Thursday, March 25, 2021

New Works in Progress

Starting sgraffito work on a bowl

In my glorious, newly cleaned, outdoor studio, I've been puttering along at a relatively leisurely pace, in part due to the fluctuating temperatures, in part due to a shoulder injury gotten during Ninja Training.

OK, that last part may have been a stretch. But I've got an injury which, for once, will not be requiring surgery, and I've been instructed by my physical therapist not to do anything to make it angry. Fortunately, it's on my right side, and hasn't inhibited my throwing, but schlepping 25-pound bags of clay to the table so I can wedge it can be a bit of a pain. Oh, to be a famous potter and have a studio assistant!

But such is life! I keep plugging along, anyway.

There are a couple of techniques I've wanted to either try for the first time, or to continue to develop.

Sgraffito is one of them. I've done it before, but I plan to expand the technique to include color inlay, too. I'm pretty excited about it, to be honest, because it has the potential to shift my art into a direction which has more depth on the surfaces of my ceramics.

I'm having fun using the "regular" sgraffito technique, too. I think once my skeleton creations come out of the final firing, the color of the clay will give the bones an antique look.


Another technique I'm playing with is that of burnishing.

Burnishing this here pot with a little water and a smooth stone. 

I'm practicing this technique for a couple of reasons. First, I've always wanted to try my own pit firing. Burnishing the pot first makes it look as if it was glazed, first, even though it isn't. Second, I've been putting off making my beloved Sam's urn, in part because it's an emotional thing, in part because I haven't decided what shape would be best. I think he deserves to be in a nicer resting place than a cardboard box, no matter how pretty it looks. I'm leaning towards a round, lidded piece, but thrown all in a single form. Later, when the clay hardens enough, the lid gets cut out.

I've continued stamping, too!

I made the vase, above, without much thought of decoration. But then it started telling me it wanted a few daisies and some fluting! Who am I to say no? I'll probably make some more of these along the same lines.

I made this bowl, also with the intention of leaving plain, but then the stamping bug grabbed me again and I had to test out this stamp I made!

I debated doing some inlay on it, but decided against it. I'm looking forward to seeing a glaze on it which breaks nicely in the indentations.

Lastly, I've been playing with watercolor and copic markers, again, just for practice, plus I continue to make jewelry on afternoons when it's too cold to work on my pottery.

Sorry about the cruddy picture quality, but you get the idea!

Stay tuned for more artistic adventures!


  1. Wow - that sgraffito technique is cool - I can't wait to see that fired!

    1. Thank you! I have a couple of bowls I'll be practicing that technique on, as well. I can't wait!


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