Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heads, I win!

Anybody who has been following my work for the past several years knows that sculpting is one of the things I am passionate about. I got into making face mugs and jugs specifically so that I could practice sculpting and still have a salable product. But there are limitations to mugs, and complications to jugs. I needed a new way to create the faces and heads I longed for.

Then one day, as I was playing with clay, I realized that I could make miniature face jugs. These little jugs start as two pinch pots, cemented together with clay slip. The head is then beaten into shape with a flat salad spoon, and a skull is created.

The terrific part about making these smaller heads is that I can make them anywhere. Last weekend, I made seven different characters on a long drive through Montana (I was not driving, just to be clear - I sat in the back seat and played with clay).

Different faces and attitudes emerge depending on the size and shape of the skull - and my mood at any given time. I love the flexibility these little fellows give me - and their smaller size makes them very collectible, as they don't take up nearly as much space as a full-sized jug.

The next step for these heads is a combination of oxides and underglaze. Some will be very basic, with just shadows of color over bare clay. Others will be glazed, complete with skin tones The character and attitude will determine who gets what treatment. When they are all done, I'll post another picture on this blog. Hope you enjoy them!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Summer Salad, All Year Long
Summer Salad Lettuce Leaf Bowls
This week, the first frost is expected to hit eastern Montana. It's October 1, and the gorgeous fall weather has extended the garden season by nearly a month. But with the frost, it's time for me to decide what to do with my plants - the bushy tomatoes, the gigantic zucchini, the frail peppers hanging on by a thread. All summer long, I traipsed out to the garden to harvest broccoli and spinach for my summer salad bounty. But like all good things, this too must end.

Or DOES it?

These fun salad bowls that I just listed on Etsy remind me of summer's cornucopia of produce, all year long. The thin, organic looking bowls are created by rolling a slab of clay thin, then impressing it over a glass lettuce leaf bowl. The edges are left intentionally uneven, giving the bowls an elegant yet natural appearance.

The glaze on these bowls is one of my favorites. It's called Antique Copper Green, and it never comes out of the kiln the same twice. The glaze varies in color depending on the thickness, and in this case, it makes lovely dark green streaks in the veins of the lettuce leaves.

These salad bowls are my first creation using impressed slump molds. I am so pleased with them, I know it won't be my last.