Celtic Inspiration

When looking through a book about 'The Celts' and there culture I came across this picture.

It's a metal shield found in a river, probably made as an offer to the Watergods.
Can you imagine making a metal shield, in those days, working hard at decorating it and then throwing it into a river?!?!

I was inspired by the decoration so I made a design based on it.

I made the design on tracing paper.

I threw a tile form red-brown clay and slipped it with a black clay
(well, very dark brown after its fired). :-)

I let it firm up and the traced the design softly on the clay.

Then I made a slip, white clay and an ocher bodystain, and painted the design on the tile.

Let the slip dry a little and then carve. It doesn't show very well in the picture. I hope that after firing the tile is black with the yellow design on it with a red-brown outline.
This is not the finished piece, I just now found out I took a picture halfway but not when it was finished.... you'll have to wait for that one.....

These are the tools I use for carving. (don't know how that pencil got in there..... :-)

Another project was a little bigger vase that I wanted to carve with celtic borders.
Here are the before and after of that one (sorry for the picture on it's side..)

If you have any suggestions on carving, slips please do comment!

I wish you al a very good week and hope to be back soon with some wood firing news........
just a little teaser to get your attention. :-)
Be good, be happy and go make some pots! Or do anything that makes your heart sing ok?

Blessed be,


I just can't stop!

Here are some more tiles that I've carved.
I am loving this so much! And to think that these are al 'practice-pieces', who knows were it will take me.
I'm still experimenting with when to carve and trying out different tools and slips and sizes.....

I threw some small pots to have a go at carving on a rounded surface instead flat.
Aaah, wet slip, can't help but love the look of that.....

I also have a 'need' to go bigger! I think the fact that TK is out of order has taken away size limits.
When one door closes.........

I threw a (for me) big pot, aprox 25 cm tall, it's now drying and waiting for slip and carving. Looking forward to that!
Next week I'll get some some UG pencils, can't wait to try that too!
I'll be doing lots of exploring, experimenting and enjoying the ride.

Suggestions and comments are welcome!

Wishing you well and a fabulous weekend,
Blessed be,



Some fun things I did:

Linda from Blue Starr Gallery inspired me with her pedestal bowl, thanks Linda!
Here's my interpretation, to me they look like offering bowls ore something like that.
There a bit goofy and make me smile!

Then there's my fascination with Celtic art and knot-work.....
A couple of years ago I was completely 'into' drawing Mandala's and celtic knots.
I made pencil drawing after pencil drawing and loved it!
I don't have to many pics of them but here are some:

Pencil drawing (base chakra)

This is a detail of the acrylic painting from my last post.

Another pencil-drawing

Heart chakra

It's fun for me to look at them again and remember how I enjoyed spending hours and hours on the drawing and coloring of them, very meditative!

pencil, top chakra


Now I'm having fun with them again with clay.
Here are my experiments on tiles:

red clay with black slip and painted with blue slip and then carved

red clay with white slip and colored slips and carved

red clay with colored slips and carved

red clay with black slip and colored slips painted on, then carved

intertwined hearts

Celtic fish

Carved key-patterns

The next ideas rolling around in my brain are celtic knots drawn with glaze-pencils.
But then I'd have to have fired tiles right?
Has anyone ever tried glaze-pencils on leather hard clay?
I guess I'm going to try..... haha

Bye for now, have a good week and smile as often as you can! :-)

Blessed be,

Work or play?

Sometimes things happen that make me 'shift my thoughts and feelings'.
Some of you know about TK (Tiny Kiln).

TK, tiny kiln, 30x30x33 cm inside

She was gifted to me and I was very happy with her.
However, she gave me a lot of trouble in the beginning of our relationship but finally 2 weeks ago I excepted her for who she is and what she can and cannot do. A sweet little kiln that can reach temp up to 1160C.
I decided to take up the challenge of creating glazes for that temp so I was trying, and reading, and trying and testing and testing and so on.

In the mean time I was reading al your great blogs and on several occasions I commented and blabbered on about how I think life is supposed to be fun and that there is so much beauty in the world if you just look for it and that is all doesn't have to be 'hard work', just enjoy yourself and live will lead you. See, I'm blabbering again. :-)

Then TK decided to give me some more trouble, fuses popped, coils melted again..... so no more firing for now....
Then the strangest thing happened to me, some kind of ease came over me. I didn't swear, I didn't kick, throw or punched anything.... none of that, just a happy thought that made me smile came to mind: ' Ah, good, something to want! No I have a good reason to want a new kiln and with that has to come a new place to live because a new kiln will be one that is bigger and better and there is just no room for a kiln like that in my apartment'.
I was at total ease with the circumstances and in that same moment I realized that I had been 'working to hard'. I was trying very hard to get better at making pots and seeking for some-kind of approval from other potters out there who's work I admire.

An oil-painting I did in 2001, it represents the feeling of ease and flow for me

Then it hit me; all the things I wrote on our blogs, I was just talking to myself! :-D
I have been wanting so bad to be a good clay artist and dreaming of how I was going to make a living out of it in the future that I forgot to have fun. It's is al about the journey, not the destination and I was only thinking of how to get to that destination!

an acrylic painting, I just love Celtic knotwork!

So..... I am going to have fun!
I have been playing around with ideas and materials and looking back at some things I did in the past that made me feel good and joyful.

13 months ago I had my first try ever on a wheel, these are my first pots! Boy did I have fun!
(except for the cleaning up afterwards because there was clay everywhere and the 10 (!) little holes in my hands because I was using the wrong clay, I really didn't know anything about throwing! :-)

Now new ideas start rolling around in my mind and I'm going with them for the fun of it.
I have no clue as to where my journey with clay will go from here but there is one happy pair of hands playing around with the clay! :-)

a sculpture of the goddess Nu Kua (chinese mythology), a blurry pic but who cares... :-)

Ow, and here's me, just a happy girl playing around with life.

Somebody please remind me when I'm being to serious!


In Memoriam

I sold some mugs last week, YEAH!
The selling of those mugs is great but more than that the reason is very, very special to me.

My best friend told me a few weeks ago, her mother was dying of cancer.
She chose to spend her last, what turned out to be weeks in hospital. That was for her the most comfortable. I have known my best friend and her mother ever since I was 15 or 16 years old, I now am 42.
In the weeks that followed my friend visited her mother very regularly and I asked her what they would talk about. She told me her conversations with her mother were usually about daily life and things you would also talk about when you didn't know one of you was waiting for her final departure.
This friend also visited my open studio in the beginning of June and brought her new camera with her to experiment with taking pictures.
She was on her hands and knees in my livingroom, putting cups, mugs and bowls everywhere to see how the pictures would turn out. We had a blast! It was so much fun chasing after her with my pieces and putting them on stools and blankets, filling them with food etc.

Later she brought her camera with her when she visited her mother in the hospital and showed her the pictures she had taken.
At one point while looking at the photographs her mother said something like:" Those mugs are beautiful, there are just 'my colors'!
These colors were tan and turquoise/blue and she loved those colors. These are colors she used in the  decoration of her house.

Not long after that her mother past away. Later my friend told me she wanted to buy the mugs.

Last Thursday I visited her because we wanted to watch a DVD together and I brought the mugs.
The following day she tweeted: My coffee tastes much better out of these mugs!

I can just imagine her drinking her morning coffee, smiling and thinking of her mother. I would never, ever had imagined my mugs could be of so much meaning to someone.

As I'm writing this I'm thinking of Miep (her mothers name) and hoping she is sitting on a cloud, looking down at her family and is at peace with the world...... I'm choking a little bit now, but in a good way......

Goodbye Miep