Lanterns from the Garden Studio

Lantern-making

My inspiration for lanterns has come from a love of the vessel form, the immediacy and variability of the (American style) raku-firing process, and the transforming effects of light and dark.

With a suitable clay body, I form vessels by turning them on a potter's wheel.  After trimming bases, I shape and perforate each lantern by hand. After each form is chalk-dry, I load the electric kiln for the biscuit firing.

From the electric kiln, its glaze time. Each lantern is painted with color blends of low-fire underglazes and overglazes to create the desired effect.

Once the glazes dry, its time to load the gas-fired kiln for my version of the raku-firing process - a departure from the traditional Japanese approach practiced by the Raku family.

After Firing, pots are placed in oxygen reduction chambers then quenched for quick cooling. I scrub each lantern with my own little hands, set it to dry, and then attach a metal handle. The more recent handles are hand formed from copper and hammered by Rebecca Sheer, metal smith extraordinaire.

I've been taking a break from lantern-making, but it's a love I'm sure to revisit.