Welcome to All in One Bonsa

Bitten by the Bug

Welcome to All in One Bonsai...a blog that aims to remind me of what I have forgotten. Over the years I have been finding out as much as I can about the art of bonsai. I hope the information in this blog will shed some light to the beginning bonsai enthusiast out there.

I saw some bonsai trees at a corner market one night in Taipei and asked the guy if he was willing to teach me how to create these miniature trees. He directed me to a night school where all the instruction was in Chinese. My Chinese ability is very ordinary at the least so although I was learning bits and pieces, I really wasn't getting all I wanted from the course. The best parts were when the teacher would start pruning a beautiful tree or when he showed us how to repot a bonsai. The mystery was still out there but my interest wasn't waning, if anything it fueled my motivation to find out more. And so I did.

Let the adventure begin...

Recently I have discovered the joy of pottery. Bonsai and pottery are close friends so it was only a matter of time before I was introduced to her. Welcome to All in One Bonsai...and pottery.

Feel free to visit my site where you can purchase some of my handmade pottery. Quite a few pieces have been wood fired as it is the prefered method here in Taiwan:

Esty Shop: AllinoneCeramics

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Coffee Mugs

The Power of the Bean

One of the life's simple pleasures is enjoying a hot cup of coffee either while with friends or just on your lonesome contemplating nothing.  I shouldn't say nothing - I always have plenty to think about when I drink coffee!  I wish it were nothing.

Coffee is a good drug.  And a good drug deserves to be consumed from a mug that adds to the experience.  These were my thoughts as I went about making some ceramic coffee mugs over the last few weeks.  

Let's start with this little guy.  The glaze is a new one created by some local Taiwanese potters.

Some varying color is always more interesting.

I made the foot bigger this time as it is easier to glaze the mug.  You just pinch the foot ring and dip it in the glaze bucket.  Like magic it gets fired and comes out like this.

I have been attempting to throw different shaped coffee mugs.  This one was an experiment. 

To be honest I have been google searching different shaped mugs and stealing ideas.

A more basic shape.  This was another new glaze - it should look a light green color.  I bought the glaze for some tea pots that I'm making.  This mug was the test.

The color actually looks a little better live.  My camera work definitely needs some improving.  I need to get those shiny parts out.

Same glaze but on a brown clay body.  The brown clay is local Taiwanese clay from an area called Maoli.

I was reasonably happy with the color on this clay.  I love how the varying clay will affect the glaze color.

I had a lot of trouble attaching handles to mugs.  The trick I have learned is clay consistency.  The body and handle needs to have similar mostiure levels to made the union successful.  The other thing I have been doing is not letting the clay dry out too quickly - so I cover the mug in plastic and let it settle for a few days.  This has helped a great deal.

The same glaze as the first picture but on a bigger mug.  The angle of the handle is an interesting aspect to consider.  You can create different moods if you vary this piece.  To evoke a feeling of lightness and cheer, make sure your handles are not droopy.  The top part needs to be directed slightly upwards. 

With this mug I tried to add some more texture interest.  The last thing I wanted the mug to look like was it coming out of a machine.  Having a unique part to a coffee cup makes it a little more personal.

A different angle.

Bottoms up.

This mug is a larger one.  It is a little more solemn.

The lip is opened a little more here - hopefully inviting you to drink.  A mix of two emotions - drink and things will be ok.

I made a few of these mugs for friends.  The larger red one is for a mate I work with at school and the last one is for an old friend who I used to play football with.  Both guys are champions.
Making these mugs is an interesting experience.  First, I was concentrating on making something that is useful but also something that looks good.  A lot of focus went into the technical parts of this (as I am still learning how to move the clay around).  However, the more soulful part went into the thinking about the person who is going to use that mug while I was making it.   It surprised me how much thought goes into making something for someone else.  You imagine what shape and color they may like, you remember things that you have done together, you visulize them drinking from the mug - it goes beyond just the technical.