Apologies now for the not so great pictures: I am stuck with my cell phone only at the moment!
I've been taking a raku pottery class for a few years now and I find that my art is always inspired by what's around me. These three shells are pinch pots that were made after a trip to the Jersey Shore and hours of scouring the beach with my kids.
For those who are not familiar with raku pottery, it's main difference from regular stoneware/ceramics is that a raku piece is pulled out of the hot kiln (causing the glaze to crackle) and placed in a bed of newspapers, sawdust ... flammable items ... and that fire is squelched so that the smoke permeates the clay creating the darken finish.
These specific shells were given a slightly different treatment by not glazing, but by applying terra sig in the greenware stage and various treatments during or just after the final firing. And my brain is failing me for names so excuse any typoes or hiccups!)
Horse and human hair created the squiggles with a very small amount of sawdust for inside smoking.
This shell was spattered with ferric chloride for the orange spots and the black lines were drawn in with a feather.
Our class tried a new technique where different organic materials are placed around the pottery and then it is fired in a closed container. The organics burn off in the kiln and the resulting colors that comes from them are beautiful. Honestly, it's hard to see the various levels of greys into yellows and whites.
And yes, it's always amazing to my 7yo that he can hear the ocean in a shell.
Enjoy those last moments of summer (or the start of them, depending on where you are!)