These are the glazed octopi framed by turtles. One (curling tentacles) has already shipped. I'll put the other one on the site later today. This design was a request. I enjoy thinking through new designs very much. The process is quite lengthy for me since I don't draw particularly well--my training ( and it's extensive) is in literature not in art. If the subject is native (Northern New England /Adirondacks) I spend a lot of time outside observing. My studio, in the woods near Oseetah Lake, receives many visitors of the winged and 4 footed varieties. But I also look at photgraphs--wildlife photography either professional or sometimes my own. Then I look at line drawings and woodcuts. I have to be able to see the figure on the mug--sizing can be an issue. Then the patterning of black and white needs to suggest itself. And the syntax here is deliberate. I find when I try to force a design, it almost always fails. The patterning comes--in dreams,while I'm paddling, while I'm driving (dangerous). It requires a simplification of form that is hard to translate from the living subject. Because I am interested in more of a woodcut style of carving, a superfluity of lines can distract from the overall design. And I carve when the clay is fairly soft still. It is possible to achieve a detailed graphic quality on clay, but it requires a pot closer to bone dry and very delicate tools (dental tools for example). Sgraffito of this type takes a great deal of time and can create a lot of silica dust.
I like my octopus. If you have any suggestions or requests I am always open to thinking through new designs