Monday, June 5, 2017


When I am involved in a cycle that involves carving terra cotta pieces, I like to throw the pieces, tool them the next day and then loosely cover them in plastic and wait a couple of days to carve them. By working in this way, the surface is perfect to carve and the pots stiff enough to handle without them warping from the process and I have found that throwing lidded pieces, in particular on a Thursday, tooling them on a Friday and coming back to them on Monday is the best way to go. The weekend acts as a natural distraction from the pots and under normal circumstances I lack the patience to wait two days before I carve them, this way it is much easier to set them aside both literally and figuratively. The illustrated covered serving bowl was tooled and slipped on Friday and carved this afternoon and you can see in the photo there is just enough wetness to the surface to making the decoration easy to carve but stiff enough that the carving tools can make reasonable cuts in the clay. The exterior of the bowl and the top of the lid are both carved overall with the XOXO pattern while the interiors are left with the unslipped, rich terra cotta surface that looks quite nice once glazed and fired which is also highlighted on the interior of the knob where I have stamped my makers mark on an added wad of clay. I like carving pots, I decide how each one will be carved, set up my work space directly on the wheel, put on some relaxing but not sleeping (!) music and set about carving, making for a good start to the week on another rainy day in Central New York.