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Mud…. It Has The Ability To Heal

I’m still on the depressed side of center, so I spent the morning playing in the mud. After a couple weeks of 100+ temperatures, it’s a cool 90 degrees out. Not having the excuse of excessive heat, I wedged some reclaim. I was going to use the reclaim after  I finished the pot on which I was working…. but I got hungry and we’re now having thunder and lightening. Plus intense wind.

Recently, I bought a couple books for reference: Art Deco And Modernist Ceramics and The Arts & Crafts of Newcomb Pottery. As I was studying the photos, I started to ignore the decoration and just look at the shapes. I went on line and found about a gazillion images of Arts and Crafts pottery. I began to see just shape and I downloaded several images. They got filed in three broad categories: bottom larger than top; top larger than bottom; and cylinder. I started thinking about what would happen if I made a number of pieces in one category and decorated them all differently. What would it look like for Arts and Crafts pottery to feature southwest flora – cactus, yucca, Mexican poppies. Instead of the very famous Moon and Trees piece from Newcomb Pottery, what if I did mountains and moon. I have mountains behind my house. Okay, so that’s north of me but it’s my art and I can put the moon wherever I want to put it.

We’ve got the Peaceable Kingdom in our back yard. What if my pottery featured quail, ground squirrels,  rabbits, and what the heck – maybe a rattlesnake.

Because I coil build, it takes a couple hours to build one of these vases. DSCN9631DSCN9630DSCN9629

This was yesterday’s vase that I carved this morning. You can see some of my work from the last glaze fire, pieces ready to be glaze fired, pieces ready to be bisque fired, and a few of my herb pots complete with herbs.

I didn’t measure this vase, but it’s 4″ in diameter at the bottom and is tall enough for snapdragons, carnations and other medium length stemmed flowers.

I grow sunflowers and thought it would be nice to have a vase for sunflowers. That would be for next year when I plant the sunflowers that don’t have pollen. DSCN9628

This one started out 5″ in diameter at the base and is about 3″ taller than the first one. I haven’t decided how I’m going to decorate it. Some of the pieces will be carved, some will be decorated using assorted glazes and some will be decorated using underglaze. I think this vase might be a suitable size for about 5 sunflowers.

Here are some pieces from my last glaze firing. IMG_1731

Once I finally got a decent mug shape, I made lots of mugs. This one is an experiment. I used Rainforest celadon in the carving and Fog celadon over the top. I really like this combination.


Another experiment. I used Root Beer glaze in the carving and Marigold celadon over the top. I was hoping the Root Beer would bleed through. I’m not sure if I like it.


More Root Beer in the carving and either Chai Matte or Frosted Melon over the top. I did keep notes, but my notes are in the Summer Studio and I’m not. Clay dust and laptops are not compatible.


Cacao Matte shino.


I have a design for a purse that I’m working on. The purse, which will be perfect, will feature accoutrements. One should always have accoutrements. These are some of the ceramic buttons. I used the end of one of my carving tools to press texture that looks like staples gone crazy into the buttons.

I’m feeling closer to center than I felt this morning before I started playing in the mud. A few more pots, a few more earrings, a few more buttons, and I just might hit center.



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: