Category Archives: Clay

Tiny Tiles

These tiles are the end of the work I have to show you that I did at my studio clay class that I attended in fall 2019 and winter 2020.

I made the little people by collaging clay on top of a slab. The small tile was made with one of my personally-created stamps.

Both of these were dip glazed and are done in stoneware clay fired at cone 6. They are about 2 inches each, more or less, in size.

Maybe there will be another clay studio class in my future. Time will tell me that answer to that.

Irregular in Shape Plate

I’ve made quite a few plates in my time. I use a handbuilding technique where I take an existing plate and use it as a form for my own plate.

What you do is grab some newspaper, tear it into strips, and lay it on the plate form (eating side is up, as it would be in use). Spray it to wet the paper. Then lay your slab of clay on to the plate and trim it a bit. Smooth the edges.

You can decorate the clay when it is wet, you can wait until it is greenware dry, or you can bisque fire the new plate and then decorate it. In this case I used stenciling with underglazes and scratching into the clay while the clay was still wet.

Why do you need the strips of paper? So that when the clay dries, and shrinks as it does so, it will not pull itself apart and crack trying to release itself from where it has stuck on to the plate form.

You peel the paper strips off if you like, from the bottom of the new plate, before it is fired, but you don’t have to – they will just burn off in the kiln.

After the new plate was bisque fired, I then dipped it into clear glaze and fired it again. Now, anything that a person might use for food needs to have a glaze. In the case of this plate, I would say a person could utilize it for bread or unpeeled fruit or the like. And don’t put it in the dishwasher or microwave.

But it won’t hold up to heavy use – it is earthenware, or low-fire, clay that I have used here. If you want to eat off a plate as a regular dish, you need to use stoneware clay and fire to a higher temperature to get a good vitrified surface.

Anyway, here is the plate. You may see that when I trimmed the plate as described above, my hand did its usual thing and went wild of the mark. Therefore this place is out of round. Oh well. We all have our quirks.

Clay plate 11-19 stencil view 13

November 2019. Low-fire clay, Velvet underglazes, clear glaze, fired at cone 06.

And some closer views of the decor.


Figurine in Brown and Red-Orange

This lady is about 7 inches or so tall. I like her autumn dress colors and her patient expression.

She was made in October, 2019, raku clay fired at cone 06, Velvet underglazes.

Front and Back, We Are Very Dressed Up

Medium cylinder people in party dress. They look as if they want to break into song.

Terracotta clay, Velvet underglazes, fired at cone 06, January, 2020.

Medium Cylinder People, It Is Time For Your Close-Up

The little guys have been waiting since November 2019, when they were made, to get their chance to shine. Here it is.

Figurines about 5-6″ high, low-fire raku clay, colored with Velvet underglazes, fired at cone 06, November, 2019.

Ruby Lips Pothead

This is a vessel made with raku clay but fired in the electric kiln at cone 06. I don’t much like the color of the clay, but I didn’t know that until I had fired the item – it was a new clay to me at the time. So I did some stripes of brown and reddish-brown on the back, and gave him some red lips as a focal point. Now he’s better looking, I think.

Sort of like a pirate with chapped lips?

Velvet underglazes and clear glaze. Made in January 2020.

Tall Skinny Pothead

This fellow was made in January, 2020. About 10″ tall, terracotta clay, Velvet Jet Black underglaze on the exterior with a clear glaze over Jet Black underglaze in the interior, fired at cone 06. The glaze interacted with the clay and the underglaze to give the interior a dark blue cast, which I like.

Misc. Small Figurines

Take a look at this small array of little figurines.

Please excuse the photos, I don’t know why I never seem to photo the front/back views so that they are the same size. 

Terracotta, about 3-4″ tall, colored with Jet Black Velvet underglaze and fired at cone 06. September, 2019.

This small woman figurine, about 4-5″ high. White low-fire clay, Velvet underglazes, fired at cone 06, October 2019.

Baby cylinder figurine, about 4″ tall, white low-fire clay and colored with Velvet underglazes, fired at cone 06, November, 2019.

Triangle-Glaze Face Tile

Here is a very clear example of a tile that has been dip-glazed with overlapping sections. You can see that I held the tile by the corner and, rotating it each time, dipped it so that the glazes covered each other in some areas and covered open territory at the same time. In this way a variety of colors result from the interactions of the glazes.

There are three glazes on this tile. I planned it so that the face features would not be intersected by a glaze line as I felt it would muddy up the impression the face makes as a whole.

Standard clay 112, fired at cone 6, various glazes, about 4″ x 4″.

Clay tile three triangle face @ 4 x 4 2-20

Cat Man, Sort Of

Here is a figurine I made in February 2020 in my studio clay class. It’s about 10″ tall.

Cat figurine 10 inches 2-20

Standard clay 112, fired to cone 6, various glazes and copper oxide wash.

It’s constructed in the usual slab rolled into a cylinder way – cat head added on top. It was then bisque fired.

Next, I covered the head only with a copper oxide wash. I meant to wash it off, leaving it only in the crevices, as is my usual habit, but I forgot, and I then waxed it (as well as the bottom) to form a resist because I planned to dip glaze it. As you know, the wax “resists” the glaze when I apply it – it runs right off – so that the head will not accept any glaze and stays copper.

So I did this wax bit and I dipped the figurine into one glaze color head first, another one from the bottom up, and poured two more selections over his mid-section. When I finished and was doing a gentle clean-up of stray glaze blobs on the cat’s head, the wax started flaking off.

Oops, I learned something here – the instructor told me that wax will not stick to the metal washes we use. (I’ve had success with waxing a metal-washed item before because I rinsed so much of it off when I seek to remove it except in the item’s crevices). Not the case here – there was too much copper and hence, the flakes.

Well, what was done was done. I sent the guy into the fire. You saw what came back. He looks great, I think. I like how glaze droplets (which stuck to the head where the wax peeled in the glazing process) interacted with the copper to give him shiny freckles, and how the copper migrated and left him with a spotted look to his face.

Cat figurine 10 inches head closeup 2-20

Also, here is a (blurry) closer view of the area near the front bottom of the piece. The lovely colors are caused by the overlayment and dripping of the several glazes I used during the firing process.

Cat figurine 10 inches glaze detail 2-20