The older I get the more I realize summer is way to short in New England. So the past two summers I have taken a break from teaching, and slowed down a bit on production… working only about 6-8 hours a day rather than 10-12 hours a day. I’ve spent many hours in the garden, on my bike, and just taking time to really see the beauty of nature. I have focused on renewing my creativity, and took some time to follow through with the ideas that have been accumulating in my sketchbook for the past year or so.
Here are some photos of a new urn form and the process; from drying shellac resist design, then glazed but not yet fired, to the finished fired urns. These new urn forms should be up on my website in the next few months.
shellac resist drying
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
The last couple of posts I talked about the tall urn forms I am making, and the many steps involved. This next step is what I consider just plain boring! ( I think I need a book on CD to listen to). This is the part where I sit for hours rubbing away the clay which is not covered by the resist design. I cannot do them all in one day, I’ll go crazy. ( Maybe I should think of it as meditation instead). I take many breaks, as I have seven of these urns to complete, plus six little ones. I”ll take about a week to finish them, doing one a day, in between all my other work. Here are some photos of this part of the process. You can see the finished piece on my website.
Piece on the left with clay wiped away
Ready for the Bisque Firing
Maybe I’m influenced by my surroundings… ya think? I have lots of shades of green pottery, and shades of white. Everytime I look out my studio window I see the field, and woods… that’s either green or white! Ok sometimes brown… and I do have a few brown pots! The latest forms from this winter are a new series of white on white urns. The pieces are approx. a foot in height, thrown on the wheel, trimmed, dried, then the pattern painted on with a resist (like shellac, or wax). Once the shellac dries the exposed clay is rubbed away with a wet sponge. It is a long and laborious process, giving beautiful results.
White on White Vine, Lucia Pottery