Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Odds and Ends

Midrange clay body with glazes from some of my favs: Bright sky blue,
Panicoli's Pale Blue Matt and Panicoli's Fake Ash to name a few.
Been back at it. This last round of pots gave me some unexpected extra room in my small 40+year old electric kiln for a few small accents.  The photo above is from the commissioned set of 24 accents that I made for a retailer in the northeast.  After looking at my kiln shelves before the bisque firing I noticed that I could get in a few fun extra kusamono and accent planters.  The dark brown clay I chose has a bit of iron and manganese in it. The clay really helps pop out a bit of extra contrast from under the glaze.

Here are some of those funky kiln space fillers:
The cracks are intentional, both on the rim and on the surface.

These guys are really rugged and fun to make.  I really enjoyed jigging with the texture.

Here are some smaller guys looking for a pinch of moss to brighten up a three point display. Perhaps a bright green color in the center could work nicely with the dark brown clay?
Each little 'rosette' has a rounded cavity and drainage holes.
 In this next set I added a bit of height to the moss rosette idea.  They will fit the same basic design purpose but perhaps with a different pot/tree style. 

Personally, I enjoy the wabi sabi character of these guys. They are a joy to make; imagining them in finished, planted up in a three point display is were my creativity lingers....


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Recent Pairings

As a bonsai potter, I sometimes find myself more concerned with the way my pots look on my display, then I do with the way they look under my customer's trees.  Taking time to look at them in combination with a tree as the main subject can be a very humbling experience.

The first example, above, is a Malpighia, a shrublike tree also known as Barbados Cherry. Not a true cherry, it has small pink flowers that turn into green, then bright red pea sized fruit.  In a few months, with some careful leaf reduction, this composition will look even more effective. Some carefully planned shots with smaller, tighter foliage, and flowers/fruit, and we will be rockin'!

In the next photo, I have a Chinese plum, just at bud break...

This tree has personality! I love the ominous mood brought on by the trunk, looking ready to strike. The owner/designer of the tree has a great artistic sensibility!

And to finish this post, I wanted to include another tree from the same artist.  When I designed the pot, my focus was to make an expressive, primitive soft cornered rectangle.  I wanted to put some folds in the walls and show lots of texture. I was shell shocked when the artist bought the pot and used this tree. A Buckthorn, from south florida, fits the bill very well...
This tree, albeit a rather unconventional design, holds it own in terms of visual balance. To see it in my photo does it no justice. Making a fun expressionistic pot is one thing, but it takes a master bonsai artist to choose it for just the right subject!

Thanks for reading!

Check out this technique!