A Productive Hibernation

It's that time of year again! With no more warm weather, no more beautiful leaves, and no flowers to lure me outside, I am hunkering down in my basement studio, and entering my most productive phase of the year. This cold, dark dungeon of a studio transforms into a reasonably bright, but not very warm work space. I have a space heater to take off the chill, but the heat only goes so far.

 

Not to worry! I always keep myself bundled up and focus on the work at hand. Once I have my kiln loaded with new greenware, I get to bask in the warmth that results from the firing process, though the pleasant temperature soon wears off and then I'm back to adding extra layers of clothing. Sometimes I hear the winter wind howling outside, or I see snow piling up against my tiny basement windows, and I feel relieved to be tucked away where it's safe and at least relatively warm.

 

I am fortunate to have my fall chores done now, so that I can concentrate on my work without distraction. Right now I'm working on a set of vases made of small, thin, textured slabs that I overlap and carefully join as I build each piece. I'm using a brown stoneware clay, and I plan to apply some black glaze to enhance the texture of the slabs. The inside of each vase will be fully glazed, but on the exterior I'll brush on and then wipe off the glaze, so that the dark color will remain only in the grooves and crevices. I look forward to seeing these vases through to the end, and warming up my studio along the way.

 

Below is the first one of this series:

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