One reason I like making bowls for Empty Bowls every year is the opportunity to loosen up a little. I'm not tied to a particular size, shape or pattern, so I can experiment. Stretch my wings. At least twice I've changed design details in my production bowls from these experiments, and both the Frog and Bear bowls first started as Empty Bowl patterns.
As did our newest pattern. There was always an overgrown patch between the gardens and orchard, back on the farm, that grew all manner of what we'd probably call wildflowers now. Back then they were weeds. Queen Anne's Lace. Goldenrod. Canada and Bull Thistle. And Milkweed.
I loved milkweed. I loved the sticky sap and the flowers and the odd, almost alien pod-people seed case that popped open to release a myriad of silk-tipped seeds. Best of all were the rare times when we found a jade and gold translucent chrysalis hanging from under a leaf. With time and careful observation we might be lucky enough to see a Monarch Butterfly break out of the case, slowly inflate its wings, and flutter away.
To land on my new favorite soup bowls. And a few baking dishes, batter bowls. Who knows? Maybe we'll eventually make French Butter(fly) Dishes...