With the stress of not needing tubs and tubs of finished product for shows I am spending more time making more artistic pieces.

I have written before about sgrafitto, the art of carving in clay. To this day, this technique is still my #1 most favorite. When I browse through Instagram or Facebook its the black and white sgrafitto pieces that still pull me in, and make me gasp with delight.

I am half way through carving a sunflower in this small bowl. Once dry i will add color!

I am not sure what it is about it that speaks to me. It may be the high contrast black and white. Or maybe its the carved texture, the tactual feel of the artwork. I think its a little bit of both.

When I am preparing for a show and need a lot of product, I generally don’t have time to do all the carving. The other day I actually timed myself when I carved out a hummingbird mug, a design I am very familiar with and did not have to think much about. It took me 2 1/2 hours. In a days time, I maybe could get 3 mugs carved but there are still other studio things to be done.

Like playing with Max and Emily, photographing pieces, packing and shipping stuff, applying 3 coats of underglaze, making more stuff, chatting with visitors etc.

Emily loves to hang out with me when I carve. She can be a pest, and my carving tool is sharp, so I have to give her a specific place to sit and watch. Usually a towel defines her space.

In reality I can carve about 2 mugs a day. Thats not a whole lot! No wonder it takes me a month to fill the kiln.

But I love the process of carving, of seeing the design coming out of the all black “canvas”. Sometimes I don’t even have a complete plan. I may think “I want to carve a dragonfly mug”. I may lightly sketch in details, but the carving determines the final design.

I have about 6 mugs left to carve and I will have enough to fill my kiln. My next product update is just a few weeks away!

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