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Baleia Blu Ceramics

Handmade by Adette Contreras in Brooklyn, NY. Inspired by a big blue whale and our little blue planet.


Experimenting with Carving

Experimenting with Carving

Awww shiet. Baby's trying to get all fancy. I tend not to want any ornamentation on my pieces for a few reasons: (1) I find simpler forms and glazes to be most pleasing. (2) I feel like the textures and the colors play off of each other with plenty of interest; no need to add and clutter. (3) Taking a tool to a thrown and trimmed piece and carving into–marring those perfect throwing lines–is frankly terrifying. 

But not today. Been in a funk with all the terror happening in the news (on the daily now), the ongoing embarrassment of what is supposed to be leadership in this country, and just an overwhelming sense of being overwhelmed. So, after trimming them, I sat down and took a look at these Fat Cups (Yes, that's what I've been calling them.). I like that the proportions are squatter and that they feel heftier. Usually, I'd leave them as is and figure out a simple design for the glaze, but today, I was moved to try something different. Wanted to write something, put some of this frustration down and channel it into an object, outside of me. Ended up thinking of how I need to be more like water, and be more accepting about things I cannot control... to go with the flow. I tend to be all fire and all air, and today, I wanted to call on more water. 

So the seigaiha pattern came out, and I let it.

I first tried with one tool that I used to carve the baybayin characters, but I thought the result was too clunky and messy. So, I switched to a sharper, more medieval-looking tool, and I think that result was much nicer to look at. The indentations were deeper and finer, so it looked neater. The first tool just yielded results that look clumsy, but I do want to see how the glaze interacts with the recesses, so I'm firing both as is. 

Meanwhile, the 4 tumblers made it out of the bisque fire with no casualties. Praise hands. I was a little worried because I got too thin with the bases on these, but they look great coming out of the kiln. 

A little addicted to the deep blues and the textures coming from how the seaworld glaze runs on the glossy white glaze, so I decided to try it again with these. Taking note of how close to the top of the rim I dipped them, so we'll see how much it'll run once fired. Really looking forward to seeing how these turn out.

Meanwhile, no new pieces on the docket, so I need to get to throwing again. I think I'll start some bowls and plates tomorrow. The plates will take a lot longer to set, so the bowls will be good to keep the momentum going. They'll dry much faster, so I'll be able to trim them sooner. Nothing like the feeling of seeing finished pieces come out, sitting and waiting for you to pick them up from the shelf. No matter how many times you do it, you just never know how things will turn out.

Such is life, I guess.

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Little Plate

Little Plate

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