The last Christmas commission was handed over and paid for today. They were essentially extra-deep chip and dip dishes… The customer has a relative who was given one by a friend. He’s a painter, so he’d been using it to hold water–clean water in the inner bowl, and dirty water in the outer. It had been broken over a year ago, and his daughter wanted to get him two replacements (one for the cabin, and one for home) for Christmas.

The pieces of the original were brought down to the CCNL Clay Studio, which is more of a teaching studio and not really set up to do random commissions for people, but I overheard some people talking about it. Since I was done with craft fairs until summer, I figured I’d take on the project. (The chance for an extra customer and some money for Christmas sounded pretty appealing, too…)

It. Was. Hard. To make those. The most clay I’ve thrown at once was five pounds, and these needed six. The design was pretty challenging, and the clay went off-center halfway through each one, so there were some fiddly moments with pin tools to get the rims even. And the bottom on the original was quite thin, which meant the replicas had to be thin, which meant I was on tenterhooks during drying, waiting for something to crack. And trimming the bottoms was tricky, because the inner bowl is taller than the outer one; I wound up carving out some foam and resting the pieces on that, on top of a bat, on top of a wheel, and trimming veeeery slowly. In the end, I made five… one collapsed on the wheel, two cracked during drying, but two survived. They came out of the kiln this morning.

The customer came to pick them up… She actually arrived about twenty minutes early; I was sitting outside sanding a piece of kiln shelf off one of them when she pulled up. But she loved them both, and even paid me extra for them. So I am now both very relieved and very happy.

And between this and the cereal bowl order (delivered and paid for last week), I can totally afford a Giffin Grip. With accessories. And shipping, even.


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