March 30, 2007

Flashback Friday: Terra Cotta

Ok, so I warned you that I was going to start boring you on Fridays with my old beads. Let's call them vintage Earthenwood. I have made a lot of beads in my career up to this point: some were bad and embarrass me to see them (um, I probably won't be showing those, lol!). Others I love and were an important stepping stone for me to develop into the work that I do now.
Above is a necklace of hand carved, one of a kind terra cotta beads I made for my senior show at CCS, in 1996. WOW that's over 10 years ago! Anyway, I really loved bare clays because they were perfect for exploring form and texture. I was especially inspired by Yixing teapots, and organic natural forms especially insects and pods.
Here is another necklace from my senior show, a front and back view. With these I added some color to the clay, a shiny metallic gunmetal and a dry blue. I think you can see a bit more of the insect influence here. Also in the necklace is a shiny black porcelain Alien Baby bead that my hubby made. This was strung on a heavy steel cable, with terra cotta "cones" for the ends.

Well, what do you think? Do you see any resemblance to my current work? Next week I will start with some of my favorite salt fired porcelain beads. They are mostly white though, and I have a hard time photographing white beads, so I will need to experiment for a while (any tips?)


  1. I've been a long time fan of bare clay too. My first pots and coffee cups were bare on the outside with clear gloss glaze on the inside. I'd sand and sand the outsides. It was tough to glaze the insides I loved the look and feel of the clay so much. Now I'm okay about that sort of thing but I remember that thrill of the newness of it all.

    I love the black gloss with your bare clay. The shiny contrast with the matt is wonderful.

  2. Oh yes, I love the bare clay so much. At school we had a salt kiln and we would fire a lot of pots mostly bare. The sale kept the bare look but gave it a natural glaze as well. So beautiful!

  3. These are stunning Melanie! The terra cotta, black and silver look great together.