Looking at Cooked Mud

My ceramic class is half over and all I’ve got to show for it is this one orb. The kiln was having problems with not getting to temperature or getting too hot. So they had to do some repairs which meant they have a backlog of pieces waiting to be fired. I was very lucky not to have had anything of consequence in the burnt load (just a necklace pendant or two, so no big loss). Others were not so fortunate. The current mantra at the studio is “its only mud”. So here is my latest piece of cooked to perfection mud.

This is Syracosphaera orbiculus, a coccolith found in the Eastern Equatorial Atlantic ocean. I was posting this anyway but when CalmKate posted about water I knew I’d have to add this one to the mix. Her post is located at https://aroused.blog/2020/01/19/friday-fun-water/. Please go visit and introduce yourself! And for those who are not familiar with coccoliths, they are phytoplankton that have a calcium carbonate skeleton. What I’m representing with this sculpture is the skeleton that remains after the plankton has died. These organisms are found throughout the world in both fresh and salt waters. They are the basis of the food chain. Syracosphaera orbiculus is a smaller coccolith with a diameter of ~14 microns across. For those needing a point of reference, a human red blood cell is about 7 microns. This one is recreated at about 3 inches in diameter and was made using a mixed clay body using half brown stoneware and half white stoneware. It is glazed with Atomic Purple and Woods Blue high fire glazes. The Woods Blue when put on thinly is a rich yet transparent brown which is ideal for textured areas that you don’t want to obscure with a heavy glaze. Atomic purple is actually a nice lavender color with a semi-matte finish that contrasts well with the shiny look of the Woods Blue. I was one of the only people who was pleased with the latest offerings from the kiln.

I’m hoping to get a few more things back before the end of the session in February. I’ve got at least 4 pieces queued up and it will be anyone’s guess if any of my orbs make it into of the loads. Cross your fingers!

43 thoughts on “Looking at Cooked Mud

    1. Thanks Gary. All together the outlook is good. They know that the kiln is the heart of the studio and if it doesn’t function there will be huge repercussions (one of the Universities in town utilizes the studio for their ceramics classes and the $$ earned is vital).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you like them. I have too many. I’ve sold a fair number but still have too many to display them all. I have a couple of display racks and rotate them as new ones are made. The older ones are placed in storage in my basement. I had an exhibition several years ago so I’m due for another one!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sheryl. I’m enjoying my class – there are several people in the class that I’ve known for a long time so it is kind of like a social club in a way. We try to make the new class members feel at home and let them in on the inside jokes…


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