Friday, February 29, 2008

In progress.

So I never got around to posting photos last night. I stayed in the studio quite late and then collapsed on the couch to do some crossword puzzles and watch an old James Bond movie. So this is what I woke up to this morning...

The vases in the 1st pic are from the other day. Drying in the kiln room. The other vases are the 15 from yesterday with half their black slip, waiting to be lightly trimmed and painted some more. Hopefully they will be ready to carve later tonight.

I'm off to bathe, eat and run to Bailey's for some new mason stains. I'm going to start testing a few new colors and I'm also planning on revamping my red for the spring. I know I've already changed it a few times, but red is so difficult. I get customers asking for a pink red, a primary red, a rusty red... I just want a clean, close to primary, glossy red. My current red is a creamy tomato red, which I love, but it is a little unreliable. I'm also testing a possible new green. I LOVE my current green, but I'd like a more glossy surface. So, if I can keep the color and improve the surface texture, I'll be a very happy lady.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


So I knew I was nearing 3000 hearts on Etsy and I wanted to capture a screen shot, but I missed it. So here is 3030...

Pretty cool. That's like 6 people, everyday, 7 days a week, since I've opened my shop (September 2006)! And cosidering about 1 in 3 of those hearts have bought something from me, that's also an excellent feeling.

So today, more vases. Finished up 16 last night and went to sleep with a sore hand. Woke up this morning to more wedging and weighing and now I'm off to eat and then throw, throw, throw... I'll try to post some in-progress pics later tonight.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So pleased.

A little over a week ago I finally saw a cup that spoke to me in Nathan William's Esty shop, hijackedceramics. I mean, I could buy everything in his shop, but I really like his new work with the white clay body. It reminds me of ivory, which suits the Indian patterns beautifully. Amazing depth and the color is just stunning. The photo does not do the cup justice at all.

On the studio front, I've spent the past 2 days mixing up more clay. Today I'm starting my spring order for Tilde in Portland, OR. Another one of the shops I work with around the country that I would LOVE to visit in person. They carry some great artists and are a pleasure to work with. So, if you live in Portland, go check them out! On the agenda today, more vases with the extra color on top and posting some new work on Etsy.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

new work.

I unloaded a kiln Friday night. Like I mentioned before, it was mostly special orders. Not much left to post on Etsy or to keep as back stock. Whenever I think I'm getting ahead, I see a boost in sales and then *poof* no more work left. I thought January and February were the "get ahead"months!
Anyway, mug mania was brutal. I had several mug orders to fill. I haven't been making many mugs because they are rather labor intensive and I don't want to have to charge a ton for them. I recently started to only take special orders for them and then I sell off the extras from the special orders. And however many times I say to myself "never make more than 8 at a time" I never listen. I inevitably end up with at least a dozen mugs that all need to be carved at the exact same time, have handle put on at the exact same time...ugh! 8 is manageable, more than that is not. And here are some of the fruits of my labor. (and with my new orange again!)

I also have my new lavender glaze. I guess I'd say it's more of a periwinkle, but it really depends on the light. It definitely looks more blue in my photos. Maybe I will call it periwinkle. It looks so nice with just about all of my colors. Especially green and yellow. I only made up a small batch. So once it's gone, it's gone!

I also forgot to mention that I was on the front page again a couple of nights ago. And yes, more tiny tripods. This time in red! And of course, another great treasury of items that I'm happy to have been included with.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hot hot hot.

This kiln is on and the studio is toasty. I must admit, I have pretty girlie bisque ware when it's glazed. It looks like I was painting Easter eggs.
The lavender pot in the center is a test for a....lavender glaze. Some raw glazes start out looking nothing like the color they will be when the are fired. I've had many 8 year old boys get very concerned that their little earthenware scull was going to end up pink because that's what color the clear is. Anyway. I use a mix of stains and oxides so most of my glazes somewhat resemble the color they will end up. Hopefully the purple works out. It won't be a forever color, but I'll mix up a small batch.

For now, here is Dudley guarding his new toy...

Thinking spring.

I don't really have anything to report. Firing a glaze kiln tomorrow. Again, mostly special orders. I was on a bit of a pitcher/creamer kick last week. I have 4 in this load. All larger than a creamer but too small to really be a functional pitcher...I don't know what I was thinking. I mean I do want my work to be used, but it goes back to what I said about certain forms working better at certain sizes. Anyway, other than that, I still hate winter. So here are a few spring time pretties...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Treasury mania.

