Monday, February 16, 2015

I'm alive and I am making steins!

I'm alive and well. I have a new job that I start on Tuesday AND I'm making steins!

During the holidays and while I was job hunting, I agreed to do two shows. One in March ( which is a fundraiser to support the Silicon Valley Pet Project and a Lovecraft film festival.

As all I seem to be making right now are drinking vessels, I declare 2015 to be my year of making mugs, cups, steins and so forth. Oh, and odd yarn bowl will make an appearance too. Maybe a baby Groot or two from the wood fire too.

wine and beer, hooray!

Friday, September 19, 2014

New Product! Cthulhu mugs...

 Dark green Cthulhu mugs using Amaco Seaweed glaze
 Light green kawaii Cthulhu mugs using Western Autumn Green Art glaze

So, I am a super nerd/geek. I love Sci-fi and Fantasy (amongst other things like comics, Roman History, Art Deco...). By far though aliens, dragons, demons and faerie folk are some of the best sources of inspiration for me.

And so, I decided to make some Cthulhu mugs. If you don't know who that is, just google Cthulhu or H.P. Lovecraft. Now, I have to admit, I had a hard time reading H.P. Lovecraft's stories. However, since I started making these mugs and they are selling so well, I am going to have to get through them so I can understand the appeal of this Elder God who waits in the dark.

Now, you know that I have a hard time updating this blog. And I'm afraid that it won't get much better. At the end of September, I shall be taking part in an intense software engineering fellowship. I won't be able to make many pots or mugs during this 10 week program. Therefore, I am not producing anything for Christmas nor am I taking orders.

I do have one project that is for an art show in December. I'll try to keep that updated.

At any rate, I hope you will check back here around the New Year when I start producing again.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Painted Fish Plate

For a few weeks, I was obsessed with making big platters. Well, big for me. I was throwing platters made from half a bag of clay, ~12 lbs. Some were 15 lbs, most were around 12.

I did have a hard time controlling the sides and making sure things were even. In fact, I believe most of the platters were uneven. I shall have to revisit them one day.

At any rate, part of what I was doing was making canvases to underglaze. I wanted to make another fish plate, but I ran out of time to actually sculpt (it was summer and hot and things were drying too quickly). And so, I painted instead.

I used mostly Western underglazes and you can see some of it burned out. The white areas in the finish product (see below) were supposed to be a dark red. Ah well, I'm still quite happy with the finished result. When I pulled it out of the kiln and showed everyone, I got an incredible reaction. On facebook, one friend called it one of the best pieces I have ever produced.

Needless to say, I shall be pricing this plate quite high at the sale. It's worth it.

A return to Naked Raku!

As the September sale at Blossom Hill Crafts approaches, I have been scrambling to finish up my naked raku pots that have been sitting about. Up first is my Phoenix/Fish pot. Above you see the pot right after it has come out of the burn barrel. The naked raku slip and glaze are still on the pot.

Here is the pot after it has been cleaned off a bit (that's why it's still shiny. It's wet.)

And here is the pot after I added some water color marker to it. Windsor and Newton have come out with a watercolor marker that allows you to put pigment where you like and then spread it out with water. The colors are very saturated and I had a hard time getting it to spread. I think part of the reason why it was so hard is because I'm working on a pot and not on paper. Bisqued pots are quite porous still and suck up water and pigment very fast.

Here is the back side of the Phoenix pot... A fish

And with the color added. I think I might add some light blue to the background of this pot. It will add a bit more to it.
Here's my wave pot. This was the second pot I rakued in this series. The first one had roses on it and I wasn't too pleased with the results. I ended up refiring that one. I'll post photos of that one later.

At any rate, this wave pot is more in the style of what I'd like to do in future. The problem is that it's hard to come up with designs that will cover the whole pot, not take forever to carve out and won't lose too much detail in the firing. I did lose some of the line work where the slip and glaze were too thick.
Another view.

Water color added. One friend didn't like the intensity of the color because it hid the line work and gave suggestions on how she would like to see it done. Maybe I'll do something like that in future. However, I am very pleased with this pot and how it turned out. Personally, I like the saturation of color. It's a pleasing contrast.

Finally, a dragonfly pot. I will be adding some light green and blue to the background of this.

Well, I have 2 days before the studio sale. I think I can get it all done.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finished Skull Bottles

So, it's been quite some time that I've blogged. I find it amazing how fast time can pass one by. And I forget to post here because I am usually posting on my facebook page. In looking over my blog, I realize that I show a ton of in progress work, but hardly ever show the finished pieces. Here is my attempt to rectify that situation a bit.

To start out, here are the finished skull bottles.

 I am particularly pleased with this little bottle. It's cute and delicate and very feminine.

 Here's the more manly black and white bottle. As much as I don't like soul patches, this one works well. I should have tried to make a goatee. Next time!

And here's the full on painted bottle. In looking at it now, I think I should have added lipstick to this one. At any rate, I'm happy with it and the colors and patterning turned out quite well.

Finally, here's the vampire skull bottle. I was experimenting with manganese in the eye and nostril sockets. I also used copper in the teeth area. If copper gets enough carbon during the firing process, it can turn red. Oh, and I used a celadon glaze on the whole bottle. Since the firing didn't seem to have as much carbon, the celadon turned more yellow and the copper stayed green.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Vampire Skull bottle


 Last night, I finished up the last skull bottle (for now!) I decided that I 'needed' a Vampire skull bottle in my group of skellies. And so, I started. Now, I fully intended to take photos of the sculpture in progress, but got distracted talking to everyone and ended up only with the beginning and the end.

And here you go. Now, I'm not too keen on the eye sockets and cheek bones. Now that I look at it, I think I need to thicken up the cheekbone on top rather than on the bottom. At any rate, I'm happy with this. And, I think I need to make more. A lot more!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Skull bottles

The other day, I went to a friends house and saw some sugar skull bottles of alcohol. (I don't know what alcohol is in them and I don't want to assume it is tequila). But, it made me think... Why haven't I made some skull bottles? Duh!

So, after throwing 7 mug bodies, I decided to throw bottles. I was going to make three bottles out of 1.125 lbs of clay, but the first one turned out too large (same size as the leftmost skull vase). I wanted smaller ones. Bud vases! And so, I wedged up the remaining bits of clay and threw 3 bottles of the mound. And then got bored... there are only so many things I can throw off the mound before I'm just done. I threw a bigger bottle out of the last bit of clay.

Now, one of the tiny bottles died while I was trying to sculpt a skull. So, I ended up with 2 small ones instead of three. I still have to finish the last bigger bottle, but I didn't have time to finish it. That will happen later. And I'll post photos of that one too.

I plan to underglaze these skulls with the sugar skull patterns. However, they do look more like aliens than skull. I think I need to work on the design a bit.