Tag Archives: hand built ceramics

A busy June

I’m not sure where the month of June has gone, we did have a week away, and I had commission work to catch up on when I returned, but looking back I think I have actually achieved an awful lot this month.

I made some dichroic jewellery for a customer so I made a few more pieces for my shop

dichroic glass pendants

Ceramic jewellery components, I have a lot more pieces waiting to be glazed.

ceramic earring components

I did a couple of saggar firings, and loved the results

saggar fired ceramic pots

And I got round to glazing some ikebana bowls that will eventually find their way into my shop.

The bowl in the centre is made from a heavily grogged clay that didn’t half exfoliate my hands. It’s a bit rough and ready but I do love the layered glazes . Pity I didn’t write them down but I will probably never use this clay again so it doesn’t matter too much. Glazes don’t come out the same colour on different clay bodies.
ikebana bowls

Remember the pot that I painted with underglazes? It finally got fired, without glaze, it’s more shiny than I wanted, and some colours are darker, and some lighter than I had hoped for. This was my first attempt with underglazes. I think it can be enhanced with some overglazes and it will make a nice pencil pot for my desk.P1430519Every time I go into the studio I want to throw pots, these are some made this week for raku work so watch this space.P1430521

I hand built a wonky sea/ beach inspired lamp, I do still love hand building. This is the grogged clay that I used for the bowl above, I’ve added all sorts of stuff to give texture. It’s very wonky, even the hole is off centre but that was what I wanted, I like the uniqueness of wonky pots. I don’t know how it will turn out but it’s just a bit of clay at the end of the day.

P1430522

My pots have grown in size, which feels like a major breakthrough, the cylinder is 15 cm tall, and the vases are more iteresting shapes. I can see I’ve improved, it’s only 3 months since I threw my first tiny pot.

pots
Ceramic BowlsHere’s my largest bowls to date, it’s 23cm in diameter, so all in all it’s been a very good month with progress being made, I can’t ask for more.

Bringing the countryside inside with my ceramic lamp base and coasters.

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.
hand built ceramic lamp base

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.

Unfortunately, the crack  opened up on firing, but actually I like it.
cracked lamp base

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.
P1160098
kiln fired art lamp base
cow parsley lamp
cow parsley coastersAnd here they are after firing.
cow parsley coasters

kiln fired art

cow parsly lampI 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.
hand built lamp

handmade lamp

fossil pebble coastersOh, just in case you are wondering why there are three coasters, that’s all the clay I had left, and I only need two.