Every year when spring rolls around, I create clay baskets. They symbolize new life, growth, Easter, spring, childhood, flowers and more. The design varies from year to year making them fun to collect.
This year, my basket inspiration comes from this beautiful silver basket that I’ve had for many years. I love the way the rim undulates and the handle rises up. It’s a lovely size for jewelry or as a candy bowl.
This past year, I participated in a workshop, hosted by Potters Place, with Delaney Wise. Delaney is a ceramic artist and teacher at Harvard. She taught us many things including how to create an undulating rim. I thought this technique might work well this year’s baskets. My form starts on the potter’s wheel as a bowl with a thickened rim.
Cutting the rim deliberately and then removing those pieces produces an area that can be softened and then manipulated.
When I find the shape I like, the bowl is removed from the wheel and squished to make ready for the basket handles.
I created a few new stamps and this one felt right on my baskets… a little flower.I hand pull my handles and attach them to the leather hard clay. The stamp acts as decoration and added assurance that the handle is attached securely to the vessel.
This year’s baskets are ready for eggs, plants, candy or treasures. They are for sale at the Dedham Square Artist Guild in Dedham Square. Hop over to get yours! Happy Spring!
Every year, I like to welcome in spring with herb markers and baskets. This year, the baskets worked well with my spring collection: Turks and Caicos.
I make my baskets by combining two techniques: wheel throwing and hand building. The baskets are thrown as bowls on my pottery wheel. This year I added a split rim for glaze pooling.
When the clay is setting up, I roll some coils and then stamp them with a basket weave pattern.
When ready, I squish in the sides of the bowl and attach the handles. I dry them very slowly over the next few days. Then finish them off with a pony roller and a push to indent the bottom.
The baskets are fired in a bisque before they are able to be glazed. I use a brown glaze to accent the pattern on the handle, then glazed them in my Turks and Caicos color palette of soft green and blues. Once fired for the second time, the baskets are sanded on the bottom and hand washed where I check for any imperfections.
The baskets are photographed, priced and added into inventory.
The baskets were delivered to the Dedham Square Artist Guild, located in Dedham, Ma just in time for my trunk show last weekend.
There are three baskets left and they are currently for sale at the Dedham Guild. Once in the Guild, you will find many things to fill your basket with – like handcrafted eggs by Cindy Mootz; Easter cards by Kerry Hawkins; jewelry by Melanie Guerra, Barbara Trainer and Jill Barry, as well as the first book by illustrator artist, Marietta Apollonio entitled “A Curious Alphabet for Curious People”, and so much more.
The guild is open 12-6 Weds-Saturday;11-2 on Sundays but THIS Sunday it will be closed for Easter.
Two summers ago, I was shopping at a pottery cooperative in North Carolina when I saw a pottery basket. I loved the idea and started experimenting with my own baskets last spring. This year, I modified my design to included varying sized baskets, textured handles and new glaze combinations. I made only a few and am selling them through Easter at the Dedham Square Artist Guild, my cooperative gallery in Dedham Square.