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Carving Tiny Clay Creations

After posting about my tiny pottery, I remembered how much I enjoyed making them and for the past few days have been working on these miniature vessels. I’ve carved a couple myself and left a few to Asa’s expert hands. My favorite so far is this mini flower vase that Asa is holding in the palm of his hand. Asa used one end of the wood tool in the picture to skillfully distort the shape  and then used the other end to press the small dots on it.
I made a normal sized bowl to rest the tiny pots inside and show you the relative scale. These little babies will sit to dry for a few days before heading to the heat of the bisque firing. Then I will likely glaze them in a variety of colors and they will undergo a second hotter firing. I’m excited to see how they turn out.

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Tiny Pots

It started with a small, one-pound lump.  In the process of building up my vessel, I stretched the clay to the point of tearing it.  Using my pin-tool, I trimmed off the torn wall of my cylinder. With the remaining clay, I attempted to create another cylinder, smaller than the first.  Little by little, I’d lose most of my clay.  But the smallest clay vase would remain.

Billy, my ceramics professor at Hope College warned me that if I continued working with miniatures I was only going to feed the cute, petite first impression that people have of me.  He picked up one of my tiny teapots and smiled.

When you see something that tiny, you can’t help but be amused.  It’s like being in line at the grocery story and making eye contact with a baby in the cart in front of you.  The next thing you know you’re playing peek-a-boo with Junior while his mom is at the checkout swiping her debit card.

All of these tiny pots were thrown on the potter’s wheel from a variety of clay.  In this picture, they have been bisqued.  A few of them will remain bisqued.  Others will go through a second fire after they have been glazed.    Most of them will eventually be made into earrings and other jewelry.

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A Worthy Vessel: Collaboration in Jade Celadon

This bottle is one of my favorite things that my husband and I have ever made together.  The glaze is a Jade celadon on a cone five stoneware.  I threw this vessel on the wheel and then attached the handle.  Then, when it was leather-hard, Asa carved it with wood-tools and transformed a simple form into this beauty.  Once bisqued, I brushed on three layers of the glaze and then it went through a second firing at over 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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When we visited his family in Santa Cruz, I came across a vessel unlike any of the work that I had seen at our studio.  I asked Asa why he didn’t do anything like it anymore.  He said that using wood-tools was a lot more demanding and time intensive.  This bottle took several hours of his diligent handy work in order to produce the design.  In the end, I believe this is some of Asa’s best work and worth the time he invested in it.