Monday, February 28, 2011

Tall Bowl Series

Here's a quick update on the tall bowls.
The second bowl, taller than it is wide:

and a little closer detail:

The nutmeg glaze is a truly satin matte. It feels as soft as silk. And the leaves? I love leaves. They are the most common motif in my pottery.

I was asked for more information on this bowl. It is made on my potter's kickwheel, hand carved (very contemplative and enjoyable) and hand dipped in glazes. I made the glazes, as I do with almost all my glazes, from recipes using various powders with lovely names like dolomite and bentonite and nepheline syenite and spodumene. It doesn't get much more handmade than this in the contemporary pottery world.

The bowl is 7.5" tall, 6.5" wide at the mouth and just under 3" wide at the narrow foot. It was fired to 2,290 degrees F in my electric kiln. It is currently the only one of its kind (I plan to make somewhat similar ones, but these can never be exactly alike- they are freehand). If you're interested in owning this tall carved bowl, it is $60 plus shipping (& tax if you live in NJ), and you can buy it by way of an e-mail to

Feel free to pass on the link to my blog! In the absence of my ailing website, it is the best way I have to keep showing the pottery I am making as fast as I produce it. Thanks! And thanks, you guys who buy my work!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tall Bowl with Narrow Foot

Recently, visiting my daughter, I noticed a bowl I made and gave her when she was in grad school. It is on a corner étagère in her living room, not in a kitchen cabinet. I liked the form, and the decorative brushwork on it.
“It’s not a useful shape,” she said, “but I like it.”
My byword at the studio has usually been “function” over the years.
This is theoretically a functional object, but the narrow profile, taller than it is round, standing on a narrow foot, makes it fairly impractical.
I thought I would have another go at this form. As long as it is impractical anyway, I altered the round rim to three-sided, and impressed it with a couple of wave stamps I made a few years back. I made several, altered, stamped and carved.
The first one to be glazed:

I like the surprise of a red interior, contrasting with the cool green exterior.
There’s another, taller, narrower one with deep carving on it currently in the kiln. This is fun. Not too functional, but fun.

Some info about this Chinese Blue Green and Red tall bowl: It is 6.75" high, 7" across at the mouth, and just 2.5" across at the nice neat raised foot. It is fired to 2,290 degrees F in my electric kiln. Like all fine stoneware that is not too thick, it has a nice ring when tapped; this one is fairly low in tone. I know because I went around tapping pots today- a kind of studio music! It is $60 (plus shipping, and tax if you live in NJ) from my studio, and can be bought by e-mailing me at It is currently the only one like it I have. Each Tall Bowl I make will always be somewhat different from the previous one.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mezuzahs, Goblets, Mugs, & the Piggy-Toe of a Dream

It’s back to the drawing board for Mimi Stadler Pottery. I am down one website, and the DebMaster is beginning to create the second. The first was “too broke to fix.” It was better to start again with a new template. Stay tuned for the further Adventures in Website Building, a rollicking tale…or not...Some plain hard work and a dash of creativity oughta get it done.

Meanwhile. mezuzah cases are awaiting the bisque kiln. These are decorative casings in which to place rolled parchments with a special prayer on them. They go on most doorways in a Jewish home, only missing the bathrooms. I have an order for 20, for a nursing care facility. They’re nice mezuzahs, I think.

The one on the right is just dry clay with some underglaze on it. When some clear and some green glazes are applied, and it is glaze-fired, it will look like the one on the left. Notice the difference in size? Raw clay shrinks when it is glaze fired. They will end up pretty similar. There are two other design toppers, a heart and a flower, on other mezuzah cases.

I will be glad to make more of these as called for. The best part of this lot is they’ve been pre-ordered, which means they are paid for even as I make them. This is a nice way to work. I should do this all the time.

With Passover not far away, there are simple goblets to get ready to sell. I will sort them for sets with similar capacity (between 4.5 and 6 oz., I think) once they are fired. Next week, between making website decisions and thinking about a kitchen renovation (yahoo!), I want to make little plates for each of them.

I was asked to make mugs that show the color of the tea that will be drunk from them. I faceted two mugs, and made two with soft throwing rings visible under subtle glazing. Two glazes layered over each other gave this nice cream color, with a hint of rust speckle here and there:

Meanwhile I am dipping my toe in the first little wavelet of a dream that might go somewhere. I have an idea for marketing handmade artistry with a group of like-minded individuals who are not able to take part in the available Saturday shows. More on that as this dream pool begins to gain some depth.