Very Special Vases

Why are they special?  Because they were custom ordered by my dear friend, William, as a birthday gift for his lovely wife, Deborah.  It’s quite different to create a piece knowing who will soon make it their own versus making a piece to add to inventory.  The process is quite nerve-wracking as the weight of my expectations, and my patron’s expectations, hang over every step in the creation.

The anxiety was well worth it.  The vases are beautiful and both William and Deborah loved them.  It had been quite a while since I had worked in this large format.  In fact, the larger vase is the largest piece I have ever created.  It just barely fit into my kitchen oven with all of the racks removed.  I had to place it on the floor of the oven on a ceramic tile, and the top edge of the vase was within 2 inches of the top elements.  So close!

William chose a technique that looks complicated, but is actually quite simple.  The sucess of the piece was partially dependent on how well I mixed a coordinated palette of colors.  My goal was that the two vases would look very different and each have a strong color scheme of its own, but that they would coordinate when placed together.  The two vases actually share 5 colors in common.  The larger vase has a shot of copper to complement the range of browns and golds.  The smaller vase drops the copper but picks up a light blue and a deep, dark blue to give it an entirely unique look.

I thought you all might enjoy seeing some photos showing the process involved in creating the vases.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my macro setting turned on, so those close ups are a bit fuzzy.  Enjoy!

January 29, 2009

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