Last week I told you about our friend’s wedding, and the wedding shower gifts I made for them. This time around I’ll be showing you the handmade gift I potted for them!
I have been taking a pottery class for a few years now, and thought it might be fun to make a piece or two for Erica & Myles as a wedding gift. Erica is a fellow creative, so I knew she would particularly appreciate something hand made. I was originally thinking a set of mugs, or maybe a serving tray. I decided to sit on the idea until I could find the right project. Meanwhile, one of the things we had been working on as a class project was a bowl made up of a variety of components and shaped over a balloon. I rushed through my first one, because I wasn’t feeling very inspired, and quite frankly just wanted to get it out of the way.
My first balloon project: an under-the-sea candle holder.
As I was researching (read: searching Pinterest) for ideas, I thought about the balloon bowl project I had brushed off the first time, and thought that might be the perfect way to integrate all of the things they both love into one piece. So in March I got to work on compiling a list of things they loved: Erica is all about Disney, and Myles is all about games. And they both love their dogs. Sprinkle in a few more random things, and my list was complete. Then, I began what was about a 40-50 hour process in total.
Second step was piecing everything together on a balloon. In this case, I purchased a sturdy ball from the dollar store and took a bit of air out so that it would last me longer than a balloon. I started by creating a circle to place as the base of the bowl. Then I carefully attached each of the pieces, trying to fit each one into the next. Because I wanted this bowl to be a useful bowl, I had to ensure there were no spaces left unfilled. To fill those empty spots, I created roses, paw prints and a few sand dollars as I went along. I also added a few brick segments to a couple larger unfilled areas. Final thing to add was the foot of the bowl, which I tried to make look like the base of Mrs. Potts, as much as I could.
I then spent a good amount of time cleaning everything up; smoothing out edges, filling in tiny spaces, and adding their wedding date to the bottom. Once I was happy with everything, I left it for about 2 months to slowly and thoroughly dry out. I crossed my fingers, and it was fired. If I had accidentally left an air pocket anywhere in the piece it would have exploded in the kiln and it would have been game over. Luckily, it came out undamaged and ready to be glazed!
Because of the fine details in the bowl, I knew I wanted to get glaze into the nooks & crannies, but wipe a lot of it away from the exterior so that those details would stand out. Erica’s favourite colour is purple, so when my pottery instructor released a new batch of purple glaze that was SO beautiful, it was the obvious choice. I also added in some blueish-purple to parts of the interior and onto the base, just for the fun of it. It went through a final firing… and voilà!
I am so happy with how this turned out, and completely relieved it made it out in one piece!