Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thinking Upside Down

 These are new little plates and dishes that I designed last week. I have this wonderful Dover Coloring Book of traditional Japanese designs. I like looking through it and pulling out different elements from the drawings and rearranging them for pieces made in clay. Sometimes I make stamps, sometimes I create texture plates. This one was a little different because I wanted raised flowers. Hence the thinking upside down.
 I made a texture plate that I use to get the design onto a slab of clay that is then formed into a plate or dish. So the whole thing gets carved into a slab of clay. But while I'm doing this I have to think upside down. The parts that are carved in become raised in the final design and everything on the left becomes right when I pull the slab of clay off the pattern. It's a little tedious and I never know just exactly how it will turn out.

My thoughts go something like this. Will those flowers be too high? Too low? Will the leaves look like they are behind the flowers in the background. How will I glaze this? Is this a waste of time? Why am I designing new plates right now when I have a mountain of work to do? What shall we have for dinner? It's really quite a meditative process to go through. Full of deep thought and revelation.
 I am particularly pleased with how the glaze came out on this. It was a pleasant surprise because I used some glazes that look down right ugly on my porcelain. These plates are made out of stoneware and the darker clay muted the colours into nice earthy blends. I'm already thinking about pulling some of the pieces of this design into a series of pendants and beads. I think I might just bend my self imposed porcelain rule and make them out of stoneware. A leap for me. I like my porcelain. I like my routine. This is a little like living on the edge. Only without the risk.
Alice insisted that I show you a photo of her thinking upside down. She spends quite a lot of time in this position. But just between you and me, Alice isn't really thinking. She's not a very bright dog and doesn't spend a lot of time thinking. She gets by in life completely on her looks and sweet disposition.

16 comments:

SueBeads said...

Gorgeous LeAnn! Will we see them in your etsy shop?

lunedreams said...

These are absolutely gorgeous!! I hope hope hope you use these designs/technique in jewelry components!

No, I think you're right, Alice does not look like she's "thinking." If I had to guess I'd say she was sleeping off a bender.

Silver Parrot said...

Wow - those are so pretty. I love the earthy look on the square plate. The colors came out perfectly!

Pretty Things said...

Wowwwww. I am so in awe of what you do! I wouldn't even know where to start. Which is why I'm lucky to be able to buy your work!!!

sundownbeaddesigns said...

These are amazing...I love the thought process, funny, sounds like me except I really talk to myself. LOL! I especially like the square dish.

Mary Newton Designs said...

Yes, very lovely! My favorite is the square dish, also, but they're all great!

sharon said...

These designs are truly beautiful! I appreciate all that detail, it gives it a gorgeous look.

kelleysbeads said...

Please make more plates and live on the edge with stoneware! Please? :)

Poor Alice. Bless her heart, she's just as cute as she can be!

Julianna Cannon said...

Leann, those plates are kickin'~ love 'em!!

stregata said...

Thinking upside down - love your meditative thought process!
BTW, what did you have for dinner?
The new texture is absolutely gorgeous and the glaze is wonderfully earthy.
Actually, I do believe Alice is thinking. Something along the lines of: if I lie here looking impossibly cute, maybe mom will give me a treat, or at least a scratch behind the ears...

Michelle said...

These are stunning! Can't wait to see what you make for pendants and beads.

Alice is such a cutie! I love those happy doggie faces.
Michelle

Cindy said...

Look at your sweet Alice...I can see a smile on her face!
Your plates are amazing...and I agree the glaze turned out fantastic. I love the floral detail. Except that they would be covered up, I could see plate after plate (or bowl) like these in my studio used to hold beads!
Cindy

Beverly Herman said...

LeAnn I love the square dish with the flowers. The colors are beautiful!!

Marsha Neal Studio (Marsha's Garden Blog, Marsha Minutella) said...

I just love your blog… Your work is so beautiful! And I can just imagine how Alice's teeth and lips must hang open sometimes when "thinking upside down". I always used to giggle at the faces of sleeping dogs - such a little pleasure!

Marie Cramp said...

Fantastic! I think those would make really gorgeous pendants!! I would buy them for sure!! I love to see how you make these things, I can't draw or carve very well, so I get to live vicariously through you!

The Joy of Nesting said...

To my mind that make's Alice a very smart girl! She know's where talents lie and is continually working on them. :)

Oh I love the patterns and the colors!! It is exactly how my mind's eye see the quieting season of fall.

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.