faux bois

In mid April, while trolling pinterest, I found this tutorial on making faux bois.  I'd seen one eons ago on the old martha stewart show about using a faux finishing woodgrain paddle on a slab and throwing it on a wedging table to stretch it out (I believe Jeff Bridges was demonstrating? who knew the Dude was a pottery person?  And completely aside, I have a lot of respect for his humanitarian work- he really makes a difference).  I was in a slump and needed to do something to spark my creativity (and to get back to work), so I shook up my bottle of cobalt wash, rolled out a thick slab, and went to work.  Here are the results:

The platter in the foreground is very rough/rustic.  It was the first slab and I didn't trim it at all, just laid it into a mold*.  I think I'm going to use it outside on my porch.  The second slab became the four dessert plates to the right.  In the background is the last slab I made, and I cut it to fit an oval platter form I have.  I took the leftover bits of clay and rewedged them to throw with.  I hope that there will be some cobalt marbling in the finished piece, but I didn't see anything as it dried.  We'll see!

I'm going to try this with my Mississippi River clay slip, as well, and see how that works.  I'm not sure this is something that I'll make a lot of, but it was a fun diversion.

Tomorrow I'll be back here with pitchers!

*speaking of molds, all of my molds are platters, plates, trays that I've found in thrift stores, antique/junk shops, and occasionally I'll splurge on the melamine trays they bring out at target every spring.  They have some great shapes that I haven't seen elsewhere, but I'd admit that my favorites are the small ceramic pieces I pick up at thrift stores for a song.