Back in the game

So after a couple months hiatus I managed to have a very productive weekend of sculpting-

Luminaries, vases and napkin holders made from a light brown stoneware clay

In this batch I have made a variety of kitchen implements and vessels with a new stoneware clay that should come out a dark beige color. *If* they survive I’m thinking I’ll coat them with a distressed layer of warm white glaze and over top that with a clear layer which should give the appearance of antique ironstone pottery.

Two spoon rests and a soap dish.

This pieces in this collection, like most of my work, has a very organic look to it. The spoon rests and napkin holders look vaguely like seashells.

The napkin holders remind me of ancient brachiopod fossils.

My favorites from this batch are the luminaries which resemble primitive sea sponges-

A trio of very organic looking luminaries.

I really hope the luminaries survive as they were very time consuming to make. Each little hole in them is a potential starting point for cracks. With any luck these pieces will survive the slow drying process over the next couple weeks and then it will be time to glaze them.

 

Experimental Forms

I had a few scraps of stoneware clay so I decided to try sculpting out some physical forms of the vague shapes that had been floating around in my mind-

Macaroni vase A potential macaroni vase[/caption]

I had seen a macaroni vase in a recent issue of Better Homes and Gardens and decided I would try to make one using a flat slab of clay instead of a a wheel-since I do not have a throwing wheel. I rolled out some leftover clay, cut an hourglass shape out and rolled it up. Then turned up the openings and molded the lips a little.

Two incense holders and a strange cornucopia shaped dish Two incense holders and a strange cornucopia shaped dish[/caption]

I really hope the vaguely cornucopia shaped dish survives- it brings to mind some of the fossils I’ve found of primitive sea life.

IMG_5303 A slightly different view-

Just in time for Fall

I have a fresh batch of leaf-shaped spoon rests and soap dishes in all the hues of Autumn-

Stoneware Red Oak Leaf Spoon Rest with Autumn Scarlet Finish 01 Alas-only one of the Red Oak leaf shaped dishes survived- but the finish on it is perfect.

Stoneware White Oak Leaf Spoon Rest with Autumn Scarlet Finish 01 I love how the Temmoku underglaze interacted with the Satin Matte Red Glaze.The mottled effect is almost a dead ringer for real fallen oak leaves.

Stoneware Sugar Maple Leaf Spoon Rest with Autumn Gold Finish 01 Most of the Sugar Maple trees in the woods behind my parent’s house turn a pale gold mottled with brown and orange similar to the finish on these dishes.

Leaf shaped ceramic spoon rests in all the hues of Autumn from The Farmhouse Atelier 01 Ceramic leaf shaped dishes in shades of Autumn Scarlet, Gold and Celadon Green mottled with brown.

Ceramic Napkin Holders

Fresh out of the kiln- a batch of very organic-looking napkin holders made from porcelain and stoneware clay:

Stoneware Napkin Holder by MJ Seal with Chartreuse Finish 01 The bright acid-green coloration of the Chartreuse Finish is not exaggerated.

Stoneware Napkin Holder by MJ Seal with Celadon Green Finish 01 The shapes of these napkin holders reminds me of coralline algae. I love how the Celadon Green glaze on this piece turned out.

Napkin Holders by MJ Seal The green and blue coloration of these pieces mesh well with their leafy, coral-like forms.

A very productive weekend

It’s been a very productive weekend and now I have a large batch of spoon rests, soap dishes, platters and bowls on the drying shelf-

fresh-batch-of-porcelain-spoon-rests-and-platters-by-mj-seal
Some very organic, free form porcelain wares.

All of these pieces were made from “reconstituted” porcelain clay that were part of previous sculptures that split during the drying process. I will be drying them very gradually and I’m  keeping my fingers crossed that they will survive.

potential-leafy-platters-made-from-porcelain-by-mj-seal
Two potential leafy platters.
white-oak-leaf-spoon-rests-by-mj-seal
A pair of White Oak leaf spoon rests.
potential-seashell-bowl-by-mj-seal
A seashell bowl

Testing out a new stoneware clay

Since I have been having some issues with the porcelain clay splitting during the drying process I decided to try out a stoneware clay. This stoneware clay is similar to porcelain but contains “grog” -a prefired material ( in this case a fine sand) that will not shrink during drying and renders the clay less prone to splitting and cracking. It seems to dry a little grayer in color than the porcelain clay but other than that it has very similar working properties-

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The items in this set all have a soft square or rectangular profile and I’m envisioning them with a white marble finish
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A cheeseboard

 

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A set of four potential tumblers
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Three relish/ dipping bowls with a soft square shaped profile

Sea Forms

My first batch of experimental sea forms turned out beautifully-

porcelain sea form luminary by mj seal
For this porcelain luminary I applied a layer of Nutmeg Glaze to the outside and then top-coated that with several layers of white- they melded beautifully. In the interior a applied several layers a translucent burgundy glaze and then applied a layer of clear along the edges which created a very smooth transition.

