blah blah imgs of clay, test tiles, color run, dipping in bisque slip, slump crutches, greenware, glazeware

the process

my dishes are hand built. i use slabs of clay that are sometimes textured and i sometimes use coils. the clay i work with is a red terra cotta that i fire to midrange stoneware temperatures (cone 5-6). sometimes i wedge  black clay into the red to get a darker clay body. i like to use a dark clay because it becomes a key element in creating a visual depth of surface that is vital to the animation of the pot. 

i use a rolling pin to make clay slabs. all of my forms begin with paper templates, which were originally derived from various plaster hump mold forms (i did this by forming a single slab of clay over the mold and then choosing where to divide the form and create seams. (NEED DRAWN IMAGE OF SEAMS/MOLD) once i was satisfied with the division of the form, i cut through to the mold at these seams, removed the clay pieces, laid them flat and traced them on bristol paper (flexible, but durable). these paper templates are my 'patterns' and almost every new form i now develop is derived in some manner from existing pattern pieces. i cut out the pieces and join them together over a mold to create a 3 dimensional form, which i remove from the mold fairly quickly, then shape by stretching the walls of the pot from the inside with my hand. because of their likeness to a female figure, i call this series of pots 'curvy'. click here to see curvy dishes.

belly bottomed dishes, or bb'd dishes, are forms derived from flipping clay pieces cut from 'curvy' templates upside down, joining them together and then adding a curved bottom piece. now that several years have passed since i began to investigate these forms, i can intuitively create new belly bottomed forms by choosing a size and shape for the bottom piece, deciding on the wall height, and then cutting a new template set. none of this process is 'calculated' mathematically; i work empirically, trimming the template pieces until they are just right.