Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fourteen Thousand Six Hundred Days

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.

 ~ Hafiz of Persia



to my true love
on our 14,600th day
together

Monday, November 21, 2011

Non Pearish fruit

 
I promise.  Last of the fruits.  For this year.

Thankfully, it's time to make pumpkin pies.


It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving.
~from Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation for Thanksgiving Day, 1863







Thursday, November 17, 2011

Real food, Real clay

There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

one real, two ceramic pears

Here luxuriant trees are always in their prime
pomegranates and pears, and apples glowing red...
from Aristotle's Garden of Alcinous

seedless and with seeds

100% natural clay and fruit with no waxy exteriors

 between persimmon and precision.   
How to choose

persimmons. This is precision.
Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.   
Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
will be fragrant. How to eat:
put the knife away, lay down newspaper.   
Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.   
Chew the skin, suck it,
and swallow. Now, eat
the meat of the fruit,
so sweet,
all of it, to the heart.   
~poet Li-Young Lee 

Real ceramic fruit with no acrylic additives

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kaki, hoshigaki and clay


Hoshigaki in the making at a Japanese-American farm

We went up to Otow Orchards (located in the Sierra foothills) to see persimmons peeled, tied by the stem with twine and hung in the sun to dry.  Massaged daily for six weeks the end product looks fuzzy white and taste a little like mochi.  The ninety-two year old grandmother was there peeling persimmons with the warming sun on her back. The dangling persimmons reminded me of lanterns or pendulum bobs.  It was a beautiful sight.  My mom loves hoshigaki as much as I love fuyu persimmons.

white porcelain, orange terra sigillata and real persimmons

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

little things in full circle





In a rush to get these in the kiln, small bits got lost or forgotten or misjudged.  Although small and seemingly insignificant, these small accents complete the piece.  The hanging basket on the far left figure needs more contrast against the dark body.  I had made it out of terra cotta and it is barely thimble-size.  I wanted it left bare and with a turquoise glaze inside.  I did remember to put holes in it as I intend to thread it with waxed linen twine so it would hang freely from the mitten hand.  So my options are:
  • add red glaze on outside of the bowl with a gold leaf interior
  • stain it with RIO with turquoise glaze (less contrast)
  • making another bowl out of porcelain and leaving it white  
The next piece turned out fine except I forgot the tiny yellow bird on the knee.  While I'm at it, I think I will add some crawl glaze to the ankles and darken the toes. It is hard to see the headdress, but I used a metallic black that came out silvery gray blue.  It is really lovely and shimmers like a crown. Luckily the head is separate so I will not put it back in the kiln and risk losing that shimmer. 

The far right piece is done and ready to go to the gallery.  Here it hangs on my studio wall, out of the way for now.  Checking out the rest of the clay mess. 

ensō





Wednesday, November 2, 2011

edging along in clay

Feeling a little bit edgy about the holiday markets.  So much left to do. One thing after another pushed my studio timeline so that it is wavy instead of straight.  I guess wavy is better than broken.

  
 


There is this bowl.  A very small bowl.  A very simple bowl that I love.  It was a test bowl for a creamy, buttery glaze on reddish earthenware.  I learned a lot of different things with this bowl. It has made its own history.  I used the glaze on some simple slab plates for displaying my ceramic pears.  They were sold together with great success. Something functional with something non-functional. What a pair!

  

We keep missing the point, despite divine intervention from our patron saints.  On the well-paved road to life, we're hunched over the wheel, traveling at a high rate of speed, following the red taillights of the cars in front of us hell-bent on some distant destination.  Life is not up ahead of us in the windshield; nor is it behind us in the rearview mirror.  It's here and now, in the car, on the road as we go, fast or slow.

                                  ~from Seeds by Richard Horan


     
That brick of clay I had couple of weeks has soften enough for me to wedge into 1 pound balls.  My tabletop and rolling pin is my slab roller of only choice.  I slam the clay onto the table a couple of times until about 1" thick and then I use the rolling pin to get it down to about 1/2".  It's pretty effective for what I want to do.  I wanted to have some thick slightly curved, scalloped plates. Really edgy.



In the meanwhile, the kiln is cooling and I need to figure out how to get the red on the pomegranate.  I layered on some terra sig at leather-hard stage and buffed.  It is a little purplish, but will make a good foundation for later after bisque firing to a soft cone 010. 


After that I will add the reds and some orange tones, buff and fire.  If that doesn't work----out comes the pigments and wax!

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