Monthly Archives: March 2015

Raku Pottery Lid

This raku pottery lid was created especially for my Mother who is now passed. I made functional work years ago. Sugar bowls and honey pots were a favorite among my family, but at this time my Mother’s arthritis in her hands was so crippling that she had trouble grasping certain things with her index finger and her thumb.

So, I set about thinking of a way to make a pottery lid in such a way that removing the lid would be easy for her. Then I began using the same type of lid on my raku pottery pieces as many others seemed to like them too.

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Raku Pottery Studio

My raku pottery studio is my ‘happy place’! I love working there and feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful studio right here at home. It holds quite a bit of equipment: 2 potter’s wheels (one for throwing and one for trimming), a slab roller, an extruder, about 9 wire racks, a large Skutt electric kiln and a ‘Peter Pugger’ which enables me to reclaim scrap clay. The pugger is such a workhorse…..and the re-processed clay comes out de-aired and such a wonderful consistency for throwing on the potter’s wheel! My husband Robert Leuallen, who is also my ‘raku firemeister’, manages all the clay reclamation and I cannot say enough about what a fine job he does! We’re quite the team if I do say so myself.

This is a picture of me at my throwing wheel. I’ve arranged this one wall of my studio (the one directly facing me as I sit on the wheel) so that there’s an easy flow from newly thrown items ultimately to the electric kiln at the end of the line. I have a rack between each wheel, so following throwing a piece, it is placed on the rack to my left to dry to leather hard. The next day, I sit at my 2nd wheel and can easily grab the new piece to trim it up. Following that, it goes on the next shelf to my left where it stays until it’s bone dry. When all the pieces on that shelf are dry, it’s very easy to move them from that shelf right into the electric kiln for a bisque firing.

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This shows me at my throwing wheel and two freshly thrown items on the rack to my left.

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This picture shows my workbench and part of my slab roller. My two wheels are on the other side of the workbench area.

Raku Pottery Additions

I’m always looking for raku pottery additions and sometimes they come from unique sources!

As I trim my raku pottery, I notice some interesting, organic shapes occur very naturally such as this: to the right is my most favorite Bison trimming tool. I would see these shapes every time I trim pieces and began thinking of how to use them as raku pottery additions.

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This rippled and curled portion of trim holds my interest!

 

 

 

 

So, on one of my newly thrown vases, I made a raku pottery addition of the damp, rippled and circular trim piece.

This is the beautiful rippled trim piece serving as a 'frame' for this beautiful druzy.

This is the beautiful rippled trim piece serving as a ‘frame’ for this beautiful druzy.

I left the raku pottery addition un-glazed so that it would blacken with carbon when it was fired. One of the unpredictable things that happened when this piece was fired is the rim of the vase (which is usually blazing copper in coloration) had peacock and fuscia colors which perfectly accents the beautiful druzy on the front of the vase! I love it when that happens!!

 

 

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Completed raku vase with druzy gemstone ‘framed’ by the rippled clay trim piece.

Raku Wall Hanging

This large raku wall hanging is the result of patron’s requests! My husband and I were exhibiting and selling at three juried Fine Art Shows out of state and, at the time, my largest piece (we were told) would get ‘swallowed up’ on the very large walls of customer’s spacious homes. We heard this same message from several couples……they all loved our work, but couldn’t we make some pieces that were larger?

So, I began dreaming about the request and have to date made several large scale pieces. This is the latest triptych which features mountains, evergreens and a soaring bald eagle on the oval of the raku wall hanging. It fits with several genres of interior design and is a gorgeous piece! It is still available for purchase at my shop on ETSY.

I had a glorious time making and finishing this beautiful raku wall hanging! Thanks for visiting!

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Close up of the bald eagle featured on the central oval.

Large Raku Mixed Media Wall Hanging includes fibers, bead work, copper wire spirals and turquoise metal feathers.

Large Raku Mixed Media Wall Hanging includes fibers, bead work, copper wire spirals and turquoise metal feathers.

Raku Wall Mirror with Horses

picture of raku wall mirror

This raku wall mirror illustrates the maturity of the glossy raku glaze I used on it.

This raku wall mirror with horses is an example of my usage of original imagery. The unique stylized form of the horses have a very personal meaning to me…..and I call them “Guardian Horses”.

When I was young, I wanted a horse more than anything and my Father used my motivation to teach me about saving money. If I really wanted a horse, I’d need to work for it and save my pennies…….and that I did…..for a long time! Finally, the day came that a beautiful dapple grey mare became my own. I had money for the horse, but not for a saddle, so I needed to learn to ride bareback.

I cannot tell you how many times I fell off her back….and I’d be in the middle of nowhere, several miles from the house and corrals. Sweetheart of a horse she was, she never left me, though she easily could have. It was as if she thought I was one of her very own children……she would stand patiently…. looking intently at me as if concerned that I was ok.  For that reason, and in her honor, the Guardian Horse is featured on several of my raku wall pieces…..in this case a Raku Wall Mirror.