Pottery Birds

These are some of the pottery birds that I have made.
Please click for a larger image.
Nikon D70 ©

When we lived in Richards-bay, South-Africa, I was fortunate to take pottery lessons with a very creative lady. I enjoyed making birds as they use many of the basic techniques used in pottery. I gave each item a name, which made it easier to keep notes of the supplies used, firing temperatures, etc.  Because pottery has to be fired in a kiln, they have to be hollow and have vents for steam to escape.

Most of the birds were made starting with two pinched pots, which are joined together with slip. One sphere forms the head and the other the body, because they are hollow and contain air they can easily be rolled, formed and even paddled.
The parts are joined together, by scoring, after which slip is applied and then decorated.
The tail, beaks, etc. are supported on wet sponges, while drying. Once the clay is leather hard vents are made in each ball. These vents can be in the eyes, beak, or hidden on the bottom. Incise lines are also made at this stage. After further drying the birds were bisque fired in a kiln, glazed and fired again. Wax resist is applied to prevent glaze from certain areas and for decorating.

Most of these birds were stained and distressed using Iron oxides.

Blue Tit: P380 White Plainsman clay. Techniques: Wax resist
Gooney Birds: Vereeniging Earthenware clay, (which contains grog and White Edge-ware clay.
Hairy and bald Birds: Vereeniging Earthenware clay (which contains grog.) Glazed with Cirrus blue and details done with Iron Oxide
Pennington: Vereeniging Earthenware clay, (which contains grog)  Manganeze wax resist, rainforest glaze and Stoneware firing.
Seagull: P380 White Plainsman clay. Fired at 1255 degrees Celsius.

You can read more about Pottery at About.com.

Have you tried pottery yet?

Your Family Magazine August 1989
Please click for a larger image.

Your Family Magazine August 1989
Please click for a larger image.

More of my crafts

Handmade Vintage Clay Birds by Trumatter

About Tokeloshe.

Welcome and thank you for visiting. I have been happily married (sic) for 40 years, have one son, a loving daughter in law and three adorable grandsons. We have been in Canada for 20 years and are originally from South-Africa. My first language is Afrikaans. (Ek kan nog Afrikaans praat, lees en skryf.) I love doing mixed media, scrap-booking, blogging and playing on the computer, I am also interested in photography, genealogy, reading, hiking, camping, arts and crafts.
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21 Responses to Pottery Birds

  1. nrhatch says:

    These are wonderful, Tok! Love the seagull and the gooney bird next to it!


  2. Rukmini Roy says:

    Thank you so much for featuring me Toke! What a darling you are 🙂



  3. Rukmini Roy says:

    My favorite would be the pennington.


  4. Tandy says:

    I used to have a whole collection of pottery birds – yours are so pretty 🙂


  5. Hey Toke I LOVE your birds that are so awesome and show such creativity and wonderful sense of humour… like I imagine you to be… creative, funny, unique and maybe even just a little quirky and eccentric. *Grin* ….Yes, yes I’m trying to get on your Christmas gift list ~ LOL
    Enjoyed my visit today… Love and *Mwah* Mands


    • Tokeloshe says:

      Thank you very much, your feedback is much appreciated 😉
      Flattery will get you far. LOL
      It was great to hear from you again and thank you for your visit.
      Big H*U*G*S


  6. You sure know your stuff when it comes to pottery! I’ve never tried it, you make me want to – your birds are too cute 🙂


  7. Lisaman says:

    They are absolutely beautiful, Talented indeed!! Have a brilliant week!


  8. Tokeloshe says:

    Thank you for the vote!


  9. souldipper says:

    Even more creativity, Toke! You are so talented!


  10. Tokeloshe says:

    Thank you very much 😉


  11. sonsothunder says:

    Those are awesome works of art.. I love it.


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