Friday, September 16, 2016


sawdust fired clay & embellishments

One of my favorite techniques is working on a Poki,
a mini potter's wheel to build a coil pot similar to the ones made at the San Ildefonso Pueblo.
We go one step further and embellish them with beads, 
waxed linens,
 and all sorts of other goodies.
A Poki is a small shallow pinch bowl 
that I premake for the kids and bisque fire before they use them.
They place a pad of clay inside this bowl then score coils to the rim of the clay,
and spin the poki as they work the coil thinner and higher.
The more coils they add the higher and larger the pot becomes.
When they are leatherhard we burnish the outside with a smooth rock,
just like the Pueblo Indians do to make the pot shiney. 
After bisque and sawdust firing we embellish.

This sweet little piece was made by senior Arciana Vancheswaran.
The jade beads compliment the pot perfectly.

This next one by senior Jonathan Hsu was itsy bitsy with these ginormous buttons.
The contrast was so much fun for the eye.
I also like how he used the beading string as design on the inside.

And this last gorgeous form by junior Annie Oh really shows off the amazing markings 
that can happen in a sawdust firing.
We never know what we will get.
Always a surprise.
Also love the holes she pierced thru the clay walls.
Annie attempted to embellish it
 but we decided against it because the pot was so powerful that it stood on it's own.
Nothing more necessary.
The contours are incredible,
I just adore this piece!


  1. These are treasures, and I really like the holes as a way to anchor waxed thread embellishments. Annie Oh's looks tailor made to hold a single stem wildflower threaded through one of its holes, with just enough water in the bottom to keep it fresh.

  2. I wish I could hold each of these in my hands! The buttons and beads made me swoon, and the elegance of Annie's is something.