Thursday, December 3, 2015

Chanterelles and Shore Birds

After the rains last week,  I went out to forage for some mushrooms on our property.  I was so delighted to find chanterelles were up in abundance---YUM!  We have white and the golden ones.  We have quite a few edible mushrooms---boletes, honey, candycaps (and oysters sometimes on the old, dying alders.)  We sauteed the chanterelles in a bit of butter and ate them as a snack.  If it wasn't so cold I would have done some outdoor sketches. In the meanwhile,  I have some sculptural work I need to start now that all the cups were tagged and shipped out. 

making tags
Below is a quick video of my favorite cup (that I kept) from the one hundred that I did finished.  What I like about this piece is the faux soda flashing on it---which is hard to see in this video---it is more rusty satiny in person.  The terra sig I used has soda ash so maybe with the other pieces a bit of flashing happened. (There's small magic happening in that kiln.) Currently, I am using earthenware cups to paint my interpretation of shore birds that I see daily.  The earthenware cups are bisqued with a thin layer of terra sigillata.  With some sumi-e brushes I quickly paint in the bird and whatever else that comes to mind.  Sometimes I can scratch through the black engobe.  No transparent glaze necessary.  Fired to cone 6.


This is a godwit with its upward curved beak holding an olive branch.  Peace.


  1. How fortunate and tasty to have those mushrooms on your own property! I love your cups and that one was definitely a keeper.

    Are you using lowfire earthenware and taking it to ^6? No brittleness? I stopped using earthenware because I never found a clear I liked -- too shiny, too milky, bubbly . . . .

    1. The clay I use is IMCO Fifty Fifty. This clay is locally mined and mixed. It is half their Navajo Red and 412 Sculpture. I suppose the term earthenware doesn't quite fit, but neither does stoneware. It fires from cone 1-6. It isn't brittle. I use a porcelain slip or a Terra sig both fire to a satiny feel. No need to fuss with a transparent. Interiors are sometimes glazed. Normally I would fire this clay to cone 3, but this cup went into the kiln with cone 6 porcelain☺

    2. Sounds like a great clay body - lots of flexibility. I still have all my clay tools - not sure if that call will ever be stronger than the paint, but not ready to abandon it completely yet.

  2. Your bird cup is beautiful, Charlene. Satiny glazed sounds wonderfully tactile.

    Yum indeed. I relish mushrooms in butter. Such a timeless snack or accompaniment to a dish.
    You are indeed fortunate to be able to forage for them naturally - the best way to have them, fresh from the earth.

    1. Nothing more aromatic, too. Chanterelles have a floral, fruity scent. They are very expensive in the markets as they are considered prime choice wild. Yes, indeed, very fortunate!


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