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Playing In The Mud

My summer ceramic studio looks remarkably like my back patio. It’s a covered patio and I don’t get direct sun until very late in the afternoon. I can spend mornings out there and finish up when it starts to get hot.


I think I finally got mugs figured out. I’ve been told that after making 100 of anything, one then knows how to make that object. It took 10.5 years and a few hundred mugs, but I think I’ve finally gotten it. I made this mug this morning. Yes, I know it has goobers on it. Those get cleaned off tomorrow. Right now, the mug is still under plastic slowly drying.


I wanted to make some texture stamps. I used a slab 3/8″ thick. After cutting out the stamp blanks and smoothing off the edges, I put the blanks between two boards to dry. I wanted to put handles on the backs, so I needed to do that before the blanks were completely dry. I got warping. I’m thinking it won’t make a whole lot of difference in how the stamp looks, but I can’t figure out how to make them perfectly flat.


These are the stamps from the front. I haven’t gotten them completely cleaned up. That happens tomorrow.


The stamp on the right is a stylized pine tree. I’ve been carving it into mugs and I thought it would look nice stamped into a plate or bowl. I wanted two sizes so that I could have a stamp for smaller pieces. When I was doing preliminary cleaning, I had one of the stamps upside down. I took a good look at it, and I like it upside down.


I’ve been playing with wonky shapes. This also will get cleaned up tomorrow. I put feet on it, pushed, squeezed, and fiddled with it to make indentations and waves. When I cut out the bottom, I drew a shape with no particular shape in mind and that’s what I used. The piece, like the mug, was coil built.


This is the piece that started the wonkiness. I fired too hot, there’s a huge crack in the bottom, and the glaze is washed out. But… I like the idea so I’ve made a couple more.




I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 21+ years as a criminal defense attorney. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer starting on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at: