Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Reflections Fall 2009

Five Hundred Million Years Ago

There is a pale sun on this November day
And I am in the wood along Elk Creek
Watching crisp October glory
Descend in deciduous decay.

The ground is dark--almost sticky
It is a thin carbon skin
Dressing Ordovician limestone.

Not much is happening in the bed of Elk Creek
The water is barely stumbling
Over her flat stones and she is telling

That it has not rained in some time.
Yet the trail seems not to know
It is slippery underfoot and in places
Hides beneath a coat of moss.

I go gently up that green trail
Through the softening litter of oaks.
Also there--I find the moldering
Children of the hedge apple

Still clinging to mother tree are one or two
But most are on the ground—going pale.
They are such characters these lumpy orbs
And they form a magic circle--calling for me to step inside.

I am caught now—in the web of looking
There is little to hear
Just the persistent cry of a bird I do not know.

I want the perfect one
Large and well formed without undercuts.
These hedge apples--I think they are my friends
I call them brother fruit

I mean to tell them
That they--are a magnificent ruin.

Jean Ann Bolliger 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Last Hedge Apple of 2009

Hear ye! Hear ye! I am now out of number 1 pottery plaster for the fall of 2009 and I am not going to get any more until fall of 2010! Hence this post. (Yes there are 12 step programs available but I am not ready) I leave you with an image of my last hedge apple of 2009 and the half mold made from her.The mold is around 3.5 inches in diameter.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November Hedge Apples

November Hedge Apples

I took a hike the day after Thanksgiving on a new trail. It was a quiet and lovely place and there were (of course) hedge apples.

I came back the next day with camera to record the years progression. Most of the fruit is on the ground with a few fallen into shreds

I am particularly fond of the yellow fellow who is the last hanger on.

At the end of the day I did come home with one more beautiful fruit for one more plaster cast for 2009. I am thinking on the logistics of doing a small hedge apple tea pot.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sumo The Great

Here he is. Sumo the wonder pig! of the four piggies made in this batch Sumo is the stand out. While I was grinding his feet smooth on the wheel I lost my grip. Sumo then did a somersault on the wheel and bounced to the floor (which was padded) landing on his feet--unharmed! He is now on his way today to Springboro Ohio.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tea Bowl Reflections

I do love this fruit--obsess on them even--especially in the fall as they come off the trees. I just can't walk past them (which gets to be a pain). I have to stop, inspect and make a decision on who to take home.

I had some unexpected fun with my tea bowls and camera yesterday
especially when when I found the grape vine reflections in the tea.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall Raku

About raku firings--I have fun with them but have yet to be happy with my pots that come through that firing so there you have it. David who lives out in Preble County Ohio and who has the propane cylinder (& an out door mud oven) wanted to do a raku firing. He had 3 large tiles he wanted fired and convinced me (who has the burner and kiln) plus a few others to come on out and do a raku. He threw in the offer of his homegrown lamb sausage & the use of his oven to make pita bread to sweeten the deal. Then Betty offered her truck to get the kiln set up out at David's and that clinched it. Away we went

Friday, October 2, 2009

Into Hedge Apples Again

It is fall again--this time 2009 and I am revisiting the hedge apple. Today was a busy day for me in the studio. I was pinching out small sake cups. My friend--Waka--who comes originally from Japan tells me they are ochoko (my spelling). These come from this years fruit found fallen in my neighborhood on one of my walks.

As always this process of copying nature comes as an obsession and is a difficult yet rewarding process. I leave you with a picture of some of my recent hedge apple efforts. This sheep flask and her little ochoko flock are to be re-fired as I am dissatisfied with how flat the glaze makes their surface. Stay tuned. I shall let you know how their next kiln journey goes. Mean while I leave you with a poem from past experience.

Grandmother Hedge Apple

Since last December had waited
until—again--it was fall.
Every morning I walked past her—Grandmother Hedge Apple.
Looking and waiting for her to release
Her lumpy and beautiful fruit.

Through November I waited.
Until that week—
The week it took four men to cut her down.
During those days I held vigil
For she was a great one
And needed my view as much as I needed to see her.

Her cut open trunk filled the air with spiky fragrance
And I found
I coveted her mass—wondering what things could be made
From her stringy orange flesh
And could only imagine what fires she would make.

When the stump grinders had gone
I went to the mound of fruit at her roots.

Of all the hedge apples I've held in my hands
Those tender green children
They were the ones I loved most.

Jean Ann Bolliger
© February 2004

Friday, September 18, 2009

Giraffes in the kiln

Hurray! was my first reaction when I opened the kiln yesterday as my long necked giraffes stood a tall greeting. Being a tough bunch you can see they have stood their ground during the firing and have kept their heads up high. Here is quick in the kiln photo of them. More refined portraits will come later.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

After TeaChat

Really I have no business making a chawan. To begin with I don't believe I've ever had tea from one. Regardless I have found a particular inspiration in seeing bonjiri's hand made chawan. It reminded me of my fascination and love affair with the fruit and tree called the hedge apple.
That picture of a picture is me on a slimmer & sunnier October day a few years ago. I was collecting the lovely and lumpy fruit of the hedge apple tree.
I was in love with their form and their color. Wow their color it is such a wild chartreuse! They also have a lovely sharp, citrus odor and the trees that bear this fruit are just wonderfully gnarly.
There also is a pleasure in being around these trees. I find a quiet and dark spirit in them. It seems to me their darkness is not a scary thing. Rather it is like sitting in the darkness of a chapel with the sun streaming in though the stained glass windows. In all I had a lovely time collecting these fruit. More later on how I made press molds from them & the difficulties I had trying to join the organic fruit form and surface to the mechanical forms that came from the wheel.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Feild Trip

I gave my self a treat a couple weeks ago and took a 20 minute trip over to Lebanon Ohio. Lebanon Ohio's claim to fame is the historic Golden Lamb.
"The Golden Lamb is recognized as the oldest continuously operating business in the State of Ohio. On December 23, 1803, Jonas Seaman spent $4 for a license to operate a "house of Public Entertainment." Overveiw
Image There also are quite a few antique shops there so away I went. I eventually ended up in the Broadway Antiques Mall where I found the letters above among other things. I spent a lot of time looking down, up and down. My neck has a crick in it but I am happy regardless. There were all kinds of wonderful blocks--letters, numbers, renderings of animals, logos, cowboys, etc. Image I was not there for the image stamps but just had to get this sparrow. He is not that big--maybe 3/4" by 3/4" I am looking forward to seeing what he looks like in clay.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Biggest OOOPS?!

Starting today Kristy a who operates the shop Simply Shiny is featuring me in her blog. One of her questions to me was "what was your biggest hand made oops?" Well I had not thought about that but there certainly have been plenty--this due to the vagaries in kiln firing.

"Biggest OOPs?" Ah yes it was not that long ago. It started when I decided to glaze some old biscuit pieces. Seems they were not the usual stoneware and it had been so long since their making I can only guess as to what clay they were. One thing for sure--they could not stand up the the high temperature in the gas kiln. Quite literally they became kiln puddles. It was pretty amazing. Of course we took pictures and to this day the melted mask pouring itself into a mug still holds a place of honor in the studio.

So--Thank you Kristy for featuring Little Pig in your blog and do, dear reader, give Kristy's shop and blog a visit.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Piggy Kind of Day

This little Piggy stayed home in the studio today to make little pigs. First she threw their bodies. Which sounds strange almost impossible but these pigs are small and they are clay so the throwing happened on the wheel. After that little pig made snouts and feet. They are all outside the studio today (7/3/09) basking in the sun--going from soft to cheese hard. From there they will be trimmed and assembled.When they are dry off to biscuit they go. End result are these little ones. I know, I know they are so ugly they are cute which, I find, makes them irresistible. You will find them in Little Pig Pottery Etsy shop

Friday, June 12, 2009

Did Someone Say Giraffe?

Spring has been winding into summer here at Little Pig Pottery. I had been teaching classes in Middletown and in Kettering. Seems very few people wanted to take a pottery class in Kettering this summer so that left more time in the studio for me.

What to do--what to do? Think the idea to make a giraffe came from one of my elephant lookers "You could make a giraffe. . ."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. (It is amazing what someone can think up if it is not their project.) Well thought I'd give it a go & by gum it was fun! Giraffe faces are more complicated but that was part of the fun.

Also the spring summer procession of craft fairs are upon me. I will be at the City of Fairfeild 5th Annual Village Green Fine Art Fair Saturday June 20th. If you are in the area do drop in and say hi.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Implements for Drinking

I have been on Etsy lately posting a few of my IDC series. I just love the idea of them and have had great fun in making them. It started with my son Paul, who is getting ready to get out of the army. He and his army buds would get together and ...well what do I know? Not the half of it. Which is all right!

What I do know is they called them selves the Irish Drinking Crew and because they were army the name was shortened to the IDC. Oh funny I said and in a later conversation was telling Paul's sister, Erika, " Hah!" she snorted, " It's more like, Idiots Drinking

So, sorry boys but your party has become grist for mama's idea mill. The IDC is a series of ceramic drinking cups constructed from textured slab--earthenware, stoneware or porcelain. It also includes bottles, flasks, tumblers, funnels and shots. As to what IDC stands for you fill in the blank. . . . International Drinking Coalition.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Elephants, Elephants

I could hold Dora responsible for this. It started quietly enough. I was going to show her how to throw a form that would become a body and feet to a pig. Don't know who but the suggestion for elephant dangled itself before us and so it became elephant. That is what Dora & I did all Thursday afternoon in Kettering's Rosewood studio, put a clay elephant together.

By that evening Leah, had given him a name--Tim. She is waiting for him to get "cooked" Aiee! I howled at Leah. "You do not cook or bake clay. He will be fired! and MAYBE he will survive."

Guess you could say one elephant was not enough. I am home in my studio and am working on elephants today (Sat) as I did all day Friday. Fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Give Away!

Tonight, just after 8 o'clock I put the names of the folks who asked to be involved in my giveaway into a mason jar and shake, shake shake, shake. Roger was behind my cranky and sluggish little digital camera and recorded the results. . .And the Little Pig Pottery Give Away is--Chrissy Lemaster-Doty!

Congratulations Chrissy and thank you all who participated!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Promotional Give Away

This Easter Little Pig Pottery is having a give away. Free to one lucky recipient is a Cream Stilted Vase . Cream Vase is a decorative envelope form that is hand made from terracotta slab. Vase texture comes from power tool gears and hand carved stamps. Vase inside is clear glazed. Exterior is a combination of caramel and cream glaze. Vase can hold water but is intended as stand alone art object. Vase dimensions: 7"H x 1.5" x 6".

There are two ways to qualify for for the give away.

1. You can sign on as a customer at (this is free). This will put you on Little Pig's email list which is a quarterly news letter as to the goings on at Little Pig Pottery.

2. You can sign on as follower of Little Pig's blog. You will also need to send your email address to Little Pig. Please Title email "Easter Give Away" and send your request to This also, will put you on Little Pig's email list which is a quarterly news letter as to what's happening at Little Pig Pottery.

Drawing will be held Easter Sunday evening 8 o'clock eastern daylight savings time and winner will be announced at that time on this blog and on Twitter.

Please note that your information will be kept private & only for the use of Little Pig's news letter & you can opt out of Little Pig Pottery newsletter any time.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dragon Ladies In Process

My worms pictured earlier in this blog as The Snakes have been accepted at Rosewood Arts Center for a show in 2010 and this has given me new energy to push the worms further. As serendipity would have it I was stopped in my tracks at my local library when I walked past a book titled "The Goat Sucker and the Jealous Potter" authored by Claude Levi Strauss. Yes, I had to take it home & is it a literary bone to be chewed. No, I did not finish the book to its end, not yet anyway, but what I've read has given me plenty of material.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Uneasy Riders

Here are the girls of my week. First my youngest mermaid did her glaze voyage in a gas kiln. Here is a picture of her and her shelf mate. From the kiln she got a ride in the car and no box for her. She rides up front in the passenger seat, just as her sister "House of Defense" did the next day after she came came from the smaller kiln. That one was tall enough I thought I'd better strap her in.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Little Pig Pottery with 33% off Mugs

From March 14 through April 15 LittlePigPottery is featuring 33% off her hand made mugs in the special's section. Shipping for a single mug costs between $7 to $8.50 in the U.S.A. For two mugs shipping is around $13. I ship my mugs by priority mail. Also mugs are double boxed & insured. Check it out & if you have any questions do email me