Third Iteration

So I’m in the middle of doing the third iteration of my Kusamono / Shitakusa vessels and they are coming along nicely. I love love love this clay. Its very porous and I think that it would be good for the plantings in such a small place to be able to get enough oxygen to the roots. This is the advantage of terracotta, not only is it cheaply produced and low fired but it is porous as well. We’ll have to keep in mind that the plants that are paired with these pots may need to be watered more than something that is in a plastic or fully vitrified pot. I’ll have to prove this out but it seems that if the roots can get more oxygen then they will flourish for longer.

Keeping the pots from cracking by wrapping them to carve the hard clay.
First two done!
All 8 carved. Got a bit fancy with some texturing on a few.

I have been getting heavily into Kusamono since I learned the term from my friend Chuck. This is something that I’ve never seen before. Mushroom cultivation for Kusamono! It seems to be a high investment in effort and time for a small payoff but for originality I give it two thumbs up. If you care to dive into the way other mushrooms are grown the success rate is a bit higher and the technique should translate very well to the more decorative mushrooms such as the beautiful Amanita Muscaria which reminds me of Christmas.

There is an excellent article dealing with creating Mushroom Kusamono that I found – – Just beautiful!

Coming Along Nicely

Enso project coming along nicely!

Also I just found a neat little plugin called Orange Twig that lets me import my entire Etsy Store into my Facebook Page. Nice!

I’ve gotten a new tattoo based on the 3 Hapkido Principals

Yu – Won – Hwa or Water – Circle – Nonresistance

My explanation in a very very condensed form and are ever changing and take on new meaning in different situations and at different times in life.

Yu – Water or Flow – Flow like water. It can be soft or it can crash. It can find the lowest ground. It can conform to any container and take its shape. It can bore a hole into solid stone over time. Flowing movements.The indomitable spirit of the Hapkido practitioner!

Won – Circle – Using circular motion to overcome instead of using force against force. Do not counter a linear attack linearly. Counter it with circular motion. “Roll with it”. It can lead away from something and also to completion. The circle is a sacred sign that I talked about in a previous post.

Hwa – Nonresistance or Harmony – Represents the harmony between mind and body, the spirit and the physical self, It represents harmony in every aspect of your life. Nonresistance is a big part of attaining harmony. The huge oak tee will crack and fall down in a storm while the wispy tree next to it is flexible and offers no resistance to the wind.

These three principals exist and fit together in a way where they become greater than the sum of their parts. These principals are used time and time again and are an integral part of my pottery, my photography and my life. Now I have a visual reminder to delve even further into the symbolic depth of these symbols.

Test Tile Kiln Opening

Oh I love love love the surprises you get from opening the kiln after a long wait to come back down to temperature. I am certainly appreciative of the work that goes into commercial glazes but I already see that there are properties of each one that I want to enhance or reduce. That kind of thinking is going to get me into some rabbit holes I can already tell.



The black slip over the different clay bodies worked perfectly! It really gives that deep dark almost burnt in reduction look.


Here are a few examples of how it will look when using the glazes over the slip on the right hand side. I didnt have enough space to do a test with the double glazes over black raven body / raven slip but I’ll do that next time maybe if I feel like there is any potential for something radically different.


For now though I think I have enough data to pare down my choices and drill down deeper into fewer variables. I’d like to eventually get to one or two clay bodies that do exactly what I want them to do and maybe dabble in some porcelain as it has that certain allure for potters. Can you say: Cone 10 – wood fired? Wow!

The best of the home processed clay turned out with a little surprise at cone 6 – black specs, I guess iron or some other mineral. With maybe a very small percentage of plastic clay I think it would be very workable. I may try something small even without the mix to see how it performs.


As always. Kiln wash is a must unless you just love buying new shelves.