New Year, New Ideas… New Clay

Are we already halfway through January 2015?! Wow, the holidays were that long ago? I hope you, dear reader, had a wonderful and warm holiday season with those you love.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something up here. My bad. But hey, it’s a new year… time to begin again! While I can’t promise that I’ll be blogging as regularly as I would like to, I think I can handle some quick updates every so often. As they say, lower expectations to avoid disappointment, right? Or am I just setting the bar too low for myself now? Introspection to continue later, on my own time…

My update for now is that I started the new year with some new ideas. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to share them here in a month or two! That’s all I’ll say for now. (If you’re really interested, you are welcome to follow along on Instagram @bluebeanstudio.)

As for what I was up to over the holidays… I had the pleasure of spending a few weeks in Asia (one of which was at a warm tropical destination where I drank out of coconuts pretty much everyday). During my stay in Shanghai, I made it a point to spend some time back at the old studio. It was great to catch up with friends, to see how things have changed or stayed the same. Being rather ambitious, I even managed to squeeze in a couple of clay sessions into my visits. For some reason, I just really wanted to get my hands on that yummy dark chocolate Yixing clay again. Of course, I couldn’t get much done within the time constraints; but in the end it was fun to get my hands dirty.

Ever since moving back to North America, I’ve missed working with the Chinese Yixing clay. It’s the stuff they make those amazing little dark purplish brown teapots out of — great for hand building, decent for throwing (not that the Yixing teapot artisans would ever think of throwing a teapot). I was told that there was nothing really that special about the clay and that there should be equivalent or superior types on this side of the globe, so I looked for something similar out here in the Pacific Northwest. Well, I did end up picking up a bag of dark stoneware clay last summer. Of course, I then proceeded to get distracted by other projects — mostly hand painting and working with the. usual. clay. (Case in point, these two cups below.)

I am, however, happy to report that I did eventually get around to trying out the new stoneware. It’s got a bit more grog in it, so throwing and trimming is tougher; and it also seems to have a rougher finish as a result. With respect to glazes, I’m loving the way they look on the darker clay and look forward to playing around a bit more! In the meantime, a few of the pieces are up in the Etsy shop (click right on the photos for the listing)! Go check them out : )

CATEGORY: Introducing...


January 16, 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>