Buh-bye, Succulents

succulents

After struggling all winter and spring to keep my succulents alive (note: not thriving but surviving), I finally gave up and placed an ad on a neighborhood bloody thing offering them for $5 to $10 each.  Several neighbors took me up on the offer but there were still about 40 – 50 succulents left.

Next, I called a local charity group to see if they would take a donation of live plants, hoping to keep them alive until they were picked-up.  Yes!!  They would!!

About a week after my call, their truck showed up; the plants went into the truck and were taken away.  In fact, the truck driver was fascinated with the plants and several may end up with him.  Hope the rest have found good homes where they can be loved, appreciated and grow.

What Else?

This piece was built specifically for an exhibition at the Dallas Public Library.  It’s an open exhibition which means: just show up with your piece (I think).  The theme is “Reading to My Friends.”

Okay … so, the piece is built and red iron oxide was added when it was bone dry.  Then fired to cone 05.  Question is:  What else?  Do I add some underglaze and/or glaze and fire again?  Or do I just add clear shoe polish and buff it?

Decided to add some underglaze and dark highlighter.  Now, it’s back in the kiln, going to cone 5.   Also in the kiln is a test piece with low-fire clear underglaze and some crystals.  Thinking about adding those and firing again once this firing is finished.

So Excited!!

About the middle of June, I entered a juried competition to (hopefully) be included in the Creative Arts Center of Dallas member’s exhibition.   July 13th arrived.  The selection emails were sent and …

I received two emails.  The first said, “Thanks for entering.  You weren’t selected.”  The second said, “Congratulations!  Your piece was selected for the exhibition.”  I was confused because I only entered one piece.  How could it be rejected and accepted??

Then it dawned on me:  I submitted three photos of the piece.  And, although the piece was accepted, they had to accept one photo and reject the other two.  WHEW!!

Today, I delivered the piece, Mystic Dreams, to the gallery and am planning to attend the opening reception next week.

Glaze & Texture Experiments

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 ….

0709_kiln

 

Yes … It Can Be Done

studio

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.

Stick a Fork in It …

… 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.

 

Sculpture #1 of ???

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!