Sunday, May 12, 2013
I love this photo at the top. It displays all but one of my glazes. I got a commission to make these tall cups and she requested that I use a variety of glazes of my own choosing. There is something incredibly fun about them. She has a large family with lots of kids. I can imagine each kid choosing a cup and always knowing which one belongs to them because of the distinct glaze. I've had a few other mothers come into my studio to choose different cups for each one of their children. It is the same in my house with no two cups being the same.
The photo below is the large fermentation crock that I pulled out of the kiln this morning. I had two in this firing and they are both spoken for. The bad news is that I had one crack before it even made it into the first firing. That was heartbreaking because a lot of work went into it, but this is the way the clay crumbles. I'm excited about these crocks and I plan on making many more. Every time I tell someone about them, they hand me a new idea for marketing them. I'm hoping to find the time to run with all of these ideas that people are throwing at me.
Although the cups and crocks are already spoken for, I did unload a number of items that will simply be for sale in my studio and on Etsy. I have french butter dishes back in stock. I also have this beautiful raku wall pocket to the left available. I love this piece, and I am very happy that I managed to get it out of the kiln with my tongs before breaking it. It was a little dicey there for a minute, but well worth the struggle.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Fermented foods are certainly recognized as healthy. Several years ago I read the book Wild Fermentation and was intrigued. My husband went right after the sauerkraut, but I remember feeling like I wish that we had a good vessel for making it in. I am making inserts to go along with these crocks so that will weigh down the vegetables to submerge them in the liquid. I think that is one of the places where we went wrong, but it is the water seal that I believe will make the biggest difference. Eventually I will make one of these that is sub-par, and it will find its way into my own kitchen alongside all of the other mediocre things that I've made that aren't fit for selling. It's sad but true; however, I do look forward to giving this fermentation thing a go in a proper crock.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Perhaps I should warn you that this may be a rather morbid post, but you probably guessed that from the title. Anyone reading this that knows me personally will know that I have recently had a death in my family. A very aggressive cancer took my step-father a few weeks ago, exactly ten weeks from his diagnosis. I was with him a couple of weeks before he passed, giving me the opportunity to say good-bye. When I returned home, I went to work in my studio and dealt with the situation in my own quiet way. Knowing he wished to be cremated, I made an urn. I made the one in the middle and carved it, but I am not quite sure that it is big enough. Since making it, I have held the surprisingly heavy box that holds his remains and done a little reading about the capacity needed. He was a big man, therefore we will need a big urn. I returned home a little less than a week ago after his memorial and made a few more urns which are a little bigger. The one on the right is the largest and will probably be big enough, but I will make one more a little larger just to be on the safe side. Clay shrinks. A lot. It shrinks initially as it dries, then again in each firing. I sometimes feel as if it is a cruel joke to see the miniature finished product knowing how I struggled with the initial large form. I am becoming stronger, but it is still a stretch for me to throw very large pieces.
This process has been good for me in many ways. We all have our own way of dealing with things. I am not one to show a lot of outward emotion and I don't always have a lot to say, but my mind is constantly moving. In the studio I work out these thoughts with the flow of my work. The turn of the wheel calms and balance is found. At times it quiets my thoughts into mediation, while other times they stream forward. I always find it interesting to make a piece for a specific person. They are always there in my mind. Sometimes I do not know the person well and it is like a shadow hovering in the corner. When it is someone I am more familiar with, they are entirely present throughout the process. It is an amazing way of clarifying someone's significance in my life.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
|White stoneware clay from NM Clay|
So, I made a few pieces with some new clay that I am trying out. I am trying a white clay body from New Mexico Clay. I have steered clear of white clays in the past because I haven't liked the way some glazes look on them. I am curious how this clay will work on my current palette of colors. I am always experimenting, but I'm also looking for a clay that warps a little less. Some clays warp more than others. I have stopped using a particular clay that feels so good to work with, yet warps terribly. I am finishing up a commission of large plates and that has led me to this experiment.
Now that the plates are complete, I will finish up another small commission next week. Then I will turn my attention to all of the many items I sold out of in the past few months. I will be making more butter dishes, pie plates, casserole dishes, and plates of assorted sizes. I currently have none of these items available in my studio, but I do have lots of other items. You can still find mugs, bowls of all sizes, platters, vases, pitchers, cups, lidded jars, salt pigs, masks, raku pieces, and various other items that I am sure I left out. I am around most days, just let me know before you head over my way. If you can't make it, I can always ship it to you.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
My studio is closed right now, but I will return to my work in February. The clay is awfully cold in January and I need a break after the holidays. Please check back in and I'll post some of my new work when it starts happening.