May 31, 2011

From Inspiration to Decoration

I get a lot of questions about how I get my ideas and develop my ceramic designs. While I get a lot of my source material for the illustrations from vintage quilts and textiles, I am always looking for bits and pieces of inspiration everywhere. I like to take little visual treasures that strike me and reinterpret to be fresh and new while still speaking to the original material. I thought I'd share my creative process on a new plate design from inspiration to final fired art piece. A while back I picked up an old coffee table book on trees at the thrift store and loved some of the illustrations showing the tree bare and with full leaves.

I spend some time sketching to come up with a design that I'm happy with and then draw a final sketch at the scale I need for the piece I'm planning to put it on.

Then I make a pattern using a piece of clear vinyl shower curtain liner. This way I can see through the pattern to place it on the piece and can reuse it over and over without it wearing out.

Once I've transferred the design, I "stitch" it onto the plate while the clay is still leatherhard and add slip dots for texture. Each stitch and dot is applied individually, by hand. I don't use any kind of roller or transfer or stamp like many people assume.

After drying, I then paint on underglazes, bisque fire, stain and wash, glaze and fire again. My process is time intensive and has MANY steps to achieve the result I want.

The final plate after firing in my electric kiln. I'm calling this design "Winter into Spring". I think I may apply it to some tile designs and it's also making me feel inspired to create a four seasons series in the future.

Hope this helps show the work that goes into making a piece of my handmade pottery. It is a lot of work, but it is a labor of love and it's worth it when the first fired pot comes out of the kiln.

You can find them for sale here in my etsy shop!

Or, visit my studio for First Thursday in the Northrup King Building, studio 394 this upcoming Thursday, June 2 from 5-9 pm. Check out the new sculpure garden outside the building and enjoy a Root Beer Float courtesy of the building. Then come in and enjoy looking at some great art.

1 comment:

WildMagnolia said...

Simply beautiful! Thank you for a peek into your world.