Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sale Remnants

White cup and white jar

Two teapots

Two cats, one angel and 3 martini pitchers

Green cups

Pendants (minus the pansies, those went to a friend)

Ladybug pendants

Dragons and Lotus blossoms


Lots of espresso cups... these have tapered bottoms

The rest were squared off bottoms

Brown cups

One big black shiny bowl

One beige bowl.

One thing nice about not selling everything, they can always become Christmas presents

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wood Kiln pictures

The kiln before we unloaded it.

One of the shelves.

My favorite angel

The treewoman fresh from the kiln

Matt and one of my cats

Isa and her beautiful bowl

Van with one of the shelves. This is the bottom of the shelf. Pretty, yes?

A close up of the shelf. This would be a pretty cool abstract photo to put on display

Finally, the moon with the shadow of some trees in front of it.

It was a cold night when we unloaded the kiln, but what beautiful results and what a great time we had.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Woodfire Soda kiln results

Here are the results of my sculptures! We had a really great woodfiring this last time. Oh, towards the end of the firing, soda was added to the kiln and that caused even more fun effects. Not quite sure what effects exactly, but we had a lot of great pots come out of the kiln. I'll post more pictures of the kiln itself before we unloaded it later.

The best angel. It's hard to see here, but she has two blue glass eyes. Some of the blue came from the celadon I put on it. The rest of the color is from the wood ash and soda. Both the bottle and the angel are soaking in water to help get the wadding off of the bottoms. Wadding is used in wood firing so that pieces do not fuse to the shelves. I'll post a picture of the bottom of the shelf too.
More angels and my kitties. So happy with how they turned out!
The Treewoman's face. No glaze is on this piece except for some flashing slip. The white areas were where the slip was placed.
Treewoman. She shrank quite a bit in the firing, but she turned out fantastically!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


They turned out! This was made with PMC standard, so the pieces shrink about 30%. The cats are about 1.25 inches tall and the angel is a little under an inch. The kitty in the bottom corner has been burnished, but by hand. I think I'll have to get a rock tumbler to get it to be burnished properly.

Treewoman and Angels and Kitties

Treewoman, kitties and angels are all cooling in the Noborigama/Salt kiln. I get to see them tomorrow night. Will post pictures of them!

The drying pieces

Tonight, I get to load a bisque kiln of all 39 espresso cups, 11 bowls, 6 egg cups and 3 teapots. As well as 4 quarter bagger bowls (clay comes in 25lb bags. I split it up into 4 pieces and threw bowls out of them. The clay is Big Sur and well, my bowls are heavier than I'd like them to be. However, they were thrown from around 6 - 8lbs each, so, I guess it's kind of to be expected.

Still, I hold myself to higher standards :D

I also made some pendants out of Precious Metal Clay using the claystamps above. The pieces are cooling in the kiln right now. I'll post photos of those later today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More pictures of me and the Treewoman

A few more pictures of me working on the Treewoman. Thanks, Della!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Angels with hair

Phew! No more Captain Picard sculptures!

These are done and drying so I can hopefully get them into a Noborigama firing over Thanksgiving.

Currently working on making espresso cups out of a midfire clay. Sigh, I can no longer call myself a high fire snob :(

Friday, November 20, 2009

of Captain Picard and Shrooms

It being the holiday season and since I've got a holiday sale coming up, I decided to sculpt some angels. Similar to the tree woman, these angels have thrown bodies and I'll be pulling clay to form wings and their arms. I have one angel done, but that one has a more realistic face. I decided to simplify things for these two because I'm running out of time to get them done AND fired (hopefully they will be bisqued by this Thursday... eeek! running out of time!)
I made the head for the back angel, stopped and thought, "Jeez! This looks like Jean-Luc Picard! Oh dear, I might have to add some hair hehe.

These are the thrown pieces I'm working on right now. All are bone dry, but I will be carving into the white circles to thin the walls out a bit. Why do you ask? The clay for the caps is made of Southern Ice porcelain (a clay from Australia that is one of the whitest and most translucent clays out there... expensive too... but sooo worth it to me!). The bottom clay is Smooth Sculpture from Clay Planet, which is the best clay supply store in the area! Ok, so the owners are friends of mine, but hey, I speak the truth!

A carved Shroom

When complete, these Shrooms will be night lights. I've cut a slot into the base so that way the cord for the night light can slide right in. And the light itself as a few prongs that will allow it to fit into the top of the base. Cover it up with the nice translucent porcelain cap, and you've got yourself a pretty nifty night light.

Will try to take pictures of them when they're done!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Finished kitty teapot

Here's the completed kitty teapot. I was having issues with glazing these past few weeks. First the clear glaze was too thin. Then it was too thick. And so, it was still a bit too thick when I glazed it, so it got cloudy on the blue bits.

