Tuesday, 22 December 2009


I managed to finish the second batch of my ornaments in time for Christmas. I strung them on matching blue ribbons for hanging.

We even had some wonderful snow in the past days that put me in a wintry mood but it's melting away today.

A few days ago I made some simple paper snowflakes and hung them on my wall. These should stay a bit longer.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Einer von den Guten

Kurt aka Roger Beathacker ist tot. Ich habe ihn nicht gekannt, aber ich bin traurig. "Nebenbei bemerkt...", sein Blog, gehörte zu meiner regelmäßigen und hochgeschätzten Lektüre und ist seit vielen Monaten hier verlinkt. Lest seine klugen Artikel!
Hier ein Nachruf von Roberto von "ad sinistram", der bessere Worte findet als ich es könnte.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christmas is coming

I'm still here and I'm still in a very autumnal mood. But as it is St. Nicholas' Day today it feels appropriate to show some of the Christmas ornaments I made in class. Some others are still in the making. Everyone was busy with cookie cutters making the pottery look like a bakery, so I gave them a try as well.

The glaze is a thin layer of white that makes them look almost edible.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Experimental Again

I don't feel very much like writing at the moment but I'm still crafting! (The wet and grey and sometimes very chilly autumn weather of the past weeks gives me some additional pain that makes it quite hard sometimes.)

As I have the habit to try some experimental stuff every now and then, I made a little dish.

On the inside I tested new glass, that actually is rather old. My potter found it when she was tidying up some shelves. It's a big jar full of finely grained yellow glass, that someone gave her many years ago and that she never used. It was waiting for me, I like to think!

As yellows are prone to burn away during firing I expected a big mess but I was surprised by some unexpected effects. It must have some really good flux in it, it melted so well and with only a few cracks and no burning. This stuff is of high quality! The dish now looks like it's filled with honey.

On the outside I tried some glaze carving. I have seen amazing results of this technique at pottery fairs and had to try if it works with the white glaze we use. The pattern held its shape perfectly. I see many possibilities ahead!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Some new old finished pieces

You might have spotted them already in some of the harvesting pictures I took over summer.

This is a blue version of my lava dish and I just love it.

This piece was a test and the first one that was fired three times. And look how bright the glass colours turned out! Glass beads don't like when it's too hot in the kiln.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Kiln Accidents

Back to blogging! All my energy had been absorbed by other things, so I neglected my little crafting journal. My pottery was ill-fated lately and involved in some kiln accidents.

The glaze turned out very good...

One of my pierced bowls had been glazed finally. I thought I give the mixed glaze a try. Due to its mixed nature it has a slightly different hue of colour all the time. It has been unusually dark for weeks and months, a bit too dark for my purpose, but I ran out of patience to wait for a new mix. (Two other bowls are still waiting.) The glaze looks really fabulous on the bowl I think, but the bowl was damaged in the kiln. One of the shelves plunged down on it during the firing, leaving parts of the rim chipped and the rest sticking to the underside of the shelf, so it had to be removed quite forcefully.

...but the rim of the bowl was damaged like this all around

Another batch of my stuff was in a kiln that was scheduled for a bisque firing, but was accidentally programmed for a glaze firing, which is almost 200°C hotter. After a bisque firing the pieces are porous enough that they can still absorb water, a quality that is important for the application of glazes. After a glaze firing the clay is water tight even without a glaze. This makes glazing after such a firing quite impossible. So my potter lost a complete kiln load of hard work.

The misfired pottery before the second firing

My pieces were mainly meant to be painted with oxides but this is no fun either when the stuff just won't adhere properly. They turned out quite okay under these circumstances but not as good as I wanted them to be. Also the insides of the pots have been left unglazed, although I wanted to try glazing nevertheless, but it was forgotten. So I'm very disappointed lately. I try to do my pieces in the best quality I'm capable of and I try to get better all the time. But big parts of the process are out of my control and sometimes this freaks me out. I even wish these have been my faults and not someone else's, so I knew what to make better the next time. I wish I had a kiln and could make my own mistakes!

Monday, 21 September 2009


I made these pieces months ago and I'm totally proud of them. (And I hate it when people ask me why I made a sieve.)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Autumn is coming

I'm neglecting my blog a bit. Before I'm back with more crafting (Lately I forget to take pictures of it.) a few more proud harvesting shots.

I have so many sweet peppers, I can't eat them quick enough before they redden. I prefer them green but my parents are very happy with the red ones.

I had a special tomato and now a similar pepper.

One of them burst open.

Here are some autumnal findings of a short morning stroll. I love the beechnuts! They are so tasty and cracking them makes me feel like a squirrel.

