Apr 082011

I constructed this lamp as an example for my Kapaa Middle School students, who are building coiled vessels that incorporate an animal or sea creature. I used an octopus (locally referred to as “Tako”) as my example to demonstrate how the tentacles could be interwoven and entwined within the coil design. I wanted my octopus to blend in with my coil pot in the same way that real Octopus are able to camouflage themselves against the reef.

 Posted by at 3:52 pm

  8 Responses to “Ceramic Coil Lamp”

  1. Wow! It’s beautiful. Dó you use score and slip?

  2. Scoring and slipping helps to secure the coils together and add strength to avoid cracking during the firing process.

  3. This is truly wonderful. but it raises so many questions in my mind. Did you hand roll each coil ? Was there a structure you built your shape on first? Or was it simply balanced while you were making it?

    So awesome!

  4. Thank you Derek! To answer your questions, yes I rolled and placed each coil individually by hand. There was no structure or armature… I simply began from the base and stacked the coils one-on-top-of-another with care to create the form I had in mind. The octopus was sculpted and added after the “vase form” was complete. As I mentioned in response to Tina’s question, scoring and slipping is the method of attaching each coil.

  5. Hi Julia,
    Simply beautiful. Can you offer any affordable suggestions and tips for turning a coil vessel into a lamp?
    Happy New Year, how lucky your students are to have you as their teacher!

  6. Thank you Joslyn! Lamp kits can be purchased in many sizes for very little money at most hardware stores. When I made my coil vessel I already had the lamp parts and built it with the size in mind (taking into consideration how much it would shrink when fired). If you are making a lamp out of something that is already glaze-fired, then you can just select a lamp kit that fits what you have and drill a hole for the cord. I found a large cork to plug the top opening and hold the lamp rod in place. I’m happy to share more specifics if you have any further questions. Happy New Year!

  7. I have been creating coils for years but have always smoothed out the inside, outside or both to ensure the coils do not separate. How did you manage to keep the coils together without smoothing?

  8. Smoothing definitely adds strength to your coil connections, but scoring and slipping will also hold them together. The vessel will be more delicate up until the glaze firing, but if each coil is secured by scoring and slipping, then it should hold nicely.

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