AJE Component of the month, Blog Hops

Art Elements Theme Challenge – Sunflowers

At the beginning of the month, Sue gave us all the theme challenge of sunflowers. Perfect for this time of year! We love growing sunflowers, although ours were a bit late being planted this year, they’re ready to go in to bigger pots this weekend. The kids have great fun seeing who can grow the tallest and it’s amazing to see how high they will grow. 

I had an automaton I was working on before the Flame Off which I had to put aside, so I saw this as a perfect chance to finish it off. 

I wanted to combine clay sculpting with wood. The flowers, leaves and hare are all made from earthenware clay and decorated with acrylics. The base is hollow beech and houses the cog mechanism to turn the flower and leaves.

And here it is working…


As I only had to decorate and put this together I decided to have a go at something else made just for the challenge. I threw a pot with a leaf lid for a raku firing. The idea was to have a short poem running around the base with sunflowers at the top. 

The first line of the poem was drawn in to slip on the pot and it went in for a naked raku firing. 

Unfortunately though, Raku is fickle and the pot was not to be. I think I needed a thicker layer of slip on the bottom as the smoke got through and spoiled the lettering. 

It’s still wet and hasn’t been cleaned properly so still looks a bit grubby, but you can hopefully see some of the effect I was looking for…. as well as a small child that was determined to be in the picture!

I’m going to refire it, the black is just smoke from the reduction bin, so I can heat it again and erase the design. Hopefully I’ll get it on the next try!

Thanks to Susan for a great theme. To see what the rest of the team plus guests have created follow the links below 🙂 

















AE Team

Caroline << You are here.








22 thoughts on “Art Elements Theme Challenge – Sunflowers

  1. Your automaton is adorable and the pot is lovely despite the lettering being obscured…you could try cleaning it back a bit and highlighting the lettering with gilders paste.

  2. The automaton is too cute for words and I admit it took my attention off the pot a bit at first. Good luck with your next try!
    Now I’ll have to go look at the bunny once more 😀

  3. The hare with the spinning flowers is so adorable. It’s too bad the raku was cooperative for your vase. It looks amazing even if the lettering didn’t work out.

  4. Wow Caroline, you have no end of creativity! I’m in love with that automaton, the sunflower is perfect with the hare and the leaves! And I agree, the pot is beautiful even if it didn’t come out just the way you wanted! Cute kiddo too!

  5. That hare is mesmerizing and precious! I watched your video more than once I will fully admit. I love the pot, although I know the lettering did not go as planned which is always frustrating. The pot itself is lovely and the delicate flower designs with just a bit of crackle in the back is gorgeous. Such a creative endeavor!!

  6. Oh my gosh! I love the movement and the hare is stunning! And the raku piece, in such a different mood, is excellent as well. Really ‘outside the box’ creativity!

  7. The automation is too cute. I love it. That pot is gorgeous. I really like how it came out.

  8. The automaton! The pot! I love them both! And seeing the hare and the whirling flower and leaves – there is no other option than to smile! I also have to say that I love how the pot turned out even if the lettering is not perfect readable. It still looks stunning with abstract letter art 🙂

  9. PS: I also want to do raku firing! Love, love, love the work you create with it!

  10. You seriously are amazing! Your automaton pieces are always delightful but this one is just perfect. That hare with the sunflower and leaves that move-love it. And that raku piece…It may not have turned out as you wanted but i still love it. The crackle and the smoke effect are still so lovely. I think the somewhat hidden text at the bottom makes it more intriguing.

  11. The automaton is adorable, and I was smiling throughout the video-watching(s) (Yes, I too watched it more than a couple of times. 🙂 ) As for your pot, hope it works out when you try again, but I like this obscured letter look too. It gives the pot an antiquated feel.

  12. I throughly enjoy coming to your blog each month Caroline as I never know what I am going to see, just that it is always amazing! Your automaton is just stunning, beyond words, as is your Raku pot (and the adorable little head in the shot, I feel your pain my little one is the same…. oh a photo, I MUST get in it!)

  13. I really love the Sunflower and leaves on your automation. I remember the posts about it and these just seem to fit perfectly! You have a great idea for the pot too with the poem surrounding it. I hope you’ll blog or post on social media when you do refire it, I’d like to see how it turns out, regardless.

  14. Your creativity always blows me away! I love the hare with the rotating leaves and sunflower. It just amazes me! I hope the lettering turns out better, on the jar, when you refire it. It is already beautiful.

  15. LOVE the automaton and the pot is fabulous – complete with child of course 😀

  16. Love the automaton – I have never seen anything so cute and equally clever before. Fabulous job!

  17. I want to come live in your shed and watch you work. Can we talk about naked raku some more? I would try this. I love the results you get. I am glad you are happy with acrylic on your ceramic for the sculptural pieces. Because they are fab and you have to keep making them. The world needs to see these.

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