My wheel thrown altered vases are created by first making a bottomless cylinder, shaping into an oval, then attaching a bottom to it. I hand paint the surface of the vase, usually in a meadow pattern. I often add a handle to them, inspired by Japanese bamboo ikebana baskets. Instead of bamboo, I use a vine that is invasive in our area, Asiatic bittersweet, which twines around itself in a lovely way, but the weight of a mature vine can pull down a tree. Not only do I get to protect a tree when I cut the vine, but I get a beautiful addition to my pottery.

I also make press molds from the flowers and leaves of my garden to form a bas-relief texture which shows off the intricacies of the plant in ways that would be very difficult for me to reproduce. The low points are filled with a dark wash, creating a nice contrast with the higher areas, then glazed with a pale green color. The vases all have watertight liner glazes, so they are able to hold live flowers. The vase can even go in the dishwasher for easy cleanup (except those with vine handle- hand wash only).

Handbuilt vases