Robert Serb's Ceramic Creations

Here are thumbnail images of some of my ceramic pieces—click on the image for a larger picture.

     

UPDATES FOR APRIL 2009:

      I'm going back to my old format of categorizing my pieces by their shape and function. I'm also going to remove some of my older pieces to make room for the newer ones--my server space is somewhat limited. But my favorites, or the really nice looking pieces that I'm especially proud of, will remain. Please note that as I add new pieces I'll put them at the top of the appropriate section. That explains why "Blue Casserole dish #5" might appear before blue casserole dishes #1, 2, 3 and 4.
      Because I've expanded my reportoire I've added a couple of sections. Since I've made a bunch of bowls in the last year or so I've made a separate section for them. I've also been making a lot of pieces with lids, so made a separate section for them.



      So What did you want to see?






      CELTIC KNOT PIECES:

As I discuss in my "Ceramics Notes" Section, I've been working on Making Celtic Knot designs--here are some of the results so far:


Celtic knot #10:
Celtic Knot 10

Celtic knot #12:
Celtic Knot 12

Celtic knot #13:
Celtic Knot 13


     

Celtic knot #19:
Celtic Knot 19

Celtic knot #23:
Celtic Knot 23


Celtic knot #17:
Celtic Knot 17

Another look at Celtic knot #17:
Celtic Knot 17b


Celtic knot #18:
Celtic Knot 18

Another look at Celtic knot #18:
Celtic Knot 18b


Celtic knot #22:
Celtic Knot 22

Celtic knot #23:
Celtic Knot 23


Celtic knot #50:
Celtic Knot 50


Celtic knot #51:
Celtic Knot 51

Celtic knot #53:
Celtic Knot 23


Celtic knot #54:
Celtic knot #54

Celtic knot #55:
Celtic Knot 55


Celtic knot #57:
Celtic Knot 57

Celtic knot #59:
Celtic Knot 59


Celtic knot #60:
Celtic Knot 60

Celtic knot #63:
Celtic Knot 63


Celtic knot #64:
Celtic Knot 64

The reverse side of Celtic knot #64:
Celtic Knot 64b


Celtic knot #65:
Celtic Knot 65

Celtic knot #66:
Celtic Knot 66


Reverse side of Celtic knot #67:
Celtic Knot 67b

Celtic knot #68:
Celtic Knot 68


      FYI: The numbers refer to the number of photos I've taken of my pieces, not the number of pieces. I've actually made about 35 Celtic knot pieces all told; not the 70 the numbers would indicate.


      I tried a few Claddagh designs while I was at it:

Claddagh Cup #3:
Claddagh Cup  
#3

Claddagh Cup #4:
Claddagh Cup #4


Claddagh plaque #5:
Claddagh plaque #5







MUGS AND CUPS

      NOTE: Since someone e-mailed me and asked, I should point out that what I call “mugs” have handles while “cups” don’t.

      FACE CUPS:
      For several years I've been experimenting with faces--decorating mugs with noses, eyes, mouths, etc. It's hard to get a sense of them in a two-dimensional picture, but here are some examples:


Face Mug #30
Face mug

Face Mug #31
Face Mug

Face Mug #32
Face Mug


A Green Man Face
Another Artist was making Green Man Plaques
So I gave it a try
Green Man mug

Another look at the Green Man Face
Green Man Mug


Devil Face Mug #5
Sadly, his horns look too much like eyebrows
Devil Face Mug



Face Mug #14
Face Mug #14

Face Mug #11
Face Mug #11


Drink with the Devil mug
Devil Mug #1

Angry Face Mug #2
Angry Face Mug #2


A friend of mine has a mug that she inherited from her father, which she asked me to copy--here are the results:

Grumpy Face Mug #1
Grumpy Face Mug #1

Grumpy Face Mug #2
Grumpy Face Mug #2


Big Mouth Cup
Big mouth cup

A different shot of Big Mouth Cup
Big mouth cup


Face Mug #3
Face Mug #3


Angry Face Mug #1
Angry Face Mug #1

Kiss Mug #1
Face Mug #2


Face Mug #4
Face Mug #4

Face Mug #5
Face Mug #5


Face Mug #6
Face Mug #6

Tongue Mug #3
Tongue Mug #3


Toothy Face
Toothy Face

Face mug #51
Face mug   
#51


Green Man #5:
Green Man #5


Green Man #6:
Green Man #6

A different look at
Green Man #6:
Green Man #6


Vampire Face Mug:
Vampire Face



      SWIRL MUGS AND CUPS:
      I've been playing with "Swirled" forms, in which you throw a straight piece on the wheel, then use your fingers, one inside and two outside, to press in and out while the wheel turns slowly and you draw your fingers up. The result can be lopsided and ugly, or a cool swirl pattern that rises up the piece, depending on the pressure of your fingers and the speed the wheel turns. I’m also trying other swirl designs; I’ve been trying to refine the technique and shape a bit:


Swirl mug #4
Swirl mug #4

Swirl mug #6
Swirl mug #6

Swirled Green Cup
Swirled Green cup

Swirl mug #8
Swirl mug #8


Swirl mug #3
Swirl Mug #3

Swirl mug #4
Swirl Mug #4


Purple swirl mug #1
This is a beautiful glaze
but it runs and tends to glob
at the bottom.
Purple Swirl Mug #1


Swirled Mug #1
Swirled Mug #1

A different look at
Swirled Mug #1
Swirled Mug #1


Swirled Cup #3
Swirled Cup #3


      SHAPED MUGS:
      I’m still playing with different shapes of mugs; lately I’ve made a bunch of swirled mugs that resemble triangles, but which twist as they go up. Here are some examples:



A three-cornered mug
Three cornered mug

A Squarish Mug
Squarish Mug


A three-cornered cup
Three cornered cup

A five-cornered Mug
Five cornered Mug


A yellow and green Mug
I liked this glaze combination
Yellow and Green Mug


Red swirled mug #3
Red Swirled mug

A blue bulbous Mug
Blue Bulbous Mug


A blue swirled mug
Blue Swirled mug

Another look at the blue swirled Mug
Blue Swirled Mug

Triangular Red Mug
Triangular Red Mug


Red swirled mug #4
Red Swirled mug

Yellow swirled Mug
Yellow Swirled Mug


A vine handled mug
Vine Handled mug

Another look at the vine handled Mug
I stuck on a few leaves while I was at it
Vine Handled Mug



Blue Triangular Mug
Blue triangular Mug

Red Triangular Mug
Red triangular Mug





      ANIMAL HANDLES:
      I suppose this was a natural progression from the “People Handle” mugs I made last year. I started messing around trying to shape and carve different handles, then glaze them different colors. The results can be interesting and amusing, though they’re very labor-intensive.



Fish Mug #4:
Fish Mug #4


Dog Handle mug #6
Dog Handle #6

Frog handle Mug #8:
Frog Handle Mug #8


Horse Handle #5:
Horse Handle #5

A different look at
Horse handle #5:
Horse Handle #5


Elephant Handle Mug #1
Elephant Handle

Another look at Elephant Handle Mug #1
Elephant Handle 12b


I had so much fun with the Elephant Handle Mug I had to make another!

Elephant Handle Bowl #1
Elephant Handle

Another look at Elephant Handle bowl #1
Elephant Handle


While I was at it I played with some other new animal shapes

Fish Mug
Fish Handle

Another look at Fish Mug
Fish Handle



Horse Handle mug
Horse Handle Mug

Frog handle mug #2
Frog handle mug #2


Ferret handle mug #1
Ferret handle mug #1

Dog handle mug #2
The glaze ran on this one,
so the handle turned out almost
the same color as the mug
Dog handle mug #2


Deer handle mug #1
Deer handle mug #1

Deer handle mug #2
Deer handle mug #2


With the pointy antlers sticking into your hand
these aren't exactly useful, but they were fun to make.
I was pleased that the antlers didn't "slump" too much
in the firing; though they did twist and bend a bit,
I think that makes them more realistic.


