Saturday, September 19, 2009


Greetings! And welcome to my blog about my pottery. I've been a potter/ceramic artist for about 12 years now. I started at Foothill College, taking handbuilding and wheel throwing classes for about a year. I lived in Japan for two years and was fortunate enough to study with a potter on the tiny island where I lived. When I returned to California, I found Blossom Hill Crafts, a clay studio that focuses on teaching people how to throw pottery. Please check the link out so you can see what all this place offers. It's a wonderful studio and there are many wonderful people who work here. We're very much like a family at BHC. I can't imagine what my life would be like without the studio or my friends here.

After a few years of taking classes and throwing on my own, I was asked to become one of the teachers. I did that for awhile, being a full time potter. Unfortunately, being a potter did not pay the bills. So, I went back to school to study 3d animation which took up a lot of time and I was not able to play in the mud anymore. After a few years away, not really working in clay, I returned this past spring. It was the best decision ever.

Today, we had day One of our annual Fall pottery sale. The picture above was half of what I was selling. The picture below is the rest.

As you can see, I threw a lot of cups and bowls. The BHC sale tends to cater to people who like bowls... lots and lots of bowls. Usually, cobalt blue bowls sell the best. However, I kind of got bored with the typical blue bowl, so I glazed them green/aqua, beige and tenmoku. I've sold a few, but I might have to make a few blue bowls if I want to start making a bit more money. However, I'm not really in this for the money... well, sort of. Basically, the more I sell, the more I have room to make. It's kind of tough to cart around a ton of bowls between the studio and my home. There's not always enough room for all my pottery in my parents' house... I have a storage unit where I used to store all my stock. I store other things in that unit now, but I can see that I might be putting more pottery in there in the future months.

Above are some chopstick rests. Before my time away from pottery, I would make 1.5 lb porcelain bowls and carve them. Not really doing that anymore, and I only really had about a month to prepare for this sale. So, I made cheap chopstick rests out of my favorite porcelain, Southern Ice... from Australia... love this clay because it is the most translucent porcelain that I have found. After bisque firing the rests, I brushed on a Deep Aqua glaze. This glaze tends to pool in cracks/texture and you get the above result.

I also made some pendants out of Southern Ice. This is the first time I've made jewelry out of clay. How did I do this? I rolled out a thin slab of clay, cut them out using a fondant cutter, let them dry completely to at state we call "bone dry", painted the images with underglaze, bisque fired them and then put a clear glaze on them at the end.

All of these pieces were fired to cone 10 (about 2345 degrees F). No lead in the glazes either (I'll write more about that later). Bowls are functional... dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.

Finally, this is a Tenmoku glazed bowl. Tenmoku is a brown to black glaze. The dark loop design you see is a squirt of the Navy blue glaze that I just put on there to break up the monotony of a single color glaze.

So, this is my intro to my life as a potter. I have an idea of what I'm going to do during the down time of our sale tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be able to take pictures and let you all see some of the process of what goes on in making a piece of ceramic art.


  1. Nice blog!! I'm just starting out in the whole ceramics world, so I haven't got to throwing clay yet. I've just moved into the world of slabs in my ceramics class, but it will be nice to have someone that I can ask about techniques with clay, glaze, and firing techniques.

  2. Just beautiful! Will you have an online store?

  3. Hi Lisa! I hope to have an online store one day. I did sell quite a few of my bowls at this sale. I have a ton of cups left over. If you're interested in something specific, let me know... oh! I do have a few pendants, chopstick rests and 3 ghosts left over. Once I get more stock made, I'll probably open up an online store. I'm still getting the hang of SanQ designs.

    Pamela, ask me your questions and I'll get you an answer. :D

  4. Excellent! But take your time. The holiday shopping season is coming up & those chopstick rests would make great "base" presents.

    (We went "alternative" on the holiday shopping. The "base" present is something small and meaningful, handcrafted is awesome, then a gift to charity in the person's name and family cookbook pages... we all have so much...)

  5. What an informative welcome to your blog. Mom was oooohhing and ahhhhing about the bowl you do. Beautiful! What a great handcraft!