Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wood fired vase and pendants

The noborigama wood firing over the Thanksgiving weekend was a success for me. My carved Southern Ice pendants turned out fantastic! The one above and the one below had some bronzing flashing slip painted into the details The photographs do not show the bits that turned bronze.

Well, you can see a bit of the bronze in the heart.

In the following pendants, I brushed on a bit of pumice celadon glaze and then wiped away some of the glaze from the high points. The pooling of the glazed in the carved areas really made me happy.

The one above was placed higher up in the kiln, in the path of the flame and got a nice amount of contrast as a result.

This pendant was below the path of the flame and so, did not get as much color contrast. It did get some nice peach colored flashing.

One of my favorites. Higher in the kiln, and so more contrast in color. The thinner areas where the celadon has pulled are translucent. Love it when you can see the shadow of your fingers behind it when you hold the pendant up to the light.

I really liked this pendant, and so, I decided to keep it. I think that the design can be adjusted to look either like a bird or a dragon.

And finally, a wood fired vase that survived! Yay!!! I used a different clay this time, so it survived. And I like the shape of the vase better.

I've got a sale this weekend, so I will be taking photos of that and posting them later.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

of dragons and a kitty

More dragon ring holders. I find that I can only make about 3 before my concentration fails me completely. One of these will be underglazed red, I'm not sure about the other two. The red one will be a gift, the others will be for sale at the BHC studio sale on December 11 and 12.

And here's an update on one of the kitty pendants. This is for #1 of The Poupounette. It is meant to be a sort of memorial pendant in honor of dear Yuu-chan who crossed the Rainbow Bridge this past autumn. The symbolism of the rainbow is well defined. The kimono is wrapped right over left which is how Japanese people wrap kimonos on the deceased.

I know that I will be making more pendants like the Yuu-chan one. Two are in the process of being painted right now. And I have been asked to make a few for friends whose kitties or parent's kitties have passed on. I will post photos of those in the future. Right now, I'm still in the prototyping stage. I need to make sure the underglaze doesn't burn out at cone 10. Perhaps I will have to give up my cone 10 snobbery and go to cone 5 (a lower temperature). We shall have to see.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Carved bottle

Small carved bottle. This one is less than 6 inches tall and fully carved. I used my new photo soft light box to take the photo. I need to work on making a gradated back drop for it next.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One big vase and skull pendants

Hooray! I finally got a tall vase to come out without cracking. It stands around 23.625 inches tall. Yes, I try to be exact. I wasn't too happy about the shape before I glazed it, but I'm ok with it now.

From big to little. I'm also working on carving up more pendants. Above you see hand carved and underglaze painted girly skulls. One is a vampire (the one on the bottom right). They're cute. I'm going to try to carve a few more and I have a few more designs in mind.

This weekend, we're doing another noborigama wood firing. Hope to get a few carved pendants in that firing and a few more big vases.

Pictures to follow!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Painted pendants/bookmark 'beads'

Instead of building more dragons last night, I decided to paint pendants. They're a long time coming. Some of these will head to Lisa as soon as they are fired and glazed.

Here's the dog from above. I got inspired by Dash of weefurries fame. He's a doll of a dachshund.

Glazing a big pot tonight (if it's out of the bisque). Shino for the win!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Danish White with Sand Vase 1

So, I tried to make a few wall hanging vases, but all my Glacia clay was way too hard. So, it's now soaking and hopefully softening up.

Instead of making more dragon ring holders, I decided to make a new stacker. This is a 3 piece stacker and should be about 17.5 to 17.75 inches tall once it's done. I think the next one I make will be a four piece one.

I'm actually a bit happier with this one than with the others. It's smoother on the inside and the shape is pretty nice.

Hopefully, my practicing these stackers will help me be a bit more confident in making them and I'll get better at making them. And possibly get happier with them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Noborigama wood firing results

Overall, we had a really good firing. The pieces came out were beautiful. Unfortunately, my two tall vases did not survive...

My 'alpha' vase died. The crack was pretty impressive.

View of the interior.

This vase made me very happy. There is this beautiful halo around the symbol. I thought all was good, however, as I was carrying it into my condo, I heard a "tink" sound and...

There ya have it, another impressive crack. I will be making more tall vases, but I think I'll be using a different clay and firing it differently. So sad.

Yet, in all this, I did get some really nice results for the wall hanging ikebana vases. These shapes are fun to make. I will definitely be making more of them.

Finally, my mermaid. At long last, she is done, and I couldn't be happier with how she turned out. She got glossy where I wanted her to be glossy and as you can see below

She got some nice jewels of glass and celadon blue in her crown.

As an added bonus, she got a nice ash drip on her elbow.

So, although I lost two nice vases, I'm very pleased with the results.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dragon Ring holders

Been meaning to make these for a long time. However, I got bored after making 3. Must make more!

Some of these will go into the next wood/soda firing on Thanksgiving weekend.

