Friday, August 31, 2007

Homemade Light Box

After knowing for a very long time that I should buy a lightbox in order to take better photos, I began doing research on them.

Then I stumbled across a lady who made her own out of a cardboard box, thin clear plastic, and white typing paper.

So don't you know I had to try it. I love making things out of stuff I already have and saving big money.

So this is the photo I just snapped.

And here is the Lightbox. First I carved out the sides. Then I covered the empty sides with clear plastic. Then I placed white paper on top of that. Covered the bottom. Snapped the picture.

It's not perfect but its better that I was getting. I have taken numerous pictures of this necklace and this is the first photo that I don't blech at.

Gotta love the simple approach.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Bowls

This is a fairly big Soup Server. I added the casserole handles this morning. Those are tough to get on straight. I did as best as I could. It is supposed to look a bit handmade, right?

I have this under a plastic shopping bag to dry slowly. It has been drying about 4 days already. I was not brave. I did not cut it off its bat. I should have. I will next time

This is a little bowl that I stuck legs onto. I threw a bowl and bisqued it, then I rolled out some clay and used it as a mold for this bowl.

I like stubby legs on a bowl. The legs give the bowl a certain personality. This is a teeny tiny bowl. It is only an inch deep or so and a couple of inches wide.

And then I added this (hopefully) interesting rim. I adore daisies, so I applied a daisy texture from one of my favorite stamps. I'm already planning in my head what to glaze it. Speaking of glazing, I have lots and lots of that to do today.

Hopefully I'll finish up the rest of the glazing today and be able to fire up the big kiln tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Kiln Catastrophe!

I had my first kiln catastrophe. This morning I looked inside my bead kiln and discovered that the kiln posts had toppled -- one side had leaned toward the middle, then completely crashed into the other side. Out of the entire batch (40 beads) only 8 were unscathed.

They were not balanced on top of each other correctly, otherwise that side would not have toppled.

I'll be more careful next time. In any event, these were little stamps that I stamped in ceramic ink and applied to a porcelain bead, then coated with a clear overglaze. The ones that survived are quite cute.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Hand building is something I'm quickly becoming addictive to doing. I hand built this and used cut out hearts. The bottom of these bowls are also fun to decorate.

I bought the book 500 Cups and tonight will be drooling over those photos.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mugs, Leaves, and Dogs

These are some mugs I've been working on. I discovered through reading the forums at Etsy that people really like to buy mugs, that they sell really well. That's good for me because I absolutely LOVE making mugs! I love throwing them -- shaping them, making handles, decorating them. Each one is always so different from the last. They are small enough to experiment with in terms of shape and form. Best of all, they are a blank canvas to decorate.

Because I'm in a room off by myself and not distracted in the living room by things that need to be done, I've been able to experment and work in an condusive environment. I threw a big bowl a month or two ago. It dried too fast. It had a hairline crack in the bottom. I bisqued it anyway and am now using it for this bowl mold.

Handbuilding is something I haven't been able to do much of because of the space problem. With throwing I can dry it, store it, get it out of the way fairly quickly. Handbuilding requires more attention. You have to roll out the clay and put it in the mold, let it sit awhile ... come back to it, mess with it ... let it sit awhile ... etc ...

I also hand built this dog dish from a smaller bisqued bowl , which also had cracked while drying. Last night I snagged a treasury to showcase other artists' pet pottery. Go here to view it: Pet Treasury

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Studio News

I'm in a Yahoo group called Pottery Basics and one of the members, Jan, gave an assignment to take a couple of pounds of clay and throw it, and another few pounds of clay and handbuild it and put it together.

So I threw a nice bowl and then coiled the rest of it. I've never done that before. There is a patience to coiling that doesn't exist with throwing. It is a relaxing thing to do though. Setting the bowl aside to harden is the hardest part for me. I get distracted and there is the chance I will forget about returning to the project. However ....

... I had thrown these the evening before and had put them under plastic so they would not dry out too much. While I waited for the coiled bowl to become workable again, I carved some and burnished these others.

The second mug down the first column wasn't burnished until today, so it's still rough looking.

It's nice to have my own place to create!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Which Everything Has a Place To Live ....

Here is what it looks like as you walk in. The tables can be moved around or folded up and put away. I wanted it to be extremely functional.

I am sure within a few days every shelf will be full and I will be scratching my head and wondering, 'Now where shall I put this?'

The pottery wheel sits in the corner but there is plenty of room all around. The stool has many functions. Besides its common use of being used to throw pottery, it is the best stool to sit at and type at the computer, like I'm doing now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Studio News

I have been listing items over at Etsy this afternoon. This is but one of the items. Look over at the side panel on the right to see more of my newest items.

The neatest thing happened on Sunday. A dear lady at church bought a necklace right off my neck! That was absolutely thrilling. Talk about feeling validated as an artist, WOW!

I've been busy all week getting my studio put together. My studio used to be in the corner of the living room, but with the last kid away at college, I was able to convert a room. After the carpet was out, I laid a wood laminate flooring. It only took a couple of hours to finish, including the closet. The color of the room is quite agreeable because when we painted it, he and I have the same taste in colors -- or at least we did back then. I don't know about now. After I got everything into my studio I realized I still didn't have enough space. So we are building shelves. I priced cabinets but they still won't solve my storage problem. The closet is huge with lots of big wide shelves, but they aren't enough to hold all my supplies. Once the shelves are in, then I can decide what kind of cabinets I will require.

It's all fun!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Etsy Front Page

Thanks to Montazumamud, my Blue Barrels and Rounds beads made it to Etsy's front page Featured Treasury! That was exciting! They did sell and also a few other items as well sold. Treasuries are SO much fun!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Moving Day!

Tuesday my last child moved out. (ahhh)
Wednesday I ripped up the carpet. (whoopie)
Late that night the new floor was in place. (whew--)
Today I began moving in my studio. (Alright!)
New Cabinets? Impossible! (Choke, Gasp)

A whopping $500. So in went the temporary tables. With two kids in college and tuition just forked over for the fall semester I'll have to wait for those cabinets for a year or so ... but hey ...


When it's all in place. Pictures. I promise!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New Homes for All!

Along with the Red Mug (previous post) I pulled these two babies out of the kiln too. The bowl was a custom design for some friends of a friend. I made two, but one of them cracked in the firing. But this one survived. This was a fun challenge because I've never made two things that are mostly alike.

After thinking and planning it out, I threw a bowl on the pottery wheel and when it was the shape I desired, I set it aside, let it dry and then bisque fired it. That is what I used as a mold for these two bowls. Then I hand built them (as shown in this post: Pottery Day ). The one that survived now has a new home with the Red Mug as well as the Pink Daisy Mug. Yay!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Red Mug

This just came out of the kiln today! I have some of other things too, but this was the most fun. I put a butterfly on it, so only left-handers can use this properly. I also used a wax-resist on it for texture. This is a technique I will definitely be using again!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Handmade Bowl

Here is a bowl I hand built last week. It's in the kiln today going through a bisque fire with some other stuff. Funny story about this bowl. I rolled out the clay with my porta-roller and draped it over a plaster mold I had made a few months back. When I came back, there was no lifting it off the mold. It had dried too much. So I cut it into pie pieces and pieced it back together.

I added decorative strips along the way, added casserole handles and little round legs. Oh ... and I used a heart stamp on the decorative strips. The inside of the bowl is not smooth or even. Let's just say it has character.