Sunday, 6 September 2009


I'm still so very fascinated by all the shapes and details of wild herbs and plants and tried to make a few more things with botanical imprints.

It's getting harder to find suitable leaves and grasses as summer fades and they dry and wither. Also in many places these beauties are mowed down. (It's such a sad sight.) Apart from the pot and buttons in the photo above I also made another wall panel I'll show at a later stage. I couldn't take a proper picture of it.

This sponge vessel is another thing I made. I nicked the idea from bptakoma on Flickr and just had to give it a try! It takes some time and patience (and for me some pain in the wrists) to cover a pinch pot with a surface like this.

Friday, 4 September 2009

More Harvesting

Various sorts of sweet peppers.

Lots and lots of tomatoes.
Some are climbing high and out of reach.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


I always forget to post pictures of my finished pieces, so today here's my first and so far only wheel-thrown little dish.

I would love to try this again and I watch videos like this of Whitney Smith and that of Kim Westad sharing their process of making pottery with a mix of envy and deep admiration because I know it's out of reach for me to ever get this good but it is such a wonderful craft!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Classes started again

Summer break is over and I can hope to get my crafting done more regularly now. I saw some familiar faces again and even some new. One of my clay mates commented on my pieces that I already have a signature style like a professional potter, a remark that makes me blush. It's boosting my ego! I like to try new things and techniques all the time, so I'm glad it is visible in some way that all these things are made by me.

As you can see in the pictures I painted my meadow with oxides as well as the vetch in the photo above. It originally belonged to a bigger botanical piece that I messed up when my knife fell right in the middle of it. This was the only part I could manage to keep.

I also proceded work on my dishes and try to fire them a third time with some glass although I have my doubts that this will work out as intended. Working with glass is always surprising and maybe it won't be that unpleasant.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Flowers on my Balcony

Sweet Peas



(Crafting Pictures will return to this blog very soon!)

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Big Tomato Harvest

I harvested 192 tomatoes mainly from two of my plants, that looked very pitiful. There were barely bearing a green leaf anymore but plenty of very yummy red tomatoes, among them this big-nosed cyclops.

Monday, 24 August 2009


Friday, 21 August 2009

Green Peppers on my Balcony

My bell peppers grow very fine and they're very tasty. It's really nice to harvest one fresh for breakfast.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Inlaid Slip Decoration

Avid readers will know I like to get experimental, so I tried a new technique with inlaid slip.

I stamped a pattern, mostly with my own handmade stamps, and filled the indentations with contrasting slip. When the piece was leather-hard I scraped off the excess slip to reveal the pattern. This was quite labour intensive and by far the hardest part of the process. The smallest indentations I had made didn't fill completely with slip so there are only little holes left now. On one of the petals you can see that I went a little to far (or didn't stamp deeply enough) and reached the dark part. Despite the flaws I'm going to fire this little experiment. I want to see the finished result.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


On one of my strolls in the countryside I collected some grasses and leaves of wild plants for a wall piece I had in mind.

The photo shows it before I peeled them off of the clay to reveal the imprints. I love the look of this with the lovely greens and shapes against the grey background. I wish I knew a way to preserve it just like this.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

The Joy of Oiling

Whenever I touch clay at the moment I mess up what I'm working on, so instead of further torturing myself with mischance and incompetence I decided to maintain my working tools.

I sanded and buffed my rolling pin and my other wooden tools and finished them with linseed oil (which smells heavenly). They are super-smooth now. I want to touch them all the time. It was such a satisfying and calming thing to do! I even wished I had more raw wooden stuff at home that I could sand and cover with oil!

As I have nothing new to show you, how about an older item?

This is a wall piece. I formed a loop for easy hanging but it filled with glaze on one side, so I must find another way to put it on the wall.

Thursday, 30 July 2009


Tuesday, 28 July 2009


I'm terribly exhausted and stressed-out. I need some good things to happen!

For the moment here are some balcony impressions:

Tomatoes are ripening. (How I like the shades of colour!)

There are plenty of green peppers growing.

And the nasturtium is just lovely. The blossoms and leaves are edible but I haven't tried them yet.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Sweet Red and Delicate Pink

Yesterday I picked my first ripe tomatoes and they tasted so sweet! They are small cherry tomatoes of the only sort I kept from last year. It's the plant that sprouted last and now is the tallest of all.

Some days ago I was at the pottery studio and due to the tiring hot weather got nothing else done than adding some newly purchased colours of glass to a textured plate which should be fired a third time.

I tried out pastel pink, purple, and green, and a dark pink for the first time along with some blues I tested earlier and which melt to very nice shades of bright blue. Pinks and reds are delicate glass colours that easily burn. I hope they don't. That's the excitement of working with glass.