Photo Courtesy of: Flickr/Gregory MoineThis year, I want to tamp down my tendency to try and make 50-wowsand different things, and focus on honing two things I enjoy, but don't use enough - stamping and texture. 

Some of my favorite work from my portfolio seems to be pieces that include some sort of surface augmentation. I love chattering, carving and using all manner of conventional (and unconventional) tools to texturize the surface of my work. It brings out hidden personality in glazing and can really transition a fairly traditional form into something that feels like it has history, depth and character. 

Just before the holiday break, I started playing around with some sponge stamping. I was very excited about my finished product (not yet posted). After talking with one of my potter mentors this weekend, I've decided to add some of my own sponge stamps to my arsenal. Literally minutes, with the proper tools

Much like clay stamps - I hate using stamps made by other folks. While they are lovely, the idea of using them to augment my work feels like cheating. I'd rather learn how to make the stamps, then fiddle about in my own space, creating designs from the recesses of my strange imagination. 

I'll likely take one of the designs from some of the mandalas I've painted and see if I can transform them onto the face of a silk sponge. I shopped around and purchased a wood burning kit - I'll share my sponge stamp making results soon.