I was asked by the lovely Angie at My Quilting Life to make a quilt bowl for her friend Lyn's big birthday. I had plenty of notice for this one, so I had time to take a few pictures along the way. I realise now that I should have started clicking way before this first picture, but anyway.
Once I have rolled out the clay slab, measured and impressed the design into the wet clay, pushed the finished slab into a bowl shaped mould, smoothed over the edges with water, made the holes for the thread and button detail (see later), waited three days for the piece to dry out completely, carefully lifted the bone dry piece out of its mould ..... it looks like this! This is when it is at its most fragile and can break easily - it's the texture of chalk. So, the utmost care and a prayer is needed when putting this into the kiln, along with other pieces.
Once bisque-fired, the piece comes out like the one below - a creamy white colour, easy to handle, and ready to paint the glazes onto.
The raw glazes bear no resemblance to their actual colour, so this pale pinky one below will fire denim blue. I took this pic with my left hand, so it's a bit blurred. But yes, I do paint around each little dot!
Then I fill in the other areas with different glaze colours, including a clear glaze over those bits (like the dots above) left white.
And then into the kiln it goes again. Nothing else must touch it, otherwise the glazes would fuse different pieces together in the kiln, and Angie would not have liked that look!
Around 24 hours later, when the kiln has cooled down, I open it up and take out the finished piece. As this one was for an avid quilter/needlewoman, I included the thread detail and attached the handmade button. You can just about see how the button was made - by pressing into it a metal sewing machine bobbin.
The flower border was made by impressing into the clay a string of lace daisies. The waffle/quilty look around the outside is made by rolling an old tea-towel over the wet clay - one of those cheap ones you get off the market.
The block is Double Pinwheels. The birthday girl loved it. Angie blogged about it here, and if you do have a look, you will see Angie's stunningly beautiful needlework and quilting, so do visit if you can.
Well, hope I haven't bored the pants off you all with all the technical details!!
Now off to sit in the rain - bliss!! Are you cooling off at last too?