One of the last meals I had in a restaurant before the pandemic closed everything down, was at a fabulous place in San Francisco called Ozumo.
The food was "to die for"! So fresh and delicately flavored. But in addition to that, I noticed the plates and trays that the food was served on. Very simple, understated and organic in design. It allowed the food to be the art and acted only as a foundation. Here is my rendition of such a tray. You can find it under Trays on my website.
During this crazy time that we are living in, I was searching for something to add to my ceramic palette that would offer me a soothing experience. I found that carefully carving these intricate mandala patterns on my 12 sided plates were just the thing! I've found so many different and wonderful mandala patterns that I will be busy for aLONG time!
I've also discovered a wonderful new lavender glaze that reminds me of one of my favorite springtime trees.... the jacaranda! You will be seeing this glaze in many more of my pieces!
As I was cleaning out my clay cupboard about 3 months ago, I rediscovered a couple of fish tray forms that I had squirreled away and then promptly forgot about. I decided to make a series of different colored fish platters. They are great fun to make, as I can experiment with all sorts of different combinations of glazes!
I have been using one myself to serve baked salmon on. I've also used it to artfully arranged a veggie tray and cheese platter and always get compliments from my guests. You can find more of these fishies on my Trays page!
Do you need help arranging your flowers? This vase does just that! Simply put stems in the holes and flowers will stay where you put them.
This vase is a pleasing light turquoise color with a bamboo texture. You can see more details on my "Vase" page.
Here's something a bit different! I'm trying out different shapes for my vases and came up with this wrap around design with a twist. Instead of completing the wrap, I have folded back the edge, which gives the look of an open collar. I've also cut out designs around the rim to give it a see through look. This is glazed with 2 colors, one on top of the other. As they interact in the firing, they produce the wonderful rich colors and movement.
I was looking for something different to do with my bowl form...... I mean, a bowl is kind of a basic shape... more or less round or oval, shallow or deep. Then I came up with the idea of attaching small balls of clay to the seams and calling them buttons! It's surprising how such a small addition can give some "pop" to the regular bowl shape. So lately I've been happily adding buttons to all my bowls. Some are "innies" where I stamp a small round indent into the clay. Others are "outies" where I add the aforementioned ball of clay. Either way, they look pretty cute!
The Pantone Color of the Year for 2019 is.... Living Coral!
So I have created a number of my gratitude boxes using a similar glaze in coral.
These gratitude boxes are from 4" - 6" high and are perfect gifts for those close to you. I have many other colors on my "Boxes" page. Check them out!
I've been experimenting with clay coils. I've done coils horizontally for such things as making a bowl or vase. But here I made the coils vertical and of uneven lengths. The end result reminds me of a branch broken from a tree.
A friend of mine has been encouraging me to try making pieces using cone 5 glazes. I used such glazes on this vase and love the way the brown emphasizes the line of the coils, which contrast with the lovely turquoise interior.
I enjoy making my own stamps for texture. It's really quite easy. Just roll a small log of clay, then carve or impress a design! After it is bisqued, it is ready for use.
For the orange-ish and white bowls above, I used the same floral style stamp. But notice how different it looks under the 2 glazes. Each glaze accentuates the same stamp differently. Where it is heavier or lighter gives a totally new look to the impression.
The dark navy texture at the end is one of my most popular textures. I created it by using the edge of a wooden smoothing tool for clay and pressed in the star like design. The circles in the middle where pressed in with the end of a tiny straw.
Here are a few recent lidded boxes I made. I'm calling them "Gratitude Boxes" because inside is a small pad of paper and a tiny pencil for you to write down things you are grateful for during the month. Put the written papers in the box and let them marinate. At the end of the month, open your box and read through what you have written. Guaranteed to help you feel better after a crummy day!
Mims Ellis, Miriam Ellis, handbuilding potter