Ruth hadn’t glazed a pot in what seemed like, forever. He always did that part. Her ‘job’ was the throwing… his, the decorating. Such awards they had received. But he wasn’t helping anymore. She had decided on a simple sgraffito cut through the soft slip. Selecting a chisel ended bamboo for her doctor, she wondered if she was up for the task.
He loved Temmoku, and though she disliked working in stoneware, it seemed only fitting. She had found a glaze he made years ago, before she had insisted they use only porcelain. A near-black, which could break to an iron-red at the right temperature creating a fire-change. A bit of Titanium added as doctor to the process. He would be so pleased.
She had decided on just their marks intertwined with his name, as she pushed through the soft clay. No dates.
There would be comparisons, of course. Ruth didn’t care. This was to be her last work. Her tears would only add to the decoration.
Trifecta Writing Challenge Week Sixty-Six : Write 33 to 333 words using the third definition of the word: DOCTOR (noun) a : material added (as to food) to produce a desired effect ~ b : a blade (as of metal) for spreading a coating or scraping a surface
Temmoku is a type of glaze popular in Japan. It is used on stoneware and is a very complicated process. Sgraffito is a form of decoration, scratching through the surface of a glaze to reveal the clay beneath, or another glaze, before firing.
I named her Ruth to honor my first ceramics teacher, Ruth Rippon. An amazing artist and a wonderful teacher. Nobody but Ruth would glaze her work.
This photo of Ruth in her studio in 1980 was taken by Kurt Fishback. One of her most famous works is called The Lollies, and can be found in Sacramento. I don’t know who took the photo of young Ruth above.