Wood-fired stoneware, treated with stains and illustrated by hand on tumblers, mugs, and cups, were a major focus of the first half of 2015. I improved my results in wadding plates by both decreasing the size of the mark and more carefully considering where they would be placed as I drew the illustrations. I took advantage of plate rims to frame the illustrations in a variety of ways. Similarly, I began delineating the boundaries of my illustrations on other forms through creating faux sections utilizing industrial motifs. I made use of red underglaze in the illustrations for the first time as well.
There are a few developments worth noting in the making and decorating.The pulled handles I had been making began to look to me as if they did not always fit the style of the work overall. I focused on handles and developed a leather-looking one with realistic stitching marks that fit into press molded receivers. Some have knob thumb rests and are placed at angles to the vessel rather than straight on.
Bunny Foo Foo continued to be a menace to the bunny population. But Bunny Foo Foo is not the only creature bunnies have to fear. Another character emerged – Jack, a mechanical dragonfly who does odd jobs for Bucketheads in exchange for smokes. Jack is a cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking sort whose hard living takes a toll on his body parts. Jack came about as a result of a student’s innocent query about why I do not have dragonflies on my work. Jack’s activities evolved through input by Periscope followers who suggested Jack could get replacement parts for himself by cannibalizing bunnies. Jack was named after my maternal grandfather who also liked cigars and whiskey; he had a few impressive tattoos. My grandfather served in the Navy during World War II and often said, “God hates a coward.” I find myself repeating that phrase a lot with my students.