Thursday, April 30, 2009

Temporarily Closed both Etsy Stores

I decided to close both of my Etsy stores until June. I figure that's how long it's going to take until the Swine Flu dies out.

I live in Texas, a place where the Fort Worth School Independent School District shut down entirely until at least May 8th and Mayfest was canceled.

I thought, "Even if it turns out to be a mild virus (and we don't know how it is going to develop or change with time), would I want to take the risk of having one of my customer's get sick because someone between here or there sneezed on their package?" The answer was no. So until I open again, I'll just spend my extra time in the studio. This is a mug I made last night and this morning.

Friday, April 03, 2009

New Projects

My professor told me I should think about forms the way I do the forms of beads and I thought that was a terrific idea. With that thought in mind I sat down and threw some mugs last night, thinking about beads and forms, kinda abstractly but not ... I don't know how to describe it actually.

I picked out the roundest today and decided to put on a lid, legs, and a handle (of course) and implement some ideas I have had in the back of my head for a while. What cinched it about the lid was I saw a casserole dish demoed on a ceramics arts daily video (sorry I can't provide the link) and my professor was demonstrating to the ceramic 1 students on making a proper flange for a lid and this is something I've had trouble with .... so even though I am a ceramics 2 student, I walked over and listened again because I obviously missed something the last time.

These series of photos are me doing a proper lid. PAY ATTENTION THERE WILL BE A QUIZ AT THE END!

First step ... lid. I liked the video because the lady demo-ing put a piece of plastic between the lid and the dish, then she smoothed the inside and made a dome. The next thing I did was take a needle tool and mark the underside to cut this to the right size (and I smoothed the edges of course).

The flange has always been the most difficult part for me. I never make them large enough to make an ounce worth of difference. But the professor said to make a coil and then roll it out for the depth. Then, on the INSIDE of the dish, take the measurement, score and slip the coil together. There. The flange is the right diameter and wide enough to make a difference.

Trying to think of the mug as a bead, I used a technique that I often use when sprigging forms onto beads to work the flange into place. It worked! Yay!

Legs are beads simply incorporated onto the bottom.

And here they are finished.

And last of all a handle. This process, being that it is the first time and I was being very ultra careful, took an hour and a half. Think about that next time when drinking a cup of coffee.

And in that same vein, here is your quiz!

Quiz: What brand of coffee do I drink based on these photos.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Glaze Chemicals

One of the reasons I decided to go back to college to ceramics class was to learn how to mix and formulate glazes. Last semester I mixed some for the first time and I have to say, it's pretty easy to do.

But I am a procrastinator at times so it has taken from then until now to order some very basic glaze chemicals. I want to make a stable cone 6 clear gloss that I can add colorants to in varying amounts to get some interesting colors. And what I can do with each clay body I use is make a glaze specifically formulated for that clay body.

Tomorrow I will pick up those chemicals from Texas Pottery and then the experiments will begin.

By the way, if you live in the Fort Worth area, Alan is the owner and he produces some fantastic stoneware clay bodies! Ironstone and Taos Red are my favorites.