Ceramics

Mugs from the Shire – for second breakfast.

For the Coursera course “Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative” by Vanderbilt University, I spent quite some time in LOTRO (“Lord of the Rings online”), crafting my own cosy Hobbit home. These mugs (of which I made eight in total) would fit quite nicely in that virtual second home of mine.

Vanellus vanellus! 

When we started to develop our own glazes in pottery school, I wanted to make something that resembled the shell of a lapwing egg. I grew up with the Dutch cultural-historical competition to find the first peewit egg of the year (“het eerste kievietsei“) and this little tray reminds me of those sunny spring days in the meadow.

STOP!

Because of my autistic hyperfocus, I always run the risk of going on for hours about my special interests without stopping. To remind myself of the importance of a moment of pause, I crafted this small cup. The hand was drawn in pencil and surrounded with Vaseline to prevent the glaze from sticking.

Poisonous fruit bowl

To raise awareness about how we handle our food, I made this poisonous fruit bowl. Out of hand-scooped clay, from the polluted river nearby. With silt and poisonous engobes, which still give off. If you put a fruit in it, blue/green stains will appear on it. Fortunately, when you rinse off the oxides, you also rinse off the anti-insect poison from your food.

Non-prickly Hedgehog

Made out of casting clay with two different kinds of brush glaze, this hedgehog is a nod to the well-known “dilemma of the hedgehogs”. In that fable, it is an exceptionally cold winter and the hedgehogs have to lie close together, as they need one another in order not to freeze to death, even though they sometimes accidentally prick each other. As an ambivert, I can relate to this story. 😉 But this ceramic hedgehog fortunately does not sting, on the contrary, its texture feels rather nice.

Cello treasure box

Much treasure and many surprises to be found in my ‘cello… therefore I made this treasure box in its image and baked it in an unpredictable low-firing process that was inspired by traditional Japanese raku firing.

Pigeons of peace

Although in Dutch, we have only one word meaning both pigeon and dove – “duif” – people do percieve a difference between the two. The latter a beautiful symbol of love and peace, whilst the other is scolded for being an air rat and worse. Maybe it is better in other cultures, but in the Netherlands most people seem not to like pigeons. But I do. I think they are beautiful and sweet, I feed them and sing to them. And I made them from casting clay, with all kinds of different grey glazes, as I wish the pigeons some peace.

In the beginning…

This little pot was one of my very first ceramic works. I started it on a classic potter’s kick-wheel and finished it by hand moulding. It is made of white (“silver sand”) clay, covered with strips of newspaper and painted with a brown layer of clay. The newspaper burned in the kiln and that is how this pattern came about. I hoped that the decorations would resemble an inversion of the brush strokes that I love to practise as calligraphy.