Thursday, 6 February 2014

Tealights, Hearts and Valentine's

Making pots can be a fiddly process, especially when you start cutting holes into clay. You have to make sure the pots are wet enough not to bend or buckle under the pressure of cutting, but also not too dry or you risk cracking the clay. So when I decided to make these new tealight holders with a cut-out heart motif, I knew I'd be spending a long afternoon muttering to myself!

The hearts were made using a normal heart shaped cookie cutter - and the holes with normal hole cutters. Hole cutters are designed to make holes in clay of course, so they're fairly straightforward to use. But cookie cutters are generally expected to be used on a flat surface, cutting into dough or pastry. To use them on an elevated, curved wall - like a pot - requires a bit of care. But as long as you take time and put even pressure on the cutter whilst supporting the clay at the back, they cut quite cleanly. 

In a perfect world, the heart-shaped leftover cuts-outs could be used for making my double heart decorations (below). I've been making these little hearts for quite a few years now. They're popular as little gifts for people all year round; as gift tags, decorations, keepsakes and love tokens. But unfortunately the leftovers from the tealight holders were just too distorted (after all they'd been through) to re-use; so instead they had to go in the recycling!

But I'm pleased with my new tealight design. You may remember I made an earlier version a few years ago which was essentially the same, except instead it featured a series of different sized round holes. I think this new version with the heart motif gives them a different character: and it's always nice to give customers options. From my point of view it's also good to keep developing an existing design by returning to it and re-freshing it. Then you don't feel like you're making the same thing forever!

Luckily all my new heart motif tealight holders came out of the kiln safe and sound - just in time for me to put them in my Folksy and Etsy shops for Valentine's! Hope you enjoy them.