Wow! So I made the front page on Etsy 2 times in 3 days. Not bad. And with the same orange tripods.

And I sold a ton of these little guys. None in orange. You need to be a certain type of person to want orange I think. Me and my husband are. Our kitchen is orange. Although, I think 4 years is enough. Time for turquoise. Especially since I decided to start collecting my Franciscan Starburst dishes. Yummy.

Now that's a salad plate!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Here fishy, fishy.

I had wanted to post about this bowl over the weekend, but mug mania (don't worry, there will be photos) in the studio prevented me from having any free time. I was thinking of making a fish bowl for a while. I had thought I would make in on the wheel, but I am so happy with how this one came out. It was made with one slab of porcelain. It is very thin and SO light. With the exception of the green interior, every bit of this guy has been carved, even the edges. Another piece that I just want to hold all day. His tale slumped a bit in the kiln and I think it helps to give him some movement. Perfect for candy or displayed on a low table.
And, oh yes, there will be more of these guys.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Feeling grey.

Today I posted a few of my 1 lb. vases, this time made from grey porcelain. What do I do with all those carved and "contaminated" bits of fine white porcelain and black slip? Recycle them and make grey porcelain, of course. Now, I use colored porcelain on a regular basis with my sculptural work (which someday I'll go into on here) but it's rather expensive to make. If I made a vase out of bright orange porcelain I'd have to charge quite a bit and I don't think your average customer would understand the price. But consider the fact that my orange stain is $30/lb. and you also need WAY more stain in a clay body than in a glaze. Anyway, my grey is practically free when you think about it that way. And I must say that it is quite lovely. It does wonderful things with the glazes and it's always nice to change things up every once in a while. I've never been a fan of working with dark clay bodies but I think that bias is from working with the rough, groggy stoneware I had to use in college before learning to make my own clay...ugh, memories of finding sponge bits and sticky band-aids in the community buckets! So here are a few of my new vases. I particularly love the yellow over the grey which turns slightly green and the cobalt, which makes a lovely, super rich, navy blue. Not quite as graphic as the other work, but just as beautiful in their own way.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I ♥ hearts.

So after some annoying kiln issues, I've finally posted some new work in the shop. After MANY hours of the kiln slowly rising, I shut it off at about 2000 degrees. So frustrating. It turns out I had a break in the bottom element. I'm sure it never would have gotten to temperature. Thankfully Bailey's called on Friday to tell me the back ordered elements were in. I changed them all, excluding the bottom one that I changed last month. Then, I re-loaded and she rose up like a champ. Cone 10 in a little over 7 hours!! Note to self: CHANGE THE ELEMENTS MORE OFTEN!!!
And the fruits of my labor....

Tiny porcelain hearts. Made with vintage lace, pressed into the ultra thin porcelain and painted with black slip. When the lace is lifted, it leaves not only the imprint of the lace, but the white of the porcelain beneath. These are tiny, 1 3/4 inch wide, and come on a 12 inch length of red satin ribbon. I'm selling them in sets of 4. That way you can give some, keep some, use them to decorate the house or use them as gift tags! I've left the backs blank so you could write or paint on them. Love them.

I also LOVE this vase. I've just been holding in my hands, it feels so nice. I made several small 1 pound vases (I call them that because they are thrown with 1 lb. of clay....duh!). I'm particularly in love with this one's shape and that cool, pale blue. I'm now officially out of this glaze and won't be making more, so get it while you can! So cute.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


I can't believe it's February already. January went fast and that's fine by me. I used to love the winter, but now....not so much. December and January, fine, snow all you want. But February, March, I can't stand the wet, icy, melty snow, muddy everything weather.
And, the gray light. I HATE the gray light.

Well, enough of my venting. I've been trying to "think spring" in the studio. Making more chick bowls and I did finally get around to making some little Valentine's Day hearts. They'll be out of the kiln tomorrow. A little on the late side, but I'll still probably post them in my shop.

I did manage to take Dudley to down the road to Kingston Point Park the other day. It wasn't too terribly cold and I think we both needed to get out of the studio. It was rather soothing to watch the ice flow down the Hudson River. Dudley didn't understand why he couldn't go swimming. He did manage to get covered in mud. It's nice when our rolls are reversed. :)

(The icy inlet. The sounds from the cracking ice were pretty amazing)