Octopus Jar (Looking for Answers in A Bottle Series)

Lately, I've been going through some emotional changes. At the same time, I seem to be drawn to making clay bottles and jars. I call this phase "Looking for answers in a bottle".


I had a whole series of clay bottles made. They were really lovely. They were lost in a bag wall collapse in a recent wood kiln firing. It was sad, but I luckily I still have a lot of questions on my mind. So look for more bottles from me in the future.

One clay bottle was placed in a different part of the kiln. It survived. I am so very happy about this one!

If you are into totem animals, octopi is said to represent spirituality.

This octopus jar stands about 19 inches high. The mottling on the octopus color is an artistic blend of three different glazes. The suction sections are a creamy white with a blush of pink.

The clay bottle has been treated with oxide stains to create the impression of rust. Computer motherboard style runs adorn the jar. Industrial type hardware suggestions in clay also complement the look.

This clay bottles hints at answers in the abundant white glaze that runs from the lip of the jar.

This is a beautiful piece of ceramic art, and is available for purchase at the Seven Sisters Gallery in Black Mountain, NC.





Pottery Genealogy

The "pottery genealogy" shown here is the way I understand that pottery skills were passed down from Bernard Leach.

A Goat Yarn Bowl

I recently was asked to make a yarn bowl with a goat on it. I thought that was a good idea, (please click READ MORE below) so I agreed to make one.

» Tagged: Goat Yarn Bowl

Why The Yarn Channel Keyhole Is Important

Many people buy yarn bowls by looks alone, unaware of the varied functions a proper yarn bowl serves to the knitter and crocheter. Here is the difference between a right and left handed yarn bowl, and why a properly positioned yarn channel keyhole is important to you.

The yarn channel cut into the side of a yarn bowl is useful for allowing you to place and remove your work-in-progress from the bowl without cutting the yarn. This is great when you want to switch projects, or are taking your project with you on the run.

In most yarn bowls that feature a yarn channel, the end of the yarn channel usually has a channel keyhole, a circular section. This is the location where yarn should leave the bowl to be held and knitted in your hand. When the yarn travels across the low angled keyhole, the keyhole helps smooth out traveling yarn to help promote proper tension.


When a yarn bowl helps to maintain a proper tension, the hands and wrists of a knitter have less stress. This allows for more enjoyable knitting and helps to make more uniform stitches.

Right handed yarn bowl vs Left handed yarn bowl


The angle of a yarn channel keyhole should also accommodate your knitting style to get the best from your bowl. See the image showing the knitting twins.


If a person is a left handed knitter, or a Continental knitter (a right handed person knitting with yarn set to their left side), then they will likely find better enjoyment from a left handed yarn bowl.


Notice the tension keyhole of both bowls in the image to the left. See how the yarn naturally wants to flow from the keyhole to the knitters' hands?

Knitting with the wrong handed bowlNow see in the image to the right how a
wrong-handed-bowl-for-you offers little to no help in maintaining proper tension as the yarn slides around the yarn channel, up and down, as the person knits. The bowl helps the yarn ball stay put, so it is some help, but not as much help as it should be with the tension control.

Getting the right bowl for your style of knitting and/or crocheting is important. It helps you to keep the right tension for your yarn project while helping to reduce some of the stress in your fingers and wrists.

Here's what other people had to say about Cindy Douglass Yarn Bowls.

"Cindy,...The yarn bowl is awesome! helps me keep the tension right." ~Jessica S.

"I sit on the bed and knit.  I was happily surprised that the bowl sits so steadily on the bed.  I don't know how I've lived without one of these for so long!" ~ Bridget M.

"I am absolutely delighted to have this yarn bowl. I never had used one before but am spoiled now and won't crochet without one again! " ~ Maggie B.

"My BEAUTIFUL yarn bowl arrived safe and sound today!!! I've had several yarn bowls over the years and can honestly say that this is BY FAR, not only the most functional but also the most beautiful! A million thank-you's for creating such beautiful & quality crafted tools for us to use and gaze upon! "- Kat S.

I was asked to show this info from the knitter's perspective. So I came up with a quick sketch which I hope helps! 


Rocking Butter Dishes

Rocking Butter DishWell, here’s a little something that I still need to work out. How do I make the air flow evenly around a flat plane of clay? I'm thinking I’ll have to buy yet another item, this time a cookie cooling rack. I think I need to raise up the clay and allow air to circulate around all the surfaces. Hopefully, that will allow the clay dry flat.

Word Cloud Day

I didn't download any apps, so I didn't get to make a very artistic word cloud, but this should do.

Saturday Summary

This week feels like it was pretty productive. Maybe I feel that way because I unloaded a kiln. To see actual items that were once just ideas is pretty exciting.
Photos coming to the store soon!

» Tagged: Saturday Summary

On Being Left Handed

Disclosure: I am left-handed. I throw left-handed on a Brent C pottery wheel.

Lorna Meaden's Work Is A Real Dream

Lorna Meaden tumblerOne of my favorite potters doesn’t care for me. She thinks I'm too odd, too weird. That was the impression I picked up during a weeklong workshop I took from her.  I found her view of me hilarious, since her pots strike me as being filled with whimsical irony.

» Tagged: Lorna Meaden

The Process of Making Mugs

Let me tell you a bit about the process of making mugs for a special order.

Background: The person wanted the names of her grandchildren on a mug for each child. Being left handed myself, I'm a little OCD about wanting to see the name or image when I hold my coffee mug. So when this wonderful lady asked for names on her new cups, I discovered that nearly half of the mugs would be left handed, and some would be in red glaze, while others would be in green glaze. It turned out that I needed a spreadsheet to keep the order on track.

» Tagged: How I make mugs
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