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Naked Raku-fired Pottery

For years I have wondered about this fascinating firing technique. Although I am quite familiar with raku firing, I never tried “naked raku” until recently.

And yes, while it does sound like I am showing off for my neighbors, I am actually fully clothed while firing these pots!

Naked raku refers to the notion of using no glaze on the pots. Instead of my usual glazes, I roll the bisque fired pot in a thick layer of wet slip. The slip dries & cracks during the next firing, leaving some naked exposed areas on the pot. Once the pot reaches the desired temperature, I remove it from the kiln and place it quickly into a small container of recycled shredded paper. The fire & smoke finish the pots to form a striking black & white pattern.

Low fired naked raku and feather decorated pots.

A few of the advantages of this firing technique: the firing temperatures can be lower, thus resulting in faster firing times. I usually pull the pots at around 1300 degrees. The process is nearly fool proof, however, thicker slip seems to produce more pronounced patterns (and it is much easier to clean off the residue!) The best part is using all that slip I manage to accumulate!

For a bit of fun, I also experimented with rolling slip over a previously finished glazed pot (see the blue pot above) and the results were quite satisfying! Also pictured above are a few of my feather decorated pots. In place of the usual horse hair, I used some seagull feathers I found at the beach to swish onto the hot pots. They are a work in progress….

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September Saturdays at Lockwood’s

I am very excited to be one of many local artists at Lockwood’s September Saturdays. https://weknowplants.com/events/

Each Saturday, local artisans, not for profits & vendors will be joining the community of Lockwood’s Greenhouses to offer specials on plants and handmade garden inspired art!

I will be there on the second Saturday, 9/11 from 9-4.

Decorative raku fired pottery leaves
Vintage broken china made into pendants
Repurposed antique and vintage Sterling
Sterling Clay violet leaves

My work includes decorative raku pottery, handmade Sterling Clay leaf pendants, restored/repurposed vintage Sterling jewelry and much more!

https://weknowplants.com/

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Winter Violets

Although I only participated in a few art festivals during 2020, I tried to maintain a decent level of creative production. The most fun was experimenting with Sterling Metal Clay, sculpting leaf pendants using tiny garden foliage imprints.

My kilns work overtime firing glass, pottery and Metal Clay. These are a few of my violet leaves, forever transformed into Sterling jewelry, displayed in one of my handmade glass bowls.

Warm wishes for a wonderful new year filled with hope and good health. Looking forward….

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Fall inspiration…

Although I have no shows scheduled for the foreseeable future, I feel inspired each day to continue creating.

One of my favorite new discoveries is called MetalMagic- a truly fun way to transform garden leaves into wearable Sterling silver pendants.

Small leaves pressed onto the thinly rolled clay are kiln-fired to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit for 60-90 minutes. This allows the binder to burn away, leaving the silver, which is .960 pure -slightly higher than Sterling. Upon removal from the cooled kiln, I clean, oxidize, and polish the silver leaves.

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Inspired by Nature…

I will be sharing my one of a kind handmade jewelry and decorative pottery at Lockwood’s Greenhouses on September 12.

Continue reading
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Pets Alive WNY Fundraiser

I will be among the many local artists and vendors helping Pets Alive WNY (7007 Campbell Blvd. in Pendleton) celebrate their anniversary on Sunday, July 26 11-3!

https://facebook.com/events/s/anniversary-lawn-fete/554413892177243/?ti=icl

These are some of my pet-themed items- free gift with each purchase!
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Garden Inspired…

Under normal circumstances I would be preparing for The Buffalo-Style Garden Art Show held at the Buffalo & Erie county Botanical Gardens.

Here are a few items I created with them in mind…

Although this and many other wonderful summer shows are cancelled this year, I hope to be exhibiting my work later this year. In the meantime, be well and enjoy the summer!

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Looking ahead…

As summer approaches I am continuing to produce decorative pottery and one of a kind jewelry. I have acquired a few unique vintage Sterling jewelry items which needed a bit of rejuvenation.

While all my art shows have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, I look forward to a time when I can once again share my work in person.

Be well and hopefully we can once again enjoy festivals and fundraisers!

A leaf skeleton impressed into recycled torched copper.