One of the cute things Gloria has been making in the pottery studio is a range of lovely decorative garden ceramics. Our patio certainly has a hint of FabHappy in the garden, as you’ll see in the photos below.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of these items or similar ones, the best thing to do is to email us and we can organise it. The pieces in the photos below are available right now and Gloria is in the process of making more. To email us, just use the Contact Link.
Gloria has made some mushrooms like you can see in this photo (click on the photo to see it full size). Each mushroom is unique, and is either fixed (1 piece) or articulated, (2 pieces so they move with the breeze). The 2-piece options have a ceramic stalk and a ceramic mushroom top. You can insert the stalk in the ground and then place the mushroom on it. Very cute.
These mushrooms are priced between £5 and £10 each.
See a couple more mushrooms around this Agapanthus, and the hint of a ceramic leaf (more on those below).
And another ceramic mushroom decorating the edge of the pot containing this hydrangea.
If you’ve been following Gloria, you’ll know she’s made quite a number of leaf shaped bowls and platters, and they’ve been very popular (you can see the ones she has available now by looking at her studio pottery page). Some of these leaves could easily be used to decorate the garden, but Gloria has also been making some smaller versions suitable for putting in tighter spaces.
Again, each piece Gloria makes is unique. They’ll look lovely among your flowers, and can even be attached to a trellis.
These leaves are priced between £6 and £20.
Gloria has been making ceramic lizards for some time, but mostly selling them at local markets. They are very popular – this is the only remaining example at the moment, but more are being made 🙂. Also note the two mushrooms and leaf also displayed in this photo.
These decorative lizards are priced between £12 and £35.
Gloria has been very prolific in the pottery studio recently. I guess it’s probably related to being locked-down at home during the Covid-19 pandemic here in the UK, along with the fact that all her markets and exhibitions are now off (she’s sad about that, of course). Yesterday, it was glazing day – time to glaze a lot of Gloria’s pieces that have recently been bisque fired.
All of these pieces of Gloria’s are ready to glaze, but their upside down – why? Any parts of a piece that we don’t want glazed (often the base) have to be cover in a thing called “wax resist”, so that when the piece is dipped in the glaze, the glaze actually doesn’t attach where the wax is. The wax eventually just burns away during the glaze firing, so that waxed area is just left unglazed.
While I was preparing to do the glazing, Gloria was still beavering away to create more pieces.
Some of the large bowls that Gloria made were too large to fit in my glaze bucket in one go, so I had to dip them in two parts. This bowl has had the first dipping and once the glaze (the white part) is dry, I can grab hold of that part and dip the other half. The photo shows what happens when a bisque fired piece is dipped in glaze – it just turns white. A piece that has some of Gloria’s beautiful decoration on it turns completely white. It’s just covered in glaze. However, when it’s then glaze fired, the glaze becomes transparent (it’s glass really) and interacts with the colours and usually makes them more vibrant? It’s a fun process to watch unfold.
There’s my glaze bucket and a few of the tools I use to help with glazing. By the way, Gloria is still focussed on making more pieces.
Eventually, I’ve got the kiln loaded with all the strange, purely white pieces (just because they’re all covered in glaze). What an amazing glazing day. They’ll look a lot different after the firing. We’ll be able to open the kiln tomorrow and see how they all come out. Many of Gloria’s pieces will be posted here at fabhappy.com/gloriawhiting as all markets and exhibitions are currently not possible. We’re still shipping, if you’d like anything.
Back in August, a good friend of ours, Blue Bell (her Instagram account is https://www.instagram.com/non0scripta), visited and gave us a few demos in the pottery studio. One thing she did was demonstrate her technique for throwing large plates on the wheel, which she did with her usual ease and aplomb. Once she’d completed, I (this is Peter writing this article on behalf of Gloria) jokingly said to her that it would be nice if it had a rabbit on it. I was both surprised and not that she quickly grabbed a tool and began to scratch in the design of a rabbit. Then I said that it’s a bit like Alice in Wonderland and she added a hat on the rabbit. It was a lot of fun. After Blue left, Gloria took over and completed the sgraffito and applied all the layers of coloured slips. The final result is this absolutely beautiful rabbit plate that we keep in a special place in our home. (See below for some photos of how the plate progressed)
Below are some images that show the process this plate went through.
This is plate shortly after throwing and just after Blue had scratched in the design of the rabbit with the hat and some other decorative features. At this point the clay is still quite wet and needs to be allowed to dry out significantly more. Notice that terracotta clay was used.
Here’s the plate now part way through Gloria’s work. She’s added a pocket-watch inspired by Alice in Wonderland, added more sgraffito and has layered up a number of coloured slips.
