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
We are living in an age where so many things serve a purpose for a short while. Many of the gadgets we use are actually meant to break after a certain time period so we buy more, or the latest version of that item. Yet the materials they are made from last forever.
When I think of pottery I think of lasting forever, yet I love to think of ways that clay can be useful and go back to the earth. (More to come on permanence/impermanence soon with my biodegradable urns). For now, two things to share, a new biodegradable urn, and a wonderful blog post about clay chai cups from India!
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.