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!

DSC_0008 DSC_0015 DSC_0022

Wall Salt Box with Lid

As promised from the last post… wall salt boxes with a sit-in lid.  These seem to be a cross from my table salt cellar pictured below, and the antique french salt box I fell in love with over the summer.  The degree of difficulty is far less than the hinged lid salt box.  I am liking the form, and the challenge it brings.  I will do more after the holidays.

Two lidded salt boxes

Salt box open

My original salt cellars…

red dot salt 3

I haven’t finished my explorations with the hinged lid yet,  A couple of new ones came out of the kiln nearly perfect… so more to come on those too, after the busy season.

French Salt Boxes and Ceramic Wall Baskets

A French Salt box that hangs on the wall, with a hinged lid, made of ceramic… what am I nuts!

When I was on vacation this summer I saw a french salt box (metal) in an antique shop. I knew at that moment I had to try making one in ceramic.  After a little research and many attempts, I have a couple worth sharing.  This whole endeavor has been quite the challenge… but I need to be challenged with new forms, I’d go crazy if I were making just cups, bowls, plates and vases.  Give me some technical thing and I’m happy to see what I can do with it.

One of the reasons this salt box is challenging is because I work in porcelain.  I am dealing with warping of the body, sagging of the lid, then trying to get the holes for the hinged lid lined up after this warping and sagging.  I am no where near satisfied with the end result.  I like many aspects of the form, but I have not had one come out of the kiln 100%, working technically correct.  I have fired about six of them.  I have about three more to fire.  I will learn what I can from those, and make some others in my spare time… which is non-existent now with the all the holiday shows.

A bonus of working on this form is that it spurred on a couple of other nice forms , some wall baskets, and salt cellars with sit-in lids.  Creative mistakes really don’t exist… they just make you think more.

salt box with red dotssalt box with red dots open

Salt Box Drying

The top red dot one is almost there, just some slight warping on the lid.  The two above drying did not make it through the glaze firing… too much warping, so the lids did not fit.  Below are a couple of wall baskets that worked out very nicely.  More salt boxes to come soon, with the sit-in lids.

ceramic wall basketRed Dot Wall Basket

Goodies to Gather Before the First Frost

Waking this morning to see light frost on the field.  Yet the Dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias that I picked ruthlessly last night seemed to have survived close to the house.  I love that last picking… a bouquet in every room of the house brings the last of the outside beauty in! The past weekend also brought in the last of the garden crops, like carrots and beets to be stored layered, in buckets of sand in the root cellar.  Some things like leeks, broccoli, and kale can stay a bit longer with straw piled high around them.  We left some carrots like that too, but I’m sure they will become food for the voles soon enough.

October carrots for root cellar

before the first frostEnjoying the kitchen bouquet with my morning tea, and the new Ceramics Monthly, then off to the studio.  Today I am putting the handles on little berry strainers and brie bakers, then making large batter bowls.  Below are the little oval pitchers I love to make for maple syrup. Also some hanging salt boxes that I have been working at every little maddening technical detail for months now… they are challenging to say the least, but I love the challenge!  More to come on those in the next post.

little pitchers