      PEOPLE HANDLES:
      After making faces on mugs, I started trying to make entire bodies; here are some of the results.


Man Handle Mug:
I intended this to seem like someone
was looking into the mug,
but my sister thought it looked like he was barfing!
Man Handle Mug

A different view of Man Handle Mug
Man Handle Mug


Man Handle Mug #2
I liked the first one, so tried it again
Man Handle Mug #2

Man Handle Mug #3
Man Handle Mug #3


Woman Handle Mug #1
I decided not to be sexist
though the skirts made it tough
Woman Handle Mug #1

Woman Handle Mug #2

Woman Handle Mug #2


Legs Handle Mug
The logical conclusion of my people mugs, or so it seemed to me
Legs Handle Mug




      ANATOMIC PIECES:
      Two years ago one of the other artists at the studio made a life-sized cast of her daughter, who was 8 months pregnant at the time. This was such an impressive piece that it led to an ongoing competition among the artists to create anatomically accurate pieces, though thankfully not life-sized. Here are a few of my contributions to the competition:


Boob Cup #3
Boob Cup #3

Boobs Mug #2
Boobs Mug #2


Butt Mug #1
Butt Mug #1


At some point last year Peter commented that my bowls needed better "feet". That's a pottery term for the ring or stilts at the bottom of a piece that support it, keeping it from tipping or wobbling. Since I'm a smart aleck, I took him at his word and made several bowls with carved "feet" sticking out....

Foot Bowl #1
Foot Bowl #1


Boob Mug #30
Boob mug   
#30

boob Mug #31:
Boob Mug #31


Butt mug #30:
Butt mug #30


Boob Mug #32
Boob Mug








      OTHER CUPS AND MUGS:

Vine Handle #6
Vine Handle #6


Tree Mug #3
Tree mug


Pink Cup
This was a red glaze experiment
that wasn't quite red
Pink Cup


      Here are a couple of mugs where I was playing with the yellow and chocolate glazes that I’ve gotten to like lately:


Yellow and chocolate mug
mug yellow temoku 3

Yellow and chocolate stein
Yellow and chocolate stein




Mixed Clay mug #1
You can read the discussion of my "Mixed Clay"
techniques in the "Ceramics Notes" section
Mixed Clay Mug #1

Autumn Tree Cup--This is a part of a series
of cups I've been working on, with carved trees
showing the 4 seasons.
Autumn Tree



Celtic Ribbon Mug--This was a difficult piece to carve
Celtic Ribbon Mug

A different view of Celtic Ribbon Mug
Celtic Ribbon Mug


Lizard Handle Mug
Lizard Handle Mug

A different view of Lizard Handle Mug
Lizard Handle Mug



2 grooved cups
Two Grooved Cups

Another Mug carved with a tree
Tree Mug #3


Mug with Coaster
I made the mug first, then a coaster to match it

Cup with Coaster #1

Mug sitting on coaster
Cup with Coaster #1

When the mug is full of hot coffee
the coaster can be used as a lid
to keep your drink warm
Cup with Coaster #1


      SPATTERED STEINS
      I've also experimented with glaze "spattering" in which different colors of glazes are airbrushed onto a piece--the results can be very different, as you can see here--all these pieces were coated with a base glaze of matte white, then airbrushed with the same color glazes, yet all turned out very different.


Spatter Stein #5
Spatter Stein #5

Spatter Stein #1
Spatter Stein #1


Spatter Stein #2
Spatter Stein #2


Spatter Stein #3
Spatter Stein #3


      WINE GOBLETS:
      I've tried to make a number of goblets and wine glasses, and found it very challenging; because of the narrow foot and stem they often sag or deform during the drying and firing--but here are a couple of my successes:

Three Goblets
These were quite a challenge,
since the bowls and stems were thrown
separately, then joined together
Three Goblets

Purple Goblet
This was an experiment
with a new type of red glaze;
it worked well on my testing tiles,
but turned purple on the goblet
Purple Goblet




A Plum-glazed Wine Goblet
Plum Goblet



      Back to Top of Page




BOWLS


      BIG BOWLS:
      I consider any bowl over 10 inches in diameter to be a "Big Bowl"; some of them have been as much as 24" across. Lou Perozzi, one of my instructors, actually has a custom-made wheel bat that allows him to throw bowls and platters that are up to 4 feet across.

