Friday, January 25, 2008

Burnished Stoneware Creamer

This unique stoneware creamer fits perfect into the hand. The spout is formed so that there is no dribbling, but instead a perfect pour.

This was wheel-thrown and hand altered. Next I took a river rock and burnished it until it was super smooth. Inside I applied a clear gloss glaze and fired it to Cone 6 until vitrified (matured).

It is dish washer and microwave safe. It holds 8 ounces. No lead-glazes were applied on this creamer. See it here

Spring Watermelon

With a teeny tiny Yucca paintbrush that I made myself, I painted green stripes and pink dots all over this 20 mm porcelain bead that I also hand-formed and had bisque-fired. I re-fired it and as I turned it over and over in my hand I thought, "Wow! It's like Spring has arrived in this Watermelon!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Watch This!

While I wait for the sun to come out so I can take some photos of the last batch of pottery, enjoy this video. He's throwing on an old wagon wheel! Interesting!

Stoneware Periwinkle Disks

This periwinkle glaze practically dances over these stoneware disks. I impressed these with a handmade mold, bisque fired them, then glazed and re-fired them. There are 7 in this set. Approx. 8 mm hole to hole, 16-18 mm wide. Find there here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Photos on a Dreary Day

I had a bunch of beads come out of the kiln yesterday and I was looking forward to photographing them. However, it was extremely overcast today and the lighting was terrible. I have a light tent, but I haven't played around with that yet. Right now I take my pictures on a piece of typing paper that is on the table right beside the window while sunlight streams in ....

The reason is that I get extremely accurate color out of the beads. However, in overcast light I still get an accurate color but there is not light white background ... so I got playing with the fill gradient light tool in the photo program I use and these came out looking really fun!

I would have listed them today but like I just finished explaining .... the light is just not up to par to show them off to their highest potential. But I thought I'd share the fun photo anyway.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sea Shaker

This is my entry for the Etsy Mud Team Salt & Pepper Shaker's challenge. This is a simple closed form that I threw on the pottery wheel. After it was closed, I allowed it to dry and when I was turning it around in my hand decided to put tiny legs on top and use the flat 'bottom' as the dispenser. The plug is allowed ample room because of the legs and can be easily removed and re-inserted. I should have put the holes in when it was leather hard, but I waited too long. So I bisque fired this and then used a tiny drill bit to drill the holes as well as the bottom (I LOVE TOOLS!). The holes are okay for salt, but the salt comes out just a bit too fast. So I slowed the process down by trying Kosher Sea Salt. The 'release' is perfect.

But what happened to the pepper shaker, you may ask ... it was also a closed form and it exploded during the bisque fire. I think I fired this particular batch of bisque too quickly. Usually I allow 45 minutes between each stage of turning up the kiln. However, that closed form was rather thick and probably needed an hour and a half between each stage.

I got to thinking about how humid it is here in Texas ... I say Texas with the teeniest bit of a drawl because having lived here 20 years I've grown fond of the state ... and rather than put in the normal rice kernals to keep the salt from clumping, I realized any extra moisture would be absorbed by the bisque clay. No clumping! The Red Taos Clay is a beautiful color in the bisque state, and it matches my kitchen perfectly. That's right. It's a keeper.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Banner and Beads

This is the newest banner for my NKP Etsy story. I keep getting bored and changing it out. I think I like this one though.

Here's the latest addtion. Go see it here. These
Mustard Eggplant Stoneware Beads
were hand-formed and pressed into handmade textures. The purple tablets are all 16-18 mm and the mustard 15-17 mm from hole to hole.

Clay Whistle

Here is my first successful working clay whistle. I tried a couple of years to make one of these. They turned out cute but were non-functional. I googled and googled to try to figure out the secret, and it turns out that the book I recently bought, "From Mud To Music" answered this for me. It could be that the directions said to do this all along and I just missed it ... but here is how it is done, in photos.

The first thing I had never done before was provide the whistle with a flat bottom. So after I hollowed it out, I tapped the bottom on the floor. Ideally I should have made the hole on the flat side. But I forgot and I made on the round side. It worked though. I have no idea if the 'flat' helped or not. This is the first time I did it though because I was determined to follow the directions exactly. So then you may ask, 'Then why did you not follow them and put the hole on the flat side?" I dunno. I just forgot I guess.

This trick worked nicely as well. When making the second hole, the one on top,the one that has to be the 45 degree angle, LEAVE the first stick in. This is a small whistle and I cut down an Emory board (nail file) for sizing. The other trick is to take the part you are going to make the 45 degree angle with and sand a 45 degree angle on it.

Here is the finished whistle. It needs sanding and decorating but it is such an accomplishment for me. Here is an mp3 file of two short whistle blows: Click Here to download.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Speckled Celadon Textured Rounds

These 13 mm Porcelain Rounds were hand-rolled, then imprinted with a zipper-like texture before being glazed with this speckled celadon, sea-green, glaze. I like the small specks of yellow and green which give it an added depth. Find them here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rose Tinged Porcelain Beads

These are some beads that I pressed a rose stamp on both ends. When it came time to glaze I used the lightest of pink for a delicate effect. These will be going in my Etsy store. Perhaps they might be used for buttons on a bulky sweater.