AND, we spend last Thursday and Friday firing the noborigama kiln. So fun. Tonight, we get to open it up. And of course, I forgot my camera at home. Oh well, will use my camera phone for the unloading and then take some 'nice' photos when I get my pieces home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

another vase and bowls completely fired

The latest tall vase. I'm not completely happy with the esthetics of it. I feel like I'm sacrificing good shape and design for size. So, I think I'll be working on making slightly smaller vases and doing the whole shaping thing. They'll be more typical vases, not ones used for ikebana.

11 of the bowls above are from that run of 16 big bowls I made. The two black bowls at the top are from previous firings. The 3 green are glazed with celadon. 2 of them are black. One is black and red.

Now, the bright white bowls with little bits of red were all glazed with copper red, but as you can see, they are not red. The glaze was too thin. Where the glaze pooled in the center is thicker and so it turned red. Hopefully, these will sell.

Woodfiring this week. I cannot wait! Hope to upload some photos of the firing and I'll definitely post photos of the results.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ikebana wall hangers

A few cleaned up, keyholed and lips cut into some ikebana wall hanger pots. After firing, I think they'll 'stand' between 4 - 8 inches tall. But don't quote me on that. I've brought them inside in the hopes I can get them dry enough for firing by next Tuesday.

Hard to see the key hole shaped holes. I hope that they are big enough for the screws. I might be carving them out a bit more once the pieces dry out completely.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big ole vase and some carved bowls

Here's a vase. It's a stacker made from 4 cylinders. I wasn't too happy with how it was looking, so, first I 'dinged' it a bit with a wooden stick tool. Still wasn't happy with it, so I cut out some holes in the neck.

I didn't cut the same number of holes into the neck on each side. There are either 1 or 2 holes on each side.

By the time this is fired it should stand about 20 inches tall. 12% is the usual shrink rate, but that's when you get the clay to cone 10 (about 2345 degrees). However, I'm planning to wood fire this, so the temperature is higher and this might shrink a good bit more.

And I needed to carve up some bowls that have been sitting around for a long time. Wasn't up to doing a lot of carving, but I figure some 'big' rather than intricate delicate work was called for last night.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of Ikebana pots

This past weekend, I went to a lovely Ikebana show and got inspired.

I took a number of photographs of pots and vases and vessels I will make in the future.

I didn't have the energy to make any stacked vases last night, so I decided to start off with some wall hanging vases.

To get the type of tapered shape I like and not have to trim a bunch of clay off, I threw these pieces upside down. Yes, they sort of look like artillery shells right now, but when they are done, they'll be flattened on one side and reversed (the bottom will be the top). The center one was about 1.25 lbs while the others were about 1.5.

This is the biggest one I threw. It's a little over 6 inches tall. I think. Honestly, I can't remember, but it was the biggest last night, made with about 3 lbs of clay.

And, I finally threw some new bases for my mushroom lamps. Once they are done, I'll take a few photos to show you what they are supposed to be.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Of Platters, Vases and a tea set

Platters made last night.

More platters. These are for Christmas presents for family. I might have to make more for the next sale. I don't know yet.

Here's the creamer, also made for a friend.

Tea cups.

Sugar jar.

Here's a vase. It's about 16 inches tall or so. It's not quite what I had in mind, but considering how long it's been since I've thrown a vase. This is what we call a 'stacker'. I threw two cylinders and stacked one on top the other. Made sure it was sealed and did a little shaping. Usually, I throw narrower tops and never see the inside. However, since these needed to have a wider top, I can see the insides and not really happy with how the inside looks. Hopefully, I'll get used to it or get better at making these!

And another 'stacker' vase made last night. The bulge is where the two cylinders are attached. I will probably add some more bits of clay to decorate it.

Must make more!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finally done with bowls!

The last 4 bowls are trimmed and drying! Thank goodness. I was getting a little tired of making them. The one on the bottom right has me a bit worried. It was horribly off center when I was trimming it and one part is a bit 'bendy'. Hopefully it will survive.

Finally getting to the sugar, creamer and 2 mugs for a tea set. The cup in the very back (center) will be my Mom's new cup. A while ago, I made a set of cups for my family to use during family dinner (Mom, Dad, Becky, Mar... I inscribed all our names on the cups). Mom's cup developed a V-shaped crack and just broke. Not sure how that happened. Anyhow, she needed a new cup. Now she gets one.

Finally, I threw a platter. Working on getting Christmas presents made. I don't think this platter is quite big enough for my Aunt. So I shall have to use more clay when I make hers...

I'm thinking of making some 1 1/2 lb bowls soon. It's always good to have a variety. And, well, I can always use more bowls for myself, right???

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

of egg cups and MORE bowls

First up, 8 trimmed and drying bowls. The previous 4 were sent out to bisque.

4 more bowls thrown. Total is now 16. I think I'm done with bowls for now.

At long last, Lisa's egg cups! Along with a jumbo egg. Lisa, I hope that you use large or medium sized eggs otherwise, they might teeter a bit hehe.
And finally, Emma's set. The black is actually a dark blue. The lighting is bad in my kitchen. The three white cups are a little big for eggs, so I decided to call them shot cups for Emma's husband.