Friday, November 5, 2010

Apple Pelargonium Bowls

I keep raiding the pelargoniums... They've got an incredible variety of leaf forms, and heavy veining that imprints beautifully. I initially planted them in my garden because many of them have beautiful perfumes, but they also look nice and are pretty tough- most are drought tolerant, but some are frost sensitive. The Nutmeg scented one in this pic has suffered badly this winter, but the Apple scented one I used for these bowls takes the frost no problems.
These are smallish bowls, with a very delicate feel. (Largest diam. 16 cm.) There's a brown dot on the larger bowl that I refer to as a "beauty spot". It's the result of a speck of undissolved iron in the glaze. This kind of effect is one of the characteristics of using ash or any unprocessed glaze ingredients, and the natural variation and serendipity this gives to the glaze is one of the things that attract me to it. I think it adds a more natural feel to the bowls, a pleasant departure from the absolute control evident in mass produced ceramics.

Spiral Bowls

For a bit of a change from my usual impressed designs, I've done a bit of inlay. Fine coils of white clay against a darker clay background and glazed with my usual Ash Celadon glaze. The curious thing is that the "glaze fit" (which means how closely the shrinkage rate of the glaze and clay match each other) is different for the two clays, with the result that there is finer crackle (crazing) over the white clay areas. One of those subtle things that you only notice when you look closely.
Happy news is that these bowls along with the "Apple Pelargonium" bowls in the next post have been accepted into the Ergon Energy Central Queensland Ceramic Art Award, which must be in the running for longest award title, but it's a good exhibition. Beautiful light filled double gallery space at Rockhampton Art Gallery, and a wide range of works by both established and "emerging" ceramicists. The exhibition runs from 3 December 2010 until 28 Feb 2011.