I made Communion Set – Chalice, saucer, and pitcher – on the potter’s wheel from a tan stoneware clay body. First, I make a small bowl and stem and then trim each parts and put them together. Next, I make the saucer with a subtle inset for the chalice to sit and then I trim a slight foot. Then, I make a pitcher that is approximately 2″ taller than the chalice and trim it. Lastly, I pull the handle from the pitcher and add a thumb rest for extra pouring comfort.
Now that the parts are made and dry, it’s time to fire them. This is called a bisque firing, intended to drive out the chemical water from the clay and render it into a ceramic.
I call this surface decoration “Joshua Tree”, “JT” for short. Starting by rubbing red iron oxide into the surface of the lower 3/4 of the pot. Next I dip the upper 1/4 of the pot in a red gold glaze; and use the same glaze to line the interior of the pot. Once the red gold glaze has completely dried, I dip over the glaze, but only about 1/2 way. The glaze is going to move in the firing! The result is a feathering of the two glazes and a fascinating modulation of greens, browns, and golds.
I fire the Communion Set in oxidation in my electric kiln to 2200 degrees F. It’s water tight! Strong and durable as well.
Chalice bowl is 5″ diameter. Chalice height is 6″. Saucer is 7″ diameter. Pitcher is 8″ High.