Jan 18, 2013


while preparing for the show, I found myself with a bunch of scraps of wood-grain slab that I felt compelled to use. that's one danger of handbuilding: when you have spare scraps you feel like you MUST use them. anyway, I had been experimenting a little with facets already, and then... well, I think I went a little insane.

each facet of this has to be pieced together and joined by hand. when you hand build, each joint is always considered a weak point - a place for cracks to root and ruin everything. so I have no idea how this made it through firings without cracking apart. and since it didn't sell, I have happily brought it home. the problem is, I now feel compelled to baby it and won't leave it outside in freezing weather. (however, the fern I have planted in it is an outdoor fern and is suffering the consequences...)

anyhoo... I love this piece. and to me, it represents where chris and I were in our heads when we left for sabbatical.

approximately 20 inches across at well, any given point. it has sort of a rectangular footprint, but then again, not at all. it's about 7-8 inches tall (not counting the fern).
eggshell wash glaze over iron oxide (to bring out the wood grain).
handbuilt, signed and dated.


Jan 17, 2013

G U A R D R A I L - B O W L S

many of the roads in new zealand are curvy, two-lane (at best) and well, treacherous. and we're talking about the highways, here. very few of them have guardrails. if there is a guardrail, you know they really mean it. so, just to keep things safe, I made some guardrails. you know, to keep your stuff in. or, if you live with anyone named "grabbyhands," to keep other people out.

wheel-thrown with hand-made rails. porcelain. clear glaze.
the smallest is 5.25 inches in diameter x 3 inches high. the largest is about 6.5 inches wide.
signed and dated may, 2012

three of the set are still available, and one without rails:
$45 with guardrails
$35 without

Jan 7, 2013

M O E R A K I - H O L D E R S

on the south island of new zealand, there is a place called moeraki, which is home to a crazy phenomenon called the "moeraki boulders." essentially they are a grouping of large boulders that have gradually been uncovered by erosion on the beach. perfectly spherical, perfectly natural, perfectly inexplicable and okay, one looked perfectly like the death star.

as we got closer to them, I began to get all pouty and disappointed that we drove so far and they weren't as big as I thought they would be, but then I got closer and felt like a total a-hole because holy crap these things are cool.

so I made some.

mine are all hollow. and bottomless. I made them with the intention that they would be planters. if I had put on bottoms, then you'd never be able to get a plant back out once you planted it - if it grew at all, the root ball would be too big to fit back through the opening. so these are made like tissue box covers. just ceramic and round. and for plants. though I wouldn't be upset if you put them over tissues either.

approx 10 inches wide x 4.5 inches tall. and the openings are about 2.25 inches in diameter.
signed and dated september, 2012. 
$50 each (2 of 3 remaining) 
ps: the amber and gray bowl shown in my last post is also still available. it was the prototype for these. approximately 7 inches in diameter x almost 3.5 inches tall. signed and dated september, 2012

the real thing (aka: the death star)

my versions

Jan 4, 2013

E W E - A N D - Y O U

occasionally, chris hates something I make. okay, that is not exactly right. occasionally, he hates a direction I take on something I am working on; I alter it in some way that he thinks is just not right.  usually when that happens, it ends up being something that everyone else loves. or at least that's how it seems, so it has become something we joke about. it doesn't happen often, but it does happen every once in a blue moon.

now usually, this about design work. this time, though, it was pottery. I built a fun blockhead sheep and when I asked him his opinion about adding arms and legs to it, I thought he said no legs, but yes to arms. which is where I had been leaning. the legs were just awkward. the arms added something it needed. so I added arms.

evidently I misunderstood. there was definitely a No Arms or Legs Club, president, chris thurman. so I made a second blockhead sheep with no arms. in the end, that was a very good thing because while transporting the "armed" (and then still wet clay) ewe, some idiot car stopped in front of me for no good reason in the middle of the intersection and I had to slam on my brakes, toppling the armed ewe to the floor of my vehicle.

words were screamed.

they were not nice words.

after some major surgery, plenty of worry and weeks of trying to dry her slowly enough so she wouldn't crack more, the armed ewe was saved, but the cracks did end up showing when she was fired. (however, I kind of like the crack. it gives her some nice character.) the "unarmed" sheep (which I named "you" after chris) turned out lovely as well, in his perfectness. to be honest, I was sort of waiting to see which one would sell first in the show (just to satisfy my own totally competitive and WRONG curiosity of who was "right,") but much to my surprise, neither sold.

so here they are, hand-built and lovingly sculpted out of stoneware. they each have iron oxide  applied under the glaze to give them the contrast aging. I put white cloud glaze over eggshell wash to see if it might give it more texture (white cloud is a bumpy glaze when fired), but it didn't seem to do too much. regardless, I love them both. and I won't ask you which one you think is "right."

"ewe" is 10.5 inches tall x 12.5 inches at her widest (across the ears). signed and dated, august, 2012
"you" is slightly bigger: 11.5 inches tall x 13 inches at his widest. signed and dated, october, 2012.

$200 each

left to right: "ewe" and "you"

"ewe" and her blemish

here you can see arms vs. no arms


Jan 3, 2013

S H I R E - S H E E P

when we visited hobbiton on our trip, the guide told us that despite having over 4 thousand (or maybe 6 thousand?) head of sheep already on the property, they brought in special sheep for the lord of the rings movies which had black faces, rather than white.

here's mine. now in order to make this, mom and I drew several versions on paper to figure out what would actually look like a sheep head. then I had to figure out how to build it in 3-D, so I started with a bristol board template, some tape and went from there. I think it took me a whole day. which makes me think I should have charged more for these, though they do tend to crack on the back, so maybe not. (if it sounds like I am speaking in multiples, it's because I am, and by the end of the show, had commissions to make 2 more!)

hand built stoneware with palladium glaze, which was a gamble; i had never used it before. its got a cool metallic sheen to it. the whole piece is about 14-16 inches high. not small!
signed and dated october, 2012.

S O L D (11.01.12)

the template, in progress

before glazing
on display at the show