Big Blue Bowl #31
This one is about 16 inches across
Big Blue Bowl #31


Big Red Bowl #30
I scattered blue glass shards
in this bowl, which melted
and spread over the bottom.
Big Red Bowl #30

Another view of Big Red Bowl #30
It's about 24 inches across
Big Red Bowl #30


Butterscotch Bowl
I glazed this bowl yellow, then sprayed chocolate brown over it.
Sometimes that works nicely, other times the glazes repel each other
and crack or glob up during the firing.
Butterscotch Bowl


Big Bowl--this one is actually 2 feet wide
It's tough to make such a large piece
and not have it crack during
the drying and firing
Big Bowl




      BOWLS WITH GLASS:
      I keep trying the technique of scattering glass shards in the bottom of bowls before firing. In addition I've also tried a technique I’d read about, of taking a wet piece and rolling it in a layer of crushed glass, so the glass sticks to the clay. Then during the firing the glass would melt and dribble a bit, running down the sides of the piece. It sounded good, and the pictures in the book looked nice, so I tried it.
      Unfortunately, I suspect the book should have said something about medium range firings; our firings go up to cone 12, much too high a temperature. The glass liquefied and ran to the bottom, and I was left with a cup that had gouges and holes in it where the glass had melted away, and a broad, thin glass rim at the very bottom.
      For now, I’ve resolved to stick to putting glass inside a piece; then when the glass melts it’ll just spread out across the bottom of the bowl.


Yellow Bowl with green glass shards
Yellow Bowl with Green Glass

A different Yellow Bowl with green glass
Yellow bowl with green glass #2




Green Bowl with glass shards
Green Bowl with glass shards

Another Look at Green Bowl with glass
Green Bowl with glass shards




      SHAPED BOWLS:
      I've been working a lot on different shapes and designs of bowls over the last year--for more details take a look at my "Ceramics Notes" Section here or by clicking on the link to the left.
      Here are some of the shaped and sculpted bowls I've made:


Rose bowl #4:
Rose Bowl #4


Rat Bowl #6
Since I had a pink glaze
I tried to make his ears pink
Rat Bowl

Another Look at Rat Bowl #6
Rat Bowl


Rat Bowl #7
I made another one,
but his ears turned white
Rat Bowl


Rose Bowl
Sadly, the pink didn't turn out that well
Rose Bowl with glass shards


Green Stemmed Bowl
Green Stemmed Bowl

Pink spoonrest
pink spoonrest




Here’s a heart shaped bowl. What would be the point of such a bowl, you may ask? Why, to keep your spoon from rolling around when you’re carrying your bowl to the table, of course.

Heart Bowl

Heart bowl



And a few other weirdly shaped bowls:

Rope rim bowl #4
Rope Rim Bowl #4


Swirled bowl #5 Swirled bowl 5

Swirled bowl #6 Swirled bowl #6



Three-cornered bowl #5
Three cornered bowl #5


Three-cornered bowl #6
Three cornered bowl #6

A different view of Three-cornered bowl #6
Three-cornered bowl #6


Fluted bowl
Fluted bowl

A different view of the Fluted bowl
Fluted bowl


Two Three-cornered bowls
Three cornered bowls

A different view of the Three-cornered bowls
Three-cornered bowls


Two more Three-cornered bowls
Three cornered bowls

A different view of those last Three-cornered bowls
Three-cornered bowls



Shaped bowls #1
Shaped Bowls #1

Shaped bowls #2
Shaped bowls #2



Triangle bowl #1
Triangle bowl #1


Rat bowl #1
Rat bowl #1

Rat bowl #2
Rat bowl #2



Square Bowl #1--I'm pleased with this
I glazed it white, then dipped it again
in a temoku (chocolate)
colored glaze--I like it!
Square Bowl #1


World Bowl--I carved this one
with the continents, though it's not
quite accurate, or to scale!
World Bowl front

World Bowl back
World Bowl back


      OTHER BOWLS:

      Here are some plainer bowls in which I was trying out some different glazing techniques; I’ve really gotten to like the yellow glaze lately, and have been trying it with different other glaze combinations.