The blue bits were supposed to be purple, but they turned out more blue. It really depends on where a piece is in a kiln for certain colors to come out right. Purple is really difficult to get and this underglaze is pretty reliable, but ah well, it happens.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


A friend on Facebook linked a page of modern teapots. I saw them and said: I can make that one in the shape of a bullet with a handgun handle as the teapot handle and the barrel as a spout! He said that he would pay for something like that. Well, with my sale coming up and my idea to have a sort of fairy land theme for my upcoming sale, I decided to wait on making the bullet/gun teapot.

Then, his girlfriend writes: how about the green one? I asked: the snail one? I want to make one of those! And so, I made some teapots. One is a dragon because I love dragons (almost as much as I love cats) and the other is my attempt at a snail teapot. It needs to be underglazed a nice light green and you really can't see the tail that balances it in the back, but I'm sort of ok with it. I need to work on the spout part of the snail teapot. But, until I make the next one, here ya go...

Dragon teapot says: Ahhhhhhhh
I threw the body, spout and lid. Pulled the handle. Waited a few days for it to dry enough. Because it's been so cold, things are taking forever to dry! The spout looked like a regular bottle at the start. I sliced the bottom at an angle to match the teapot body. Then, for the spout, I cut the top parallel to the table top. I think it makes a nice angle. Added the dragon upper snout, eyes, horns, lid handle and other spikes and front claws... no, he does not really have arms or back legs. I will be carving in an indentation to indicate the back haunches. And I used a v-shaped tool to cut in all the scales.
I like the little snail knob for the lid and I'll be using a bamboo handle for this one. I'm not sure about the spouts or how they will pour. We'll see when it's all fired.
As you can see here, the spouts are not perfectly even or matching. Will have to work on that...

Will try to post pictures of the finished kitty teapot next time.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Tragedy of the Phoenix Pot

This is why you never get attached to a piece before it's been finished and safely placed within your house...

I had finally decided how I wanted to glaze it too. But, when your beloved kitty knocks over a cactus, you reach over the phoenix and your sleeve catches on it (and of course, your mother had already told you to move the pot before it gets knocked over), things can happen. Bad things.

Sorry, Lisa! The base pot is still ok and I'll probably raku it in frustration this week... Will take photos of it after it's been fired.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Update on Treewoman and some kitties

Tonight, I spent some time doing some clean up on the Treewoman. I had to smooth some cracks and some little bumps as well as clean off some of the little dried clay pebbles that get left on a sculpture. But, before all this, I had to clean up the bottom a bit.

The Treewoman had been drying in the back for a few weeks now. I took it off the pegboard and took it to the main studio for a little extra bit of drying time. As I put the sculpture down, some of the roots broke off. I knew it was a possibility and I also saw that the counter was not the same level of flatness as the pegboard, so it broke. Not upset about it because 1) I broke it and 2) it was kind of expected.

So, tonight, I went in and cleaned up the bottom where the roots leave off from the main cylinder. I wanted to carve into the cylinder a bit so it didn't look like the base of a cylinder with stuff attached to it. I think I did a pretty decent job of it. I'll take better pictures when she's bisque fired and final fired.
There's a wood fire coming up and I wanted to throw a few kitty sculptures (it's so fun to say: I threw some cats!... not everyone gets that though and I know my fellow kitty bloggers might get upset by that statement ;) ). At any rate, I'm using a clay called Danish White with Sand. It's extremely wet! Even though I've had the 2 bags of clay in my patio for over 2 weeks, the clay is soooo wet and kind of hard to throw above one pound. The body of the cat in the above picture was made from 3lbs of clay and is sooo heavy! It's also a little lopsided because I put the cat together when the body was a little too wet... This whole piece was made in one night. Threw the body, dried it with a heat gun. Put that off to the side. Threw the head, dried it, trimmed it, and shaped the face. Next, I attached the head to the body and then added the ears and tail. It's small but cute.

Here's my Scottish Fold Kitty. The ears were a little too close together when the ears were fully upright and I had mentioned earlier that I wanted to make a Scottish Fold, so... to make myself feel better about the aesthetics, I folded the ears over.

The body of this cat was made with about 4lbs of clay. The first time I threw it, I hated the way the body turned out. So, I re-wedged the clay and threw the body a second time. Usually, I don't like to do this because when you throw, you add water to the clay. So, a second throwing in the same night means you have clay that is structurally weaker because there's so much water... it's way too wet for anything standing up, much better for plates. However, since I dried the body out with the heat gun and then placed it under a heat lamp while I made the head, the clay was finally of a dryness that was good for throwing.

I know I'll be making more cats with Danish White with Sand, but I'll also be sculpting a few more things and may be sticking with smaller amounts of clay to throw.