Thursday, March 6, 2008

Large Bird Bowl

Wanted to share a picture of one my large bird bowls. My friend Dan, the metal guy, does the stands for these, using raw, cold-worked steel. The feet are fashioned to look like little bird feet (or tree roots, depending on how you look at it) and work really well with the organic feel of the pottery.

I only use the leaves from locally-growing native plants - trees, shrubs and vines. I'm quite passionate about native plants and promote them in my landscaping business as much possible as well. I either impress the leaves into the body of the clay bowl or roll them into a thin slab of clay and cut them out, and then apply them to the bowl. Although the branches look quite a lot like wood (folks often ask me how I got the wood on the bowl), they are actually made of applied clay coils that I manipulate too look more wood-like.

I have a six-step glazing process for these pieces - staining and "washing" the "wood", staining and "washing the leaves, applying wax resist for those surfaces and then glazing. The stained surfaces are less slipper and therefore more bird- friendly and the three-dimensional leaves make additional surfaces for smaller birds to enjoy the bowl without risk of life or wing.

I'm putting together a show for May 2008 at Ariana Gallery in Royal Oak which will feature these pieces - check back here for updates!

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