plates and patterns

Good morning!  This Monday in Memphis is sunny and pretty warm- the fruit trees are starting to bud out early, which means we'll most likely have another cold snap, but for now, we enjoy it! I have been working on filling orders and making inventory for a big event Mother's Day weekend, as well as for a possible pop-up sale close to Easter.  Since my grandmother has gotten home after her month-long hospital stay I've been working double-time to catch up.

Last night I unloaded the glaze kiln I fired over the weekend and was pleased with many of the pieces, and relieved to see that I seemed to have gotten all of the bits of rusted hardware that flies around and creates black flecks on otherwise white pieces out of the kiln.  First up: plates

Plate four.  I've done this half and half style before, but with stoneware, not porcelain.  I need to overlap my join better because this pretty little plate is nearly split in two.  Faux bois on one side, mishima on the other, laid on top of a mold I made from a lotus-shaped japanese export salad plate I bought at an estate sale a few years ago.  I love the shape (I really wish I had a larger plate in this shape) and will most certainly use it again.  In fact, I used it on last week's plate already, and may use it on this week's plate, as well.  Despite the cracking, I like this plate and it provided a good lesson for working with new materials.  It will probably end up on my plate wall over my kitchen table.

This plate, number five, is wheel-thrown.  Olivia, my assistant, and I have been doing quite a bit of faux bois work for a client and I asked her to wedge up the leftover bits so I could throw with them, hoping for a marbled clay.  After the bisque fire, I saw that the cobalt didn't really show up on this piece, so I glazed it with my speckled egg glaze.  It's just short of my regular dinner-plate size (I throw those to 11" and they wind up between 10.25 and 10.5"), but I didn't weigh out the clay as I normally do.  You can barely see the cobalt in the clay on the underside of the plate after the glaze firing.

I've been working in my watercolor and ink sketchooks a lot lately, playing with new images and patterns.  Last week I spied a lovely vintage crochet shawl on Instagram and did a quick watercolor sketch of it.  I have an extra bud vase on my desk and grabbed my jar of cobalt wash to see how it might work.  While I prefer the lighter colors of the watercolor and will work towards achieving that with cobalt), I am really pleased with how the pattern worked out and will be using it again.  Maybe even using it again today!