Celebratory bowls, jugs, plates - pots combining beauty and usefulness have been a joy to make for many years. I throw pots in white stoneware and decorate with a brush, setting lovely lines of poetry amid lush lovely foliage of flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Liz Mathews at Potters' Yard
On earth's green hours / And in the heaven's eternal blue (from a poem by John Clare) set round the flared rim of a large bowl thrown in white stoneware, with a sheaf of cornflowers, lavender, and flowering thyme. The words are lettered by hand with a brush, in green and blue underglaze oxides, and the bowl is high-fired with a clear glaze.
The oxides are painted onto the raw clay body with a brush, for both lettering and foliage, before the first firing. The pencil guidelines burn out in the first (bisque) firing, and the colours mature to richness under the clear glaze in the second firing.
I often make celebratory pieces like this to commission, with names and dates lettered under the foot in a second inscription incorporated into the bowl's design.
'Health and fair time of day / Joy and good wishes' - a jug full of blessings with an inscription from Shakespeare's Henry V, lettered in green, with a sheaf of herbs; then a bowl and plate both with inscriptions from poems by Robert Burns: 'Green be your woods and fair your flowers' on the bluebell bowl, and 'Thine be ilka Joy and Treasure, Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure', decorated with lavender, cornflowers, tarragon, thyme, rosemary and marjoram.