These free-form sculptures took on a variety of oceanic forms- Seashell  shaped  soap dishes, primitive sea sponge like goblets and vases and leafy, algae like platters and luminaries. With the glazes I experimented with mottled, oyster shell finishes and smooth transitions from areas of clear glaze into patches of intense color.

seashell soap dish made from porcelain by mj seal
For this seashell-like soap dish i glazed the interior with a shell-pink Peach glaze, and then top-coated that along the “lip” with layers of Satin Clear glazes- than transition came out perfectly. Note the slight ridge on the bottom to keep the soap from sticking.
sea sponge shaped goblet made from porcelain by mj seal
On this little shot glass/ mini vase I created a mottled oyster shell-like finish with a combination of Temmoku and Satin White glazes. on the interior I applied several layers of Lavender. The shape of this miniature goblet reminds me of some primitive sea sponge.
porcelain sea form luminary by mj seal
With this leafy luminary I applied layers of Satin White glazes over a layer of Nutmeg- which created a sea shell like finish on the outside. The interior was coated with an intense, translucent coral glaze.
turquoise porcelain platter by mj seal
On this platter I applied Nutmeg and Temmoku Glazes along the sides and edges of the top and then I applied several layers of Turquoise to the top/inside. The final effect look like the aerial view of some tropical lagoon.
porcelain sea form business card holder by mj seal
On this business card holder I applied an opaque white glaze over splotches of Temmoku on the outside for a mottled oyster shell effect. on the inside I painted several layers of turquoise and top-coated the edges with a Clear Satin glaze.

Porcelain Leaves

Another batch of leaf-shaped porcelain spoon rests and soap dishes are glazed and out of the kiln-

porcelain leaf shaped soap dishes and spoon rests by mj seal
On this batch of leaves I applied two layers of Nutmeg to the backs and sides; three layers of Yellow glaze to the top surfaces and a thin layer of Temmoku to the back, sides and top edges. The result was this interesting cheesecake like finish.
porcelain sassafras leaf shaped soap dish by mj seal
I coated the back and sides of this Sassafras leaf shaped dish with two layers of Nutmeg glaze. On the top surface I applied three layers of Seaweed. Then a applied a thin glaze of Temmoku along the top edges, sides and back. The final result was strangely retro and psychedelic.
red oak leaf spoon rest made from porcelain by mj seal
The coral red glaze on this Red Oak leaf shaped soap dish came out very intense. The effect is nice especially along the edges where I applied a bit of Temmoku- but could use a little tweaking.
porcelain chestnut oak leaf spoon rest by mj seal
On this Chestnut Oak leaf shaped spoon rest I applied a this glaze of Temmoku over two layers of nutmeg- which created this rich, bronzed brown finish.

Porcelain Holiday Ornaments

The first batch of porcelain holiday ornaments are glazed and out of the kiln-

peace dove and cardinal Christmas tree ornaments made from porcelain by mj seal
For the Dove of Peace ornaments I applied several layers of matte white over splotches of Temmoku. I gave the Cardinal ornaments a plain Coral finish.
leaf shaped porcelain holiday ornaments by mj seal
Red Oak, Gingko, Tulip Tree and Sassafras leaf ornaments. The translucent coral glaze on the oak leaves came out especially nicely. The yellow glaze on the others came out a bit pale
porcelain star shaped ornaments by mj seal
On this batch of four and eight pointed stars I applied a pale translucent yellow glaze over splotches of nutmeg glaze.
porcelain xmas tree ornament by mj seal
I glazed the stylized Christmas tree shaped ornaments with a combination of Seaweed and Temmoku glazes- the results were a bit psychedelic.
coral glaze on porcelain jewelry by mj seal

Experimenting with glazes for porcelain- Part 2

So I made a huge batch of porcelain necklace pendants and after bisque firing them  I tried out each different glaze on the shelf . I also experimented with an array of different layering combinations and blends. Most importantly I wrote down (in tedious detail) what I did on each of them-

experimental glazes in porcelain necklace pendants by mj seal
The pendants before firing- they will look nothing like this after the cooking process.
porcelain necklace pendants by mj seal after firing
The pendants after firing- the one in the center was glazed with “Seaweed” and then layers of “Indigo Float” were applied along the edges.
porcelain necklace pendants by mj seal
The Turquoise and Indigo Float combination turned out especially nice.
coral glaze on porcelain jewelry by mj seal
And I’m very happy with the (expensive) Coral glaze I found- which is good because I have alot of cardinal ornaments in the works.