One of the things I miss most is not being able to go to the pottery studio because of the pandemic. Fleisher Art Memorial is reopening its open pottery studio program in the fall (with safety precautions). I am looking forward to returning.
Fleisher Art Memorial cancelledl the closing ceremony for its 122nd annual Student Exhibition because of the Coronavirus. That didn’t stop me from taking pictures of some of my favorite entries.
Pottery and Ceramics
Works on Paper and Prints
Fiber Art and Mixed Media and Mosaics
Sandrine Sheon won the Student Advisory Council award for her ceramic piece, Credit None, Trash Walk, 2019
This is my contribution, Eleanor Rigby’s Secret Jar.,
I’m back from Clayathon with too much to do today so this week’s post will be short. What inspires you? I am not ashamed to say that my cat Boris (and animals in general) is a big source of inspiration for my pottery.
I’ve started throwing again after a hiatus because of thumb problems. And I like to draw on the pottery which is white earthenware clay. Here are some small bowls that came out of the kiln this week.
We have sponge eating monsters in our pottery studio, so I marked my cleanup sponge accordingly:
It’s cold in Philadelphia. Not as cold and windy like it was in Boston when I lived there in another life, but cold enough. Cold enough to use the oven to bake bread and roast vegetables and fill the house with cozy smells.
Part of the fun of making cozy food or food to share with friends is serving it in dishes you made yourself. If you made a lot of dishes, you might even persuade your friends to take home a bowl or a mug. I made a few bowls at The Clay Studio last summer and then used them to serve lunch to some friends.
They got to take the tricornered bowls home. Maybe I’ll make some more of these next summer.
Look at these great ceramics from my fellow open studio potters at Fleisher Art Memorial. You will be able to buy these and other wonderful things at Handmade for the Holidays, Saturday December 8, Fleisher Art Memorial 719 Catharine Street Philadelphia PA 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
One-of-a-kind teapot by Marjorie Waxman. She’ll be selling mugs too.
Cynthia Bayer’s boxes for your holiday treasures. These are great for candy, cat treats and jewelry. Give as a gift or use as a gift container.
Ornaments and goodies galore from Sandrine, Pat and me.
Join me at Handmade for the Holidays December 8, 11 am to 5 pm at Fleisher Art Memorial. The Open Studio Potters group will be selling functional and decorative ceramics lovingly crafted in Fleisher’s pottery studio in South Philadelphia. One-of-a-kind ornaments, mugs, bowls, trinket trays, soap dishes and more. Each item is made from earthenware clay and decorated with food-safe glazes. There’s something for everyone on your gift list. Prices start at $5.00 and most items are under $20.00
Fleisher Art Memorial is located at 719 Catharine Street Philadelphia, PA 19147
Another thing I did at Clay ConneCTion was to make myself a bunch of new stamps to use with my pottery. You can make pottery stamp from ceramic clay but polymer is so much easier! Since polymer does not shrink, you know how big to make the design. Plus you can cure the polymer much more quickly than you can fire ceramic stamps. And they don’t break when you drop them on the floor. And you can use scrap clay! All you need to do is roll sheets of clay on the thickest pasta machine setting and then cut and stack the sheets to make a rectangle about one-inch square and two inches long. You can make designs by carving the soft clay, adding coils and shapes, or impressing textures into the clay. If your clay is pretty firm, as mine was, you can put a design on each end and use the sides for more designs. After you bake the clay, you can make more stamps with the design in reverse. I recommend that you condition the clay well and bake the stamps for an hour.
Porcelain beads ready for the kiln. I can’t wait to see how they come out.
Isn’t that the old artistic dilemma? You have a vision and you can’t quite realize it. But for me, the fun is in the exploration. I experimented with handle shapes and tried mixing Mason Stains into Amaco Velvet Underglazes to enhance the colors of the surface decoration.
The mugs are glazed with a clear satin glaze on the outside and a white glaze on the inside. I like the way the colors turned out. The handles are another matter. Some of them look great but are not comfortable to use. Other handles look awkward but are extremely comfortable in the hand. Unless your handle is tried and true, there’s no way of knowing how the mug will feel until it’s fired and filled with its first serving of Java or tea. But experimenting is all part of the fun.
It has been snowing all day. I didn’t feel like trudging to Herman’s Coffee Shop so I missed my Wednesday afternoon coffee group. I wasted most of the afternoon struggling with an extremely buggy upgrade to iWatermark Pro. But I digress.
The Shark Pot got its name from my studio mates who thought it resembled a shark. Indeed. Is it the mouth of the pot? Is it the flipper-like attachments? The Shark Pot brings other disturbing images to my mind which I will not share here. Suffice it to say that a visiting neighbor was so taken with its novelty and potential for horror (as a vessel for a Venus Fly Trap or maybe even sinister flora à la Little Shop of Horrors), that I felt compelled to send it home with him before Boris could break it.
Many people, including yours truly, are daunted by the thought of pulling a handle for a mug. So rather than face the task with fear, I decided to pay special attention to my mug handles to see whether I could come up with handles that are fun to make. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: