Friday, March 17, 2017

Prepping for a Summer Workshop

This summer, I will be conducting a tray workshop at
The Community Arts Center where I will demonstrate
using Mayco Designer Liner underglaze applicators
to create patterning on the trays made...

So I decided to make up samples of various trays
with my signature leaf drawings on them to have on hand
as Show 'n Tell at the event.

These two bisque trays have been decorated with underglazes
and a black Mayco Designer Liner used to outline the leaves.
The dots in the background were also applied with various
Designer Liners in underglaze colors. 

Once these are over glazed and fired, I will post the results.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How Clay Can Speak For You...

A few weeks ago, I demonstrated how to transfer print a word collage 
copied in black and white on a color copier to the clay slab surface
then pressed the slab with a PMS tray form into a 4" piece of foam.

With the scraps of clay from making the tray, I formed a pillow rattle
which  had a transfer print of the cat, Babe the Biter, on one side
and a blank back where I used white underglaze dots, green underglaze 
and a black Mayco Designer Liner to draw the leaves.

The pillow rattle is glaze fired but still not complete until I adorn it
with a handle, beads and maybe a bell or two...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Snow Day RATTLES...

Forming a pillow rattle is relatively easy. Once you puff out the clay 
by blowing your "Chi" into it and pursing it closed with your lips, 
you only need two firings to have your very own rattle to adorn.

OK, so it takes a walk or two in the woods 
to locate interesting sticks for handles and a few visits 
to a shop like Blue Santa Beads in Media, PA
to collect appropriate beads to augment the clay ones you've made...

But it's worth the effort when you end up with fabulous rattles like these
for sharing with friends and collectors!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

P I T C H E R S . . .

A one piece design for a pitcher which showcases my Intaglio mat,
Dot Leaf quite well; Stoneware 710 clay.

A CUTEsie pitcher patterned with my 2 x 2 clay stamps, Gillette leaves,
corrugated cardboard patterned handle and body trim.

The Ginkgo Leaf Intaglio mat patterning on a personal pitcher
accented with Gillette leaves.

The same pitcher perched on a Dot Leaf patterned tea biscuit tray.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Southwest Patchwork Intaglio Mat

A soap maker ordered my Mayan Mayhem Intaglio mat
to impress the pattern into the surface of the soap and it worked!
So I reworked my Southwest Figures into
a Southwest Patchwork design.

Perfect for clay or soap impressing!

This is available in my Etsy shop!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ceramic LEAF Sticks for Earrings...

These lightweight delights are made from the leftovers I had
from making the leaf bracelet beads...

They too have niobium loops and some interest on the reverse side.

I see them as earring pairs but a necklace of them
would also be nice!
Available on BHClaysmith Etsy site -

Leaf BRACELET Beads from Clay

Fine metal stencils for embossing are a great way
to add a pattern to ceramic clay...

All you need is an engobe, underglazes
and a fervent imagination!

Even the reverse side can be designed 
with a surprise by using terra sigillata on the greenware.

I also added nichrome wire loops to each side
and a slight bend as they were drying to conform to the wrist.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Keeping Track of Glazes

I am going to use this tray which has been stenciled with a grid 
as a test for different glazes, so I took a picture of the tray
with the first glaze areas in place, then posterized it
and printed it out.
As I add additional swirls of glaze, I will use a pencil to shade
in those areas on the printed copy and write the glaze name
in the borders so I know what I used where.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Making TRAYS in CERAMIC CLAY and Cool Ways to Finish Them!

I will be offering this Summer Workshop
at Community Arts Center in Wallingford, PA.
One of the things I will be sharing with participants
is finishing a tray with Underglazes, a Dotter & an Outliner.

Participants will be able to practice this technique on a 
white bisque tile.  For example, I painted underglazes on two different
white bisque tiles as shown above and below.

Then when the three coats of underglaze have dried,
I used underglaze in an Outliner and on a Dotter to complete
the two different patterns shown below...

These 6" x 6" tiles created by participants will be clear glazed 
and fired by the Art Center and be ready to pick up
a week or so after the Workshop.

I also plan to have each participant take home an
Outliner to use in future projects of their own.

This technique can then be used on any of the trays
made by Workshop participants to create 
awesome looking pieces...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Blue Grey Gardens Necklace

I made these beads awhile back wanting to incorporate
all of them in one single necklace...

They are all made from stoneware clay accented with blue grey
terra sigilatta but the stoneware clays are different colors.

That is why the colors of the beads all seem different.
The spacer beads are Greek porcelain which blends perfectly.

The necklace is only the length of a choker (about 18")
and is so lightweight considering it is made from stoneware!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Virginia Creeper Wrapped Pendant

A blue brick patterned shard is wrapped
with waxed linen to dried Virginia Creeper vine.
It is also reversible, making it two necklaces in one!
The reverse side is not glazed remaining open to absorb
the wearers' essence, how cool is that?

The light weight ceramic clay pendant is suspended from leather
on a copper coil; the leather cord ends with copper caps which connect
to a chain which forms the rest of the necklace and makes it adjustable.

Friday, December 16, 2016


...Finally got around to adorning two rattles I previously made,
both pillow rattles made using this process - 

"Once the basic shape is formed, I tenderly blow my own CHI (breath of life) inside, sealing the opening quickly closed with pursed lips."

This 710 dark chocolate stoneware one I've named
because of the tumbled interrupted glass rings which adorn it.

In actuality, they are the cut off rims of beer bottle openings
(tumbled & sent to me by Emily Cohen from Florida)
which I then wrapped with copper wire to hang.

The dried Virginia creeper vine handle also hails from Florida
and is accented with one of my clay Gillette leaves...

Just so you know, the 'other side' pictured here is as worthy 
as the side pictured in the initial picture above.

This earthenware rattle was made from a clay slab 
accented with Pilcher's slip and a transfer printed woodcut
I call HOMER and this too, is the name of the rattle.

The opposite side is a combed engobe plaid on one half with
a carved black terra sigillata on the other half.

The adornments on HOMER range from a broken twig 
which was once part of his handle, hand formed palm pebble,
blob & love knots beads and black & buff porcelain beads
all inter-spaced with colorful seed beads.