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a question for you long-time ceramics buffs....

Posted by ArtsyCraftsy (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 22, 02 at 10:53

Back in the late 60's to early 70's my mom did quite a bit of ceramics. It was a big craft trend then. Hopefully someone can tell me more about this beautiful easter basket she made.
It was made in a class so I don't know how she did it, other than it looked like yarn woven into a basket shape. I know they actually soaked the yarn in a liquidy clay and wove it over a form. I guess when it was fired the yarn burned out leaving the clay behind. It had an arched handle that was also woven in the same manner. She glazed it in a dark brown shiny glaze and it was so pretty! At Easter she would display it full of ceramic eggs with fancy colorful glazes.
Sadly the basket did not survive and was thrown out years ago but I have never forgotten it. I would love to find directions on how to make one like it, so if anyone can help me I would be forever grateful!

TIA, Karen

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: a question for you long-time ceramics buffs....

Sorry Karen......I out in the cold on this one. I did check and do some searches but couldn't come up with anything.

RE: a question for you long-time ceramics buffs....

I know this is an old post, but perhaps you're still looking. Go to the store where you would buy clay and glazes, and ask them for "slip". This is the solution used to pour into molds. Alternatively, buy clay (the real stuff) then blend it well with water until you have a heavy cream consistency. If you soak a very porous basket in this solution, or spray it over and over until enough clay residue has built up in the fiber of the basket, let it dry very well and then fire in your kiln. Use a natural fiber as synthetic will not soak up the slip. The natural fiber will then burn away in the firing. Hope this helps.

RE: a question for you long-time ceramics buffs....

Modjadje, that is fascinating! Something I didn't know and I'm glad you shared it. Do you think someone who runs a ceramics shop might allow me to do that?
I love baskets, especially after I realized they are one of the few things that must be hand-made --machines cannot make them!
BTW, welcome to America and to GardenWeb!

RE: a question for you long-time ceramics buffs....

I have never heard of that method of making a basket. It sound like a lot of fun. May try it someday. I have heard of using real lace to add to a figurine. Someplace I found the directions, but have never tried it. The real lace burns away and your left with the illusion. Neat idea also. Good luck

RE: a question for you long-time ceramics buffs....

Hi Modjadje & Monica!- I asked around online & never did get the exact response I was hoping for, so thanks for your fresh input. I was hoping to find someone who remembered doing the same project back when. The local ceramic shops are now closed, so I can't talk to anyone except for the art dept. at the local university where I took some hand-building classes.
I am still hoping to come across some of mom's old class notes & magazines.
Here's a rough sketch of the basket. It was about 8 inches in diameter and about the smae height to the top of the handle. The sides were maybe 2.5 inches high.
Whatever the "ribs" were that the clay was woven around burned out in the kiln, so it left a small diamond-shaped space. If you look at the handle, the now-missing ribs ran width-wise, so I'm not sure what the original support had been.
I seem to remember a thick yarn like rug yarn, and a plastic container cut down in strips...maybe a waxy cardboard ice cream container? The bottom was also woven, not a slab. Maybe I am wrong and it was woven before being soaked in slip, but I can see a bowl of clay-soaked yarn in my mind. I think the concept has potential to be quite creative beyond a humble little egg basket!
Lia- Cool! I did not know that baskets could only be made by hand.


Here is a link that might be useful: basket

RE: a question for you long-time ceramics buffs....

I remember the technique of soaking rope or string - even doilies in "slip" You can buy "Slip" in Hobby Lobby where the clays are. At least you could 2 1/2 years ago. It comes in a bag in a box. You can pour it out and let thicken and use cookie cutters with it too. I made a dog bone cookie jar once with cookie cutter dog biscuits stuck on the sides. I enjoyed ceramics but never had enough space to store them.

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