In addition to being a ceramic artist, I am also a Colorado Master Gardener, having gone through a series of classes through Colorado State University held here in the Steamboat Springs area. That is likely why you see botanical themes in many of my pottery works.

The series of vases that I call Sprout (and have numbered in the order in which each one was made) is a case in point. It's very organic and looks like something that might pop through the soil in a garden. It starts out as a typical wheel-thrown vase -- pretty cylindrical. While the clay is still soft, I start carving and cutting into the vase to form these tendrils and undulations to give the vase some movement.

What is particularly special about the vase is the glaze. It is one that took me two years to perfect; I call it Lichen. It has crystals in it in shades of bronze, gold, copper, mint and blue and looks a little like verdigris or oxidized copper.

When I was researching how to make a crystalline glaze, one of the ingredients that I noted was in many recipes was Lithium. Thinking I could make the glaze extra special by using a local ingredient, I started experimenting with using water for our local above-ground Lithia Springs for the liquid and lithium content in this glaze. Playing around with various amounts of copper carbonate, I was able to get the coloring just right, and voila -- the Lichen glaze you see on this vase.

I have a couple of these sprout vases still available and will be making more soon. You can find them in my Etsy shop and soon on the Online Store page of this website.