27 Oct Autumn Ceramics
Here at 137°, our artists are getting inspiration for autumn ceramics! The arrival of October brings the special feeling of autumn, the transition from summer to winter welcomes cooler temperatures, fewer leaves on the trees and less daylight, whilst animals and humans alike prepare for a cold winter, putting our energy and excitement into cosy nest building. These tips for Autumn ceramics inspiration explore the true characteristics of this time of the year, sparking a season of creativity and appreciation of the changing yearly cycle.
The warm, spicy colour palette of autumn is a favourite for nature lovers; the orange, brown and earthy red tones tend to bring us warmth and comfort – and even a little stress relief. Colour can have a significant effect on our emotions, taking a walk and appreciating the richness of our natural surroundings can give us endless inspiration. This article by the University of York in England discusses the research of vision scientist Lauren Welbourne, she revealed: “what we are finding is that between seasons our vision adapts to changes in environment.” She discovered that when our surroundings change from lots of greenery in the summer to more greyer landscapes, “our vision compensates for those changes and that, surprisingly, changes what we think ‘yellow’ looks like. It’s a bit like changing the colour balance on your TV.” Yellow and orange tones take centre stage and feel more aesthetically pleasing.
With this information in mind, why not explore the autumn colour palette through a range of glazes to decorate our pottery? Experiment with capturing gradients, or creating the perfect pumpkin coloured glaze. Glazy is a website and online community of ceramicists who share their glaze recipes, it’s a fantastic resource for beginner potters and experienced glaze enthusiasts! Alternatively, you can purchase ready made glazes from a variety of brands at Angela Colls online.
One of the things I love about Autumn is the way our cooking and eating habits change. Many of us indulge in homemade soups, (pumpkin of course!), baked pies, and roasting every seasonal vegetable in sight! Ceramic baking dishes are among the most useful and popular items in our kitchens, perfect for slow cooking hearty meals for the entire family.
Follow these steps to create your own autumn ceramics for the kitchen:
To make your own baking dish, roll out a large slab of clay, preferably stoneware, to create the base of your dish, aim for 1cm thickness. Smooth the surface with a wooden kidney tool, and check that there are no air bubbles, as this will cause problems when it comes to firing.
Create the walls of your dish. These should be somewhere around 10-15cm in height. You can either create four walls and join together, or one long continuous strip of clay that wraps around the dish to create rounded corners. Soften any sharp edges and fill any cracks!
When your dish has lost some of the moisture and feels steady, create two handles for each side and adhere them to the outside of your dish. If you make any decorations, be sure to keep the walls and ball of the dish at an appropriate thickness, so you don’t compromise the strength of your dish.
Bisque fire your ceramic baking dish at 1060° and prepare your glazes!
Halloween is a time of year to let our hair down and embrace our dark alter egos. Planning our halloween costumes and parties involves much creativity and imagination – and fortunately, there are many ways to incorporate pottery into our spooky festivities. I like to browse Pinterest to saturate my mind with the common motifs and mood of the halloween season, so for inspiration, think witches and ghosts, zombies and werewolves, bats and spiders, black cats and Egyptian mummies, the themes are never ending! Here is a quick list of autumn ceramics to apply the Halloween motifs:
1. Create a Pumpkin Trick or Treat bowl – offer your sugary surprises in true Halloween style. Either hand-build or throw a deep bowl and then cut out the shapes to reveal a scary pumpkin face. Choose a brightly coloured glaze, or opt for a neutral and cool colour palette.
2. Ceramic halloween jewellery to elevate your costume! Impress your friends and family with carefully sculpted skull earrings, bone bracelets and snake rings.. whatever your favourite halloween motif is, you can adapt it into a wearable piece of jewellery.
3. White and black ghost salt and pepper shakers – create two hollow ghost shaped pieces leaving two ‘eye’ holes and a larger insertion hole for the salt and pepper. Simply use a plastic or cork stopper to contain the contents.
4. Terrifying tea light holder – perhaps one of the most versatile ceramic creations, set the mood on your halloween evening with tea light holders in the shape of anything you want! Utilise your sculpting tools to achieve details for your design, and try precision decorating with applying underglazes with smaller brushes.
137° Ceramic Art Studio is hosting 2 separate 4-hour ‘Creative Gifts’ workshops on 20th and 27th November, it is suitable for beginners and experienced potters. Visit the workshop page to read the full details and book your place!
Written by Freya Saleh