Instagram@claystickfire
Join My Mailing List
  • Grey Instagram Icon

© 2023 by Arianna Castillo​. Proudly created with Wix.com

Lori Bletsch * Ceramic Artisan

Creating UniQue Objects using ancient techniques

Hi, I'm Lori, also known around the internet as Fair. I'm a Houston based ceramic artist and ocarina maker. My journey with clay began back in 1999 when I first started to carve designs on my husband's ocarinas.We worked together for more than ten years, living on the road and making and selling our handcrafted clay, globular flutes at renaissance fairs and craft shows all over the country. 

Though I started making ocarinas on my own after my husband passed away, design work is my first passion. It's the skill with which I have the most experience and feel the most comfortable with as a maker. Clay, Stick & Fire began as a way for me to expand my work to include objects other than ocarinas. It's almost like a guilty pleasure, an ever expanding project in which I allow my creativity free rein. I'm often drawn to iconic images and ancient techniques, and I enjoy exploring the way symbolism and form meet to add depth and meaning to a functional object.

I specialize in making small, handbuilt and handcarved objects, such as smoke-fired pendants and beads, terracotta diffuser necklaces, and clay stamps. With the exception of the use of an electric kiln--which I prefer over a wood firing for environmental and safety reasons--my process remains as simple and natural as possible. I carve into a local red earthenware clay with few bamboo tools I made myself. Most of my work is finished using a raku firing method, which means I remove it from the kiln while it's still glowing red hot and plunge it into leaves, wood chips, or other organic matter. This gives it a unique, natural coloring without the use of glazes or other chemicals.  Clay, stick, and fire--the technology does't get much simpler!

 Yet the more I work within the confines of these ancient techniques, the more I learn that their simplicity can be deceptive. The methods of our ancestors are closely grounded to the symbolic elements of creation. Its almost a kind of magic when they meet, and I'm not allowed to merely stand back and watch the transformation as it takes place inside a mold or a kiln. I'm right there with my hands in the earth manipulating its form, reaching into the fire with only a stick to protect me from the blaze, and holding my breath as its smoke billows in my face.

 

It's a pretty wild ride.

 

I'm so happy to have you here with me following my journey. Please feel free to sign up for my newsletter below. If you are interested in purchasing my work, you can e-mail me at claystickfire@gmail.com.  I also usually have a few select items up for sale on the Spirit Song Ocarinas website. Thank you for your interest and support! It means so much to me to be able to share my work with the world. 
With love,
Lori

Contact Me

For business and collaboration enquiries please email claystickfire@gmail.com