Out of all the holidays, I think Valentine’s Day has the prettiest decorations. Even when I was single, I still enjoyed seeing the warm reds and pinks, and cute heart shapes. A few years ago I started reposting Valentine’s Day themed photos on my blog. In 2012 I decided to post my own work, and have been doing so since.
This is my Valentine’s Day Kusudama.
I made these ceramic heart shaped boxes, not necessarily for Valentine’s Day, but because I wanted to make a heart-shaped box. When I first signed up for the ceramics class in 2009, I envisioned a porcelain box, but that never happened, since I had to work with regular old stoneware clay. Anyway, I’m still making stoneware nowadays. I made these using B-mix with grog (because that’s what I have, but I probably don’t need the grog since I’m making fine, small objects.)
The pink one was traced off of a small plastic heart shaped box, whereas the red one was drawn freehand.
Unfortunately, the pink parts blistered during the glaze firing, and the tiny bumps look gross. (You can see some popped bubbles in this image.) My guess is that the bubbling had something to do with the pink underglaze, because only the pink parts blistered. (All of it was covered with a clear glaze, and the clear parts were fine.) From what I’ve read online, it’s possible that I had applied the underglaze too thickly, or it could have had something to do with this piece being fired at the bottommost shelf of the kiln, or maybe it was because the label of the underglaze said to fire to cone 4 and the studio fires to cone 6. I might try to sand off the bubbles and reglaze it, but using a different glaze. I was sad that that happened, because I had spend a lot of time shaping the lid. It was hard to get it to curve and fit properly at the points of the heart.
I wish I could say this was my idea, but it isn’t. Two years ago I saw a friend post a photo on Facebook of tealight candles arranged into a heart. Her boyfriend did that for Valentine’s Day, and I’ve been wanting to give it a try.