Art Work of the Month: Challenges and Twists


These two pieces represent a departure for me in my college years. I had taken hand building and wheel throwing but had not stepped out side the box very much.

During this time I fell in love with speckled stone wear clay (the darker tone) it just felt richer and I loved leaving the natural clay body exposed or clear glazed. It seemed wrong to hide such beauty under bold color.

One day in class my teacher demoed how to “mix” clays for different effects. I chose to mix the white and speckled together. It created this wonderful marbled pattern.

Another time we were working on different types of handles in class and my teacher told us that you “couldn’t” do a braided handle because the clay would dry out to fast or crack because it was too thin. I made the pitcher above to see if that was really true, guess not. It did take several tries but eventually I got it.

During another class we focused on different types of lids/stoppers. I knew the moment we started working on this project that I wanted to make a decanter. 1- because I have always thought that they were beautiful. 2- it looked like it would be a good challenge.

I worked hard to measure with the calipers to make the top of the bottle and the inner stopper work right together. I added some decorative cutting to the neck of the bottle in the “leather hard” stage when the clay is still moist but not wet any more.

When I look at these two pieces I see myself stepping out a bit. Finding my own way in my art making and taking risks. I believe that all meaning full art comes from taking some risk in expression.


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