One reason that I was able to clean & organize the studio is that all the current work was in the kiln being fired. And this is the result of the firing.
Overall, I’m pretty happy (i.e., thrilled) with the texture and the glaze layering. One idea lead to another and voila ….
Much of the time, my studio reflects a “work in progress” and isn’t the cleanest or neatest place. I tend to spread out and use all the space available. And, after a month or so of creating flower pots and finishing up the sculpture, the studio was a wreck!
I spent several days cleaning and organizing. I didn’t really have a place for my most-used tools; they were usually scattered all over the work space. Luckily, I found these cute little wire-mesh containers at Target … for $1 each. Such a deal!!! Such inspiration!!!
Now, with a semi-clean (is a pottery studio every completely clean?) and organized space, I’m ready to create more.
… and call it done. Pictures after final firing of Sculpture 1.
The first firing was just too dark and “toasty” looking for what I had in mind. The second firing, with additional glazes, was even worse. So bad, in fact, that I didn’t even take pictures of it.
Instead, I ran to my computer and looked for some glazes that might work. And for the most part, they did. Colors are much better, brighter and more even.
I’ve loved every step of the learning process and will definitely be trying more sculptures.
In April, I went to Tucson, AZ, to take a figure sculpting workshop with Mary Susan Cate. It was a fabulous 4 days in her studio along with 5 other students. I learned a unique way to build armatures using straws, pool noodles and newspaper. Mary described her processes for drying, glazing and firing our figures.
Naturally, 4 days weren’t nearly enough to build my figure, glaze and fire it. Again, Mary to the rescue!! She explained how to wrap and pack the figure so it could travel. And, I checked it through as baggage on the plane.
Now … several months later, the figure was finally refined, glazed and fired. I’m totally amazed that she looks this good and didn’t break in the firing. There is still a lot of touch up work and extra firings in store for her. But, so far …. so good!
Last week, I decided to move one of the ceramic totem poles into a bare spot at the front of the house. So, I carefully took it apart; carried the individual pieces to the front and finally carried the pole to the front and reassembled it.
About 10 minutes later, S.O. and I went to look at it. OUCH!! The totem pole had tumbled over and at least half the pieces were broken. Nothing to do but toss those into the trash and start over.
Next day, I pulled the pole & concrete base out of the plastic pot and “planted” the concrete in the ground. Then it was time to reassemble the totem. Fortunately, there were enough pieces of “totems in progress” to rebuild. It’s not quite the same but I still kinda like it.
The pots are finished and packed and ready to go over to the nursery in the morning. I’m such a novice at this that, while I took pictures and documented what’s in each box, I didn’t make a list of the pots and their sizes and how much I should get for each one.
Oh well … live and learn. Fingers crossed that all goes well tomorrow.
About a month ago, my buddy and I visited a local nursery that sells a lot of cacti and succulents. We showed them some of my pots and, while they were interested, they wanted some in certain sizes and certain styles.
So …. for the past several weeks, I’ve been making planter pots. And, because the weather has been so wet, they’ve taken f-o-r-e-v-e-r to dry. Then, some of the glazes turned out weird and I ran out of one of the wonderful glazes.
Here, though, is the first batch … photographed and packed up. There are still about 15 or so pots waiting to be glazed and fired. Then, we’ll go back to the nursery and (fingers crossed), they’ll love the pots and so will their clientele.
Part of the fun of working with clay is experimenting with various textures and procedures.
This tile is a semi-successful experiment. I had some cardboard with a waffle texture and wondered what would happen if I added it to a flat tile. Naturally, the cardboard would burn out in the bisque firing but, if the waffle pattern was coated with with slip before firing it, what would happen??
Well, the waffle pattern was saved but it’s very delicate in the bisque state. So, I quickly added some glaze on top of the waffle pieces and then sprayed glaze on the tile. In fact, the glaze helped the waffle pieces adhere to the tile. This is what it looks like after being fired to cone 5.
About a year ago, I fell in love with succulents and cacti. The sheer variety is amazing. The more I bought and collected, the more pots I needed. Thank goodness, I happened to have a large supply of clay in the studio.
So, I started making pots for the plants. I made big pots and small pots, glazed them and settled the plants into my pots. For the most part, they seem to like the custom made pots and are rewarding me with new growth and offshoots.
Happy plants … happy pots … it’s all wonderful!
Finally decided it’s time to post some of my pottery/ceramic work beginning with these butterfly tiles. The images came from a couple of rubber stamps that I have. And, yes, it’s possible to use rubber stamps on clay.
The hard part was letting them dry a bit and then painting the details with underglaze. Then came the harrowing part of bisque firing them and hoping that they didn’t crack. Fortunately, they didn’t.
They were finished in a rake firing using a clear crackle glaze. Then, I added hangers on the back of them so they could be used on the wall.
They’ve both been sold and I hope their new owners are enjoying them.