Black Forest Tree Lantern


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I made Black Forest Tree Lantern as a conical form on the potter’s wheel using an iron bearing stoneware clay and then altered it.  When the form is still quite malleable, I put my hand inside and alter the form from the inside out channeling a tree of sorts. I really pushed the limits on this series!  And I twisted the top of the form to bring it together, which also added twist to the body.  Then, I attach a slab floor.  In this series, I was visualizing the trunk of the tree coming right through the “roof” or what would be the tree canopy I suppose.

To do this, I took an irregularly formed pancake of clay, textured it with a meat tenderizing hammer, and then cut a small hole in the middle.  Next I gently pushed it down over the twisted top of the tree and closed up the edges. This results in a natural extension of the tree through a canopy roof, I think.

I pierced the lantern intuitively, working from the personality of the piece and without a stencil.  Then I cut shapes across the surface imagining how they will look when lit.  Finally a door is cut to follow the form.

After bisque firing Black Forest Tree Lantern, I then load the lantern into a wood burning kiln with lots of other pots and my crew and I fired for 38 hours.  The lantern went in with no glaze.  The periodic reduction in oxygen to the kiln environment draws the iron in the clay body to the surface.  Wood ash melts creating a natural ash glaze.

Set Black Forest Tree Lantern on a patio table.  Or set it in a flower bed or use on a table or spa top, indoors or out.  And wired door accommodates tealight and votive candles.

Enjoy the duality of the lantern. By day, it is all about the form and surface and by night the form recedes and it is the light from within that captures the imagination.

And it Makes a great wedding, housewarming, anniversary, holiday, or anytime gift!  Start your collection of fairy houses.

9″ High to top of handle by 7″ by 7″