Lovelily Tableware Collection

Lovelily Tableware Collection

Last week on Monday the 16th of June, I was in an exhibition called ‘Botanica’ alongside my fellow SDES6700 Introduction to Ceramics class. You may have read in a previous post (even I myself cannot remember which), about me talking about this project that I have been working on as part of my university elective course. I am glad to say that I have finally completed this project, exhibited it, and now sharing with you my new ‘Lovelily’ Tableware Collection!

Lovelily Tableware Collection

Lovelily Tableware Collection

Though they spread across the water’s surface, filling it with colour and vibrancy, they are not just beautiful to look at. Water lilies and lily pads serve an important purpose in the pond, mainly in aiding in sustaining its ecosystem. They provide shade to keep the water temperature down during hot summer months, and provide shelter to any fish or living organisms inhibiting the pond from lurking predators. They also absorb nutrients in the water that would normally feed undesirable green plants such as algae, keeping the water clear and clean-looking.

Hand-building slab techniques were applied to produce the collection. Therefore, no two plates or bowls are alike, which reflects on the nature of plant growth where organisms are not always identical: their observable characteristics and traits can vary. This idea of sustenance inspired the collection – the act of sustaining life by food or providing a means of subsistence around the dining table. The name of the collection is derived from symbolisms of cultural and religious beliefs. The colour red is often associated with emotional attachments of the heart, representing love, compassion, and passion, for food in this instance. The blooming lilies represent the heart being open and filled with love (food), drawing people together to one place and share a meal made with love, compassion, and passion, and thus the Lovelily Tableware Collection.

The range is made using fine white stoneware clay where the lily pad plates were glazed using celadon which turns jade-green in reduction firing. Though all my water lily vessels had the same glaze, which was copper red, and all fired to reduction, not all of them turned out the colour they were supposed to be. I was told that it could be due to the thickness of the glaze, which I ruled out because I dipped them in for the same amount of time. I was later then told by another fellow student that it had to do with the firing temperatures. The ones that turned completely red were fired at a higher temperature than the others. Though I was a bit disappointed with the outcome of the glazes for the copper red, I have learnt to love them as a whole collection.

Lovelily Tableware Collection

Lovelily Tableware Collection

– Ally xx

Eggciting Herb Garden

Eggciting Herb Garden

“I was wondering why you have a carton of eggs on the ground!” said a fellow housemate while I was out back in the yard with a camera around my neck ready to photograph the above. I shall explain in detail below:

Hello everyone! Today I want to share with you a project (or part of a project I might say) that I have been working on as part of my Introduction to Ceramics course at uni. I said ‘part of a project’ only because it is actually one of the processes that my tutor demonstrated and talked about in one of our tutorials – and that process is called Slipcasting.

Slipcasting is basically a mass-production technique used in pottery especially for shapes that are not easily made on the wheel. Liquid clay (known as slip) is poured into a plaster mould and then removed one the clay is set solid. For a hollow piece, the liquid is poured out of the mould once the plaster has absorbed most of the liquid from the outer layer of the clay.

Our tutor also showed us how we can dip porous objects into slip. She demonstrated by dipping a sponge into the slip, had it fired and the result was just amazing. Basically what happens is that when the slipped object goes into the kiln at mid-fire glaze, the object burns out from the high temperatures and leaves the outer shell of the object. So you can imagine how a sponge turned out, it was so fragile and aesthetically beautiful as well.

So that’s what I did here, I completely submerged an egg carton in slip and let it to dry. I then did another coat of slip because the first layer started to crack while it was drying. I had the carton fired and it came out looking really great! I then applied layers and layers of oxide glazes (cobalt, chrome and china blue) and dipped the whole carton in a clear glaze. It was then fired again and this was the result:

Eggciting Herb Garden

I got the initial idea of slipcasting an egg carton through images I saw online while searching for inspiration for the first project for my ceramics course (which is ‘botanica’, basically nature-inspired). I saw images of egg cartons being used as planters, as well as pot holders for eggshell pots. So decided, why not make a permanent egg carton holder?

Eggciting Herb Garden

As you can see from the image above, the eggs don’t quite nicely sit in the hole. This is because when objects get fired in the kiln they tend to shrink a bit (and I’m guessing the two layers of slip ate a bit of space too). So my extra large eggs that I originally had saved could not fit at all, I had to buy new eggs that were smaller in size just so they could kind-of fit.

Eggciting Herb Garden

Hope you enjoyed reading and viewing this post. Please stayed tuned as well for when I actually finish making what I am supposed to make for my Botanica project. I will be making a set of plates inspired by water lilies and lily pads! The second project for this course is to make a vessel and I was thinking of stemming from project 1 and creating a centrepiece to tie the whole project together. So yes, look out for that in the next month and a half!

– Ally xx