Red and Yellow Bowl Red & Yellow Bowl #2

Yellow Bowl with chocolate Edge Yellow Bowl with chocolate edge


Another Yellow Bowl with chocolate edge Yellow Bowl with chocolate edge #2


Blue Crystal Bowl #1
Crystal glazes have added mineral elements
like mica, which create a neat effect
Blue Crystal Bowl #1

Blue Crystal Bowl #2
Blue Crystal Bowl #2


Red and Blue Bowl
Red and Blue Bowl


Soup Bowls with handles
A friend asked me to make soup bowls with handles
so she could make Onion soup with cheese
melted under the broiler.
Soup Bowls



      Back to Top of Page






PLATES, PLATTERS, PITCHERS AND VASES



      PLATES:
      Plates are actually difficult to make, because any flat thin piece is liable to warp or grow distorted during the drying and firing process. I tried to decorate my plates by dipping them into different colored glazes--I didn't want my work to look like it was bought at Target!


Temoku Platter #3 Temoku Platter #3


Blue Platter
It's a large plate, about
20 inches across
Blue Platter

Red Platter
This one is about 17 inches across
Red platter


Red plate with blue edge
Red Plate with blue edge

Blue plate with black edge
Blue plate with black edge


This was a bizarre experiment,
in which I dipped all 4 sides
of a plate in different glazes;
it didn't work out as I wanted.
Weird Plate


Saucer #1
Saucer #1

Blue and Red plate with black squiggles
Blue and Red Plate with black squiggles


Spatter plate #1
I tried the spatter-glaze technique
that I've used on some of my steins
on this plate.
Spatter Plate

      PITCHERS:
      I haven't had much luck making pitchers, except for a few short creamer-type ones. They tend to end up either too small and short to be useful, or if they're tall enough to hold a fair amount then they're so thick and heavy that if you filled them with liquid you couldn't pick them up. But I have managed to make a couple of decent, thin (and therefore lighter) pitchers.

Blue Pitcher
Blue Pitcher

Red Pitcher
Red Pitcher


      BEADED VASES:
      In past years I’d made several grooved vases that my friend Li Raven decorated with beads. But then we lost touch and I decided that I could do it myself, and made several more vases with grooves. Here are two simple vases that I beaded last summer:

Beaded Vase #5
Beaded Vase #5


Beaded Vase #6
Beaded Vase #6

Another look at Beaded Vase #6
Beaded Vase #6


Beaded Vase #1
I made this vase with grooves cut into it
and my friend Li Raven beaded it.
Beaded Vase #1

Another Vase I made that Li beaded
Beaded Vase #2


A third Vase I made that Li beaded
Beaded Vase #3


      OTHER VASES:
      Vases, being tall, have given me a lot of trouble; see the "Ceramics Notes" Section for a full discussion of the problems and challenges of throwing tall pieces.


Black Vase with curves
Black Vase

Blue Vase
Blue Vase


Red and Black Vase
Red and Black Vase

Red and Blue Vase
Red and Blue Vase


Swirled Vase
This was an example of a piece
twisting and warping while I was throwing it
Swirl Vase

Tall vase #1
This piece was 16 inches tall
about as tall as I've been able to throw
Tall vase #1



A Bud vase with ceramic flowers
I made about 20 flowers
most of which broke or sagged during firing
Bud Vase and Roses


Some of the droopy flowers
Droopy Roses


Crumpled Vase--this piece
actually fell on the ground while
I was carrying it to the kiln, so got
deformed, but still holds water...
I think it's kind of cool.
Crumple Vase