I made Falconer Fairy House Lantern on the potter’s wheel, using an iron bearing stoneware clay body. I start by throwing a wide conical form on the potter’s wheel, with no bottom. When the form is slightly stiffened, I square the form and define its “footprint.”
The following day, I attach a slab bottom and a freshly thrown roof. Embellishments over the door and “window” areas, using meat tenderizing hammer for texture, and, voila, ready for the final stretch.
I pierce using an exacto knife and no stencil; free handed and intuitive. The personality of each lantern emerges through the process and guides my choices about where to place the holes. I like either a lyrical and varied leaf design, or a more blocked out design. In this case, a little of both to keep it interesting in the night!
After I bisque fire the Falconer Fairy House Lantern I then load it into a wood burning kiln. A crew of us fire continuously for 32-38 hours and to temperatures of approximately 2400 degrees F. The reduction of oxygen in the kiln draws the iron out, creating rich, deep tones in the pot.
Now you have yourself a beautiful and functional lantern that can sit inside or outside: on the dinner table, a side table, by the bath, in a niche, on the patio, in a flower bed, or hung in a tree. Wired door accommodates tea candles or votive. Use the outer roof edges to pick up the lantern. It should stay cool enough to the touch even after it’s been lit.