Christmas Wishes

A very good family friend loves soup.

I thought I’d design some bowls with a Ukrainian Easter Egg inspired theme.  After researching the meaning of the symbols I realized that maybe less is more? So I focused on good health (wheat, pine needles, grapes), Christ (rose star, fish, fishing nets), and spiritual growth/prayer (ladder), and everlasting life (wave/curls). I even included stars.  Hopefully these bowls turn out well, as the intent of the decorations are my Christmas Wishes for my friend and for everyone.

Merry Christmas!

The bowls pictured have the designs in black, red, and yellow underglaze, all covered in Crystal Clear glaze. They should be ready in time for a holiday delivery. I’ll post the resulting photos once they come out of the kiln.

The bowls came out in time for a Christmas delivery! Two bowls were chosen: the cross of red in center (top left) and the cross of yellow in center (bottom)

I researched the symbols used on Ukrainian Easter Eggs and settled on just a handful that resonated (and that I could try my hand at). One of the resources used was a lovely find, “Pysanky Symbols“: http://bookczuk.blogspot.com/2015/02/2015-version-of-pysanky-symbols-chart.html, created by Amy Romanczuk. According to the blogspot, “Amy Romanczuk is an artist and retired pediatric nurse in Charleston, SC. She is self-taught pysanky writer of Ukrainian heritage. Several of her original design pysanky were accepted into the collection of Museum of Ukrainian Decorative Folk Arts in Kyiv, as representational from artists outside Ukraine.”

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Love Grows And Flows

If I had a Gratitude Journal, today’s entry would be thankfullness for the constructive and courteous feedback received from those who have a piece of my work.  

The value of my time, love, and care I’ve put into pieces is expanded when I receive constructive feedback. The quality of all parts of the process is increased just as the cycle of love grows and flows amongst all parties. 

The handles have ample room for fingers.

Wadding, Kitty Litter & More

Another step I learned this year regarding doing a wood fire kiln is wadding. img_60221

Little peces of wadding are placed on the bottom of each pottery piece to allow the piece to stand slightly above the shelves.

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The small space below each piece, created by the pieces of wadding, helps the flow of the fire, ash and air to circulate better in the kiln.

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Photo courtesy of Beth Genung

Each wadding piece is made of clay and kitty litter!   Meow.

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We Periscope’d portions of the wood firing. Follow PottersofPeriscope to catch live action (https://www.periscope.tv/), but use the iOs or Android App if you can (less complicated).

Post Wood Firing Kiln

The fall wood-firing, led by Tim See and Shawn McQuire, came to a smooth ending earlier this month The team of potters met at 9am to unload the kiln and were done by the time I arrived.  Here are some photos of the empty kiln.​

Wonderful Journey

Gratitude and thankfulness permeate the wonderful journey of creating Pottery. From handling the raw clay to receiving feedback from folks who have one of my finished pieces in heir hands, I am truly blessed and humbled.  

Thank you to everyone!

Cairns Teapot and Teachers

Staying on the Path

The enthusiasm of a teacher is priceless. Seeing and feeling the love a teacher as he or she shares passion or joy about a subject can propel a normally shy kid to ask questions or conduct further research at home on Google, or even step to the front of the class forever changing his or her life. This is what happened this year regarding teapots and…. cairns.

Cairn: Per Wikipedia, a cairn is a human-made pile (or stack) of stones.

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The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn (plural càirn). In modern times, cairns are often erected as landmarks, a use they have had since ancient times. However, since prehistory, they have also been built and used as burial monuments; for defense and hunting; for ceremonial purposes, sometimes relating to astronomy; to locate buried items, such as caches of food or objects; and to mark trails, among other purposes.

To me the cairn illustrates the importance of Staying on the Path.

My pottery teacher is a master potter. He is world re-known for his art, has exclusive clients, and most of all he teaches what he loves and loves what he teaches. This year his students were asked to create a series of pieces that tie-in somehow with one another.  I completed my assignment, starting with these concepts: earthy, elemental, chakras and concluding with geology, rocks, and cairns! Making rocks isn’t as easy as you would initially believe. I had a great time exploring the nature of rocks, type of rocks, rock history, even rock stories and questions, including How did that rock end up like that? What forces affected the shape and texture? Any fossils in those rocks? and so on.

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At the conclusion of class I had created an incense burner that had a large rock base with a deep well (almost like a water collector but works to hold the ashes), a pot with a cairn lid topper, and a teapot, all with the cairn theme.  All conveying that important message: Stay on the Path.

Now here’s the thing, I never made a teapot before (or an incense holder and am new at making lids); however for some reason I was compelled to make a teapot. I don’t drink tea often.  In fact I didn’t even know the difference between a tea kettle and a teapot.  BTW, in the U.S.A., a tea kettle is a vessel for boiling water for tea, while a teapot is a vessel for brewing and serving tea. However I do know that there is an ART to enjoying tea – from selecting the type of leaf to make the tea from, to the temperature of the boiling water, to how long and how the tea seeps, and so on. Yes I do have an awareness of the art but I am not fully knowledgeable nor practiced to any great extent.  Yet here I jumped in with both feet to make my first tea pot  – with the cairn concept.

 Here is where I share with you that the teapot I made, with the cairn theme, is a soulful and artistic expression combining the cairn message and the ART of enjoying tea. This teapot was also created without me providing any heads-up to my instructor, who by the way is very well know for making amazing teapots.  So as you can imagine, when I readied my pre-bisqued piece i received ‘The Look‘.

So here it is, my artistic expression of combining the Art of Tea with cairns, a.k.a. Staying on the Path:

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Can you see the cairns?