A recent New York Times article ('True Blue Stands Out in an Earthy Crowd', Oct. 12, 2012) confirmed my love for the ultramarine-blue, chromium-green color juxtaposition. The article discussed the scarcity of blue coloration in nature and highlighted Pollia Condensata, an African plant thought to be the brightest blue terrestrial object in nature. If I was ever able to create something as beautiful as this first image illustrates, my reason for further ceramic pursuit would cease!
That said, I did compose the latter three images before encountering this magical blue plant. The vessels in image 2 and 4 were photographed against a moss bed in a southern Kyoto temple. The composition in image 3 was captured some four years prior while working with two toxic barium carbonate glazes (precautions taken); one with high percentages of cobalt oxide yielding ultramarine blue, the other containing high concentrations of chromium oxide producing gorgeous acid greens. I was a bit thrilled noticing the similarities between the blue berries of the plant and the round blue vessel in image 2, so inspiring this blog entry.