwork with china paint, and sgraffito white velvet ( which is matt) with shiny mother of pearl lustre over.However as this is a challenge I need to explore new ground, I chose clay as my medium.
I have wanted to make some poppy seedheads for a garden sculpture for some time now.
If you know my clay work you will know I like to make succulent planters and ikebana bowls, I have been thinking of making flower bricks too, which got me thinking of using a seed pod as the starting point for making a ‘flower holder’, these would be fantasy pods but loosely based on the poppy and lotus seedheads.
I thought I would throw the bowl part then alter the shapes and add the cutwork top which supports the flowers.
I forgot to take photos while I was working , I was so absorbed, here they are sitting drying.
I made this little vase which is maybe more like a pitcher plant than a pod but I was going with the flow, right😊
As the weather was really hot I sat in the garden and made some pinched poppy heads, I have to say they are a bit thick, pinching isn’t my thing.
So they were left to dry while I went on a trip to Stratford, and then I started a screen printing course. I used an honesty pod as one of my themes, I love these pods, my Gran used to grow them. I think I will have to order myself some seeds.
I was concerned that my pots wouldn’t survive bisque firing but they did , but I forgot to photograph them before I glazed, I couldn’t fit them all in the kiln unfortunately.
My pots are hot out of the kiln, just in time for the reveal. I have to say I am a bit disappointed with how the glazes turned out, I feel I always have problems with glazing, which is so disappointing having put so much time into making.
Here are the seed pod flower bowls, they all had the same glaze on the same clay and were fired together. I use brush on glazes so I watered some down to glaze the insides and the glaze has crawled. The brownish one had some dry brushing over the first glaze. Why is it when glazes go wrong they go brown and not some wonderful colour.
I used a glaze I don’t really like called Travertine on the poppy seedheads ( so it’s my own fault ) but I brushed over another creamish buff glaze which I hoped would give amazing results…..wrong!
My intention was to put these on some metal rods but maybe I will just leave them here hiding amongst the foliage.
Also I put some tiles in the kiln to take to Potfest this weekend, not sure they are good enough though so maybe I will have a look at what’s there first (it is for all levels though).
If I had another couple of days I would show you how I might try and fix some of these mistakes, would another glazing and firing fix crawling?
I have thought about firing some glass frit in the bottom, I was thinking of this before they were glazed so maybe I should just do it.
As for the poppy seedheads, I probably could fix those with some cina paint!
Oh well better luck next time 🙂 If only glazes came out like the catalogue pictures.
Here’s a list of all the participating artist this month, enjoy!
Art Elements Team: