Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Spoons, Part III - Ceramic Spoons and Glazes

One idea is to make different shapes; same glaze.  Notice each spoon has a hole in the handle for hanging.  Maybe a composition display in the kitchen?

I like the homey looking blue and cream utility spoons here. Strainers, measurers, dippers, salt spoons, scoops, lots of uses for a well-glazed, washable tool.

Great use of theme and variation. 
Owl spoons. So Picasso-esque.

Embossing with stamps makes interesting, if maybe not-so-practical spoon bowls.
Great breaks in the glaze on these spoons.

Spoon or spoon rest? You decide.

Simply charming spoon.  

Do you see the little man?

A child would absolutely love this.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Metal Spoons, Spoons II

Many clay designs can be borrowed from spoons made of metal.

Functional spoons? Not for peas, I'm sure. They just might put you off your meal.

Metal is, of course more resistant to stress than clay. Thin portions are still strong.

So, when designing ceramic spoons, special attention has to be applied to areas of stress such as the join between the handle and bowl, length of the handle and thickness of materials. The special characteristics of various clays must be understood when designing tableware.

I wonder if it would work to reinforce the stem with heat-resistant metal? How would the two materials react to each other? Might be worth an experiment.

Of course, this spoon would not work in clay, but the design is so pleasing, it can serve as a great inspiration for a re-interpretation. 

By the way, this is an absinthe spoon, meant to be placed over the top of a glass and used as a strainer.

I was surprised to learn that absinthe is still being used. I had thought it was outlawed.  

This design, with a little modification, would make a very nice clay spoon.

If you want to design pierced spoons or strainers, a quick look at tea caddies and strainers can give you some good design ideas.

This is a delightful design and works perfectly as a spoon form as does the fish shown is below.
Silver scoop designs would work well as clay since they are more compact.

Seeing this, I had visions of a small salt spoon and a salt dish made like a purse.

Or a face. Placement of the spoon might be amusing.

How about making spoons in the shapes of rounded fruit with stems?

Clumps of beets?  


Or bouquets of different flowers with the blossoms painted into the bowls?

And, of course, there's the great design possibilities of precious metal clay. Best of both worlds.

from pmccblog.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spoons, Part I

I've been thinking a lot about spoons lately.

A spoon is a very personal kind of utensil. It's the first one we master.

Clay does not immediately spring to mind as a medium when one is thinking about making spoons.

Metal and wood are more commonly used, but clay spoons work just as well and sometimes better than some materials. Clay won't heat up, for instance.

And while metal and wood have their own strengths and therefore their own design requirements, people who know and understand clay could design beautiful and effective spoons with certain  parameters and restrictions in mind.

Besides, spoons present unique design possibilities.

We're all familiar with the Chinese ceramic spoon, which to me has always seemed a bit difficult to use. I've always thought they would work much better as a spoon rest.

A quick Google image  search with of "Ceramic Spoons" delivers a huge amount of examples.

There are lots of wooden spoon forms that could easily be translated into a clay design, although the handles would have to be heavier and thicker:

What a difference dark and light make.

This is a good form. The base of the bowl and handle join gives lots of support.
Interesting Bowls. This spoon has two bowls and might work well in clay.

Some have interesting handles:

This handle design allows the spoon to balance on the rim of a pot. 

Some have unique handles.  Like Apostle spoons.

And an antique spoon from New Guinea.

This wouldn't work with ceramic unless the bowl alone was made of clay, but it's a beautiful combination.

I love the idea of making salad spoons--Short thick sturdy handles and large bowls together.

How often do you see the two coordinated?

Next: Metal Spoons and Ceramic Ones.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Teapots - Form

I love these pots.

They all just scream FORM.

Form is so important in the creation process. To my mind, it is the primary; the first essential.

It doesn't matter so much how dazzling the glaze is or the size of the piece or any other aspect of design or treatment applied. If the form isn't good, no amount of attachments or embellishments can will overcome that.

FORM is the statement of the piece.

My first clay instructor asked me one day, "What statement are you making with this piece?"

I was flummoxed. To me, 'Statement' meant a verbal message. I just couldn't reconcile the idea of something said and a piece of clay.

In my mind, I thought it as a ridiculous thing to say. The two things just didn't relate to each other.


It is the kind of thing that hangs around the corners of your mind. Now, I get it.

Each of the following pots have strong statements. Wouldn't you agree?  What caption would you add?

What Sass! 
I would almost expect engine sounds, pouring out my tea.

Who's a clever lid, now?.

So beautifully traditional. 
Perfect blend of form and interpretation.

Perfect harmony, but does it pour?

I just know there's tea inside. Wonderful balance in so many ways.

Drop the body decoration and let the form fly!

Clever lid and chain. I've got you now, tea.

So simple; so difficult.

Great blend of two forms--stylized and slick. This pot just sings.

So does this one. Just look at the negative space! Wonderful surface design.

Everything relates like a Mother and Children. Or are they Minion? 

Strong, yet light. The handle could be slightly heavier, but not much.

Perfect glaze and form. I would love to see the handle up. I almost would rather see a vine handle, though.