Last of the waratahs

We live on a flower farm and the last of our Australian native waratahs have just finished. Today I made two dishes for friends using the white and red waratah as a decorative feature. I copy the waratahs as a botanical artist copies flowers. I need the flower in front of me and can’t work from a photo, so as they have just finished flowering I realised I needed to make these pieces quickly. They are yet to be fired or glazed, so will look quite different when fired.
waratah plate 007 (1024x768)waratah plate 005 (768x1024)

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Finished Sake set

sake set 010 (1024x768)
Just took my first sake set out of the kiln. Pretty happy with how it looks and feels, I just need to start drinking sake now!! No, actually it is made for a friend, however, they only asked for some sake cups but I got carried away! If she doesn’t want the set I will just make her some more cups, as I don’t want to break the set up.

sake set

I have been asked by a friend to make a Japanese sake set. I wasn’t sure of the size of the cups as there are some small cups called ochoko that are thimble sized, but I decided to do the medium sized ones. I have turned the larger sake cups (on the right) into espresso cups by adding some handles. sake 001 (1024x768)I have decorated them all with white stoneware slip and blue cobalt mountains. They look purple here but once glazed and fired they will be dark blue. I think I will make some more as I like the little bottles. deer 006 (1024x768)

Turquoise noodle bowls

three noodle bowls waiting to be packed for market

I have been quite sick on and off the last month, being diagnosed with glandular fever and consequently I have not been making as much as I would like or blogging here! I have had to slow down a bit and rest which feels like I am wasting time sometimes, but it means I have got better quicker. I have made some more noodle bowls for tomorrows Kinglake market and hope to make more next week, now that I am feeling better.
Winter is nearly over here in Australia and it has been cold and long so I cannot wait til spring. Today we had a beautiful sunny day up in the mountains, daffodils are out and tiny buds are starting to burst on the fruit trees. It is about to get busy here on our farm. Our Waratahs are beginning soon, our lambs are soon to be born and our ducks and geese are all sitting on eggs.

cups waiting for glaze..

new indigo plate 010 (1024x768)
I have been so busy lately that I have not been able to post much on my blog. I have opened an Etsy store, and have got caught up with promoting it. Have finally sold my first item, which was quickly followed by a second which is pretty exciting. I have been making more landscape cups after selling the first set to a friend. I hope to put these in a ceramics store in Melbourne, after I glaze them. Have been throwing some larger bowls which are an achievement for me, now I just have to decide how to decorate them. I have been given a commission this week as well, so hope to get the decoration finished and bisque fired for that by next week. Trying to find some smallish boxes for sending out work bought on Etsy, but having trouble as the local supermarket throws the small boxes out, I don’t want to buy boxes! Need to get myself a bit more organised!!

Copper used as underglaze

Copper used as underglaze

Copper tree and mountain plate

I thought I would try using colours that looked more natural than some of my other brighter pieces for this latest work. So I used 100% copper with water as an underglaze for the design with a chun glaze on top. After the bisque fire I had a terrible feeling that maybe the copper would make the glaze not food safe. So I went to one of the facebook ceramic groups and was given many different opinions on this matter. Some said it was safe others said it wasn’t, others said the whole design would smudge or disappear. In the end the design held up and after a 24hr vinegar test the glaze showed no reaction, meaning my glaze withheld the copper and is food safe! I was thinking I might attach some sort of hook on the back and make it into a wall hanging anyway. Just have to work out how to do that!

 

the plate before firing

Plate unfired

Decoration Day

I always love my work once it has been decorated and before it is fired. If only the finished product had the same dry look. However you wouldn’t be able to eat off them .. ceramics autumn 014 (1280x960)

I have been trying out some new bowl shapes and using copper carbonate as a stain.

inscribed bowl

Hope this has a nice watercolour green colour.

copper tree plateThis is quite a wide bowl hopefully it won’t crack.