Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More Porcelain Cups and Mugs

Yesterday I blogged about my latest teacup. I thought I would share some of the others I threw on the wheel that day. 

I have 4 more taller mugs/tumblers that I will be trimming and attaching handles to today.  I tend to have a higher output if I throw one day and trim and decorate the next.  When I shove it all into the same day I end up getting hurried and thinking I have to finish.  Then I end up ruining something that could have ended up quite pretty.

I will be throwing small teapot bodies today.  Tomorrow I will try putting spouts, handles, and lids on them.  If I am successful, I will share some pics. If not, I'll reconstitute the clay for another day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Porcelain Cups and Mugs

Yesterday I sat down and threw shapes for mugs and cups. I ended up with a few of each by the time all the trimming and handles were applied.

I decided to play with the outside of this cup a bit, punching it with a homemade oval stamp and a few sprigs as well.

I have a lot of porcelain that I want to use up, and the fastest way to do that is to get on my pottery wheel and throw throw throw.

So that is what I'm trying to do this week, concentrate on getting a few things thrown.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Enameling We Will Go ...

 I threw out a tease on my NKPDESIGNS Facebook Fanpage Saturday about how I had spent all day learning how to enamel in my friend's garage.  I had promised some pictures and so here they are.

My friend had recently been bitten by the enameling bug and when she offered to show me how to do it, of course I jumped at the chance.

I should have taken some pictures of the beginning of the process, but I forgot my camera (much the same way I forget which part of the house I leave my coffee cup sitting).

The process starts with cutting a piece of copper into a shape.  Next I filed the edges. I thought that would be tedious and awful, but it wasn't.

After the edges were smooth, I used a hammer and dapped on each piece a bit to raise the edges into a small curl and drilled a hole.

My friend had this cute little machine that screwed down into the copper and cut a clean hole that didn't need filing.  The next step was to put it into a pickling solution to clean it.  Then we applied the enamel with a nifty little sifter and turned on the flame.  She had trivets and we were able to enamel both sides of each piece.

Remember when we were kids and we would put glue on a piece of paper and then cover the paper with glitter, and then we would shake off the glitter and the glitter would stick to all the places the glue had been applied? 

Yeah, that's what we did here except we did it with a stamp and special stamping solution.  I forget what it is called (scratching my head). 

We also applied a transparent green into the corner and fired it. All the firing was done with a simple torch with MAPP gas.  My favorite enamel was a simple transparent clear and that's how I did most of the pieces.   This was such a fun afternoon. It was like taking a workshop.  I got there about 10:30 am and left around 5:30 pm.  Yesterday I spent the day shopping on the internet for all sorts of dapping and riveting tools. I've been wanting to play around with cold connections for a while and this enameling process is the perfect stepping stone to doing that.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marbled Whistles

I made these last night and am waiting for them to dry enough to bisque fire them.

If you haven't checked out my whistle shop on Etsy, have a look: click here

I'm adding one whistle a day and each listing includes a link to listen to each whistle's individual sound.

My daughter is nearing the end of her pregnancy and soon I am going to be a grandma. I am more excited about this than I can put into words.

My daughter is having a little girl and that means eventually she will want jewelry, lots and lots of jewelry, and pretty things.  Of course she will have her pick of whistles.

I can't wait for her to get old enough to want to make pretty things, too.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Windshied Car Glass Imbedded in Porcelain

This is a sample of the latest batch! I have more to still fire. I think I may have glazed the next batch with a pale pink. Yes, I will be making more of these. The experiment I did with the longest bead worked like I thought it would; the glass dripped downward and formed a small drop.

These were fired at about 1885 F degrees and the windshield glass still retained its wonderful pale green color.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Second Trumpet Whistle

This is one of the ideas I had about how to make the extension finger holes more ergonomic.

I bisque fired some of the whistles I made earlier this week last night. The little Trumpet Whistle in the last post made it in there. I am going to try to glaze enough for a firing this weekend.

Clay is very drying and I had no idea that making so many whistles would suck all the moisture out of my lips. When I make beads, I use lots of lotion on my hands, but I think I will have to stock up on some chap-stick next time I decide to make these fun musical toys.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Trumpet Whistle

I've been making whistles all week and playing with making additional holes. I had put the clay up for the day yesterday and I had an idea.  What if I made one big hole and then attached another piece of clay with three differently sized holes. Would it make a fun sound?  Would it make a sound?

Well, it did! It made a most marvelous sound(s).  This prototype has opened up possibilities in my mind that are so exciting.

I started thinking of different ways to arrange the three hole attachment to make it more holdable.  I'll be playing around with this idea a bit more.

I've moved five more of my whistles from my NKPBEADS store to my new NKPWHISTLES store.  I also dropped the price. When I started making whistles, each one took a long time. I've gotten to where I understand the process much better and I can make them in about half the time it used to take. So I'm dropping the price accordingly.  I'm hoping that making them more affordable will make them more desirable.

Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Glass Glass Beautiful Glass Embedded in Clay

This is a white stoneware clay in which I embedded car windshield glass.  It was an idea I had several years ago but I never followed through with the idea.

Car windshield glass is a type of safety glass so it can be handled without shredding your skin.  It also crumbles apart nicely into smaller bits and pieces.

I originally had a ton of this glass several years ago after our car was mutilated in the middle of the night. They took the stereo but left some beautiful glass that I thought I would eventually use. 
After a couple of years I had not done much with it and I tossed it away during one of my studio cleans. Buh Bye

A few weeks ago I ran across this bead in a bowl full of beads waiting to be glazed. It is made from a terra cotta stoneware clay. I decided to glaze it with a transparent green glaze.  After it was fired and off the rod, I kicked myself until I was black and blue! What had I done? What!? Had!? I!? Done!?

I began asking friends to look around and scoop up any broken windshield glass that they might come across in their travels. I flirted with the idea of parking my car on the street instead of the driveway so that perhaps some kind thug might whack away at my windows whilst we were asleep. 

BUT I realized I could go to the car windshield fix-it shop and plead for some broken glass. The only question I was asked was, "Do you want regular or tempered?"

What he did was empty out his vacuum cleaner and not only did I score some free glass, but 55 cents in change and a bobby pin too!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Here They Are

I spent Saturday night separating my batch of beads (see last post) into sets. These are not all of them, but represent the entire batch quite well. When I had a lot of 'orphan' beads, I glazed them all the same color, even if they were from different clay bodies. So here they are ...

Saturday, February 04, 2012

New Batch

I took these out of the kiln this morning then had to run off to ceramic's class.  That means that I get to take the off the rod right now.  SO I'm going to go do that right now!  Click on this photo to see the beads more clearly!  Do you see the whistle on the far left end?  It has a really good sound. 

Friday, February 03, 2012

Into The Fire

 The last few weeks I've been glazing a small amount of beads each night.  Most of these beads I've made over the years as experiments that never got glazed. instead they've been sitting in bowls on my shelves in my studio, just sitting there, taking up space.

Beads do not hold or generate emotions, but if they did, I would say this particular batch has been extremely patient with me. 
Yesterday I decided I had enough to fill my big kiln and put them on rods. It took a lot longer than I thought it would take.

In fact, it took so long that I decided not to load the kiln but thought I would load the kiln today, this morning.

However, it is raining outside so it will have to wait a few hours. My porch is covered (on top) but the wind and the spray of the rain does reach through the sides.  If not today, tomorrow, or the next day.  No hurry. They've waited this long after all. They can wait a bit more.