Thursday, January 10, 2019


clay, glazes, oxides, ceramic watercolors, mixed metals, assorted beads & charms,
waxed linen & jute

I'm really excited to share these delightful clay bells that were made last school  year.
This was the second year to try out this assignment and the kids really enjoyed it,
especially stringing and assembling all the parts.
They did a lovely job glazing them as well.
Let's take a look.

This first bell was the work of junior Angela Mak.
We all loved her double petaled flower 
and how cool her clay charms looking by staining them with oxides.
It really brought out her stamped designs.

This next beauty was made by senior Ashley Scott.
I adored how her glaze came out,
the way the ceramic watercolors mixed with the White glaze.
I believe that was an experiment on her part.
Usually those watercolors are put under our Transparent glaze.
But she used them over the White like we do with the oxides.
But taking another closer look,
she could have also used our Yellow, Turquoise and Blue glazes 
and painted those over top the White glaze. 
if you see this,
 could you please let me know?

The kids had a choice of what technique to use to build their bells with.
Here we see that senior Catherine Lu used coils and stamped slabs,
and was able to work an "S" curve with her form.
Very elegant!
She also achieved a great contrast with her glazing
by brushing our Black glaze over top select areas to highlight them.
In the other areas she has stained the bisqueware with Red Iron Oxide. 

And here senior Christian Balbido used all 3 building techniques available to him.
The top is pinch, middle coil, and bottom stamped slab.
Brilliant design Christian!

And this was a personal favorite of mine done by junior Dustine Ansiboy.
I really enjoyed the creepy Tim Burton quality she brought into her design.
Check out the hand on top,
then the thin cloth-like looking pinch bell followed by the super fun dangling faces. 
Super expressive!
I also liked the contrast between the glazed bell and the stained oxide hand/faces.

Next we have clay superstar junior Lina Kim.
She made this most precarious jellyfish bell and probably lost at least two of its tentacles.
It's extremely difficult to build such thin clay coils and not have at least 1 or 2 break
 in the handling/firing process.
This was a difficult piece to load into the kiln for firing and glazing as well.
But nothing is too hard for Lina once she sets her mind to something.
She will spend many extra hours during lunches and after school 
to make her designs come true.
It's a miracle this didn't completely lose all those legs.
She also did a beautiful job glazing it.

Senior Mary Esteban gave her bell a southwestern flare with her stamped and pieced surface designs.
Love her combination of colors she brought into piece with her careful glazing.

And junior Michelle Son also did a wonderful job with both design and glazing.
And the way it was assembled feels really balanced to the eye.

We end with another personal favorite done by junior Sara Ryave.
I called Sara a mudwoman several times last year because the clay loves her.
The minute she puts it in her hands she is transported into another world.
She goes deeply into the Right Side of her Brain,
completely shutting off her verbal language,
and creates magic with her mind, her heart and her hands.
I loved watching her work. 
I was so sad she wasn't able to fit me into her schedule this year.
She was the artist who did that amazing coil torso I posted recently.


  1. I adore them all! Beautiful, whimsical--a delight to the eye and imagination!

    1. Thank you Jen, they are so much fun to make and then assemble.

  2. Ha! You should have seen me scribbling away on the back of yesterday's New York Times crossword. So much to say that I ended up turning the page upside down and sideways to fit it all in!

    Angela's bellflower bell with its gentle blues and greens would live happily in any garden ... beautifully imagined and ably constructed

    The elegant simplicity of line is so pleasing in Ashley's straight-sided bell ... but even better the wild-side reveal in the close-up

    I zoomed in on Catherine's bell, the better to see the berry topper and the like-toned trios of "seeds" below

    Christian's bell morphed into a lampshade in my mind's eye, the cunning blue-stamped edge like a fine cloth fringe

    "Jellyfish!" I thought as Dustine's bell scrolled into view. "Not!" I realized upon closer examination. The hand evoked a malevolent puppeteer unseen by the hapless beings below

    Ah, there's the jellyfish, the form of which also reads as a sea urchin. Can't believe those tentacles survived two firings

    Mary's cow-bell form does indeed have a Texas feel, both in shape and coloration, but the yin and yang take it east-ward, too

    Michelle's horizontal elements on the dangle line up beautifully with the bands of the bell ... and likewise the round beads on the bell playfully echo the round beads on the dangle ... happily pulling the eye back and forth

    And Sara's bell, so organic, made me think of fungi and leaf litter on a forest floor with earthworms below creating natural tilth ... so apt for a piece made of earthen clay

    Well ... thank you all ... this was a perfect way to continue "ringing in the new year"

    1. Oh man Liz, I so wish I had your gift with words "Ringing in the New Year" would have been the perfect Title!

  3. I love all of these marvelous bells. Would you give me permission to use a pic on my blog with a link back to you?