2015: 52 plates

Oh. My. The holidays have come and gone and been full of family, joy, sales, work, changes, shipping, new opportunities, and everything you can possibly imagine.  And now, 2015 is in full swing. 

Last year I took a break from my daily sketchbook practice, re-learned watercolors, and worked like crazy on custom orders.  This year I'm going to repeat a practice from 2013, when I made a pitcher each week.  This year, I'd like to make a plate each week and explore different surface design techniques, patterns, and colors, as well as different shapes and forms of plates- thrown, altered, slab plates, molded, free-form.  A little exploration.  And a little more writing, to boot.

I thought I'd begin with my absolute favorite plate from last year, an 8" porcelain luncheon/salad plate I threw on the wheel but kept really simple.  I did my usual inlay beginnings with my favorite little bird and flower lifted from an antique transferware platter, but instead of using a cobalt oxide wash, I brushed over the dry plate with a dry but very dirty brush that I'd used to cover a leather hard plate with cobalt for a faux bois finish.  I love how soft and cloudy color contrasts with the sharp details of the bird, flower, and ticking edge. 

Here's another plate I really liked and will revisit.  It's also porcelain, about 11", and I painted a floral border with a tiny little brush and my cobalt oxide wash.  I did a similar platter for some farmer friends who married- vegetable themed- that I liked even better than this one.  And it looks like the hinges of my kiln need a little sanding and vacuum- there's a bit of iron oxide (rust!) that flew onto the plate.  More to work on.

Have a lovely beginning to your year, friends.