Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally, I am back in blogland. A lot has happened in the past three months and while I tried to document it, I didn't have enough time for sleep much less for updating my blog.
This first picture is my new studio from about a week ago, round two of making a very large special order for one of my customers. The first time there was a glaze mixing mishap and they all needed to be remade (moral of the story? Test your glaze batch before putting it on an entire month load of work).

But that whole messy business is finished up and in the kiln so what's next on the agenda? Christmas ornaments! I meant to design and make some the last few years but somehow I never get on that bandwagon soon enough for it to matter. So here's attempt batch #1:

They aren't perfect, a bit weighty and I'm not sure how I'm going to finish them, but it's exciting working so small. Never done that before! Next on the agenda? Serveware. I'm thinking cake stands and salt and pepper shakers and gravy boats and butter dishes and long stemmed glasses.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Plates, plates and more plates!

Today was a good day in the studio! It was one of these days where I could just tell I was "on". I was working on plates a for a large order I have that until today was a source of discouragement until today. I am back on track with getting the order done. Everything but 12 bowls are thrown (I can do that next week). Until then, I can focus on my favorite part of the process which is decorating.

I suppose it's my favorite part of my work because I feel like that area of my work is where I am growing most right now. Strangely enough, it is also the part of my work I am the most displeased with. No, that's not quite the right's the part of my work that I see the most weakness in. Floral designs. I have always wanted to cover my pottery with floral designs. I remember the first time I tried this, I was going to Parkland College studying under Chris Berti. I remember, I found a photo in my 500 Cups book that I admired the decoration on. It was a little slip covered piece with some sort of a floral sgraffito design. I tried something similar on a little bowl I made and it was okay. My teacher Chris, who is never one to beat around the bush, took one look at it and told me that my marks were too small. They would get covered with the glaze and that if I really wanted to do a design like that I needed to vary the width of my marks to make them more interesting.

I didn't decorate another pot with florals until I was a Jr in college but when I tried again, those words from Chris stuck with me. Even now, when I look at my current work and try to figure out what it is that bothers me about my sgraffito, its Chris' voice that comes through saying those same words. I know that what it still not "right" about my current work is more than just that, more than line quality or drawing ability. But I don't know what it is or better yet, I don't know how to fix it or even how to explain what I don't like about it.

There my rant for the day. Maybe it was inspired by Don Pilchner's rant but even so I'm not one of those great potters either. I do however think that I can learn a lot about my own work by writing about it like this (which I used to do but somehow got outta the habit). I suppose because like many bloggers, I don't feel like anyone would be interested in reading about me going on about my own work. However, after reading that article (and all it's comments), I felt like sharing my own little story.

Here's an interesting thought: I don't think I have ever been totally happy with any pot I have made. By the time they are finished, there's always something I think I should have done better. Maybe that's what keeps me going back to the wheel or in most my pots, to the drawing board in search of the answer to the problem in my design that Chris pointed out a few years ago.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Testing, testing 1,2,3.....

I just got the all new iPad! This is me testing it out.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yesterday I went for a glorious long hike through a state park near my house. It was perfect! Hiking is something that renews me and boy did I need it after all the hours I've put in lately from getting this show ready on top of working my 50+ hr/week day job. I went on a hunt for spring. And the second I found it (in the form of a flowering tree), my camera died. Go figure. Next time, it will be the sketchbook for me. I need some new ideas.

I think I'm taking next week off from potting partly because my tools haven't arrived yet (remember? I lost my whole tool box) and partly because I want to renew my creative juices. Something about sketching outside helps my ideas grow so tonight as it rains and storms very loudy outside, I've been dreaming of hikes.
Next monday, it's off to Hal Scott Preserve for me. There's a 5 miles trail I have to check out! Well, goodnight all. I have to get up in 4 hours so I really should be getting to sleep.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kiln is done firing! Reached a hard cone 9 and seemed to get some good reduction. Don't have much else to write about. Just excited to see my pots and happy that for better or worse, all the work of it is done. I will post pictures sometime this weekend before I ship them out to NJ on Monday. Sorry for the boring post. I promise more pictures than words next time (don't those seem to be the best anyways?).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The big glazing day was's a few quick shots:

That blue one in front is my new slip color with my new design ideas. I drew a flower pattern and then flipped it and turned it inside out so it's the same pattern but the mirror/inside out image on the four corners (if that makes sense!).

This top shot is just the insides glazed and the bottom picture is the outsides sprayed also. I love spraying the glaze on the outsides because with my carving it gives the pattern a very subtle texture. The insides I prefer to be dipped or poured because when my clear is thicker, it turns slightly blue instead of just being clear. Funny how those little tiny details can make such a difference!

Tomorrow is my firing! And since I'm not actually in charge of firing the kiln, I don't want to be anywhere near the studio. I'm going to Wekiva Springs in a little town outside where I live in Orlando, Fl. I'm gonna bring my I-pod and a book, lay in the sun and relax! If only it was just a little warmer outside I may go for a dip in the springs. The water is 72 year round (it's where the manatees go in the winter) so maybe I will bring my wading shoes!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just finished with all my "wet work" today and thanks to my blowdryer and boxfan, they are all sitting on the bisque shelf ready to be fired off tomorrow.
The last few days have been a bit stressful trying to get all my decorating done. I wasn't behind until Monday when I left the studio with my bag of ceramics tool on the roof of my car. Sadly, they were not there when I got home.

Never realized how much I heart my wire stylus. It is by far my favorite tool! Sorry for the very large graphic, I was too lazy to take a picture of mine (yes, I had to run out and get a new one right away) and this is the only picture I could find online that actually showed the tip clearly enough to see the tool. So anyways, the last two days I had my day job and couldn't get out to Bennet's so I tried to make my own. Theoretically, it seemed like it would be an easy thing to do. Best $2.55 I've spent in a long time!

This weekend will be bisquing and glazing and then next week I will have my glaze firing. Will post some pictures of the finished pieces as soon as I can! Am really excited about some of the new designs I've been doing. Well, cheerio and happy potting!