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Paul Day is a British sculptor. His high-relief sculptures are made in terracotta, resin, and bronze. He has spent over twenty years developing a highly personal approach to figurative sculpture with a particular interest in representing the figure in architectural space using high-relief, an art form that combines drawn composition and fully rounded sculpture.

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BIRCH MUG / TANNER GOODS

A modern variation of a classic silhouette, this shape is designed for your favorite caffeinated morning beverage, whether that’s coffee or tea. The vessel holds 12 oz. of liquid, with an elegant handle and tapered foot that’s stable, even when you’re not. Like us, Mazama is focused on making lasting items, here in the US, which fit into the ritual moments of our days, like a great cup of coffee, a craft beer or some well-chosen liquor. So we’ve teamed up with them for a special edition of three Mazama pieces that reflect how we’d like to be drinking these days.  

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Syrian Terracotta ‘Conestoga’ Covered Wagons, c. 2000-1600 BC


These simple ceramic vehicles reflect the distinctive moment when men first used domesticated animals to draw wheeled vehicles, thus beginning powered transport on land.  Probably drawn by a pair of bovids, these wagon models may have been intended for cult use, or as grave gifts, to be left in shrines, sacred caches, or tombs. Although drawings of wheeled vehicles occur all over Eurasia, this seminal development in human culture probably originated in Mesopotamia or the Russian Steppes in the late 3rd millennium BC.

Mycenaean  Terracotta Octopus Goblet, 13th century BC

The Mycenaeans, like the Minoans, painted a wide range of sea creatures on their pottery, especially octopuses. Over time, Mycenaean artists produced ever simpler and more abstract depictions of octopuses.

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Garden Irrigation with Ollas

Ollas are an unglazed terracotta vessel that traditionally resembles a bulbous vase with a tight neck. The vessel is filled with water then buried in the soil. The water slowly and gently releases through the porous clay to hydrate the plant.

Super bummed out we couldn’t find a pottery studio to make our own, so I’m experimenting with some ~8in high terracotta pots that should serve the same purpose. Protip: reuse wine corks to plug up the drainage hole. I bought matching lids to cover the pots to prevent mosquito infestations and reduce evaporation.

So far so good. I’m only testing on the gardening box that receives the most intense amount of sunlight. The water levels were almost completely drained at 7 days with temperature ranging for 30F to 60F in the past week. I’m sure the water level will go faster in the summer, but at least this means I can take a few days of vacation and not panic. The drawback to my vessels is that it does take away a bit of surface planting space.

I’ll probably do an update this summer to see how things hold up!

Ears of Ancient Chinese Terra-Cotta Warriors Offer Clues to Their Creation

China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, was a man haunted by death.

In 246 B.C. the adolescent ruler commissioned a massive tomb furnished with everything he’d need for the next life, including an entire army of life-size terracotta warriors, from mighty generals to humble infantrymen. Arranged in battle formation in pits near the emperor’s tomb, the clay army stood watch for more than 2,000 years. Then, in 1974, local farmers rediscovered the site while digging a well.

Since then, archaeologists have puzzled over how ancient artisans produced the estimated 7,000 lifelike clay soldiers, right down to their stylish goatees and plaits of braided hair. Some have suggested that the statues were modeled after real, individual soldiers; others think they were assembled from standard clay ears, noses, and mouths, similar to the Mr. Potato Head toy. Read more.