HES, Week 9: Decorating Pottery Pieces

Painted pottery pieces, ready for the second firing

Black underglaze on clay #910 (semi-porcelain) and #542 (light grey)


Height pieces done, 20 more or so to do!

These are for this week’s Hello Every Sunday. You can see the first height weeks on the project’s blog at helloeverysunday.tumblr.com.

I’m back to black, since that’s the only underglaze in my studio for the moment. You may recognize the big mushroom in the plate from a previous drawing. This time, I tried a variation with the negative space.

22 Ready to Go

Ceramics by La Datcha (Julie Lapointe)

I just spent three hours sanding these 22 pieces until they felt like baby skin. ;-)
It makes it so much easier to paint on the surface once they’re bisqued.

They’re now ready to leave for their first firing.

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

My best wishes to you for 2017; happy drawings, paintings, collages, pottery and what not!

I’ve started working TODAY on a brand new project, besides my current obsession (pottery): a drawing a day for the next 365 days in parallel to Priya from the Plum Tree. I’ll share the details in a next post. Until then, here are some pieces, in production or finished, that I’ve been working on during the past weeks.


My crooked coffee cupFur on wood and white glaze on clay

This small coffee cup is slightly crooked, but I love its texture and roundness. It feels a bit sandy under the fingers and it fits perfectly in my hands. Note the furry ballerina paws in the background. They are a perfect backdrop to any pictures.


Marbled clayA first attempt with marbled clay (#542 and #519), slowly drying


Marbled clay, polished with the back of a spoon
Marbled clay, polished with a metal spoon


Fall and winter pottery piecesCompleted pieces from this Fall/Winter
Mushroom: black underglaze and clear glaze on clay #519, black slip and clear glaze on speckled clay, grapevine glaze on clay #519


MushroomThe only drawing that came out as I hoped was this mushroom painted on a small disk. The combination was perfect: right amount of underglaze and transparent glaze on top. I applied a thin layer of the latter with a sponge and it seems that this is what works best. It didn’t make the drawing fuzzy like the other ones.


My January gift: a wallpaper of a very snowy forest in Sutton, where we used to live. You can download it by right-clicking on the picture. Choose “Save image as”.

Snow in the woods, Sutton (Quebec)

Ceramics, Autumn 2016

Ceramics Fall 2016

Went to get these yesterday at a Studio in Montreal where they kindly fire my stuff.

La Datcha's ceramics

I didn’t know what to expect with that grapevine glaze, but I’m quite happy with the result. The rest was simply glazed with a transparent coat. Most of the pieces were left naked on the outside.

Ceramics Fall 2016

And I’ve started experimenting with underglaze (pencil and liquid). They should be fired next weekend! :-)

Ceramics Fall 2016

Still need a green pick-me-up? Trombocino zucchini and Italian dandelion from this summer.

Trombocino and Italian dandelion


Future whale plates

I spent the evening prepping these bisqued pieces for illustration.

Ceramic plates and bowls

First: drawing the whales and cutting them out to see how they would look on the plates. On one of my first pieces, I painted the form with a black underglaze but it looked to static for my taste. This time, I’ll try an underglaze pencil and use the same technique that I usually work with on the pepples: draw, smudge, repeat.

Drawing or painting on bisqueware is tricky. Underglazes tend to stay put when you fire them compared to glazes, but the texture is a bit similar to gouache, even more powdery. It feels like it’s sticking to the clay, as it’s absorbed instantly, thus making it hard to get a flowing brush stroke. And you have to apply two or three coats of this medium to get an opaque finish with the second firing, otherwise, you’ll end up with this uneven result.

Ceramic plates and bowls

Everything is so white and grey outside at this time of the year. Here are some green pick-me-ups from this summer.




Throw baby, throw!

My Shimpo

Guess who found a nice second-hand Shimpo wheel a few weeks back? :-)
I’ve been throwing* ever since.

These are due for a first firing


And from this summer

Black slip and clear glaze on speckled clay

Matte white glaze (inside) and clear glaze on clay

Discover Lucie Rie

*Throwing: the Old English word thrawan from which to throw comes, means to twist or turn. Going back even farther, the Indo-European root *ter- means to rub, rub by twisting, twist, turn. The German word drehen, a direct relative of to throw, means turn and is used in German for throwing. Because the activity of forming pots on the wheel has not changed since Old English times, the word throw has retained its original meaning in the language of pottery but has developed a completely different meaning in everyday usage. Those who say they throw pots are using the historically correct term. Those who say they turn pots are using more current language. Both are saying the same thing.

Excerpt from ” Why On Earth Do They Call It Throwing? An investigation into the origin of words, by Dennis Krueger”, on Ceramics Art Daily