Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Beads at ETSY Store

These are for sale at: http://nkpdesigns.etsy.com

The yucca brush used to apply this glaze is incredibly tiny.
You can take a look at it by going: http://nkpdesignsbeads.blogspot.com/2007/05/cat-tongue-yucca-brush.html

To make the brush, I soaked the frond in water for a few days, then scraped off the pulp with knife. This was an experiment that I wanted to try since reading a book called, "Talking With The Clay", The Art of Pueblo Pottery by Stephen Trimble. I didn't want to chew on the plant, because I'm positive that "yuck" in any language means the same thing. In any event, I googled, "How to make a yucca paintbrush".Google had the answer. Google ALWAYS has the answer! And so a brush (and a bead) was born.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fresh Out of the Kiln

The pattern off this pot was derived from an old Swedish pattern that I found in a book. If the pot is held from the bottom the 'petals' would look like petals, well, sorta. As it is they look like highly decorated surfboards. Holds 16 oz.

This is a randomly decorated pot. There are a few brushstrokes that were made with the yucca brush I described in previous posts.

Holds 14 oz.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Kiln Opening

These two lovelies came out of the kiln yesterday. My family agreed they were both keepers and so I'm keeping them. I love this glaze combination and how it interacts on this particular clay body. About an hour after the kiln shut off, I plugged the holes in the kiln and allowed the pots to soak. It made for some interesting crystallization on the lid and a couple of places on the body.

I'd read about this technique before and ideally I would want to unplug the holes after an hour or so and let it cool down faster ... but I didn't feel like getting up at 3 am so I left the plugs in and went to sleep. Experimenting is fun!

The history of this particular pot can be found here: http://nkpdesigns.blogspot.com/2007/03/whole-batch.html . It's just the right size for a couple of medium sized onions and a few bulbs of garlic. This is the first time I've combined a couple of pieces I've thrown on the wheel. I'm finally finding time to experiment a bit more.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Handpainted Bead

This is a bead that I painted with the Yucca Brush I made. The bead is fired to Cone 6 and came out of the kiln this morning with a few others which I will post soon. This particular bead is 20 mm.

Textured Pendant

I'd like y'all to meet my maine coon cat, Harvey. Harvey was in one of those cat cuddle moods and kept crawling on my back, up my shoulders, and around my lap as I was attempting to photo some of my newest beads and pendants. Maine Coons are quite demanding and if you've ever had one or have one you know what I mean. I was lucky to get this one pendant shot before he noticed me sitting in the patch of sun near the window.

This is a cone 6 glaze on a stoneware clay body. It's been stamped for texture. The hole is quite small as the glaze settled into the hole during the firing.

And here is the back.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cat Tongue Yucca Brush

Yesterday I glazed using a teensy tiny 'cat tongue' shaped brush that I made out of a small yucca frond (I soaked the frond in water for a few days, then scraped off the pulp with knife ). This was an experiment that I wanted to try since reading a book called, "Talking With The Clay", The Art of Pueblo Pottery by Stephen Trimble. I felt like jumping up and down, "It Works It Works". I didn't want to chew on the yucca as suggested in the book but I googled "making a brush out of yucca plant" and found the suggestion on soaking it instead of chewing it. (ick)

After some are fired, I'll post a photo here. I'll have to take a better photo of this brush, too.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

1200 Bisqued Beads

Ever wonder what 1200 beads all piled up looked like? I've been working steadily getting up the inventory and these go in the kiln on Friday. Here are 12 textures, 4 sizes ... I did about 50 a day for almost a month.
My goal is to get 200 of each texture and size into stock. That will be almost 10,000 beads! Right now I have about 25 of each texture in every size in stock. Rolling Rolling Rolling!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Just Playing Around

I had fun making examples of what can be done with bisqued beads, but I am left with some beads. So I made a couple more beads and strung a couple of bracelets. The pinks have three mother-of-pearls disks between each.

The golds have Faceted Austrian Lemon Crystals between each.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ceramic Bisque Art Bead Examples

I updated my Bisqued Beads webpage today (http://nkpdesigns.com/bisquedbeads.html) because I wanted to show some more examples of what can be done with bisqued beads.

Foam Paint is amazing. It comes with an application tip. This bead was first coated with rings of pink foam paint then smoothed with an index finger. Next raised dots were applied. Afterwards, small googly eyes were easily attached. This stuff adheres better things than glue, yet it is non-toxic.

I covered this bead with a blue watercolor, then took Scotch tape and lightly dabbed the surface. Then I covered it with a glossy sealer. It ended up with an attractive blue jean texture.

Apply small stickers of any type. Apply 1-3 coats of clear sealer.

This is also an example of colorful stickers that have been covered with clear sealer.

I used candy wrapper foil on these beads. It is thin and, of course, first you get to eat the candy bar. Put glue on bead and a bit on the foil. Wrap around bead until smooth. Let dry for 1-2 minutes. Apply 1 to 3 coats of clear sealer. This takes a while to dry between coats. I prefer 3 coats.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lesson for the Day

Today I sat down at the wheel to begin trimming. About a week ago I had wrapped up some of the pots I had thrown with plastic. Two days ago I had noticed they had dried out almost past the leather hard stage so I wrapped them with damp paper towels. Today they are just right for trimming.

I just finished and the room is still swirling around me. It's like when you go to the beach and you look down at the incoming foamy waves and the outgoing foamy waves and suddenly you are zooming backward. Yeah, that's what it's like when you forget to look up from the wheel for such a long time.

I turned off the wheel and thought, "Wait ... I just turned off the wheel." The wheel still looked like it was spinning but soon I realized the pot was was not moving ... just the room.

It's just a minor annoyance in the wonderful life as a potter -- one I'm willing to deal with from time to time. I'll remember to look up more often next time I'm trimming. Usually I do, but one particular pot kept giving me problems.

Isn't that just like a pot?