From Wikipedia – In music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: “The motive is the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity”.

In my last firing I started thinking about decoration of my vessels. After a decade in photography I realized that I had an enormous amount of knowledge and was able to solve just about anything that came along. I had my own language.

So now I have a template to go by for learning and mastering what I want to create in ceramics. The template is repetition, the ability to solve problems and exercising your imagination. Once you  get it rolling you are able to create a motif of your own with infinite variations.

Small guinomi / shot glass from the recent firing. Nuka over Temmoku on white clay body in cone 10 reduction.

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”
– Zig Ziglar

You start with the basics: Color & Texture.

  • Single Solid Color
  • Blending of two or more solid colors
  • Floating colors
  • Creating Breaks
  • Where do you create the delineations of colors / textures / shapes
  • Color Combinations – What looks good together
  • The breaks can be on any part of the vessel, what parts look good?
  • Patterns, both in color and or texture
  • Other things I cant think of at the moment

The sketchbook is out and I’ll try on paper each variation and combination and see what suits me. The happy accidents are the deviations that can lead you down a new path.

Fusing Glass and Ceramics

Wanted to stop in and give a quick update about an experiment I did fusing glass to some ceramics in my last firing. It turned out pretty well! I used some of the flat glass “beads” from the craft store that are usually used for decoration on their own. Fired all the way to cone 6 and placed them on a bottom shelf with a pretty close shelf above it in case there was any splashing or anything. I placed the glass over the glaze that was already in the pot.


You can see that it creates some crazing in the glass and its definitely not food safe or anything like that but looks really neat

I had one issue with a hairline crack on one pot I think that as the glass cools it creates an inward pull and it was just too much for the clay.