Functional hand made stoneware pottery with complex metallic glazes available at The Virginia Farmhouse

Fresh Out Of The Kiln- Our Latest Batch of Stoneware Pottery

They Survived! And even better the (somewhat experimental) combinations of glazes I used came out beautifully-Stoneware pottery with metallic glazes available at The Virginia Farmhouse

So for this large batch of pieces I used a dark, red stoneware clay called “Brooklyn Red”. This clay is heavy, groggy and due to the iron oxide content will stain anything it touches (before firing of course). It’s actually the kind of clay used to make red bricks and in is incredibly durable once fired. It is great for hand building pieces as it has minimal shrinkage during drying and and attached parts really hold together.

I also love this clay as it gives you a rich, dark ground to work off of- perfect for the metallic glazes I wanted to use for these pieces-A tuliptree leaf shaped dish and other functional ceramics with metallic glazes hand made by MJ SealI used 2 different combinations of Potter Choice Glazes from Amaco. In group one I applied 2 thick layers of Saturation Gold to the piece. Then I coated that in a blotchy layer of Temmoku (a dark, translucent brown/black glaze) and Saturation Metallic. After those layers dried I applied a little more saturation gold to the edges and rims of each piece for a little pop of gold.A luminary, soap dish and various serving bowls hand made from red stoneware clay by MJ SealDuring firing the glazes melded beautifully. In the areas with a thinner layer of Saturation Gold the glaze developed a dark bronze coloration that flashes iridescent blue when viewed at certain angles. The splotches of Temmoku and Saturation Metallic gave silvery, pewter-like touches and in areas where the Saturation Gold pooled and dripped you can see these patches of rich gold with little coppery flecks.

Soap dish and serving bowls with an ancient bronze like finish available at The Virginia FarmhouseIn the second group (which turned out to be my fav) I applied a couple thin layers of Saturation Metallic glaze over the dried clay body then a splotchy layer of Temmoku with thick blotches of Saturation Gold.Metallic finish on a stoneware leaf made by MJ Seal at The Virginia FarmhouseThis combination of glazes developed a rich and complex black metallic finish with patches of pewter and ancient bronze. On these little dishes I made with torn edges (the clay had started to dry out and had become unmanageable) the finish almost makes them look like shards of a meteorite-Stoneware dish with torn edges and metallic glaze hand made by MJ SealClose up of a meteorite like finish on a ceramic piece hand made by MJ SealIt’s always nice when an experiment turns out even better results than you were expecting!

I think I’m entering a green period

I am definitely ready for spring (and summer) as you can see with these spontaneous woodland scenes-

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“Woodland Scene II”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 10 3/4″ x 8 1/4″. C. 2017
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“Woodland Scene III”- Original painting by MJ Seal. Acrylic on board, 10″ x8″. C. 2017

Wire Wrapped Necklace Pendant

I finally got a chance to try out the jewelry wire I bought months ago-

wire wrapped calcite crystal by mj seal
A large calcite crystal turned into a necklace pendant with silver jewelry wire.

The pendant itself is a large (and strangely sparkly) calcite crystal I found on hike in the mountains behind my Mom’s house. I went with a very minimalist approach to the wiring allowing it to appear in only a few key spots on the front- just enough to hold the stone in place. I went with the silver wire which I think meshed best with the milky white mottled with gray and orange of the calcite crystal.

wire wrapped calcite crystal by mj seal
View of the back
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This calcite crystal is encrusted with numerous tiny crystals that glint at different angles which is why this stone popped out so well on the forest floor where I found it.

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.