Friday, January 29, 2010

New Whistles

These are three of the whistles I made while on vacation. I had brought some clay with me and when the urge to create hit, fashioned these. I used plastic tools instead of the stainless steel I use normally, but all was well and they all sound just as they should.

The first one I used a daisy type flower stamp and it ended up looking a bit like coral.  I applied underglaze, let it dry, then lightly sponged it off, and applied a coat of shiny gloss glaze.

The other two I decided to paint as though they were beads.  Lots of underglazes and bright colors, again followed by a coat of shiny gloss glaze.  I have more whistles to glaze and fire so I better get to it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Mug and Stuff

We're supposed to have a mild ice storm here in the Fort Worth, Texas area tonight and tomorrow. I don't think there is such a thing as a mild ice storm. Ice here is treacherous. Nobody knows how to drive in it nor do we have chains to put on our tires. I try to just stay home.

This mug on the left is one I listed today.  This angle is a bit odd. It's smaller on bottom than top. It looks better from the side.  I think it would fit nicely in one of those car console drink holders.  This is a combination of Ferguson Yellow and a High Iron Shino glazes.  It was gas fired in a reduction kiln.  I added feet, and the handle is hand pulled. 

Right now I have about 3-4 whistles in the smaller kiln. I have several more to glaze and fire and another example in the GIMP manual to complete.  The next example is to draw a tree ... from scratch.  After I drew a cloud I was learning about paintbrushes (in GIMP) and found quite a bit of paintbrushes that made clouds.  I imagine if I looked around I would find quite a few tree 'paintbrushes' as well.  However, it is always great to start from scratch. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

The New Year

It's back to Ceramics class again.  This semester I am going to be focusing on throwing larger, concentrating on pulling up all that extra clay.  Last semester I focused on form.  So hopefully once I get all that clay from the bottom to the top, the form will take care of itself.

Also, I'm learning how to work with GIMP. I have a very old edition of Paint Shop Pro (version 5) that has served me well over the years.  However, when the time comes to upgrade this computer, which should be sometime this year, all the software will have to be 64 bit and PSP is 32 bit.  GIMP is open source and PSP is a pretty penny. Plus, I would have to learn PSP from the bottom as well. So when one can, one goes with free.  Here's what I drew with the help of a GIMP tutorial and a Bamboo tablet:

The interface on GIMP is vastly different than on PSP. I spend a lot of time googling what are probably easy to follow directions, for everyone that is but myself.  I have a hard time following directions, especially written ones.

Also over the Christmas break I made about 20 palm sized whistles. They are bisque firing today in the smaller kiln.  I also have a new listing in the bead store.  I guess it's official. The new year has begun.