Ninth Anniversary: Terracotta

November 2022
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.

Of course, this makes two consecutive years of small wabi-sabi vessels, but at least my wife has more places to store the jewelry I've made her for anniversaries past!