Chocolate Mug

I made a series of mugs right before Christmas. I haven't taken all of their pictures, and most of them I have given away as gifts. I was trying to match a particular glaze that I had done a while back, but alas, it did not work. I cannot manage to copycat even my own art!

However, I love the glaze on this mug just as much as the other, which can be found: here. I need to take a couple more pictures of this before I put it for sale in my etsy store.

Joining the Etsy Mud Team

I'm a member of the Etsy Mud Team, which is a group of potters who network together to learn not only how to become better potters, but who help market each other's work. The link below is this week's thread:


Get to know us and our art better. Each week we start a new thread in the Forum area under the section "Esty Teams". I believe at the moment there are over 80 members.

If you are a potter (meaning you work in ceramic clay no matter how small, including beads, buttons, and pendants), and have an Etsy Store, you are eligible to join. Convo montezumamudd for details on joining the Etsy Mud Team.

For those who are new to Etsy 'convo' is short for "conversation', which is basically an email which is sent from your Etsy account to their Etsy account. When you are logged in to your Etsy account, at the very top of your screen there is a link called "Conversations" ... click on that and then on the page provided, click "Start New Conversation". It is located in the upper right corner. Then just fill in the 'to' section and ask how to join the Etsy Mud Team.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Greenish Tan Porcelain Rounds

I love how these have just the teeniest bit of olive green tinge to them. And the splashes of turquoise is an added bonus. 13 mm hole to hole.


It being so close to the new year, and with the relaunch of my redesigned website and blogs, I got to thinking about 2003. That was the year I got the pottery wheel and the kiln. Anyway, this is the first bowl that I took out of the kiln. I remember that wow feeling as I took it out. Even now when I lift the kiln lid, there's that wonderful excited feeling ... I suppose that never goes away.

This is not the best bowl in the whole entire civilized world, but it's my bowl. I'm keeping it. It's not bad for a first try.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cappuccino Mint Porcelain Rounds

Funny story about this Cappuccino Mint glaze. I misplaced it for a while. And then I used what I considered a 'mystery' glaze and voile! There it was! I was beyond thrilled. So I am going to upload a batch of four , 13 mm tomorrow to my NKP Beads Etsy Store.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Muffin Maker

This was fun to throw. It holds one package of Martha White Muffin Mix. I was going to call it a "Bread Baker" but I think I'll call it a Muffin Maker! instead. This is the first one I've done, so I'm going to keep it. I've got the muffin sitting atop one of my Summer Blossom plates.

That reminds me. I am planning on putting some of the plates I'm not planning on keeping in my Etsy Store. So much to do! So little time!

In the spare time I've had, I've been working on updating the website and the look of the blogs. Next I'm planning on redoing the Etsy banners for both stores so that everything can have a streamlined and cohesive appearance.

I realize I'm almost two weeks late with this, but thanks for making 2007 a great year!

Yay! More Beads!

There is nothing better than lifting the lid to a cooled down kiln and seeing the newest batch of goodies. These pictured are some new fun ones that made it through the glaze firing. Some don't. Some slide to and fro on the rods they are hanging on and get glued to a neighbor. Others stick to the rods and refuse to let loose. A hammer is usually the only way to get a stubborn bead to let go!

... but that's a sad ending for a bead, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hand-Painted Daisies

I have really enjoyed making these. After hand-forming and piercing the hole and putting it in for a bisque firing, I put a light pastel underglaze this bead before painting on tiny daisy petals. This reminds me very much of watercolors. Last I apply a coat of clear gloss glaze. Then each bead is put on a firing rod and goes into the kiln for its final firing.

Small Cup

For those who have been following the iron oxide decal saga, this is my latest effort. I'm still working on figuring out how to fire these on the clay the same way every time.

This particular cup has three flower figures on it. It is tiny, only holding 1 ounce (or was it 2?). The outside is unglazed, the inside glazed with a clear. The effect shows the ironstone stoneware clay to its full advantage, I think.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Eye Candy

I love pottery. Here are some pieces I found over at Light One Candle. I would have added their names to their pieces but I couldn't always divide the name properly . So take the link, pick the category of the item and you will find the artists name fairly quickly -- though some you won't be able to figure out. Enjoy these beautiful and inspiring works!

These are sculptural pieces that I look at and wonder, "HOW!?!?" Each is graceful and beautiful and the glaze ... wow and wonderful! Truly gorgeous!

See this mug? I've been trying to make one like this for the longest time. Note the lid? Note the legs? Yeah, that's what I'm trying to do ...it's adorable! I love it! Someday.... sigh....

Check out thus amazing pitcher! It's beautifully formed and I love how this glaze drips down into the next level of colors. Spectacular!

This lidded vessel screams out, "HEY! I'M OVER HERE! YOU BETTER NOTICE ME!" And it doesn't escape anyone's notice! I imagine if it was at a show it would draw a ton of attention. I love the contrast in the dark spikes with the turquoise body. Lovely!

This teapot ooozes glamor! It has character and a beauty that surpasses most everything and everybody. It preens and everyone bows down.

I love this plate not only because it is well formed and it has wonderful handles, but I love the small painting of the flowers -- such delicate and light-catching beauties. Nicely done!

Dontcha just love the handles? Who would have thought to do this to a handle? This artist did and the effect is marvelous! Love it!