Works in Progress: A Week of Productivity

I’m going to my first craft show in two weeks (eep!), so this week I kicked production into high gear.  Here are some of the things I’ve been feverishly making (keep in mind these are all freshly-made, raw clay pieces):

A handbuilt cream pitcher–made from a slab of clay I textured with a vintage doily.  Here’s its mate:

A sugar bowl to match!  I love its irregular shape.  (My dear husband actually laughed out loud when I showed him this piece, but I stand my ground.)

I’ve been making a lot of these hand-built, what I call “embossed”, pieces, in which I roll out a slab of clay, cut it roughly into the shape I need, and press a piece of lace into it.  Then I’ll form it into a basic cylinder shape, attach the edges to each other where appropriate, and add bottoms and handles, etc.  There’s something very satisfying about it, different from the precision possible on the wheel–and obviously there are tons of possibilities.

In about 4 hours one morning, I put together six of these mugs from start to finish.

I know I’ve posted about these before, but I just keep improving them, so boredom begone!  This time I added some new features, including curving the handles a bit more for a more comfortable grip, and adding little buttons/nubs/tabs (haven’t decided what to call them yet) for interest and variation.

I’m inordinately excited about these mugs.  Here’s a link to an early example of what they will look like.

These little guys are an experiment–I know other potters make these, but I’m sort of improvising:

Beads, of sorts;  pendants, I guess.  I’ll just glaze their top, embossed surfaces, then a wire can be inserted into the hole and they can be hung on a necklace.  We’ll see!

Another new design–business card holders with a simple s-shaped curve:

This way, their texture can be viewed and enjoyed from the perspective of both the high-powered businesswoman behind the desk, and that of the meek little job interviewee.

Leaf dishes and embossed soap dishes are becoming staple items for me:

My first attempt at stacking, dessert-size leaf plates:

Hopefully they’ll end up something like this one.

Although I did a ton of handbuilding this week, I did throw a few pieces.  Mugs are a must, and honeypots are becoming one of my favorite forms.

But here’s something I’ve really loved working on:

The new and improved butter dish!  I made one of these a month or so ago, got a lot of compliments on it, and for some reason didn’t make any more.  This week, I remembered that I love this form and decided to experiment with adding handles to the covers.

The tray is, of course, smooth on the inside–I put the texture on the bottom for a nice surprise effect.  The eight little nub-feet will help keep the tray from warping in the kiln, and also hold the embossed surface off the kiln shelf and allow me to glaze that beautiful texture.

I’m in love with these.   Their texture is so much a part of the experience of using them–a hand fits perfectly around the cover, and a finger through the loop handle.

Just a couple weeks and these will be done!  I love my life.


8 thoughts on “Works in Progress: A Week of Productivity

  1. You are doing beautiful, BEAUTIFUL work, Rachel!!!! I love it all…to bad I don’t have an endless amount of cash to purchase every piece. =) Was wondering if you could tell me a price on the leaf dishes? I’m interested in those…would you be up to shipping me one if it would work out for me to purchase it? Once again great job, and keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much, Alisha! I’m having a blast with my work. The leaf dishes will probably be $16-18 each for the dessert-sized ones, and about $10-12 for the petite ones–I imagine shipping will cost $8-12. When they’re done in a couple weeks I can reserve one for you in my Etsy shop, and you can decide then. 🙂

      • That would be really great, if you could reserve one for me…I’ll talk to Reuben to make sure and then hopefully I will be ordering one. Thanks!

  2. love your work .Just a queery i am a newcomer to clay @ 75 & love using lace as you do .Do you use just a piece of lace or doiley or a template.Such great definition it jumps out at you.

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