Ninth Anniversary: Terracotta
Terracotta, 14 karat gold
There are two materials considered traditional for the ninth wedding anniversary: terracotta and willow. Although I avoided the ceramic option last year in favor of bronze, I thought I'd give terracotta a try this year.
Hawai‘i is famous for its iron-rich red dirt, so I sourced some terracotta clay from the island of Kaua‘i to keep it local. Granted, I still hadn't made pottery since elementary school at this point, and I certainly don't have a potter's wheel. Moreover, the only way I have to fire a piece of terracotta is my enameling kiln (which actually turns out to be a good option since terracotta wants a lower temperature) so it had to be small.
I knew that it wasn't going to be the best example of pottery in our house, but I could certainly make it special. After forming this palm-sized pinch pot, I embedded 14K gold dust into the clay on the upper hemisphere of the pot, with a higher density towards the lip. The result looks a little bit like a shower of sparks falling down the sides, and the glitter of the gold against the matte finish of the earthenware form is stunning in person.