This is for the birds by orchardstreetpottery
Porcelain bird vases with a few practice sheets

Porcelain bird vases with a few practice sheets

Doing some decorating

One of the benefits of firing with wood is that the flame, through ash deposits and “flashing”, itself can do a great job of decorating the pot.  On many of my pots I apply no glaze or decoration on the outside, most of the others have a single glaze.  The fire takes it from there, paints its own picture,  jazzes things up, and creates a rich and wonderful surface.

But why not decorate a pot and then submit it to the flame?

I figured I’d give it a try.  I am drawn to natural imagery, birds, trees, fish.  Especially birds.  A local Chinese calligraphy teacher suggested I copy forms over  and over from an awesome book she had.  A potter acquaintance advised practice, practice, practice.  I got the ink stick, the tapered brush, set aside some time.  I went through a lot of paper. Gradually the copied forms became my own.  I enjoy exaggerating a particular aspect of the bird; big beak, long legs.  Give it some attitude.

Painting on the clay surface is quite a bit different than painting on paper.  There’s a learning curve.      There’s no eraser.

My initial tests last year did well in the kiln, and have all been sold or have otherwise found good homes.  I threw and decorated a couple of dozen vases for this next go round.  They will be fired this Sunday.

Walter Slowinski

Orchard Street Pottery


Close up of Mr Bird


A small family gathering


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