Category Archives: .work in progress

.small carved vases

After the August blue moon pulled me out of my creative funk, I started carving again. And I mean some crazy entire piece carvings. Somewhat simple designs, but just a lot of carving. I enjoy it though and it transports me back to the time when that is all I did.Image

The first few pieces I made were thrown in soldate and in a long bottle shape. I had some free english porcelain and wanted to create a a similar shape. Design wise, I wanted to fashion it after another design i made last year which I think turned out really beautiful but it was only one. I like the way these are turning out. I will stick with the blue color theme. There are a few blues I can use at the studio but I may try to go to aardvark in the next couple of weeks to check out the mason stains.



As of late I’ve been breaking a lot of pieces due to thinness and bone dry state. Over the weekend I finished this bowl and even though it was thin at the bottom it was fine. Silly me decided to stack other bowls on top of it while in transport. Oh and part of a banana too. When I got to the studio, the bottom was broken. Lesson learned though.

I tried to patch it up with magic water but 2 hours later the pieces were falling off. The wet patch is the broken area. I do like this design. I’ve used it on other pieces too. I think it translates really well with the bowl shape. It’s a low shallow bowl.

That same day I threw 7 more bowls of similar style. Had a pretty discouraging day from different frustrations early on, but once I took a break and returned it was easier. The one in the pic is larger than than the ones I threw, but just slightly. I do want to throw larger ones though.  I plan to do variations of this design and use different engobes.

I’m getting faster in my design stages, able to knock off a nice chunk of time in the past few weeks. Also new design concepts coming to me faster. Still all a learning process but I like where things are going.

.textured drop series

I attempted this design again. My first go around, I actually preferred the design when it had no glaze. Then I fucked the piece up with improper glazing. It was just okay, not something I really cared for. I do however think if I did a better glaze job, that is would have looked amazing. Maybe under glazes will work for this. I have ideas, I don’t know how much time or effort I really want to spend with this series.

I was able to complete the design on the  piece in under 2 hours, maybe less and 1.5 hours last night. I’m not quite sure since I was multitasking last night with glazing and trimming in between design.  Most of my efforts were put towards my obsession to create smooth clean edges and surface. It pretty quick to finish the piece. Jim let me stay after since I didn’t want to take the piece home. Lord knows what I might had added to it.

There is one more bottle I have that I have decided to use this same design. Maybe add more drops because it’s a bigger piece.  I really do like the design, I’m just not in love with it at this moment. I don’t know if it needs something more or not. I think it’s a go to design when I don’t know what the fuck to put on a piece since it’s quick and easy. It will probably grow on me when I find the right glazing method.

copyright anna becker 2011

.new geo orbs

Just a pic of the new orbs. Thought that I threw 11 but I either miscounted or somehow lost one. Don’t know what happened but oh well. Out of the 10 only 7 made the cut. I trimmed through 2 of them and one of them wasn’t thrown well. If there is a pit fire in the future, I’ll toss those in but for now, they are in the discard pile.

I learned a lot this time around. I don’t even remember the thought process for the first one. This time around I was able to achieve more texture, however at times I feel some things are being forced. When I get to that point I just move on to another one. Besides having more texture, some have very different edges. I burnished the piece when I trimmed  however when I am carving I am finding that I am getting a very rough look. I think the black mountain clay has a finer grit. I don’t remember. I will have go back and burnish again. Oh well.

I’ll be done with these little guys tomorrow. I would like to make a 9 piece series so I can sell them in individually or in sets of 3. The next two I throw will be a bit larger.

.ready for raku

I haven’t posted images of work in awhile. This piece was finished the Sunday before last. Will be able to put in the Raku firing next week and add to my Dino Egg series. The design at the top is a little smaller than I wanted but it seems to still work :-).

This shape is one of my favorite shapes to throw and it’s sometimes the hardest.

.weekend update


AWWWW, pieces are invading my house. I have pieces EVERYWHERE!!! Dan was suppose to give me styrofoam boxes last week but we never met up. Now I am keeping pieces up and away from the little cats teeth and claws. She loves to bite, scratch and knock unfinished work over, oh and sometimes pee one them. So now they are all over the place until I can drop them off at ECHO. Maybe this Friday night after I take my Dad to the airport. Gives me time to finish things up.


