The Lucy Fagella Pottery Blog is where I share the how the pottery is made. Pottery process is a beautiful thing… watching a pot rise up from a lump of clay at the wheel, or seeing a work table filled with freshly thrown pieces. This blog focuses on process shots, pottery videos, the work table at the end of the day, and some finished work fresh from the kiln.
How do you do that? Are these carved, etched, engraved, incised? These are the questions I inevitably get asked when people see these urns. The above photo is work in process – where you can see the green wax resist pattern/decoration on the porcelain clay. This method is called shellac resist or water etching. The medium I choose is wax rather than shellac, mainly because I don’t like the odor of the shellac. They both work the same way in terms of resisting the water from my sponge as I rub the surface of the clay (water abraision). So I guess in a sense they are carved, incised, engraved or etched… just put the word water in front of those words. Water incised clay, water etched clay, water carved clay, water engraved clay. Potters just tend to say shellac resist method!
To see these finished urns just go to my urn page here on the website.
Making tall two piece forms is certainly a good post for work in process as there are many steps to the finished product. In an earlier post I showed a quick one minute video on how I join two 8″ pieces together to make a 16″ form, (granted this is not that tall, but this is the size I need for this urn project). In this post I will show a photo of work in process, and a short video on how I carve the foot. In my next post I will talk about how I use wax resist to make a floral/vine pattern on the urn.
Quick Pottery, no… not really, just the magic of editing!
Pottery is the furthest thing from quick. Each pot that you watch me throw on the potters wheel has thirty years of experience behind it. It is one of the most difficult craft forms to learn… glass blowing may be the only thing more difficult. I have done that too, but only for a little while in college… it almost won me over, but I loved pottery too much!
Making pottery on the wheel takes lots of patience, and perseverance… but is so much fun. If you haven’t tried it maybe it’s time to find an art center near you and give it a go.
Here is another little one minute “Quick Pottery” video to take a look at. To keep updated on all my pottery videos subscribe to my youtube channel (Lucy Fagella)
I’ve made another quick pottery video, this one is on making a citrus juicer. These one minute videos are just for fun… just a little pottery making entertainment. There will be longer teaching videos to come in the future. For now enjoy these “Quick Pottery” videos on my Youtube Channel, and please subscribe to my channel if you like what you see!
I have been having some fun making a pottery video with my GoPro camera.
A one minute video… just some fun stuff… watching the porcelain, water and wheel do it’s thing.
Finished pitchers are on the work table today. I really love the way porcelain looks at this stage, sometimes I wish I could just keep them this way!
The pitchers now just need to dry slowly for a few days under plastic. Once they are completely dry they will go into the kiln for the bisque firing, which is nine hours. Next is glazing, and maybe some decoration on some of the pitchers, and then the fifteen hour glaze firing. Lots of other things are happening in the studio in-between all of this, so in a couple of more weeks I will post some photos of the finished pitchers!
Part 2 of my tall pitchers in process on the work table. After I have trimmed the pitchers I am ready to carve a couple of them, and attach handles. The carving comes first… this vertical stripe is simply done with an ordinary kitchen tool… a lemon zester. Handles are pulled and set up to dry a little before I cut and attach them to the pitchers. Hmm…. seems like I could use a video on this about now… someday I will. 🙂 For now photos will do.
Tall pitchers are on the work table this week in the studio! I really love the challenge of making tall forms, especially making pitchers. Handmade pouring pitchers, can be such beautiful forms… the possibilities are endless. For this grouping of pitchers I am aiming for a tall graceful form, with a full belly beginning about 1/3 from the bottom. The challenge of tall pitchers is making them light enough so when they are filled with a beverage the weight doesn’t overpower you. All of my pottery begins on the potters wheel, pitchers are no different. I start with a little over 4 lbs of porcelain, and throw a form that is about 12″, (once the pot is fired it will shrink down to 10″). After I have the form I want, I pull the spout, I left extra thickness at the top for this. The clay at the spout is thinned out as it is pulled up, leaving the spout with a sharper edge than the rest of the rim, (this is so the liquid is cut off, and doesn’t dribble when pouring.)
The long, studio work table is a favorite place of mine to photograph my work in process. At the end of my work day the sunlight is perfect, and I can get some good images to share. There are so many steps to making handmade pottery, and I love to let the general public in on that process through my photos. The next step after throwing the pitcher form is the trimming, carving, and handles… stay tuned for the next blog post!
I am very happy to have been interviewed on the Potters Cast, “An Interview with Lucy Fagella, A Deeper Meaning.” This is a 50 minute interview by Paul Blais of the Potters Cast which was aired on Friday July 10th!
If you haven’t heard the Potters Cast Podcast, you are missing out on a world of information about the lives of contemporary potters from around the world. Take a listen here… The Potters Cast/A Deeper Meaning/Lucy Fagella/124
Paul is doing a great service for potters. His podcast is the perfect listen for pottery enthusiasts, for those just starting out as students, to professional potters. He has something for everyone. His many interviews with potters include advice on getting started, staying motivated, and inspirational stories from professional potters. Paul talks to potters and ceramic artists about the hard work involved in being a potter, which includes the many hats they wear, from artist, designer, maker, photographer, web designer, fix it person, glaze maker, and business person. These podcast interviews will go into the history books for contemporary 21st century pottery.
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or the link above!
Houzz.com is a really great platform for collecting ideas for your home. It features stories of creative people and their homes around the globe. It’s also a place to find architects, designers, contractors, and all the goodies that go into a house.
Somehow they thought my home and studio were nice enough to do a story on!
Many thanks to Rikki Synder the amazing photographer.