Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Steve Horn Workshop

When my husband had to go to Pasadena on a business trip, I decided to tag along. While he's been working, I have been attending this workshop offered at the Xiem Clay Center. This is a workshop for those who want to learn printmaking onto clay. It is a very simple process, but the hard part is having the right equipment.

For example, you have to have a photocopier which will allow you to hit the off button mid-print, then the top has to be lifted out and the paper removed from the belly of the copier. This is so that the iron oxide ink does not become set into the paper. You want it to be messy, to rub off easily, because when you put that paper face down onto the clay, you want it to come off.

Do you remember those ink tattoos that come out of gumball machines? As a kid, I remember wetting down the back of my hand and putting one on, rubbing it, lifting it off and having a cartoon character becoming a part of me for the next 12 or so hours. That's what this process is like. EXCEPT this ink won't wear off anytime soon because it is iron oxide from the laser photocopier and can be fired up to cone 10.

The above photo is a simple slab which has been lightly coated with colored slip and then 'tattooed' with a photocopy I made of a pattern I found in a book. Most workshop participants,however, brought photographs, photocopied those and used those with stunning results! The possibilities are endless. I can't wait to get home and experiment -- except I don't have a laser photocopier. HOWEVER ... the second process we learned was how to print onto a type of paper named Pronto-Plate (here's a link to learn more about that: http://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/staff/okinczyc/pdf/prnto_ht.pdf ) ... I do have a laser printer and I can do that process. And for those who do not have laser printers, you can also use simple Sharpie markers on the proto-plate with excellent results.

I am excited about printing onto clay and can't wait to get home and experiment more with this particular process. We also all learned how to make our own ceramic ink.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Etsy Yart Sale

It has been almost a year since the first unofficial “Yart Sale” on Etsy. Yart sale? What exactly is a “Yart Sale,” you may ask? Visit this blog post in the Etsy blog "The Storque" and read about it and how your Etsy shop can become involved:

The “2nd Annual Yart Sale” will be held from Wednesday June 10th-Sunday June 14th, 2009. This year the “2nd Annual Yart Sale” will be sponsored by the Etsy Supply Street Team (Team ESST). Although not an official Etsy event, it is Etsy supported as evidenced by the Storque article.

A “Yart Sale” is an artistic spin on the traditional Yard Sale: Art + Yard Sale = “Yart Sale”. There are many art museums, artists, and groups that have Yart sales annually to raise cash.

All Etsy shops are invited to participate. Choose to participate in your Handmade Store, your Supply Store, or your Vintage Store. If you have more than one shop you can participate in all of them.

To join the sale, simply post the following Yart Sale Announcement in the Shop Announcement section of your Etsy Shop and please include a short description of how you will be participating in the sale:
“I am participating in the Yart Sale on Etsy sponsored by Team ESST”.

Team ESST invites you to come, post, chat and shop on the “Official Yart Sale” thread in the Promotions Section of the Etsy forums. A new thread will be posted daily at 7:00 AM EDT beginning on Wednesday June 10th by the Etsy Supply Street Team with the forum title:
“SECOND ANNUAL YART SALE sponsored by Team ESST – June 10th, 2009”

Participating in the daily forum thread is a way that shoppers can find your shop. Simply post what you are offering. You could also encourage visitors to search “Yart” in handmade, supplies, or vintage. Even if you are simply offering a discount, it would be to your advantage to place Yart somewhere in at least a few of your titles or tags in your shop to draw those searching for items to your shop.

If you choose to get involved in the Yart sale sponsored by Team ESST (beginning Wednesday, June 10th-Sunday, June 14th). We encourage you to blog,tweet or post on your social networking sites to get the word out. Feel free to add your post links here after you have posted.

We highly recommend blogging before the sale to get Etsy people involved and during the sale to share what you will be featuring in your shops. You may choose to also feature on your blogs shops that are participating. Check out the Team ESST blog post and feel free to share the information and link our blog to yours:

The Yart Sale certainly provides lots of promotional opportunity this week! Come on Etsy - join in!!!

(this information has been combined from various ESST sources)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Bisque-Fired Beads and some Buttons Too

I took these out of the kiln this morning. They will all go in plastic baggies until they are glazed. This keeps them from getting dusty which will also help the glaze adhere easier, making for a nicer end result.

I have a hard time doing any one type of bead very long. I quickly get bored of the shape or the texture, even when I LIKE the shape or texture.

But that does help with coming up with new varieties. Click on the photo to see the textures better.

Bisque-fired Toot Whistles

I started working on these about 2 weeks ago. I was thinking about heavily textured bodies which could show up a glaze well and contrast it to the smooth (perhaps shiny) mouthpiece.

These are simply tooting whistles, no holes ... just fun to hold and make noise with. I'll be working on glazing and firing these this week.