Today there was a really nice article in our local paper about the ceramic urns I make.
Cremation urns have been part of my pottery business for ten years now. The article tells about why I chose to do this as a potter.
See it here at, The Greenfield Recorder.
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
Biodegradable Urn BlueTie Quilt, 2007
Tiles with pattern, 2009
White Stamped Urn, 2010
Biodegradable Urn, June Star, and Sun Squared, 2012
Star leaf cup and saucer, 2015
From my morning walk today. Snow spattering.
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…
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.
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.
If you want to see a nice little video on this method, check out Ron Philbeck , “Hydro Abrasion” He explains it very well! http://youtu.be/d_HHrNdPGIk
It is not a regular ritual, like the day in, day out making of my functional pottery. Making my biodegradable urns is something that happens every couple of months (unless I have a special order). Making these urns is a whole different mindset from my functional foodie pottery. The first thing I have to do is clear the big work table… which in turn clears my head. I lay out the colored papers which I painted months before. I think about my forms and patterns, roll out the paper clay that I have made weeks before, and begin creating. The thing I love about these urns is the process… a totally different process than what I do daily in my studio. The results are immediate, the color, the texture, and the form. No kiln involved, no waiting a couple of weeks for the results!
Every few months I set my mind to taking photos and getting more work into my etsy shops… yes there are two shops now. The first shop, FoodieCeramics opened in the fall of 2010, and the more recent shop, LuciaUrns opened a few months ago in January 2012. In terms of representing all of my work, the luciaurns shop is not quite there yet. I have the biodegradable urns listed, but need to get more photos up of the classic urns. The foodieceramics shop is starting to pick up, I try to re-list at least one item a day so my work stays somewhat visible in the search engines. I really think I should be listing five times a day though if I really want to sell well on etsy! I am always so busy with all the other aspects of my pottery business that I never seem to have enough time.
The other day I took photos for three hours, here is a little slideshow of what you may be finding in my shop soon.