A challenge from my friend and pottery teacher, Suzon Martin, resulted in this creation. "Here", she says, "take this lump of earthenware clay and see what you can do with it." After a three year sabbatical from class, I was nervous to try anything larger than the raku jewlery pieces I had been creating to sell on Etsy. A prompt was necessary to get me away from the small raku pieces.
I am not a wheel potter. I fashion with my hands and roll slabs of clay to make my pottery. This piece is a slab draped to follow the contours of a bowl I had on hand. I took a walk in my yard and grabbed a couple of different kinds of leaves that happened to be close and started impressing these in the clay to form a background for the three dimensional work.
Another thin rolled slab let me impress, cut, then attach more life like leaves to the still wet clay in the bowl. I work wet...less scoring and magic water application that way. I seem to be more spontaneous that way.
Dragonfly's and a beetle or two and I have taken a perfectly functional form and made it unusable! Can't say why I have the need to clutter up a piece of pottery...it is just what the muse has me do!
I imagined a goldfish bowl? A bowl filled with water to float a votive? A bowl to float my favorite Gardenia blossoms in? Something fanciful?
Now, my dilemma is this... I imagined lots of color in the leaves and flowers against a natural background. The raku muse wanted this bowl...but the clay can not be rakued. I put a wash of white under glaze on the elements, thinking I could layer color later. In a change of mind and taking the under glaze off...the details of each leaf and creature began to pop. So, with the encouragement of teacher and fellow students...it has been fired with a simple clear glaze over the details of the leaves and creatures.
Should I fire again with vivid blues, reds and greens against the earthenware red, or leave well enough alone? That is the question! Should I make another in a raku clay to get those glorious iridescent colors I like so well and leave this one alone? Perhaps it should be all white glaze with the red earthenware showing in distressed areas? Look at the close ups in close up again to see the detail.
Too many options...just can't make the decision....help!!! What do you think about it ...as is?? The bowl measures 11 inches in diameter and is 3 1/2 inches deep. Is this much ado about nothing?