Thursday, November 1, 2012

Earthen Art

I've taken a couple of ceramics classes with my daughter over the past couple years and had so much fun that I'm taking it again this semester. This time, my husband is taking it with me. The class seems to have a different feel or vibe each time. I think it all has to do with the people in the class and how many there are. It's very crowded this time and it's been a little challenging to get into it, get creative, and have fun with so much noise and activity in the classroom. But, we're hanging in there. It's getting more fun as the semester goes on. There seems to be a few less people. I'm not sure if they've dropped  the class or if some of them just don't show up every time. And, some of our projects are coming out of their final firing. That's always so exciting!  After the initial creation, the first firing, the creativity with glazes, and then the final firing, it's fun to see how it all turns out.

The teacher comes up with different projects/assignments each time. This semester, one of the first projects she gave us was to make a pitcher, teapot or vase where we started with a flat, rolled out base and then took rolled out pieces of clay, pressed things into them to make texture, and assembled the pieces into our chosen vessel. I used an oval for my base and leaves, twigs, tree trunks and a pine cone to create texture. I wasn't very excited about the project to begin with. But, as my teapot started to take shape, I started to really enjoy it. Here's the finished teapot...


I'm not crazy about the spout.  A rounded, gracefully curved spout would have looked much better.  But, at the time, I couldn't figure out how to do that.  Here's the other side...


I created a handle that looks like a branch...


After I had all the textural pieces assembled, I embellished it with some little critters.  Here's a moth...


A ladybug...


Some of the leaves are pressed from natural leaves, like the one on the right.  I created a few others by pressing/drawing them into the clay with a needle tool, like the one on the left.


Here are a few more of the natural textures...


Here's a little worm...


And, a garter snake crawling up the spout...


There's a lizard on one side.  Unfortunately, part of his tail broke off before the first firing.
So, it's a little stubby.  But, that happens to real lizards.  This one just won't be able to grow it back.
It would have made it through if I'd attached it a little better.  It seems to have pulled away a little more when it was fired.  Lesson learned.  


The lid is a leaf with a handle that looks like a little stump of wood...


I used "Woo Blue" glaze.  I rubbed a lot of it off on the leaves and other areas that I wanted to highlight.  Those are the brown areas.  It's blue where I left the glaze thicker.
I love how it turned out.  It's like a piece of art.

My husband used some natural elements to create texture as well as some man made items.
I'm not completely sure what all he used but I love it.
He finished it off with a vine-like edge and handle.


I love how it turned out and I think he's pretty happy with it too.
We think it's very usable too.  Hmmmm?....Maybe some sangria!


One of my goals this semester is to improve my throwing skills and get better at making bowls.
In the process, I've been watching lots of videos on YouTube where I've found some fun ideas.
One of the videos I watched showed how to embellish the edge of bowls and create different shapes.  It's amazingly simple and so much fun.  Here's one of my first attempts...


I'm trying to get a little creative with my use of glazes.  I used two different blues on this one.  There's Stoneware Blue on the inside, Woo Blue on the outside, and Stoneware dribbled down the sides from the top.  I like the results.  Although, there are bubbles in it that aren't attractive and are a little sharp. The instructor thinks it's because the glaze was a bit thick and the firing might have been a little short.


Here's a little one.  It's glazed in Woo Blue.


I love the blue and brown together.  It's so pretty.


Here are a couple more practice bowls.  I used a glaze that seems to have been an accident when they mixed it.  They're calling it, "Mystery Celadon".  I decided to give it a try.


I'm not crazy about it.  It's a little pale.


Here are two more little practice bowls...


I used Tea Dust glaze on the left one and Woo Blue on the right one.


I have a few more bowls with shaped edges in the kiln right now.  I think they'll be finished next week.  I've had some good luck this week with throwing larger bowls.  That's very exciting.  It'll be a few weeks before they're glazed and finished though.  I have so much I want to do and try but the semester is flying by. I think we only have three more weeks to create.  Then, it'll be Thanksgiving and we'll only be able to do glazing and final firings.  I have a feeling I'll be taking this class again!  ;-)

10 comments:

Cindie Kitchin said...

I love your pottery! The teapot is so special.

Acquiring pottery is one of my vices and unfortunately my husband loves it as much as I do so there's no control at a show!

Deborah said...

Both projects are great!! I love how organic they are...if that's the right word. Beautiful!

Roxie said...

You rock! Your teapot is awesome, the pitcher is too cool for school, and I ADORE your bowls! Especially the shaped edge one. Stoneware blue is a lovely glaze.

I admire you so much! I love hand-shaped pottery,and you do such a splendid job of it!

Dave Daniels said...

Ditto on the praise as everyone before me. Your work is really improving dramatically! Is that a yarn bowl with a little hole in the side? It's all so wonderful!

Connie said...

I am mesmerized with your tea pot. I love, love, love all the detail. It must be a joy to hold in your hands and get lost in every little bug, twig and leaf. You have an incredible talent for this art.
I also think that it is wonderful that you and your husband are enjoying this together. It is marvelous to share this talent and love of clay.
I am your newest follower and I do hope that you will honor me by following back. I adore making new artist friends. My blog is a miss-mush of all my loves: art, music, sewing, re-purposing . . . just plan enjoying life.
Your newest blogging sister, Connie :)

Connie said...

Hi, You will need an apron to protect your clothes while making clay pots. I am happy that I could inspire you. Thank you so very much for following.
Your blogging sister, Connie :)

KarenB said...

NICE JOB! I love it all. You're making me want to take it with you. You'll have to tell me the times for next semester. I was also wondering if you made a yarn bowl? I'm asking for one for Christmas. Yours is adorable! And the tea pot, wow! I hope you're putting it out for all to see!
We need to do lunch soon,
Karen

Sandra said...

"I like the results" you say... You should - they are stunning!!
Great job, and you hve certainly inspired me to try pottery.

Benita said...

I think the spout on your pot is just right - it looks like a branch growing out of a tree truck. Love all of the little embellishments and critters you stuck into it. You two have great showings for your efforts.

jomomma said...

AWESOME! Can I commission you to make something for me? When I was in Sedona this past week I saw these little dish like vessels that were made to hold your kitchen sponge. They were like a tumbler set in a saucer with slots in the sides of the tumbler that the sponge would slide into. The slots didn't go all the way to the bottom. There were drain holes at the bottom of the tumbler to let water flow out into the saucer. The tumbler and saucer were molded together to be one piece. They were so cool! I'm regretting not getting one or two, they would make great gifts.