Hand Painted Pottery with Animal and Dog Art by Nan Hamilton Boston MA

Making the Airedales in the Garden Pitcher

First, I threw big full-bellied pitcher in white stoneware. I wanted the shape of the middle of the pot to reflect the full oval quality that you see in tulips and I wanted the pot to recede above the tulips so it would emphasize that the Airedales were in the distance. The next day, I trimmed the pot to make the foot and applied the handle. When dry, the pot was bisqued to cone 08.

I glazed the inside of the pot with a spring-like green glaze and the outside with a white semi-matte. I began to sketch out the placement of the tulips and the positions of the Airedales. I have lots of photos of my dogs digging (a frequent activity for my dogs!) so I used them for reference. I also have a file case full of images I've collected over the years so I can look at pictures of tulips to draw them fairly accurately.

I began painting the tulips with underglazes, then with a sharp tool, I incised the line between the tulips through the glaze down to the surface of the clay. Using black underglaze, I filled in the line. When the pot gets fired, the glaze moves in a bit tightening the line up. I like the line to be bold, sort of a stained glass effect.

When the painting was done, I tuned the pot upside down so I could do a little border on the bottom. I didn't use the strong black outline on the Airedales because I wanted them to recede into the background. The pot is done and ready for firing.

Here's what the pot looks like when it was fired. You can see the underglazes intensify if you apply the right amount. Too much color and the underglazes tend to blister and not enough will yield pale images.

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No unauthorized reproduction. Thank you. Text and Photos Copyright © 2006 Nan Hamilton