Annabelle’s Leach apprenticeship – the challenge of moon jars

This small moon jar is my favourite piece to come out the kiln recently. The Hakeme slip has created a slightly linear, textured surface for a Shino type glaze to break evenly into warm orange tones, which remind me of warmer evenings and having supper together after working late.

I have stopped looking in books and have started to use skills and techniques in different ways to create new forms. Taller pieces are still a struggle for me because I don’t use them in everyday life, so I’m not sure of the best way to go about making flower vases or water containers, for instance. I have always enjoyed faceting and recently designed this bottle. Other potters in the studio have said they like these pieces but I’m definitely going to keep redesigning to make a more practical vase.

Autumn is on its way and as always, new potting problems come to the surface for me to learn about and solve. For those of you who put on art exhibitions, you may know the particular dread of a deadline approaching (and the manic state that follows) to create enough works that hopefully turn out well. This particular moon jar could have been really lovely, but alas, I threw it too thin. So while I tried to get it slipped and ready for its first firing, the very thick slip made the pot too weak, and it split and collapsed. As production potters we are taught not to count your pots until they are out of the kiln. However, I am rather sad this thrown piece didn’t make it. I am taking a break from round forms and instead I will be making plates and shallow, wide bowls for a while.