Friday, May 11, 2012

Just for the taste of it...

For those of us who like to experiment in pottery, I can think of nothing more alluring than that which can be created by textural effects.  Gouges, cracks and crevices, filled with colored oxide washes, can really add a lot of character to a bonsai container. But it is not this alone that I am happy with, rather, the way in which it is done...

If you like the natural, unbridled use of the patterning in the example below, you may know what I am eluding to.

There is a lot of subtle color variation in this pot. Some repeated patterning, but nothing too fussy.  

Here is the other side:

I don't feel as if I have mastered this technique. Instead, I consider myself inspired to keep looking for nuances to exemplify, patterns to express.

This smaller example has a some intentional marks added on the right side of the pot that I placed to in increase the wabi sabi look...

There are several tree species that have this pot. For my taste, bucida spinosa (dwarf black olive), and Fukien Tea come to mind.

I would love to know what you think.  What's your particular taste??? 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Artifact Completed:' A Learning Experience'

At this year's Bonsai Society of Florida state convention my art concept pot will be sold at auction. This aesthetic design was a concept piece that was conceived with the idea of representing the growth that can be achieved through the learning of failure.

Our state convention entitled 'A Learning Experience', will feature many avenues for learning in this fine art of bonsai, with spectacular  headliners, world class exhibits, and awe inspiring presentations. So, knowing that I would be custom designing a pot for the auction, I decided to create a culminating represention  a culmination of what I have learned throughout these past few years as a 'noobie' bonsai potter to present.

If you look closely you will see intentional cracks, broken off pieces, and other faux surface features.  These were par for the course in the design, as I wanted something to represent that which has taught me and steered me in this craft.  Ask anyone who has been with me and they will tell you about the many times I have lost a pot in the kiln to these defects.  The thing is, if I had not failed, I would not have learned from these mistakes. Why did it crack?  Was it too dry? Why did it warp? Was it fired too hot?
These are the pitfalls that have been tempering my spirit and bringing about my hard fought victories as a potter. Sure I got plenty frustrated at these situations, but I now cherish them, for they have taught me well.

Here are some detailed shots...
The dark patches on the serpent represent popouts, a
problem from lime in the grog, an additive in the clay.

Here are the intentional break offs that i incorporated into
the design.  This can occur when the clay does not dry evenly.
Making this piece was a challenge in itself. It was the third attempt and I am quite glad it turned out as it did.  Plans are to encase this in a handmade curio box for safe keeping.

Stay tuned, more to come....


Check out this technique!