Last Sat I threw 12 small to small medium orb vessels for my series called “GEO ORBS”. Last years sale I sold out (only had 4). This year I would like to try to be in 2 holiday sales so having a bit more is okay. Plus starts to give me inventory for when I open up my etsy shop. Hopefully as early as end of the year. This time around I am using a different clay. It’s called Jamaica, similar properties to bmix with sand. Very smooth and VERY wet hence why my first orb was a dud so only 11 made it. Don’t know if it’s as dark as Black Mountain, can’t wait to see results though. Rested my back a lot during the throwing session. I actually needed to use the heating gun quite a bit to get the proper shape without the bottoms collapsing. Also threw off the hump as well. Thanks to Jim for showing me how to take pieces off the wheel properly I didn’t loose much clay or take them off unevenly. See I can learn new tricks.

I like how last years orbs came out however this year I am taking it in a bit of a different direction. I really want to use bright matt glazes for the insides with hints of it showing on outside edge. I used painted bmix slip inside so the colors would be brighter. I have some with no slip inside for a more muted look. Since I have 3 studios to choose glazes from I can really get a nice variety. I’m excited to see the results.


I have 3 larger pieces almost finished. I have 3 larger pieces with design intention but not attended to yet. Also I have 2 smaller pieces to finish up. Gotta get them done ASAP by this Friday. As Tim Gunn would say “make it work”.

I will have a lot of work ahead of me again. The Geo orbs will have to trimmed and finished up on Sat and I have 3 pieces at Xiem that will need to figure out what they want to be. I will have lots of glazing to do soon. Sept is going to be a busy month, but I am pacing myself.


I was able to finish up the 4 of the 5  pieces I threw my first class. One I am leaving wet because i would like to try to get a few of the “woven series” done. Seriously it just doesn’t seem to work out. They are beautiful, unique and delicate but I don’t seem to be able to get them done. I’m sadden that I don’t have pictures either. No digital camera during that time of life. Oh well… Back to the topic.

I’m getting lots of work finished, really it’s pushing myself in getting faster and letting ideas get out of my head so new ones can form. I’m happy that a lot of new work has been produced in just a few weeks. I don’t really know what triggered me to get my butt in gear, but I’m glad it did. If only I had the somewhat of the same passion for work. Still working on that


For Labor Day I went wine tasting in Temecula. It’s my second time going EVER and I had a blast. This time around I bought my favorite sparking wine called RUBY CUVEE from South Coast Winery. Yummy yummy stuff. We stopped at 5 places. Only going to the 5th place because Callaway was such a crappy way to send the day. Our last spot was my second favorite. I don’t remember the name though. All in all, the 5 of us had a blast. My back was hurting so I took a pain pill even though I was tipsy but I got to sleep in the car. The 2 AB’s (fellow wine taster has same itinitals) passed out in the car. I woke up once thinking we were close by and kinda sad. Thankfully we were still kinda far and I slept more. Below are some pictures I took. Nothing special but I took them with the hipstamtic app.

View from first winery. I think it was Thorton Winery. Great flat breads okay wines.

Pic looks dingy but it's the app. Grapes from Callaway. Boo Callaway

More grapes from Callaway, different setting. Still a big fat boo to Callaway Winery.

Winecellar below at last winery. Was pretty cool to see.

.large bowl

After my failed attempt to throw a large bowl last Thursday, I went into the studio with a mission to throw a large bowl. It’s quite large and it’s taller than I wanted but I was able to throw VERY thin. I spent a long time waiting for it to set up with the aid of the heating gun so I could achieve this goal. Harry did help me a bit but in the end most of the work was done by me. Towards the end a spot in the rim started to have little cracks. I tried to fill them and hope they won’t give me problems in the future.

I focused on learning to work with a rib and actually have fun. The key is letting things set up. I’ll be using the rib more in the future a lot of my work. Overall I’m happy with the results. Next bowl I would like it to be shallower. I have a small bowl somewhere where I carved into the rim. I’d like a larger one similar. I don’t know how many of these large bowls I will be making. They are fun but I’m not really a functional ware person. I might just make a few available for the holiday sale in Nov. I would like to make a nice large bowl for my mom though. One of her really beautiful large fruit bowls was broken by one of my parents cats. I think she’d like something in that general size that can replace the broken one.

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