Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Design! & Spring Festival!

The Spring Counted Wishes Festival starts tomorrow, March 15th. The festival will feature the work of several independent designers and during the festival Gracewood Stitches patterns will be on a sale, buy two get one free! I hope you'll visit the show.

And now I'd like to introduce my newest design, 'Iris Celadon'.

Iris Celadon

Another of my passions is pottery. From the simplicity of utilitarian pottery made by craftsmen like Ben Owens to the intricate porcelains of Staffordshire, Limoge or the Far East - I am captivated by the colors and images that can be achieved in clay.

In this design I seek to capture the feel of the wonderful examples of celadon pottery known as Goryeo or Sanggum. If you aren't familiar with this type of pottery, here is a little information about its history from Wikepedia -

"Celadon glazes can be produced in a variety of colors, including white, grey, blue and yellow, depending on several factors: 1) the thickness of the applied glaze, 2) the type of clay to which it is applied, and 3) the exact makeup of the glaze. However, the most famous shades range in color from a very pale green to deep intense green, often meaning to mimic the green shades of jade. The color is produced by iron oxide in the glaze recipe or clay body. Celadon are almost exclusively fired in a reducing atmosphere kiln as the chemical changes in the iron oxide which accompany depriving it of free oxygen are what produce the desired colors. As with most glazes, crazing (a glaze defect) can occur in the glaze and, if the characteristic is desirable, is referred to as "crackle" glaze.

Some of the world's most coveted and admired masterpieces of ceramics art were produced in Korea during the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties. An inlaid celadon technique known as "Sanggam", where potters would engrave semi-dried pottery with designs and place black or white clay materials within the engraving, was invented in Korea during this time.

"Korean celadon" is often referred to as "Goryeo celadon," which is usually a pale green-blue in color. The glaze was developed and refined during the 10th and 11th centuries during the Goryeo period, from which it derives its name. Korean celadon reached its zenith between the 12th and early 13th centuries, however, the Mongol invasions of Korea in the 13th century and persecution by the Joseon Dynasty government destroyed the craft.

Traditional Korean celadon ware has distinctive decorative elements. The most distinctive are decorated by overlaying glaze on contrasting clay bodies. With inlaid designs, known as "Sanggam" in Korean, small pieces of colored clay are inlaid in the base clay. Carved or slip-carved designs require layer of a different colored clay adhered to the base clay of the piece. The layers are then carved away to reveal the varying colors. Modern potters, with modern materials and tools, have attempted to recreate Korean celadon techniques."

Here is an example of a Goryeo Sanggam style vase -
Goryeo Sanggam Style

I look forward to sharing more with you about the new design next post.

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