Building Decals

This past summer I’ve been a busy bee. One mini project I’ve been working on was designing a series of decals that represented the inspiring buildings of Rosendale. As I drove to my internship through the town, I was in awe of the architecture and adornment. So, I sat outside of a few buildings and sketched them. I traced them over with ink and made them into ceramic decals. Yeay!


The Perfect Pair

This summer I had the opportunity to work collaboratively on a project commissioned by Women’s Studio Workshop. Not only was I excited about the project, but I was even more thrilled about who I was working with. Shannon O’Leary is a dear friend of mine who is known for her proficiency in mold making and slip casting. We were asked to create a series of mugs for WSW, who was in need of a studio mug makeover. Shannon and I put our heads together to combine our interests and discovered a way to link the two together. Our concerted effort paid off when we designed a collection of mugs inspired by different design eras that spoke directly to interior and exterior ornamentation. We came to this determination by simply combining our interests: Shannon’s love of interior decorating and my obsession with architecture and exterior adornment. We produced three different forms and handles that resembled each of the design eras: Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Victorian. Our surface design was complex and involved multiple layers. We used slips, glazes and decals. Shannon and I made all decals in the silkscreen studio at WSW. It was a unique process that we both enjoyed and agreed that without those decal images our mugs just wouldn’t be the same!

Check out more photos of the mug collection in my portfolio!

Peony Tulipiere

Only a hand full of garden plants go back in time as far as peonies. They’re ancient flowers with an extremely rich history. They’ve been used and cultivated for thousands of years in China and they’ve also played a part in Greek mythology. Peonies received their name from a Greek pupil of Asclepius, who is the Greek god of medicine and healing. Rumor has it that Zeus saved the pupil, Paeon, from Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower. However, all mythology aside, peonies have long been acknowledged for its medicinal qualities. This beautiful plant is used to alleviate a variety of ailments because their roots, flowers and seeds which are used to make medicine. The peony is still used to treat modern day illnesses, but one ancient belief stuck with me, the flower’s ability to alleviate toothaches. While doing some research, to my surprise, I’ve discovered that Chinese peony mouthwash is for sale on the internet. They peony root posses anti-inflammatory qualities and is one of the most important herbs in Oriental medicine. Learning about the peony and all of its rich history has influenced me to make a tulipiere. Formally I wanted my tulipiere to mimic the shape of a molar, hence the root like protrusions stemming from the body or “tooth”. The peony is more than just a beautiful flower and deserves a dignified “vase” to embrace it.

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This Semester’s Work

The semester is over and I finally have time to blog again. I’ve photographed a good portion of my work to share, hope you enjoy!

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Binnewater Lane

On Tuesday, Shannon and I went to Rosendale to visit the Women’s Studio Workshop. Driving through the town I saw many beautiful old buildings that were brightly colored and decorated with lovely Victorian features. We somehow managed to get slightly lost but found Binnewater Lane and arrived on time. At WS Workshop we met with Ruth and she was kind enough to give us a tour of the studios. It is a charming place where you will find friendly artists busy at work in each and every room. The house has an antiquated feel to it as you walk through and hear the wood floors crackling underneath your feet. I saw an antique printing press, old-fashioned oilcan, and a freshly baked pie sitting on a paper cutter. The ceramics studio is tucked away in the basement of the house. I am excited to say I will be doing an internship there this summer! I look forward to it.

After Shannon and I left WS Workshop we decided to visit Roos. It’s a bright gallery with high ceilings and an amiable owner, Heige. She gave us samples of the most delicious jam and crackers. The current show on display is called use (n.) use (v.) curated by Melissa Halvorson & Christina Osburn. Not much ceramics in the show but if you have some time it’s always nice to look at art, plus you get a piece of origami paper that instructs you how to make a box, which you can take home as a little souvenir.

Glaze Tests: Round II

I’m doing another round of testing, except this time on a new clay body. The translucent porcelain I’ve used before was a really nice clay, a little short, but most of my glaze tests crazed. I found out how to doctor a glaze to prevent crazing but I’d like to try another clay body, which is called vitreous porcelain. I’m using some new glazes and some old ones. It will be interesting to see how they turn out on this new clay body. Stay tuned.

New Technique, New Casualty



So, I’ve recently experimented with a new technique. I’ll let you know how things turn out.

Quatrefoil Cup Basket

Here is a few photos of my latest wheel class assignment, nesting forms. I decided to make a quatrefoil basket, and make four tumblers to fit snug inside. I made stamps to design the surface and again repeat the quatrefoil shape. It would be perfect for some summertime tea… or beer!


"Fork what you think, I do what I want!"


a study of rectangles

SUNY New Paltz Ceramics

An Educational Resource Companion


Spring 2013

Bri Murphy

Artist, Maker