Why Mushrooms?

Why Mushrooms?

  My very first blog post, wow. This is way outside my comfort zone so hopefully you'll take that into consideration. I've covered how I stumbled into my adventure in pottery before, but to be brief it was a birthday present from my Mother in 2017. I had taken a few classes on the wheel about 15 years before and enjoyed it so she kindly paid for my first session. To my horror, I did not like the wheel at all. It stressed me out, so one day I turned to hand building. Because I feel like I should excel at everything I do, I still try the wheel but truthfully, I love to just create things with pinch pots and slabs of clay. I see texture and think, oh wouldn’t that make a great pattern for a shirt or a base and I’m off and running. 

So, that leads me to my topic of the day, which is why we are drawn to certain things. I continue to take pottery class at Old School Farm Pottery and some of us have been there since the beginning session so we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well. Mary likes to makes things that involve nature and astrology. She makes these fabulous mugs with peoples’ star signs on them and wonderful leaf plates. Her carving is fantastic and I would recognize her work anywhere. Rachel makes breast bowls of all shapes, sizes and colors. She has a story to tell about why she makes them and I think it is great. Jenn hand builds and makes great angular vases and ornaments. I make whimsical creatures like birds and planter people. Each of us has our own distinct style and while we try to push ourselves in each class to grow and improve, we still have our “go to” design. Mine seems to be mushrooms. Specifically, red mushrooms with white polka dots. Why?, you are thinking and I can only say, I don’t know but if I have an extra hunk of clay and don’t have a specific idea or plan for it, a mushroom always appears. What about the red with the white dots? Let’s face it, mushrooms are not that attractive in their natural state. Mary would probably disagree since she is drawn to the earthier look but me, I like pattern, color and fantasy so red with white polka dots it is. 

My Mushroom Pitcher

Let me give you an example. My brother in law sent me a link to a video where someone was pushing clay through a sieve to make it look like moss. I loved the idea and wanted to test it and hey, what goes better with moss than mushrooms, so I made a little plate and tested the moss technique (also made a Russian fur hat with it) and added my red and white mushrooms. Then I fired the plate to see how the moss came out. Well, now I have a plate with mushrooms and sort of moss on it so normally I would make a planter head to match, but this time I made a giant mushroom planter! Seriously adorable. I think the moss attempt needs a different kind of sieve than what I used so I’ll be trying that again. If you look through my body of work, I always have plenty of mushrooms around. I started with a Mushroom Fairy Planter and that one sold right away (thanks, Jenn! She loves mushrooms like I do) so I made another. I threw what was supposed to be an egg cup, but it looked like a mushroom so I glazed it red and white and voila! a mushroom. Rachel took that one. Then I made a mushroom pitcher and the list goes on so stay tuned if you love mushrooms….  

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