I expect it was the Gallery of BC Ceramics’ call for yunomis that got me thinking about making some again. Lots of atmospheric-firing people like to make these Oriental-inpired handle-less cups but I’ve always felt that if I prefer to drink tea or coffee out of a mug or cup with a handle then I shouldn’t mess with another culture. But the form is attractive and throwing off the hump is a pleasure so I decided to make some with my red earthenware clay. At my age I can, in fact, do exactly as I please!
I’ve been dipping the outsides in my basic slip, to give a nod to traditional English slip-ware, and then I chose to paint geometric shapes at first, using my coloured slips, then branched out into circles, stripes and then more swirly shapes.
As I often do I finished the underside and foot with terra sigillata so that they’re nice to hold. When they were all fired recently I posted a little survey on Instagram, asking folks to tell me which design they like best, and used the photos here. It was fun, and there were more comments than ‘likes’ of course. But the upshot is that every cup was liked by someone, with lots unable to choose or liking them all. The middle geometric one is probably the favourite with stripes and circles coming in second and third. Now that I can study the glazed pieces I am already plotting different colour combinations and perhaps toning things down a little! Your comments on the colours or the use of yunomis would be welcomed.
The yunomis will be delivered to the Gallery of BC Ceramics on my next trip in to Granville Island.
Circle Craft has been in touch. An astonishing eight jugbirds sold there in December so they really want some more now! Apart from the three I’m putting in the Arts Centre show there was only this one in my January work, plus there’s one more blue guy from earlier – so CC will get those right away. And what am I doing writing this, and not starting more now? – my husband will say.
There were three more bowls in these firings and they and two others will be donated to Port Moody Arts Centre for fund-raising. I gather there will probably be a Dutch Auction to coincide with our show.
One last little item. One of my London nephews sent me this photo of the luncheon party held for his birthday recently and there, in pride of place for pouring gravy, is my wedding present to him and his wife – 17 years ago. It predates my jugbird days but shows how my work evolved into the large-beaked fellows I now make. Thanks Richard.