Thursday, July 22, 2010

new vases

I made these vases for the Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival, and I really love them. They are a take off on the "lichen" series, with their thin, uneven edges. I added the veining for some textural interest and to give them an organic edge.

It's weird where ideas come from. These vases started because I was throwing a bottle prototype for a company and the bottle needed to be very tall and skinny. I don't really throw tall and skinny so it was a bit of a challenge. I had to make a go at it three times to figure out how to throw a tall, skinny thing that didn't look all lumpy and crappy. Once I figured it out, I was in love with the process. It requires a bit more patience. I usually throw more open things that take me a few minutes to form, but to get the profile I wanted with these I couldn't push the clay around too much, too fast. It's slower, but you must remain engaged or you lose the straight lines. It's good for my brain to experience what it's like to be patient every once in a while. Such a rarity.

So when I got the perfect bottle I continued on with some vases. They came out to be about 6" for the smallest, and about 15" for the tallest. I sold most of them at Palo Alto but I do have the white one and the green one pictured here. The green one never made it to Palo Alto because I forgot to load it into the kiln, a fact I realized at about 3 AM. It's my "bad boyfriend" glaze, and I must say it's on very bad behavior here. A few bubbles, which I generally just have to accept, and it turned an ugly brown on the inside with a rash of bubbles all over. Oh well, who looks at the inside of a vase anyway? The white one is just lovely, it floats.

I'll put these babies up for sale on Etsy and on my website as soon as I figure out a good name for them. I've been calling them "Asparagus Vases" because of their shape, but that name is not holding. I have a little contest happening on my facebook page right now for naming rights. Put in your ideas and maybe you'll get a free one!


  1. I know how hard it is to keep a straight line going that's for sure, my hand built pieces lean ever so slightly, nice new vases.

  2. Hello Whitney!
    My name is Kat Martin and I just moved to the bay area a year ago to come to school in Berkeley, and I have been reading your blog for a very long time. You've really inspired me to restart my blog and my website to put my work up! I am not a ceramicist but I find your posts about working as a professional artist so helpful so I just wanted to thank you for telling as all that working as an artist is not a cakewalk, but it is possible. I will be graduating in May next year and I really appreciate being able to read insights into what turbulence and excitement are ahead. I live in Oakland, so I may stop by your studio one day!

  3. P.S. -
    Those new vases are really beautiful.
    -Kat M.

  4. Hey Kat, thanks for the comment. It makes me happy top know my blog encourages people. Stop on by some time!

  5. You could call them ghost vases, thats what I think of when I look at the white one anyway. Beautiful!

  6. Hi Whitney! It was great meeting you on Saturday at the Renegade Craft Festival, and I absolutely love my little white cake stand. Your recent post about the cost of art and the appreciation the public has for it is intriguing, and I hope for you and other artists that the next generation revolts against mass produced design and realizes that handcrafted work is the most valuable. Especially when you have the opportunity to meet the artist or artisan in person!!!

    Again, it was great meeting you, and I look forward to seeing more of your work!