Porcelain marbles and nuts

Porcelain Marbles

I made these marbles by the hundreds in the late 1980’s. They were part of my ceramics MFA project at the University of Oregon.

Each marble is 1/2″ across.

Each of these is a small coil of porcelain clay with the ends pinched off and rolled in my hands just enough to make them round but not enough to get rid of the seams. Dried, bisqued, rubbed with a wash of iron chromate, then fired electrically to 2400 F.

I made quite a few of these and gave them away as gifts in small hand-made boxes or in small hand-made sacks with drawstrings. I have maybe 40 left here, the rest are, well, who knows?

Porcelain "nut"

This “nut” was made of a piece of clay, pushed into a large hex nut, taken out, then another pushed in, then both were attached at the middle. Bisqued, rubbed with a wash of iron chromate, then fired electrically to 2400 F.

Each “nut” is 1/2″ tall.

I made fewer of these as the hex nut had to be cleaned after 20 or so pressings (I didn’t know about Pam).

Over the course of two years I made hundreds of other forms like these, all on a very small scale. Someday I’ll take some decent photos of what I have left with my current macro setup but these were done with my first good camera and macro lens: a Nikon FM and a 55mm micro nikor.

My MFA postcard

MFA Postcard

I also post this as a piece of my “about page” or as a bit of autobiography. Most people who know me now have no clue I have a background in fine arts (and my lack of 2D design skills certainly supports that). Recently, with the help of Joy Brown, a friend and well known local ceramic artist I’m getting my hands into this stuff again. I can see what I liked about it in the old days, it’s a lot of fun.