Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holly Bowl

Good morning everyone!

How are you doing? I wanted to post this yesterday, but time got away from me. I apologize for the sporadic posting over the past few days, to be honest, I was just being lazy!

My mom and I have been taking pottery classes together at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild on and off for the past few months. I am really no good at it, but I can manage to throw a mostly symmetrical bowl. So this time around instead of being frustrated that I couldn't figure out coffee cups, or vases, or plant pots, I decided to embrace my bowl-throwing abilities and focus instead on the decoration. I discovered that clear stamps work great to impress a design into the leather-hard clay. Because the stamps are flexible, it was easy to bend them to fit the shape of my piece. Anyway, I had a bowl fired last week and here's how it turned out.

I used the two outline holly stamps from Festive Foliage to decorate my bowl. I just impressed it into the clay, bending around the shape of the bowl. The berries were made from extra clay. I painted the leaves and berries with a glaze, the bowl itself was fired with no glaze - the metallic brown color comes from the soda firing process.

So there you go - stamps are for more than just paper! This is a pretty addition to my mantle for the holidays.

Another thing I wanted to share with you is a Citizen Science program that the Cornell Lab of Ornithology sponsors called Project FeederWatch. Project FeederWatch is an opportunity for those of you that feed your birds (I'm thinking of you, Cindy H.!!) to provide feedback to researchers about the types and numbers of birds that visit your feeders over the winter. They use this information to track species populations, changes in migratory/wintering patterns, disease, etc. The data exploration portion of the Project FeederWatch website has tons of information already compiled for the past 20 years, so you can see right where the information you provide is going.

There is a $15 fee to join the program, but you receive identification materials and a newsletter subscription, plus the money goes to help fund the research program. The program runs from November through April, and you can count as many or as few times as you'd like. If you enjoy watching your feeder birds or if you would like to start, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to contribute to scientific research. I encourage you to join! I love watching my birds and it is something that I find very rewarding (my husband is heaving a sigh now, I know it, but he was the one that built me the bird feeder! ;)

Please check out the links if you're interested, or send me an email! The Project FeederWatch program is available to US and Canadian citizens - my international friends, check for a similar program in your area! My professional background is in Ecology, so you're getting a peek at something else I'm passionate about.

Thanks for stopping today, and taking the time to listen to my PSA!



  1. I think this bowl is just beautiful. I have wanted to try throwing clay for a LONG time, and someday I promise myself I will... I have only ever done slab work, and can't wait to try my hand at the wheel. I think you're selling yourself short, this is a lovely piece! Personally, I like the imperfections better - it proves something is hand-made and not mass produced!

  2. Beautiful bowl, pottery is one craft I haven't tried lol xxx

  3. That bowl is gorgeous! I think you are really onto something here!

  4. This is so lovely! I have never taken pottery, it seems like a fun craft.

  5. Your bowl is beautiful, Anya! You must have been so thrilled when you saw what came out of the firing process. Thanks for sharing another creative side to you.

  6. This is a lovely bowl - I can imagine it having some wonderful seasonal pot pourri for Christmas!!

  7. Wow amazing bowl! What a great idea to use the stamps to make the design!

  8. Love your bowl. It would look perfect filled with an assortment of nuts.

    Dorothy C.

  9. That is GORGEOUS!!!! I really love it!

  10. I Love your Holly Bowl Anya! what a great idea to use the stamps for the design! the colors are wonderful on this!


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