Wednesday 25 July 2018

Foliage bowls - Part 1

In the ceramics workshop at Signal Arts Centre in Bray, I decided to try out a new way of designing handbuilt bowls.  Still using the pudding bowls as formers (lined with cling film so that the clay doesn't stick to the bowl) I brought in ferns and wild rose leaves from my yard. I rolled out slabs and cut random shapes that I pressed into the bowl formers, which were also lined with the foliage.

My plan was that I would press the clay into the foliage hard enough that the patterns would remain once the foliage was removed. Though the bowls were free standing alreay, I wanted simple "feet" on them to increase the elegance of the finished bowl, lifting it from a table surface. The feet for both bowls were made simply from slabs that curved around the bottom of the bowls and joined with the scoring, slip and vinegar technique.

Both bowls have their feet, the ferrn bowl is upside down to show off it's foot.

Though the fern bowl's foot is slightly taller, the bowls are approximately the same size at 12 cm.

I carefully removed most of the foliage before putting the bowls in the bisque firing, but any that seemed too embedded was left to burn off in the kiln. This is the bisqued wild rose leaf bowl showing the fluff from the foliage that burnt off in the kiln. This fluff is easy to remove by blowing off or brushing off before glazing. I was thrilled at the detail from the foliage, which provided a great pattern. I immediately knew how it would be glazed -- details next post!

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