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How Not To Get Swirls

If you gently mix two colors of clay, you can throw a pot with swirled colors. I’m trying to achieve the same swirls with coil building. I don’t throw. If I want that much aggravation, I can always go back to being employed.

Not getting the swirls on the mugs that got attached by the critter, I decided to mix white clay and chocolate clay. I couldn’t see swirls when the pieces were finished, so I tried carving into them to reveal swirls.


At least the mug wasn’t attacked by critters.


So that didn’t work too well. You can see on the bottom of the bowl that I did get swirls when I rolled out a slab for the bottom.

Next, I made thicker texture stamps. The first batch were from a 3/8″ thick slab and I put handles on the backs. A friend suggested rolling the slab thicker and the stamps wouldn’t need handles. Plus, the stamps sans handles would be easier to store.


I wanted a stamp for my initials. That’s a dalet and a lamed. My name in English is Deborah Lee. In Hebrew it’s Devorah Leah. Hence, the dalet (d sound) and the lamed (l sound). Making Hebrew letters backwards so they will stamp forwards is disorienting.


Here are all the stamps. I used the laguna chocolate clay because I don’t like using it for pieces that will be fired to ^5. Stamps only need to be bisque fired to be usable.


Jim made me drape molds for a dinner plate, pie plate, and an oversized pie plate suitable for quiche. The white stuff inside the pie plate is corn starch. I roll out a slab, sprinkle corn starch all over the slab and then put the slab on the mold. The cornstarch keeps the clay from sticking to the mold. I’m not pleased with how the rim came out.


This is the mold Jim made me. Cleats on the bottom to make it easier to pick up.

The experiments will continue. For now, I have to get all of my pieces ready to be bisque fired this weekend. I’m putting white terra sig on the bottoms of the pieces so that the bottom will be smooth. I’ve got about 5 pieces that need terra sig.




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: