pottery reclaim

Given our current economic (and environmental) climate, there's been a surge in the creative reuse and repurposing of "spent" items. Reusing old clothing, making over household items for crafting, art-making, even gift-giving. Reclaim, upcycle, reuse, repurpose- in some ways we've become our grandparents and great-grandparents again. I've been happy to reuse and remake textiles and other household items for a long time, but I've just figured out how to apply this to my pottery.

Last week I made quite a large firing mistake. I didn't realize how big it was until after I'd glazed my work and fired it and 1/3 of the kiln load came out with cracks in the bottom. Some cracked through the glaze, which caused fatal seeping. In the case of my egg cups, the cracks were in the glaze but not through to the bottom, but cracks in the glaze aren't food safe. Unfortunately, this happens fairly frequently. The number isn't huge- maybe 5% of my pots are damaged in this way, but this was a large number to lose. Rather than throwing the pieces away, I asked my friends at Peace Bee Farm if I could buy some of their beeswax (Rita makes wonderful candles!) to make some votive candles in these damaged pieces.

Almost every component of these candles is reclaimed from used or damaged items. The metal wick tabs are recycled from the cathedral votive stand (when I find myself with noting to do, I start looking for things to do. I've been helping to remove old candle tabs and replace votives for several years and thought about reusing the tabs a few weeks ago). I made several sets of rolled beeswax candles for Christmas gifts and used my leftover cotton wicking for this project.

I'm really excited about how this project has turned out. I kept a candle for me and put three of the egg cup votives up on etsy (and at stocking-stuffer prices!). There are a few more bowls- including one speckled egg bowl- that I'm going to turn into a large candle for a Christmas gift. Now I just wish I could figure out how to repurpose cracked berry bowls! Speaking of berry bowls, I just listed five more. I may have a few more on Dec 17, after the Deck the Halls Holiday Sale at Park Place Center in Memphis ends on Dec 16. I'm ready to focus more on making gifts for my family, so I've set December 16 as my
making and firing end-date. December 20 is the last day I'll ship packages.

Hope you have a wonderful week!