Raku Extruded Bowls

Pieces glow orange when they’ve been Raku fired to about 1,700-1,800 degrees F.

One of my favorite things is to Raku fire with my teacher and potter extraordinaire Peter Syak. In a (small, masked and socially distanced) ceramic class this summer, Peter introduced the extruder, which is like a giant Play-Doh machine, but for clay.

I made seven bowls: three small ones without feet and four large ones with feet. My carving needs a ton of practice, but I like how some of the pieces came out.

Though Raku pottery is generally not food-safe, it’s safe with “dry” food such as candy, nuts, and pretzels.

The Copper Blue Luster glaze is beautiful, and I always like the crackles that show up when using Clear Glaze.

Happy creating, hon!


Shaving Cream Marbleized Ceramic Bowls

When my daughter and I shopped for her new apartment in LA, we searched for cute, little, multi-use bowls and couldn’t find any. Hon, you know what a ceramicist says when she can’t find what she’s looking for? You guessed it…”I can make that!” Combine that with wanting to try a new glazing technique and voilà-shaving cream marbleized ceramic bowls!

Fill pan with shaving cream and then spread shaving cream evenly.

Drizzle different colors of underglaze. Swirl colors together. I wondered about using underglaze versus glaze, but the underglaze adheres to the clay body better, whereas in the kiln the glaze may run.

Roll bisqued pieces in shaving cream/underglaze mixture. Carefully rinse off shaving cream and let pieces dry fully before firing.

Fresh out of the kiln!

I’m definitely going to try this glazing technique again. Now I have to throw some more bowls…

Chicken Soup (without the chicken)

ingredients featured in my ceramic wheel-thrown bowls
ingredients featured in my ceramic wheel-thrown bowls plus mortar and pestle

soup on the stove
soup on the stove

soup's on!  (disclaimer--I haven't mastered matzah balls yet, so the one pictured isn't mine)
Soup’s on! (disclaimer–I haven’t mastered matzah balls yet, so the one pictured isn’t mine)

When I told a friend one of my college kids is coming home for the weekend because she’s sick, she had one question, “Chicken soup?”  A sick kid plus a blizzard brewing is a perfect recipe (don’t mind the pun) for cooking up some soup. Don’t have chicken in the house?  Not to worry.  This recipe is made using bouillon and, vegetarians, there’s an option for you.  Hon, guess what I’m cooking tonight?

Chicken Soup


3 1/2 cups chicken stock (vegetarian option-use chicken flavored seasoning mix, see photo below)

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 carrot chopped

1 teaspoon dry parsley flakes

[optional–1 cup cooked rice or  3/4 cooked barely or 1 1/2 cups cooked noodles] Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.  Remove vegetables.

[If adding rice, barley or noodles, add now then continue cooking until added ingredient is hot.]

Yield:  4 servings

Vegetarian Option:

chicken flavored vegetarian soup seasoning mix
chicken flavored vegetarian soup seasoning mix