Thursday, 4 June 2015

Special Commissions

A while ago I was asked to make a unique 'family tree' plate as a birthday gift.  The customer was quite specific as to the kinds of themes and motifs to be incorporated into the piece. 

I tend to make quite decorative pieces and they are mostly bought by women for women.  So it was refreshing that this piece was for a Dad and Grandad.

Themes to include were 'clock-work/cogs/wheels', as the recipient was an ex-engineer.  Never made a piece for an engineer before!  Oh, and it also had to incorporate flowers, leaves and have an embroidered feel, and be mostly blues and greens.

Wet clay slab stage - ready to be lifted into mould to dry
  I decided to make the overall shape of the piece resemble a cog.

Once-fired, glazed and ready to fire again
Chain-like bits got added, along with other bits evocative of nuts and bolts and, basically, things from a world totally alien to me. 
I've heard of 'rivets' and 'sprockets' and such, but no idea what they look like!

So, yes, it was a bit of an unusual one!  But enjoyable all the same.

The challenge of these one-offs, made to individual requirements is exciting and daunting at the same time.  

The finished piece.  For more images of commissions

The customer obviously has some image of the finished piece in their imagination.  The hope is that my version will at least correspond to their expectations, and at best, exceed them.

I did get some feedback that it went down well and that the ex-engineer was pleased with his birthday present.  Phew!

x Cathy


  1. What a special present, he has a lovely family to organise a present like that.

  2. It is fantastic!!!! I am sure that it will be loved and will become a family heirloom! What I find so fascinating is the way that the different glazes change colour when they are fired! Great job!! xx

  3. It's a great success, indeed, and proves that your style and techniques extend happily to a rather different set of subjects.

  4. Looks fantastic and another avenue for your talents!

  5. Cathy this is fab! What is so amazing is that you must hold all the knowledge in your head of what each colour will eventually turn out to be, and blend them all so beautifully to make the whole. How can you bear to cut into the plate to make the scooped out edges, I don't think I could bring myself to do that! Clever lady! See you soon, p xxx

  6. How lovely, what a super gift :-)


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