The sgraffito is quite important with terracotta clay as it allows the warmth of the brown clay to start showing through the coloured slips in the final piece.
Now the rabbit plate has all of the sgraffito done and slips applied. Now it’s just a matter of leaving it to fully dry out and then it can be fired in the kiln for the bisque fire.
This is exactly the same plate but now after the bisque firing. It’s interesting how the colours change, but we also have to be aware that the colours will change again after the glaze firing. The next step is to dip the plate in glaze, giving it a good coating, and then putting it back in the kiln for the glaze firing (this goes to a higher temperature than the bisque firing).
Really, glaze is a type of glass coating that covers a pottery piece. It’s a very important step to have a food safe and usable ceramic piece.
Now a photo the rabbit plate just after the glaze firing, taken in the studio with a smart phone. It looks really nice, but the colours aren’t represented properly with this camera. It looks better in the photos below.
Today, Gloria created a Ceramic House Sign as a birthday gift for a friend. It was a request from her friend who lives in Portugal and Gloria was happy to oblige. She started with six bisque fired white square (6×6 inches) tiles and decorated them with coloured glazes.
See more of the story in pictures below…
So now the kiln is running and the firing is underway. It will be about 36 to 48 hours before we can open it and see how the ceramic house sign has turned out.
We’ll post an update with the results, which will hopefully be good (fingers crossed!).
The final tiles will have to be packed safely and hand-carried to Portugal for delivery at Gloria’s friend’s birthday party.
If you go online, it looks like everyone makes ceramic house signs. You can order them from all sorts of people (for example, Pottery House Signs) with what appears to be all sorts of quality levels, however, it’s something special for a friend to hand-make a ceramic house sign specially for an occasion. It’s also pretty cool to know that some of Gloria’s work has been requested from yet another country, Portugal, and it’s a real pleasure to be able to do something so personal for such a good friend. We’re very much looking forward to the celebrations!
As always, Gloria has been very active in the pottery studio and below are some photos of some of her latest ceramic creations. Some of these will be appearing in her store soon.
Click on the images below to see the full-size picture.
These pieces have been made through hand-building with white earthenware clay. Gloria mostly uses coloured slips and sgraffito to decorate them before bisque firing. After this they are glazed with a clear, glossy glaze and glaze fired to make a lovely finish. After this process, the ceramic creations are fully functional and dishwasher safe, so you can keep them as an interesting piece of art, or use them as a functional piece in your home.
Notice on some of the pieces Gloria has used a feather design that she really likes, and on others she uses leaf motifs that feature a lot in her work lately. One of the platters has an interesting texture that Gloria has incorporated into the piece while the clay was soft. Also, another of the platters has a significant curved shape which is very eye catching.
I hope you like some of Gloria’s recent ceramic creations. Feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions or comments. Stay tuned as some of these will be appearing in Gloria’s store soon.
Gloria is exhibiting at Standen House on the 6-15th of April 2019 as part of Fabricata. At this exhibition, she is showing a number of her textile pieces as part of the Fabricata group of artists who are all concentrating on textile pieces.
In our Pottery Studio, Gloria is currently preparing Mothers Day Tiles for a group of children from our local Rainbows (a programme for 5-7 year olds, linked with Girl Guiding). Her plan is to give each child three small tile shaped pieces of clay with two holes at the top of each. The children will then decorate these tiles themselves with the letters “M”, “U” and “M” and, after the tiles are fired, they can be strung on a cord and given to their mothers as a personalised Mother’s Day gift. These Mothers Day Tiles will have a bit of every child in them.
Below are some photos of Gloria do the prep work, rolling out the clay, cutting them to size and ensuring they are in a good state for the children to do their personalised decoration. Lots to do!
Christmas is fast approaching and Gloria will next be at the Woldingham Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday December 1st. This event is a favourite because it’s Gloria’s local craft fair and it has such a nice, small-village atmosphere. Hope to see you there and to chat about arts and crafts.
Gloria will be at the Soper Hall Christmas Fair in Caterham on Saturday the 24th of November. She will have a selection of her creations that you could consider for Christmas gifts or Christmas decorations. It’s a lovely venue and a nice market to drop in to and enjoy the displays and the tea, cake and hog roast.
Gloria will be exhibiting a selection of her pieces (mostly Christmas related) at the Godstone Emporium Christmas Fayre in Surrey, UK, on Saturday, November 17th, 2018. She has hand-painted Christmas baubles and plenty of charming hand-made ceramic pieces for hanging – these include angels, stars, snowflakes, doves, leaves and more.
If you have time, why not drop in and see what the Godstone Emporium has to offer, and let the Christmas cheer begin!
Gloria’s Christmas Decorations available on fabhappy.com