Wednesday, August 23, 2017


clay, glazes & oxides

When I was in high school clay class (1972-4) and coil pots were taught,
all we were required to do was circle our coils around and around
and on top of each other.
So boring!!!
So I require the kids to come up with at least 2 other ways to work with the coils,
and repeat that in the design.
The results are always so very beautiful,
involving much finesse as they grow taller and taller.
(eight inches was the minimum height)

We begin with senior Eunice Shim who created this amazing eye-catching piece.
Not only is it a remarkably well balanced design,
 but the way she glazed it adds even more to it's beauty.
But man oh man,
did she struggle with it.
Because of her intricate design and shaping,
this was a much more advanced construction then she realized.
I believe it shattered at least 2-3 times before she could get it to come together.
And what I learned about Eunice is that she is not a quitter.
Every time it collapsed,
 she very carefully and patiently scored all the pieces back together again.
I'm so glad you hung in there Eunice,
this is such an important piece of art!

I really got a kick out of how senior Avanthi Dev ended her coil pot.
It reminded many of us of a crown.
I also really enjoyed how she choose to glaze it.
First staining it with Red Iron Oxide and dipping entire piece into Transparent glaze,
then brushing Rutile Oxide (yellow/orange) over top the balls to emphasize the crown.
Super cool piece Avanthi!

To work with these incredibly thin coils is extremely difficult 
(makes the piece prone to a variety of awful scenarios)
 but so worth the effort as senior Ashley Iseri did.
It also is more time consuming,
but the end result is so delicate and lovely!

I thought it was super cool how junior Vincent Nguyen
morphed his piece into branches and flowers around the top.
And the glazing really highlights the design as well.
A combination of staining with Red Iron and glazing with various colors.

Junior Renee Lin reached for the stars with her exceptionally tall form.
She really debated about how to finish it off.
I really liked her decision,
to dip into Transparent
 then brush splatter all 4 oxides over top.

I felt this next one by senior Brian Aguirre-Hernandez was especially unique.
He began with a triangle but ended in the round.
I also like that the lip is multi leveled,
and the subtle texture he brought into the middle area is eye-catching as well.
And check out how the glaze ends up balancing the design and pulling it all together.
Brilliant piece young man! 

Oh my,
what is youngster Sarah Oh, 
up to now?
This crazy wonderful child turned her piece into a lizard of sorts.
loving the subtle texture that looks paddled onto many of the coils,
and how cool to think to apply coils over top as well.
Of course the detail she sculptured into the face is fabulous.
We love you Sarah!!!!

We end with senior Lauren Kennedy.
I liked the S-curves that the form takes as she built it up,
as well as the repetition of balls,
 and how organic she made the piece feel.
Super nice job Lauren.
I look forward to hearing how you are enjoying art school in New York.
I hope you will keep in touch!


  1. INCREDIBLE, all, and OH, here is "my" Sarah Oh! a dragon this time!!!!
    the only ceramic Artist that i Follow, YAY to see her work here again!

    1. Hi Grace! I so wish you could meet Sarah, she is one of the nicest most gifted young artists I've ever taught.

  2. Looks to me like you are the best Art Teacher ever.... your students create the most amazing pieces.

    1. Thank you Tina, I just love teaching and sharing the arts.

  3. My sister-in-law just sent me the early 70s coil pot that I made in high school ... a thick-walled, sludge glazed, mess of a thing. Ugh.

    Here there is light and light-ness that makes me wish I could go back and do it all over again ... but this time with you as my guide.

    These are all wonders and each deserves a shout-out ...
    - Eunice's flowers blooming above seeds spiraling in the ground
    - Avanthi's base, which is every bit as fascinating as the crown
    - Ashley's coils inset with blue whorls make me wish I could reach in to touch their thin-ness
    - And Vincent! Those twining coils 3/4 of the way up are so realistic, especially with their ends so cunningly dimpled and glazed.
    - Renee, your seemingly simple design belies the challenge of working in and out and in again.
    - Brian ... vertical coils? Really? Cool!
    - The neck of Sarah's dragon with its peristaltic bulges could make one believe she worked from a live model.
    - And Lauren's piece calls geologic stratigraphy to mind, in the best way.

    Kudos to all ... with best wishes for the coming year.

    1. My first coil pot sounds very similiar to yours ha ha

    2. My first coil pot sounds very similiar to yours ha ha