Big Pots, Shellac Resist, and the Flu

Why did I make big pots the first day of the flu?  Well I knew I was only going to get sicker, so while I could, I made ten little pitchers, five large urns for resist work, and three other large urns.  The second day of the flu I made lids, and slept. The third day I trimmed all the pots, and slept.  The fourth day I slept, trimmed lids, joined knobs, and carved urns.  The remaining ten days I’ve slept, carved urns, took photo’s and slept…  and vowed to get a flu shot next year!

Here are some nice shots of the urns in process.  It’s a very long process, between the throwing, trimming, and carving the feet and rim.  Once the pot dries completely liquid wax resist is brushed on to create the floral pattern.  (This process is known as shellac resist or hydro abrasion).  Then comes the long process of rubbing away the clay with a sponge, (which I thought would be a nice sitting down job while not having much energy).  Where there is no resist the clay slowly gets etched away.

willow watching tall urns freshly thrown

Just finished carving_lucy fagella Tall Urns Drying_Lucy Fagella

The carving process_lucy fagella details_lucy fagella Large Urns Drying_lucy fagella

Here is a finished mini version of the large urn… a little keepsake in my son Andrew’s hands. To see more of these and other urns visit my website and or LuciaUrns on etsy.

White on White Petite Keepsake_Lucy Fagella 

If you want to see a nice little video on this method, check out Ron Philbeck  , “Hydro Abrasion”  He explains it very well!


Body Aches and Throwing Lots of Pots

January is catch up time… re-stocking and catching up after the busy holiday season.  I had a really nice break between Christmas and New Years, then had to switch gears back into the throwing mode.  I don’t know about any of the other potters out there, but when I’m in my throwing cycle I can’t seem to do much else.  My body is so sore every day.  I’m thinking it’s just this 48-year-old body!  My neck hurts, my hip hurts, my hands are aching!  I do my yoga, I walk a half hour a day, bike when it’s warm, cross-country ski in winter… I move my muscles in other ways, yet I’m still sore! 

I was at an Asparagus Valley Potter’s Guild meeting last week, I asked the others how they felt.  My friend Steve said he can throw pots for about 5-6 hours one day, then the next day, about 4-5 hours, then the next, 3-4 hours, by the fourth day can’t really throw anymore!  Similar stories from the others.  I need to say here, that the youngest potter there was 38. 

I remember when I discovered pottery my senior year in high school I was a real jock,  and was so happy finding an art form that was like an athletic event!  Now I’m thinking about professional athletes and how they are all retired by 35 or 40… hmm, potters can’t do that… and really I don’t want to… what I really want is the stamina of an 18-year-old again!

So does anyone else out there have anything to say about this? What are your limits?


Making Urns

It is now March and I have been meaning to write this post since January.  

January and February is my time to play catch up making urns.  This year was no different,  except much busier than other years.  This is my 5th year in the cremation urn business.  Making urns is very meaningful for me… I am making something for a very difficult time in a person’s life.  Sometimes it is hard, I listen over the phone, or though emails, while a person is grieving,  or put a hand on a shoulder when someone comes to the studio.  Most times I’m sending out an urn through the internet, without knowing who the urn is for.  So often I get an email after the urn was received…  people are so grateful for a handmade object, something of beauty.  When my parents died 12 years ago, it was all the kind gestures of others that helped get me through.  It was also the beauty of nature, or art, that took me away, and soothed my soul.  It was at that time I first thought about making urns.  I hoped someday that I could help others get through the difficulty of losing someone you love, by creating something useful and beautiful.  At the same time, do what I love most… make pots.

If you’re interested in reading more about my urns check out Studio Potter Winter 2009 and or The Crafts Report, November 2008

Here is a slide show of a large classic urn form in process.  To see all the finished urns visit Lucia Pottery.

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