pot birds and plants

jadebirdI like the way this glaze looks. It is jade over Black Mountain clay at cone 5. I was surprised when first saw it yesterday. I didn’t expect the spotting.

I seem to make a bird whenever I have an odd lump of clay. Sometimes I start out to make something else but end up with a bird. I use them to test glazes or glaze combinations on different clays – not an organized way to do it, but no one has ever accused me of being organized.

bird1They take up little space in the kiln and I can stick one or two in an odd space under something else. They are mostly fired to cone 5. The 05 ones craze outside even in our mild climate, but the cone 5 birds are happy anywhere.

I am planning to get more indoor plants – especially after sitting in the potted plant room at the conservatory. Besides looking beautiful (if you remember to water and fertilize them, which I sometimes do), plants are great at reducing indoor pollution. Having been greatly sensitized to formaldehyde and other chemicals back when I daily painted large canvases with acrylic paint in a closed studio, reducing formaldehyde exposure is still important to me. And since formaldehyde is present in almost everything, including furniture, rugs and even paper bags, I need a lot of plants. I don’t think I will get to the recommended number, which is 2 plants for every 100 square feet of living space, unless I make tiny forests in the corners of a couple of rooms. I have an areca palm in my living room which is great at filtering formaldehyde. Surprisingly, Chrysanthemum is one of the best pollution filters. Boston fern and spider plants are supposedly very good, but I want tall plants because I have more vertical than horizontal space in my little house. I am looking for a big Philodendron and a Bamboo Palm or small ones that will grow if I remember to fertilize. Then, of course, I’ll have to put a bird in every pot. (Sounds like an old campaign slogan. . .)

bluebird greenbird1

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10 responses to “pot birds and plants

  1. Mmm. I love the jade glaze too and the personality of that bird — he looks content and curious. I think your birds are visiting me at night — I’ve been dreaming of colorful birds and painting them. Come see!

  2. Hi Barbara. I just noticed you had visited my blog. I have not been checking in regularly with company visiting. Now I have discovered you, and see we have some things in common! Your birds are lovely … resourceful too. Happy clay making and gardening.

  3. What a great idea to fill the kiln spaces, but the birds are beautiful anyway. I like how you have them displayed here and there in plants. What is the glaze on the blue one? I sometimes use Black Mountain clay but to cone 10. Have you tried Cassius Basaltic?

  4. Mary, thank you for visiting and for the wishes.

    Linda, the glaze on the blue bird is Spectrum’s Texture Moonscape (1115) over Sandstone Buff clay. Yes, I have used the Cassius clay and I am really drawn to the color and texture of it, but I’ve had a lot of cracking or splitting, as have others in the studio where I work. Have you had that problem with it?

  5. I have heard Cassius is prone to this and even though it is rated at Cone 6, most fire to no more than Cone 5, probably better at Cone 4. I have some dry pieces and some test tiles and will soon try the test tiles first to see what happens and then fire my pieces – we shall see.

  6. Oh how I looooove you birds!! MJB

  7. I was watching birds perched on ends of branches during one of yesterday’s down pours, They kept their tails flipping to get rid of the water but didn’t seek drier shelter by moving to the tree’s interior. Like John Muir, these birds.

  8. So nice to see another potter using birds. I have been making birds for almost 60 years when I started in clay. They are my friends when all else seems to fail. If if haven’t an idea in my head of what I want to make that particular day, I sit and throw birds. I never seem to have enough as they also seem to be favorites of my collectors. Happened on your blog through Pbasics. Thanks for your interesting topics and taking us on your journey through your eyes.

  9. Thanks for visiting Bonnie. Your thrown birds are so lyrical. I read your postings and advice often on Pbasics and really appreciate your active participation and gentle and encouraging style. So much to learn and despite confusion, so intriguing -thanks for the kind words.

  10. I love your birds. I would not be afraid of your birds.

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