Sunday, September 29, 2019


This is my first time participating in an Art Elements Blog Hop.  I was intrigued by the theme of foliage since that has been my theme for most of the years I have been making ceramic beads.  I usually make a mold from plants and use it as the basis for pendants, toggle clasps and cabochons.  I always hand paint on the colored glazes and almost never use underglazes. The photo above is a sample of pendants in my usual way of making.

For some time I have been thinking about other ways of making leaves and flowers.  I have a collection of dried leaves that have fallen off a rubber plant I have in the house. I love their graceful flow and lyrical lines and form. 

                                    My dried dead leaves collection
 I decided I wanted to hand build my leaves and flowers. These leaves (pictured above) and some Victorian botanical drawings were my inspiration.  I limited my tools to using an orange wood cuticle stick for makings the markings  on the leaves. My clay body was a white stoneware clay which I fire to cone 5 (a bit above 2100 degrees F.)  I began small but as time went on my leaves got bigger and bigger.

Hand built ceramic leaves still wet.
A larger hand built leaf

Bisque ware leaf  fired one time

Some hand built flowers in the foreground  fired once

When it came to glazing what I made I was a bit stymied at first.  I decided to try some underglazes which I don't usually like because they are so stiff.  But I wanted all those markings to show up through the other glazes I used.  So I tried out a black and a blue.  I was not unhappy with the result.

A hand built flower surrounded by wild cone flower textured  beads.  The black underglaze came through nicely I think.

a large hollow bead surrounded by 2 cabochons  Wild Grass texture  Again I used the black underglaze -2 coats- and then wiped it off and added colored glazes to the wiped off areas.
           Here is a collection of the leaves and 1 hand built flower glazed
            And another view of the leaves.
What am I going to do with all of these creations?  I plan to use them in some of my free form peyote stitch jewelry.  And some I have placed in my Etsy shop.

This has been a great experience for me to be in this blog hop.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you will visit all the other participants in this blog hop listed below.

Art Elements Team





  1. Your leaves are so unique and beautiful and I love the way you played with the colors!

    1. Thank you so much Cat. I sure appreciate you stopping by.

  2. your leaves turned out lovely, my favourites are the ones with the black underglaze

    1. Thank you Jill. I appreciate hearing your feedback about the black underglaze and you kind words.

  3. Really enjoyed seeing your process Mary and I love how they turned out. You have such a distinctive style of glazing, each piece is stunning! Thanks so much for joining us for the challenge.

    1. Thank you Caroline!! I really enjoyed doing this post. I can't believe I have never participated before!! I appreciate your great feedback on my glazing.

  4. I love the idea of you using your dried leaves as inspiration. I love how they all turned out. The colors are amazing!

  5. I'm so glad you joined in the hop! Your creations add so much to it! I love those last ones with all the color to them. They're so pretty.

  6. Welcome to the Hop!:). I hope you'll continue, your pieces are lovely and detailed. Love all the colors you've experimented with.

  7. Yay, Mary, glad you joined in! I love your leaves and flowers - I do actually love all the colors you used, too - so you! Beautiful!

  8. An amazing array of leaves and flowers designs! They will certainly make for some statement pieces! I'd love to see the free peyote projects, too.

  9. Your ceramics are gorgeous. I love the patterns and colors. They look beautiful in jewelry. Well done!

  10. Oh Mary! I love that you and I connect not only through the long years of knowing each other, but through plants, beads and clay as well. Your hand-carving designs to try to capture the movement and textures is so magical because you've got a bit of your artistic touch in there (not merely duplication of what you see - but your interpretation of it). So happy you got to join the hop this month :)

  11. I really love all your leaves but those with the black underglaze really speak to me. That black really makes the other earthy colors 'pop'.

  12. Hi, another Arts Element newbie here! I love your hand built leaves and flowers; they are fantastic! They'll be gorgeous used in jewelry designs. I love the colors in the last set pictured; they really work well together.

  13. I've always loved your botanical pieces Mary and these are no exception love the earthiness and colour blends combined with he naturalistic style. Wonderful.

  14. I've been an admirer of your ceramics since I first saw them. Your organic glazing is so unique and enhances the botanical subjects.

  15. Beautiful forms and gorgeous colors, Mary! I can imagine these pieces fitting in perfectly with freeform beading.

  16. Firstly, I can’t believe this is your first AE challenge! Welcome, I look forward to more posts!
    Secondly, Your work is the embodiment of foliage, I admire your work and love seeing (and using) it in jewelry pieces!
    Thirdly, I love that you tried something new! It turned out great! The glaze on the last group of leaves is my favorite. Amazing work, as always!

  17. Welcome to AJE challenges, I look forward to more posts in the future!

  18. Awesome! Nice jewerly that you discussed and shared here. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience about jewelry.


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