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.

 

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.

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

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 sea forms by MJ seal

They Survived!

My first batch of porcelain “sea forms” survived their first trip through the kiln. These are all completely free form pieces- I wasn’t quite sure what the final object would be and they all have a very organic ( and oceanic) look to them. Next step – glazing.

Porcelain sea forms by MJ seal
A variety of forms that could be bowls, vases, shot glasses and platters.
A porcelain bowl by MJ seal
This shell- like form would make an excellent bowl
Porcelain luminary by MJ seal
I was really wondering if this luminary would make it through the first firing.

 

Full view of a gingko leaf shaped spoon rest by MJ Seal

Do you see any Gold?

So with this Gingko leaf shaped spoon rest I wanted to try glazing with actual gold leaf. It was first coated along the back and sides with Temmoku (a brown/black glaze) the the top was coated with Nutmeg (an orange-brown glaze). I then basically water gilt the top part with 24 kt gold leaf using “magic water” (a glass forming liquid – basically water with a high amount of silica). When it dried I topcoated the gold with a “clear” glaze. The results were not quite what I expected-

a gingko leaf shaped spoon rest with an onyx finish by MJ Seal
This leaf developed a beautiful onyx like finish upon firing.

While the “clear” glaze actually came out very cloudy- and the gold leaf seemed to magically disappear- the final results were actually quite beautiful. The clear glaze developed striations-like you would find in onyx- where the gold leaf had crackled underneath. And in these if you look really closely you can see tiny specks of the gold leaf caught in the clear glaze.

close up view of a gingko leaf shaped spoon rest by MJ Seal
A close up view of a Gingko Leaf Spoon rest with an Onyx finish. If you look closely you can see minute specks of the gold leaf that bubbled up in the crackles of the clear top coat.