I decided to make some ceramic pieces for my new bedroom, I wanted to bring the countryside inside. I love cow parsley, even before it was everywhere in the craft world I was painting it. I picked some on a walk up the lane and now it’s nice and dry ready to use.
I have a thing about pressing plant material into clay, or fusing it in glass, preserving it for ever, like making a fossil. So I thought why not make pebble shaped coasters for the bedside cupboards. Then I thought why not make a lamp too, a straight tube shaped lamp base couldn’t be too difficult, could it?
A lot of cursing later I had a wonky hand built lamp. Bone china isn’t the easiest clay for a beginner, and I started making mid afternoon and I was working with wet clay, so I was up working late into the night. I was impatient and I almost lost the piece a couple of times. Note to self don’t pick it up until it’s leather hard.
The pieces were left to dry for quite some time, and I kept turning the lamp and covered it with plastic but still it cracked on a stem, so I made a repair and hoped for the best.
So you are now wondering why I like my cracked lamp base.
Well I like the idea of beauty in imperfections and I was quite taken by something I found on the internet the other day, where the Japanese artisan potter would mend pots or fill cracks with gold giving the ceramic piece more beauty than it would have if it was perfect. This technique is called Kintsugi.
I could do this to my piece using raised paste or I relief if I wish, but more about the technique in another post, first I had to glaze my ware.
I was going to just use a translucent coloured glaze but the character of the piece was telling me to use stains applied in a wet painterly way at the bottom, fired, then I applied some clear glaze and fired.
And here they are after firing.
I do like these pieces as they are but the colour isn’t right for my bedroom, I had used a little bit of green stain with some grey stain but they are just too green, so out came the china paints, that’s another post along with my Kintsugi technique, but here are my finished pieces, I love them and they are perfect for my bedroom.