Friday, May 23, 2014

More Clay Play

In my last post I mentioned that I was starting to work with kiln fired clay.  But I didn't have time to share the details, because I had already promised a polymer clay update.

Well now, here's the scoop on my ceramic adventures thus far.  I have been designing jewelry with artisan ceramic components for many years now. During that time I accumulated a large hoard of ceramic pieces from 20 or so of my favorite artists. That's how I originally came to know AJE team members Karen Totten and Diana Ptaszynski.
This is just a teeny-tiny peek at my ceramics collection.
About 2 years ago, I started wanting to be able to make my own ceramic pieces.  I was so in love with the treasures that others were making that I just had to try it too.  I tried to ignore this urge.  You know how it is...I already have more creative hobby stuff than any sane person should own.  But alas, I finally gave into the temptation.
Marion Pollmann of Fine Clay Art took me under her wing and has been generously sharing her skill, knowledge and talent with me.  Marion and I have done art shows together and I have always admired her work.
One of Marion's popular house number plaques.
I have completed two batches of ceramics so far and am ready to bisque fire the third.  I've worked with different clay bodies each time, so I can get a feel for the different possibilities.
I started with the porcelain mix you see above.  In the picture below they are stained and glazed, but not yet fired the final time.  The ones that appear white, actually have a clear glaze that becomes transparent when fired.
Here are the final results of the first batch.  To say I was thrilled is a big understatement. The pieces turned out quite nicely, but the main thing for me is that this is a dream come true.  That's why I feel so much enthusiasm and the gratitude.
I love the green pendant on the top right, but it has a tiny crack in it, so I will make a necklace for myself with it, rather than offering it for sale.  A few of the other pieces have sold and a few are being saved for the June AJE Component of the Month Giveaway & Blog Hop.
Marion and I work companionably together, chatting and each glazing her own pieces.
The next batch of components was made with stoneware.  It is so different to work with than the porcelain mix.  Here are some of the stoneware pieces (with the exception of the blue flower at the bottom).  These have been stained but not yet glazed.
Marion's glaze bottles stand ready for use.

 Stoneware glazed and ready for the second firing.
And here is how the second batch came out.  I think the rustic stoneware looks especially nice with the imprints of the leaves and ferns.

On Wednesday I used a red clay that I just loved working with!  I don't know yet how it will look when it is done, but it felt really good in my hands, (yes, I'm a very tactile person!).  I think the joy is pretty evident on my face.
On Monday, June 2nd I will be posting the pictures for the June Component of the Month Giveaway.  Be sure to check back then to get your name entered for a free ceramic component for our blog hop.


  1. These are gorgeous, particularly the stoneware pieces - I have been wanting to try making beads and components with clay and wish I had a mentor like that

  2. I know. I feel extremely fortunate that Marion is helping me. You might want to check with your parks department and community colleges. They often have ceramic classes, too.

  3. Oh wow! The before and after photos of the porcelain mix pieces almost makes me feel your excitement and pride! Congrats :)

  4. Thank you, Ellen!

  5. Love your new pieces! Can't wait for CoM! Looks like so much fun Linda!

  6. Beautiful, all of them. How generous for Marion to take you under her wing.

  7. So exciting Linda, I'm loving what you've done so far!!

  8. You're a natural!! I love your leaf and fern pieces, and those little sunflowers on the green background are just stunning! The white and yellow teardrops with the brocade pattern are just gorgeous too.

  9. I love the little sunflowers! It's wonderful you're experimenting with so many techniques.

  10. Isn't clay the most fun? I love every step. I would love to learn how Marion applies the glaze, I've never tried it that way!

    1. She tells me you can use a paint brush, but she prefers to use the squeeze bottles with very fine hole tips attached. She does very small, detailed work with them.

  11. Kudos to your Linda for accomplishing what you have beed dreaming of doing. Your pieces are beautiful.

  12. These are beautiful, the patterns, the colors, everything about them.

  13. You look so happy! And your work is showing that!


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