Entwining Earthenware and Porcelain

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.” 

Pablo Neruda
from Gift of a Poet

Porcelain takes on color in a different way than earthenware.  There's a watery clarity---I guess the word is translucency---that I love. This piece will have a mix of leaves. Some porcelain leaves, some earthenware leaves and all entwined. When it dries a bit I will finish up rough edges, deepen areas by carving and add a few things to balance out the sides. 


  1. I like the idea of mixing the two clays, when you add the porcelain how to do you attach it? with slip? I guess what I'm wondering is how you can get a clean edge between the two. Your sculptures amaze me at their fragility and how you are able to transport them without breaking pieces like the leaves that extend outward.

    1. The porcelain parts are very small so there is minimal problems attaching with slip. Usually I make the leaves separate with stainless steel wire stems. They are fired and tossed into a "parts" box for future use. I use a needle tool to poke holes in where I want the leaves. When the piece gets a final glaze fire I will insert all the leaves that stand out. I think people understand to take care when picking up my pieces, but I do make obvious places that one can pick each piece up easily--mainly the neck area and the bottom portion is free and clear. The body and head are coiled and paddled to compress the clay. This strengthens the clay body.
      I keep in mind that cups and teapots have handles and spouts---they are used more often. A sculpture mainly sits.

  2. Love Nerudo's poem - goes perfectly with your piece. And she's lovely. I'm just wondering if porcelain and earthenware place nice together in the kiln?
    Looking forward to seeing this fired!

    1. After I had put in the tendrils in the hand I read this poem. I will sometimes just open a book and read a few lines. It is amazing how many times it relates to what I am doing. And even a few lines of Neruda is heaven.
      The porcelain parts are small additions so there's less surface area to contract. Sprigs work if both the clays are at the same moisture-soft but not leatherhard. And even at low-fire bisque that porcelain--although not fully vitrified--takes on stain in a beautiful way that white slip does not. It may not be apparent to anyone else, but I can see the difference ;)

  3. Earth and rain.
    Clay and water.
    Along with fire, you honour these elements with such incredible skill, beauty, empathy and mystery, Charlene.
    Your work is the gift of an artist.

  4. Lovely details as always. And tidy studio, as I peeked with my little eyes! : )


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