Making Asparagus Trays

I call these Asparagus trays, but the reality is that they can be used for anything from fresh cut bread to clementines.

I thought it would be nice to share some photos of how I make these oval, long handled trays!

Freshly made.

Freshly made.

 

Block Printing Tool from India

Block Printing Tool from India

Circles becoming Ovals

Thrown bottomless, then made into oval.

Cut Bottoms to Fit the Oval

Joining the top to the bottom.

 

Asparagus Trays Drying

With handles, drying on worktable

 

 

 

The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail

So exciting it’s our 11th Year!  A tour of 9 potters at their studios, each having at least one guest potter! If you haven’t made this tour yet, now is the time.  It is going to be a good one!  Make reservations to stay at one of our sponsor B&Bs, and enjoy some great local food.

Take a look at our brochure and see for yourself!

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See our website here. http://www.apotterytrail.com.

Getting Pots Made for the Pottery Trail

The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail is coming up in six short weeks!  Our date this year is April 25th-26th.  In between getting pots made for that, I am spending time getting all of my information and photos to my web designer for my new website!  Hopefully it will be all up and running before the Trail.  My current website was made in 2010, even though it’s nice, it is antiquated.  It’s time for me to have a responsive website since a good percentage people use mobile devices to search sites.  Maybe I will share some sneak peeks of the website soon, but for now I will give you a peek of the mugs that will be ready for the Pottery Trail.

Last week I was working on mugs and cups, I was getting tired of trimming the same old foot. I was also dreaming of warm weather and flowers… zinnias to be exact, in the studio garden to be more exact.  So before I knew it these happy feet started to appear!  I always like to have texture on the bottom of my mugs (usually made with a wiggle type wire).  I think it’s fun to hold a mug and have something different to feel on different parts of the piece, and you can’t leave out the bottom!  We will see if this foot design becomes part of my repertoire or if it’s just something to get me through till the zinnia’s are in bloom.

Mugs DryingDetail of flower footHappy Feet

Patterns and Optical Illusions

Patterns, just love what they can do.  Repetition, movement, optical illusions.

I have been making these little treasure boxes with different patterns and glazes… here are some of the blue ones.  I have included the images of the process… how I draw the pattern using a square grid, then apply wax resist to the pattern.  I love the way they look glazed but not fired.  But what I really want you to look at is the optical illusion that occurs on the finished blue piece.  Do you see a leaf/petal or a diamond shape?  I see one first, then the other after awhile.

These will be available soon on my new updated website, and in my etsy shops… I need to have a long photo session, and get all the new stuff up!

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Ceramic Spoons

I started making my first ceramic spoons a little over a year ago.  I wanted to make a spoon to go with my sugar jar, but really had no clue as to how I would make one that didn’t look like a ceramic soup ladle that potters made in the 1970’s for their soup tureens.  I started playing around with some hand built spoons, but they were very primitive looking… like a  third grader made them.  My intention was to make the spoon and the sugar jar a full composition, a flow of two separate pieces coming together as a unit.  I felt that for this result to happen the spoons needed to be thrown on the potters wheel.  So I took to the internet and searched handmade ceramic spoons. There weren’t many out there that had the feel I wanted except for one potter, Chandra DeBuse.  I looked at her spoons and thought, they are so playful and full of life!  They have a fullness to them, and they don’t look primitive.  They looked sturdy, unlike many of the spoons I was seeing, which felt like they would break with the slightest little mishap. Chandra’s spoons were getting very close to what I had in mind, but did not look like they were thrown on the wheel.  So I logged these images of her spoons in my little noggin, and continued to keep searching for others.  I then found Lorna Meaden’s spoons, which are very nice.  They are full looking, like Chandra’s, and very sturdy, and functional looking, and parts of them looked like they were thrown on the wheel.  I had what I needed to move on.  I thank Chandra and Lorna for their inspiration. Now it was time to set out making some spoons on the potters wheel!  Spoons that expressed who I am as a potter.  It took me a little time to make them look right, and feel right, and function well, but like all things learned in pottery… patience is the key to success. Here are the latest batch of spoons from the most recent kiln firing, and a photo of the sugar jar and spoon which can be found on my etsy FoodieCeramics shop. Spoons Lucy FagellaLucy Fagella Sugar Jar and spoon

Patterns through the Years

I went to college for ceramic art 30 years ago… ugh, I’m getting so old.  The first 15 years after college were spent teaching pottery, farming, and having kids.  The last 15 years I have been a full time, making-a-living-from-it potter.  When I look back at the pots I have made, there is a thread that keeps surfacing… and that is pattern.  I really love the repetition and movement that happens with overlapping patterns.  I also love the soothing repetitive lines of a ripples in the water, or windblown sand. Patterns are literally everywhere in nature.  It is no wonder that artists have consciously or unconsciously include it in their art.  My favorite patterns are from Islamic architecture and American quilts.  Check out my Pinterest board on quilts and patterns!

Included below are pots of mine from the past 10 years.

Goblets with stamped pattern, 2004

Goblets with stamped pattern, 2004

Biodegradable Urn BlueTie Quilt, 2007

Biodegradable Urn BlueTie Quilt, 2007

Tiles with pattern, 2009

Tiles with pattern, 2009

White Stamped Urn, 2010

White Stamped Urn, 2010

Biodegradable Urn, June Star, and Sun Squared, 2012

Biodegradable Urn, June Star, and Sun Squared, 2012

Star leaf cup and saucer, 2015

Star leaf cup and saucer, 2015

From my morning walk today. Snow spattering.

From my morning walk today. Snow spattering.

The Pottery Cycle Begins for the New Year

It was such a busy holiday schedule this year.  I was quite wiped out after all the shows, sales, and packing of online orders.  Then came Christmas with lots of family visiting… a few wonderful days of a completely full house… once it was all over I just laid on the couch for a couple of days.

This past Monday I was back full time in the studio and the new cycle of pottery for the year began. It started with filling an order for mugs and making a batch of test tiles for testing Sheffield Pottery’s new version of their 92700 porcelain.  Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with paperwork, packing orders, and making some keepsake urns.  Today was finally a full day with my hands in the clay… ahh, what every potter wishes they could do all the time!  I trimmed the keepsakes, and made lots of lids for them. Tomorrow it’s trimming the tiny lids, which is very difficult because they are so small, (the size of the urn is about 3″x3″).

And so the cycle continues…

Fresh test tiles Keepske urns trimmed with untrimmed lids A few lidsPlaying in the leaves keepsake