More Inspiration

Last week I showed the beginning inspiration of my current work.  Hopefully you could see my train of thought that led to my forms.

The evening after I posted the last blog, I saw this article on Shoko Teruyama and how she makes her bird boat form.  I decided I had to include this in my ‘inspiration’ blog because her work is absolutely beautiful and, more importantly, her handles inspired me to make ‘puffy’ handles.

Leaf handle on creamer/sugar tray

'puffy' leaf handle on creamer/sugar tray

Here is where Shoko’s inspiration comes to play – what kind of handle looks full? Sure, the mug handle has to be just right for my hand (read my comment to Michael Kline on my last post), but a casserole, baker or tray doesn’t need such a ‘strap-type’ handle. These shapes could have a full, rounded handle, I thought. And so after seeing Shoko’s work, I decided to make my own version of the puffed handle the way I imagined she made hers – a paper template (my shape is a leaf to go with the flower theme) to cut two clay shapes, fingered/pushed out and attached together (and this is before her online tutorial).


As I said in the last post, one of my inspirations is a budding flower.  Flower petals tend to be papery thin and when I think to translate a flower into clay, my first idea is to use porcelain for its finery –  translucent like paper held up to the light and so white that any glaze color is brighter on it.  But my inspiration is also that rich, red dirt out my window that I love to play in so much!  And so I use earthenware clay and put a white slip on top to allow a brighter glaze color to show up, just where I want it, and leave some of the red dirt clay raw and exposed, just where I want it.

Bisqued pots

Bisqued pots ready to be glazed. White slip covering part of each pot.

After working with the basic shaping, I began to want my pots to feel full – eventually I hope they will be full of food!  More rounded shapes and round, full lips (rims) would make me happy and challenge me.  Many of my large serving bowls and several casserole rims are hollow – looking full lipped, but without the thick clay weight.


Green bowl with hollow lip

Hollow lip bowl. (clay is rolled over to produce a hollow lip)

And so you can see, inspiration keeps coming and can come from many places.  I steal from historical pots, contemporary pots, throw-away manufactured cups, nature, etc.


  1. susan Campbell · February 21, 2011

    Hey you. I love your pottery and also the way you write about it. You make me want to try more of the rolled, hollow rims, too, ’cause mine have been wussy and weak. Thank you for posting your blog, Elise.

    • pincupottery · February 21, 2011

      Thank you so much for reading the blog, Susan!

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