Little Trees – Transformations with Life #4

I have all these little maple trees growing all over my yard. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Now I have a few ideas. Always fascinated with Bonsais, I thought I could possibly do my own with a Canadian twist. Taking some of my electric-fired, Raku-styled tea bowls and using them as pots just seemed to make sense, especially since I’ve been getting so many ideas from Pinterest to do just this.

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A Creeping Donavan – Transformations of Life #3

This pitiful succulent was laying half out of its plastic pot when I found it in the hardware store garden centre. It needed some love. I wasn’t sure it would to survive being transplanted, much less be able to stand being formed and bent with wire. I gently added fresh earth around it and placed it in one of my more successful tea bowls. I watered it for a few days and watched it come back to life, before bending and shaping it into the bonsai form you see here. To my joy, it continued to get stronger.

The pot is slab built and tapped from an earthenware clay body. The glaze is a dark celadon dip that I brushed and in some places, splattered red iron oxide stain. The small bumps you see are scraps of porcelain I had laying around the studio before cleaning time. I rolled the soft pot in them before bisque firing.

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The Potted Pixie – Transformations With Life #2

This simple succulent is elevated and transformed, as is the small tea bowl, now reborn as a planter. The pot now lives into a second life with purpose as the home of this baby plant. Something about how she stands in the pot, full of mischief and reaching to get out and conquer the world, reminded me of images of pixies playing in a child’s bedroom as it slept.

The pot is hand built from a raku stoneware clay body, with a base tapped to a rustic taper. The glaze is achieved by alienating layers of  a Pinel Green, with a high gloss clear, and a surface brushing of a slip mad of the same clay body, mat white glaze, and iron dust.  The inside is coated in a red engobe covered in a clear glaze.

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Transformed With Life #1

I recently opened a box full of ceramics bowls I made a few years ago, because someone asked me for one they saw on Arts M.Perron. They wanted to use it for something entirely different than I originally planned for it. I conceived it as a tea bowl. Their alternative usage inspired me to look at all of them differently.

Transformed with Life 1b

Thanks to the work I’m doing with my furniture refurbishing business, Found – The Repurposed Design Company, I’ve become very aware of new ways of seeing some of my old artworks. Along with the extra studies I’m doing for my Art Ed degree, I’ve been attracting more and more muses that seem to love Wabi-Sabi aesthetics as much as I do. The most common images coming in to me are of bonsais. So, I decided to see how they looked as planters. I love the way they looked and I am slowly recycling these old pieces into unique decoration ideas. In essence, I’ve repurposed them into something more attractive to the market I have seen around me lately.

There will be more of these coming soon. For now, this one has two different succulents in it. I have some with small maple trees, cactus, and I’m currently hunting for the perfect conifers to change them up. Please stay tuned here and at Found – The Repurposed Design Company for more to come.

You can also see many of the bowls in their original state at Living with Visions @ Arts M.Perron:

A Touch Beyond Shabby-Chic

These simple and elegant side tables were designed for the dump when I saved them. Like many of the discarded pieces I find, they struck me with possibilities.

Sadly, my enthusiasm got the better of me and I didn’t take the before pictures I usually take. Here are some after the initial cleaning, where we can start to see the different woods and laminates used to enhance the clean lines of some beautiful craftsmanship.

Before Scandanavian Side tables

The choices were clearly deliberate when the carpenter chose his woods, as he has the grains going in perpendicular directions and the smoothly cut and sanded surface is more solid than one could imagine. The pieces aren’t heavy to look at, but are very weighty to carry.

When I first saw them, I thought I was looking at a Scandinavian design, but there are subtle elements in the construction that makes me think this artist also loved Mid-Century Modern lines (the legs are slightly narrower than the top) and the simple strength of Shaker construction (due to their massive weight).

After cleaning them, I did my best to remove the multiple layers of shellac on the surface. Some parts proved too difficult to remove by sanding alone, and when I wet wiped the dust, I found myself enjoying the distressed feel and look of the spaces where some shellac remained. I finished the drawer fronts with s clear finishing wax and the rest with a darker finishing wax, to bring out more of the grain in that different wood, which I believe to be teak.

Dimensions: H- 24″ (61cm) x W- 15″ (38cm) x D- 11″ (28cm)

Price: $250 for the pair.