The Future Holds a Secret…

…and the secret is, what will these bowls and plates look like when I am finished with them?

I haven’t made any functional clay work in a long time. I’ve focused on tiles and sculptures. But — I got an itch to make some bowls and so…I did. Here they are as they come out of the kiln.

These items are all hand-built. I have several commercially-made bowls and plates that I use as forms.

I roll out a slab of clay (in this case, I am using low-fire terracotta and white clays).

I prepare the form by cutting strips of newspaper and lining the bowl or plate with them, then wetting the strips. This step is necessary to prevent the item I’m making from cracking as it dries – the clay will shrink  and so the paper allows it to move, rather than being stuck to the form, pulling away, and breaking. Once the item is dry, I remove as much paper as I can, but it’s ok if I don’t get it all – the paper burns off in the kiln.

Once everything has dried, I load the kiln and do an initial (bisque) firing.

These items were fired a couple of days ago. Now I will decorate them, and I think it will be a long process, since I intend to put a lot of detail into them. I don’t want to hurry – I want to take my time and enjoy the process. So it may be a while before they reappear, all dolled up!

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11 thoughts on “The Future Holds a Secret…

  1. Dana Doran

    Good morning Claudia! For artists, it’s always the process isn’t it? The finished product is a plus, but it’s the process where we “live.” I’ll be watching for the big reveal!

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    You are so right. I have no idea what to do with these bowls when they are done. I am just looking forward to spending time with them as they acquire whatever personality they are going to have. I think this will be a long project – this kind of work takes a lot of time – but I will keep everyone up to date, I enjoy see what people think!

  3. Claudia McGill Post author

    That’s what I am looking forward to – a nice long session with each item, really taking my time, seeing what comes out. There is no deadline or goal, just – enjoying! you are so right!

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I have vague ideas what I want to do with them. I think it will be like what you are doing right now – work on them a little, then set aside, then more, then more…I do know it will take a long time to do all I am planning to these items. But I like the idea of a slow-moving project with no deadlines or even any real – purpose. Just pleasure.

  5. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I haven’t heard anyone say “dolled up” either, recently, I guess, but it rolled right out of my brain. I like it, too. And I think it’s quite descriptive!

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