Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Season Finale of "Clay Days"

    “I do think a  man has missed a very deep feeling of satisfaction if he has never created or at least completed something with his own  two hands

    -One man’s wilderness, an Alaskan odyssey…(from  the journals of Richard Proenneke) 

A quote my Mom emailed me... and quite appropriate, I believe, for the Season Finale! Clay Days have officially come to an end. You'd think I'd be sad... but actually I'm a little excited to have a bit more free time next week to get out & enjoy the great outdoors as fall is shifting towards winter. Here are the gorgeous bisqued pots, piled & ready to fire~

Remember how smoky that first pot turned out? Well the key it turns out, is to elevate the pots on racks, rather than use pallets as we did the first time. The pallets burn down, and the pots sit too long in the smoldering ash, which gives that super smoky look. Here's all the pots on racks & ready to go!

Again hesitant about getting too smoky a pot, I only put small pieces of Ponderosa Pine bark directly on my pots... then the firing is done the same as last time... wood is piled up to form a tent around the pots and then lit on fire~

After it burns awhile, the pots begin to emerge.

And, after many weeks of work... the pots are finished!
Below is the Charlie Brown Pot~
Still not my favorite, but not so Charlie Brown looking any more.

My pride & joy below... the last big pot that I completed~

And, a tie for my favorite pot below... formerly known as the "Genie pot," I now call it Felipe's Pot (since it was made from Felipe's Clay.)

Being so hesitant about getting too smoky a pot, I went in the other direction this time & feel a bit more of a smoke cloud would've done this pot more justice. But hey, I'm learning... and now have more of a sense of what to do next time I have the chance to work with Micaceous Clay.

And, last but not least... my little Pumpkin Pot! This one was made with Felipe's Clay... and also at the very end of the session, so the craftmanship could have been just a bit better, though I do think it is awfully cute! It's a small pot that fits perfectly in my hand.

My instructor thought it might make a good garlic roaster... hmmmm...

I did get back a little work from throwing on the wheel at the beginning of class, but not having the time to do glaze tests... the results were less than adequate, and really not worth posting, though I do have a few things left to be fired... so we'll see. But for now, I'm ok with this, as I simply didn't have the time to do it all... and am actually quite happy with what I did get done, considering the full time job & all. And I learned so much about working with Micaceous Clay in the traditional manner that stretches back generations... before there were such things as wheels & glazes!
Happy Fall, Everyone!


Randy said...

Becky, these are absolutely beautiful. I love your little Charlie Brown pot. If you decide to sell your work let me know so that I can be first in line. Enjoy your Sunday!

Barb said...

Becky, Your Mother must be so proud - I feel my own heart swelling seeing your beautiful work. That fluted pot is just fabulous! I loved seeing your process and now the fruits of your labor. I hope everybody's pot made it through the fire (which, by the way, makes a fantastic photo). It's snowing in my mountains - fall is over in Breckenridge.

becky said...

Randy~ thank you so much for your compliments! I would actually LOVE to sell my work... my DREAM is to someday make a living from being creative! However, I only got these few pots made in the past few weeks and I have them planned as Christmas gifts. My goal next year is to work less & CREATE more... so hopefully I can start making enough to sell if there is an interest.

becky said...

Hi Barb, I was leaving a reply to Randy, and when I hit "publish" there you were! Yes, I figured winter was knocking at your door! We still had a dusting on the ski hill this evening, even though it was in the 50's today in town. Thanks, Barb, for your kind compliments... almost enough to make an emotional gal such as myself tear up! You're awesome...

Anonymous said...

It glistens.
What a success!
BTW, can you actually use these for stewing in the oven?
And what if you use certain oxides to colour bits before the ashing begins?
Fascinating. I want to do one in what remains of my lifetime.

becky said...

Hi Jo,
Yep they're traditional cooking pots. The glistening comes from Mica in the clay & micaceous slip that is applied before firing. I don't know about adding oxides... sounds like Raku firing, which I have not done... YET. I guess you'd have to find out which oxides would be non-toxic if you were using them for cooking. SO much to learn!!!

Tammie Lee said...

I just love seeing that pile of pottery waiting to be fired. I have never seen it done that way. I love each of your pots. And the pumpkin is so cute. Awesome pots dear lady.

clairz said...

I had never heard of this type of pot before you started writing about your class. These are so wonderful, and it's been really fun to accompany you through the creative process. I just love that little pumpkin pot, although they are all so beautiful that it would be hard to pick a favorite. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

So, what's next? ;)

Lisa said...

Hi Becky . Your work is lovely and I enjoyed seeing your hand work to creat these works of art. Many hours of hard work. Get out with your camera.
You really made me smile with your comment tonight . Thats what life is all about . Capture in with your eyes and save in your memory what you cant get with a camera.
Thanks again.
Have a great night and stay warm. The ground is white . Its snowing.
Lisa xo

Lisa said...

Is burning the pots also a term for Raque. now Im sure I spelled that one wrong.

becky said...

Tammie Lee,
thanks for the compliments on my pots! I always enjoy seeing Montana through your eyes!

Clair, I soooooo enjoyed making these pots- I'm hooked! Uuuuuum, what's next? Long story, but it soon will involve LOTS of driving, packing, unpacking, etc.... but I'll be blogging about it here & there along the way If it's snowy in Flagstaff I'll be passing through Las Cruces in Nov and/or Dec- we should have lunch!

Thanks for stopping by! I will get my camera out & be photographing more soon. Thanks for the compliments, and you stay warm, too! I love the snow... it always makes things seem so quite & peaceful.

Kathleen said...

Hey! I LOVE these! If I saw them at an art fair, I can assure you I'd want one!!!

Pat said...

These pots turned out so well! I think that little one would be great as a garlic roaster! These would make great Christmas gifts and would be cherished especially knowing that they were hand made by you.

On another topic, we don't expect to get to Albuquerque till Thursday due to all our truck and tire problems.

Annie said...

Becky! These pots are so beautiful and I would NEVER know it was your first attempt at Micaceous clay. My favorite is the genie pot, but they are all wonderful!BRAVO!!!!
Enjoy your free time!

Rick said...

Now - that's an accomplishment ! Very interesting photos and story on the process again - looks and sounds like you learned a lot. And the results speak for themselves ! Tough to pick a favourite pot, but the pumpkin is right up there. Great work, and congrats Becky. You'll have to let us know how they perform.

becky said...

Kathleen, nice to see you again... I always enjoy popping in & seeing what you (& Ginsberg) are up to! Thanks for the encouragement! :)

Awe, thanks Pat! Bummer about the delay... but if I can't catch up w/ you in ABQ, maybe some other time soon! :)

Thanks, Annie! You know how much I loved making them... well except for the stress of not having enough time to do them- LOL! :)

Rick, thanks! The pumpkin pot is currently my centerpiece! I need a gas stove (which I don't have) or a ring that goes on the stovetop to diffuse the heat (which I don't have either.) BUT! Eventually I will let you know~ I've heard they are wonderful to cook with! :)

Robin said...

I am late.... and I have missed so much! What a great post....I truly love your work! All these pots are so wonderful - and each one is infused with a different "personality"...one of the many reasons I love your work!
(The "Charlie Brown" pot STILL resembles him......) Love the Genie and the Pumpkin ones!!!!!!!!
Again, thnak you for posting the process you have to go through....I find it fascinating!


♥ Robin ♥