boro patchwork from japan uses running stitches which become decorative in utilitarian pattern making. the stitches are called sashiko. many contemporary textile artists use these stitches in a painterly expressive way which I admire, it looks deceptively simple but as it is a way of drawing with thread it takes a good deal of skill and understanding to carry off. artists like India Flint, Christine Mausberger and Lotta Helleburg use it beautifully.

boro

I have come to the end of a long run of imprinting clay with leaves, and it occuured to me that going back to mark-making in this very simple way would work well.

claywithcrosses

with a bamboo chisel-shaped tool I danced over the clay making crosses, put the rolling pin over again to close them up a little, made the pots.

crossbottle

rather a lot of caddies, lids cut with a scalpel

crosscaddies

I was using a smoother clay than usual

imprinted cross

an almost white stoneware, sprinkled with rust scraped off various rusty old objects.

fatwhitewithcrosses

the next thing is how to finish them – ie how to not cover up the crosses. I used oxides to fill them.

redandgreycrosses

most have the usual watery coating of oxide, covered with a thin coat of slip and the chun glaze. I’m counting on the depth of the marks to allow them to show through.

widecross

I have one big one with my old poisonous dry barium glaze over the oxide, which is mostly only in the crosses. so we’ll see how that comes out. I’m firing today, and there are three glaze tests in there, so fingers crossed.

kilnpack