Raku Fired Pottery | Crystal Fired Pottery

A decade ago, when I was young and foolish, I believed that the world was structured by engineers. After all I was one. Almost from birth, I was a scientist. The left brain ruled. Show me a machine or an equation, and I was in my element. Never before had I been interested in or evaluated any artistic effort. Then, when I was 45, in an almost casual way, art entered my life. My wife and I were perusing a local adult education catalog offered at the high school and thought we might try a pottery course.

This one thing, this almost trivial exposure to artistic expression unlocked the rest of my head in ways that are still, ten years later revealing themselves. Not only did I become a teacher of clay art, but I discovered that I could carve delicate figures in almost any medium, cast silver and bronze jewelry, draw both still-life and fantasy pencil art, and paint. The drawing skills came as a complete shock. I had been used to straight line drawing all my life in technical drawing, and had never used shading. Sculpting and modeling is a complete joy.

The point here is everyone has something of an artist inside them. I denied it for 45 years, and that is 45 years I could have been creating.


 
Occasionally, Sherry gets to play with clay, here is my time with clay and leaves.... After using the slab roller to make sheets of clay the appropriate thickness, it makes a great table to work on the project.

We then place the leaf on the slab and press it into the clay so the detail is transferred to the clay.

Using a needle tool or a useful substitute, the leaf is cut out and the organic leaf is removed. Sometimes, the leaf can be used several times before it is too damaged to make the impression.

Sometimes the leaf doesn't want to stay on the clay when being cut out, so it is removed and the shape is cut using the outline left in the clay. It is much easier if the leaf cooperates and stays put while the cutting happens.

The shape is left for several hours and then the edges are thinned and softened with trimmers and damp sponges. They are then left to dry before placing in the kiln.
Most of the time we bisque the greenware before glazing, but we are experimenting with single firing. These are glazed greenware ready for the kiln.

I found a new weed that has these wonderful mostly round, very large leaves to make plates, bowls and whatever other shape I can get the clay to assume.

Several of the new shape sitting on a drywall slab to get them ready to bisque

A little hard to see in the picture, but these are shallow bowls almost ready for the bisque kiln.

This is how some turned out after glazing
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