February 20, 2014

Letting the Clay Body Shine Through

The last batch of ceramics I made for my pit firing made use entirely of locally mined clay. This clay had a variety of interesting colors in buff, red and caramel. In order to make use of the natural color in the clay body I made a number of small vessels that I either did not apply colorants to, or applied pigments to highlight only small areas like lids on vessels or the neck of a bottle. I used a stone to burnish the surface of the natural clay, leaving it rough in certain areas for contrast. The small lidded bowl pictured above was a product of original design. But the bottles with the long necks were inspired by the Byzantine glass bottles I saw recently in New York. One of these had an interesting donut hole in the base. Most had long slender necks that swelled in the middle then tapered down again towards the top. Their original purpose was to hold myrrh. My ceramic bottles inspired by these exotic vessels hold only air.

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