I spent this afternoon doing a shop update, including the new pieces that came out of the kiln this week. A few items were snatched up before I had a chance to list them, but everything else has been listed (well, with the exception of one or two pieces that I missed when I was taking pictures). Check out my new work in my Etsy Shop.
The longest tax season EVER is finally over, so now I can get back into the clay without guilt. I’ve already fired some matte beads, and I’m starting to work on some utilitarian pieces. There are a handful of opportunities presenting themselves to me, and I don’t want to blow it. At any rate, lots of stuff in the sketchbook, just waiting for action.
I’ve been trying to get some jewelry ready to take down to Flowers on the Falls in North Berwick. Here are a few of the pieces that I’ve finished. I also have about a dozen pairs of earrings, but frankly I took the picture the other day when the lighting was LOUSY.
These are the pieces that I’ve already added to my shop. I have many more to photograph and edit, including some bead sets that will include single shank buttons for handmade clasps and such. I was so happy with how this load turned out–nothing touched, and almost everything came out great. I had some issues with the dark blue glaze, but those were the pieces that I glazed at the end of my glazing marathon and I’m wondering if they only received one coat, because the backs of the buttons have some glaze holidays. No worries–just reglaze and fire again. Have a great weekend!
I found a box of white earthenware clay last friday that had hardened up in storage. I broke it down, added hot water, and waited. Once the clumps turned to goo (yes, that’s my technical term for it), I stirred it up and put it in an old plaster slip cast mold. This drew the excess water out of the clay and allowed me to wedge it up.
I wedged it up and then got working. Since Valentine’s Day is drawing near, and I only had one listing with hearts, I decided to get to work and make some new hearts and beads. Time to break out the pretty spring colors!
I’m going to make a few more pendants and some shank buttons this morning, then this load is headed down to the kiln. Now I will spend the rest of the day tending to a sick little boy and stirring up some old glazes.
Cyber Monday Sale
Use coupon code “TURKEYSALE” to receive 25% off your order.
I missed a couple of days of work this week to a migraine, so I will be extending the sale to Wed, Nov 28. I will be shipping orders on Thursday, so if you order over a period of days I will combine shipping on your purchases. Thank you, and Happy Shopping!!
I dropped my son off at vacation bible school fully intending to come up to work on some more clay projects……I came home with a kitten. Who goes to church and comes home with a kitten? I lost my old cat last March and have missed him terribly…..so I was weak.
Do you blame me???
Today we were in a rush to get out of the house, so I decided to start the challenge with Impressions in Soft Clay.
I started by roughing out measurements on a slab of clay. I have not cut through the clay yet–I will do that after the texture has been transferred, as there is usually some stretching of the clay when you impress the texture on it. This particular piece of fabric came off the bottom of a blouse that I LOVED but was ruined. May as well use it for something good….
I’m working on a piece of drywall so that the slab will stiffen up sometime today…
The embroidery made an interesting texture. I think that I might make a roller stamp at some point with the negative texture so that I can get a raised pattern.
Here is the slab all cut out and ready to assemble.
Score and slip the ends so that they won’t come apart in the kiln.
At this point I kind of skipped a step or two. I assembled the slab into a cylinder, and then I created a tripod foot at the bottom by squeezing three points into the base. That’s where we are at here:
I have the bottom wrapped in plastic so that it won’t dry as quickly as the feet. I still needed to shape the top so that it was nice and rounded.
And here it is, stiffening up a little bit before I put a handle on it.
The construction of this piece was based on a video from Ceramic Arts Daily by Sandi Pierantozzi.
The mark of Impressing the clay is a fairly simple decorating method to use in pottery. Because you can use just about any found objects to create texture, this is an excellent technique for beginners who are just making their way in the world of ceramics.
Now, what shall we do tomorrow? (Mental Note: Pack SOFT clay to use tomorrow).
This past week I rented “Making Marks” by Robin Hopper from SmartFlix. I also have the book, but watching the videos really puts the pieces into place. As I was watching it the other night a thought popped into my head: “I would love to try all of these techniques.” A few minutes later: “Well, why the hell not? You have almost everything you need!” In the past I have taught myself all sorts of arts and crafts, including basketry (KILLED my hands, but I could make a basket, I tell ya), decorative painting, jewelry making, and now ceramics.
Yesterday I began to list out all the techniques that I”m going to attempt. There are only a few that I won’t be doing, and they involve the firing process. I’m fairly sure I can’t convince Pete to build me a wood/salt kiln or convert my old broken-down kiln into a reduction or raku kiln (but I do have a book with blueprints for all of these, so never say never). I need to find out if I can do a saggar firing in the electric kiln without ruining my kiln.
I am using the outline of the book and dvd contents as the basis of the challenge. I’ll be using both low fire and mid fire clays in the process, as I want to use what I already have available. I have a ton of low fire slip that seems to be compatible with my low fire soft clays, so I will be using some of that up. I don’t have a time frame in mind for the completion of the challenge, but my son will be at Bible School every morning next week which will give me quite a bit of uninterrupted time to get working. Once school starts in September I have another challenge in mind, but first thing’s first.
The syllabus, if you will:
- Soft Clay Techniques: Filigree, Surface Cutting, Fluting, Cross-Cut Fluting, Sgraffito, and Washed Wax
- Marks of Addition and Impression: Fiber and Paper, Surface Modelling, Sprigging, Surface Impressions, Leaf Impressions, Lino Cut Impressions, Rope Impressions
- Liquid and Colored Clays: Mishima, Hakeme, Onda Ware, Drawing with Slip, Combing, Feathering, Dotting, Marbling, Mocha Diffusion, Neriage, Throwing and Faceting, Fluted Laminates
- Pigments and Resists: Brush Decorating, Drawing with Pigments, Sponge Stamps, Paper Resist, Wax and Latex Resist, Majolica
- Glazes: Brushing, Dipping, Spraying, Multiple Glazes, Overglaze Brushwork
- Firing and Post Firing Techniques: Electric, Saggars(?), Lusters, Decals
It seems like a lot to take on, but I have used many of these techniques already with my jewelry. I’ll repeat them as part of the experiment.
It’s been 14 years since I had a “first day of school” in September, and it feels strange every year when I don’t have one. Honestly, for the most part I loved school and if I were independently wealthy I would probably become a professional student. I suppose that’s another reason I’m doing this challenge, besides the fact that daytime tv SUCKS.
The challenge shall begin on Monday.
Upside down cupcake stand
Flower bowl–glazes already planned for this one.