Happy New Year! Welcome to the first blog of 2012, a year of new opportunities and fresh ideas.
I had some special orders come to me in late November and early December so I was working quite a lot as the holidays approached. It was so humid that my drying time was extended by 2 weeks, so about 4 weeks in total. I like to dry things slowly to avoid cracking handles and such and I do so under several layers of thin plastic – the kind that comes from the dry cleaners. At one point I thought I would have to force dry the pots in the kiln. With this extended drying period I started to worry about my customers getting their pieces in time for Dec. 25, but that wasn’t an issue for anyone. I felt very lucky.
At first it was as naked as a new born baby…
Katheryne asked for a fat jar with a wide opening and she asked for it to be decorated with my wax resist spiral design. After painting the wax design on it and glazing it, this is how it came out of the firing.
She liked her jar very much. Fran really appreciated that I could also deliver her little creamer to match the sugar bowl and teapot she’d purchased from me for her son, then she asked about a certain colour of glaze that might match her decor. We had a lovely visit. I dropped by Oksana’s office afterwards and she was very pleased to get her tea mugs in time for Ukrainian Christmas. It was a happy delivery day! I took care of some business too. I bought a brand new dust mask – a very important piece of equipment.
A few leaf plates that didn’t make it into the summer and fall firings came out of the last firing. I still have to fire a few more small square platters with handles and feet in the same leafy style. I’m hoping they will be done by the beginning of March. I’ve started a new cycle of work that began yesterday with the making some more textured mugs and smaller textured drinking vessels. I’d taken some photos of the mug making process a while back but I’ll save that for another blog.
I can only make these plates in the summer months. I use leaves from trees and bushes native to this area, press them into the clay, then place the clay slab into a mold. When the clay is soft leather hard, I bevel the edges and then apply a foot ring or 4 feet and sometimes handles. The piece is then bisque fired and glazed. Once the glaze is dried, the surface of the glazed plate is wiped back to show the textures of the leaves.
These Leaf Plates are food safe and can be used for food service or if one prefers, as a centerpiece for a small table or on a mantle or bookshelf on a plate holder. They are about 8″ or 9″ square…ish.
I’d made and sold several round ones and this one made it into the last firing.
In case you’re wondering, this is what the glaze on the underside looks like.
I have a lot of flat things to make and fire in the near future and to compensate I must make tall things so I have a nice balanced load to fire in the kiln. I’m running low on teapots and mugs and I’ve been asked to make large jars so must get to that too.
It takes pieces of all shapes and sizes to get a nice balanced kiln load of fired ware. I regularly make small stuff to fit in those tiny spaces. I’ve blogged about these tiny cups I’ve called Squishys. Squishys are great for port, scotch and other whiskey, liqueurs or even wine if you desire a small amount.
Thanks for dropping by to see what I’ve been doing in the studio. Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!