Boxed Woods pt. 1

The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box. 
Henri Cartier-Bresson






There are so many ways to make a clay box.  And so many different shapes.  Many things to consider and sometimes. none.  There is the interaction between the use and the user. The artist and the process.   

In the beginning there are many things to consider.  Much of it--intuitive, some of it--planned and all of it--discovery. 

How to lift the lid?  Is it comfortable to lift with this type of knob or no knob?  Does there need to be a knob? Is the knob the finishing touch?  Does it bring together all the other design elements?  Is the knob the cherry on the top?  And where does it fit between utility and value? What about the interaction between the form and the visual content?

This little slab box encompasses a little painting of the woods.  It was made simply and with little seaming. I wanted to explore the notion of containment and curiosity. Of ritual and utility.  Mainly I just like making boxes!  Next post I will show how I made this simple, slab box for those of you who are curious....stay tuned for part 2........


  1. Great!! ... I look forward to the second part :-)

  2. Hello Charlene, this is a very lovely box..the contrasts of light and dark outside and inside are interesting. I'm looking forward to reading about the making process. What kind of temperature did you fire this piece to, may I ask?

    1. Hello Mark, thanks! The clay body is a terra cotta which I use with sculptural work. I fired this to cone 2 in an electric kiln.

  3. Your box is beautiful and mysterious - makes me want to peek inside. And your surface treatment is gorgeous. I love to make boxes but used to use the wheel and then alter - can't wait to learn how to handbuild one - looking forward to the lesson!

    1. Judy---I do love mysteries! I love your ceramic work as well as your painting. I hope you will make some slab built boxes which I am sure you intuitively know how to do already. This particular clay fires a beautiful brick orange to dk brown, but oh, it is a pain to throw. So slab work was the way to go! A rolling pin was just what it needed.

  4. I almost thought the box was wood because of the shape and color, perhaps a redwood, beautiful and love the recessed lid.

    1. Hello, Linda!
      That terra cotta clay body is beautiful fired to cone 2, but needs a little help with a bit of RIO wash. Thanks for stopping by!


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