Friday, December 7, 2012

Winter update

I realized that I have show a lot of in progress work, but not too many of the completed work. So, here goes.

The completed Chawan Mushi cups! These turned out well. I wish the red had gone more red and less brown or maroon-ish, but that's what happens when you don't get to fire your own pieces and have to trust someone else. Most of the lids fit well, so I was happy. Until I decided to make wash the cups and then couldn't figure out easily which lid went with which cup. For the most part, they are the same size, but there is variation. And so, when I decided to make my own cups, I made sure the glaze each one differently. Much easier to match.

Now, I haven't made any of these long necked cats in a really long time. But, a friend came over and saw the one I kept for myself and commissioned me to make one for her. The glaze was too thick on here and I was using someone else's glaze, so I couldn't thin it down enough to get some color variation. Ah well. Live and learn and next time, make my own glaze up.

And here is a pitcher. I threw a party in the summer where I served margaritas. At the time, I only had a martini pitcher that just wasn't big enough. And so, I decided to make myself my own big pitcher. I used the Flambe glaze from Clay Planet and added a splotch of black glaze. I was very pleased with the result! Now, this pitcher is big enough that it takes two hands to lift it when it's about halfway full. Well, it certainly is big enough!

 Years ago, when I started selling pottery, I made some Raku angels. They didn't sell too well, so I stopped making them. Recently, I came across a photo and decided to post it on Facebook. I had some interest from friends, so I decided to redesign the shape and came up with the above. Pretty happy with them and I've already sold 3 with an order for one more. I think I'll be making a few more of these.

 Finally, here's my latest sculpture. He's kind of a sea dragon/sea horse creature. I had just seen Wreck it Ralph where the old video game character, Q-bert, makes an appearance. So, the mouth was kind of influenced by Q-bert.

 Here's a side view.

Oh, and I'll leave you with these snails. A friend at the studio was making them, but then she and her husband had to move out of the area. I asked if it was ok if I started to make them. She gave me her permission very kindly. Now, mine do not look like hers, so there is some bit of me in them. At any rate, these are all sold. I guess I'll have to make some more.

Things are changing for me. I'm not sure how much longer I will be at the studio where I fire my pieces. I might look for a new place to fire and just continue working in clay in my own home. Plus, I've been very busy with work and with painting. I do know that I have a lot of ideas to create in clay and hope to continue to work in this medium, but it might be a lot less than it is right now or has been in the past year. Or, it might grow as I think I might start selling more online. We shall see.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It has been far too long...

Since I last posted! Rest assured, I have been quite busy. I've made another hippo (commission for a friend) and a few other regular items.

Currently, I am obsessed with Chawan Mushi, a Japanese savory custard. My mom was a big fan, but I never really ate it while I was growing up. While living in Japan, I couldn't get away from it. Now that I am back in the States (for the past 12 years or so), I'm getting a craving for it. A local restaurant serves chawan mushi and it was a bit more full of vegetables than I was used to. So, I've decided to try to make it myself.

But first, I need the chawan mushi cups...

A friend has asked me to make two for her, so I shall be making those next week.

Speaking of "commissions", my mother asked me to make her a few frogs with their mouths open. In Japanese, the word for frog is kaeru. Kaeru can also mean "to return". And so, the frog is something of a good luck charm. Anything you give away or send off will return to you be it money or friends. If you go to the California hotel in Las Vegas, you'll see a lot of Japanese people from Hawaii carrying around frog good luck charms.

The pig in the center was a demonstration of making a closed form (in this case, a sphere) and then cutting open the top to form a lid. In fact, all  of the frogs were made from closed forms, the mouths were cut open and feet were added. You can't see it in the picture, but some legs were formed on the side of the frogs. I suppose the frogs could be used as sponge holders, but only the one on the far right with the wide open mouth would be good for that.

Finally, more yarn bowls for The Knitting Room in San Jose. I'm selling my bowls there exclusively, though, I am thinking of trying to get into Stitches West next year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Elf Opera Singer Sculpture

This past weekend, we unloaded the last Noborigama firing of the season.

My friend's sculpture came out and it came out pretty well.

 This side faced the flame and she got some lovely green ash in her ear.

And in her palm.

What makes me happy is that I now know how I want things placed in a kiln in order to get certain types of results.

She did lean a bit and attach herself to another pot. Fortunately, she detached easily. Her right arm has a few rough spots, but that's the "wall" side.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring 2012 Sale

Here are photos of my display for the Spring 2012 sal.

Painted pieces and the last of my wall hanging vases. Yes, those are dragons. It is Year of the Dragon after all. The blue dragons on the side are water dragons.

More skull pieces. Surprisingly the boy skull plates sold and the girly skulls have not. Yet.

I have a lot of lovely red bowls for sale. As of Saturday night, only one has sold. Ah well.

More bowls.

And some heart shaped turtle coasters, as seen in one of the previous posts.

I'll update this post after the sale!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Purple Hippo and latest sculpture

Here is the 3rd hippo that was commissioned. I used the Coleman Purple glaze and actually got a reddish purple.

He turned out well.

Now, my mom has requested that I make a few open mouthed frogs... oh the list never ends.

Currently, I am working on a Elf Maiden sculpture for a friend. I need to get her arms done and hair, of course. And ginormous ears!!!

Here is a close up of her face. I think I'll open up her mouth and try to make her more smiley.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Painted Pieces for 2012

Some new pieces that just came out of the kiln.

All these pieces will be on sale (with the exception of the Red Dragon slab plate) next week at Blossom Hill Crafts Annual Spring sale.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February Work

Baby Hippo, made for my mom. I will have one more hippo to make after this for a friend. She wants it as a bowl for her cat's food.

Here's a side view. The hippo's body was made with about 2-3 lbs of clay. The head and mouth parts too. This one is about half the size of the first hippo I made.

As you may have noticed, I've been a bit quiet on the blog since January 16. Well, I kept hurting my back while exercising (dead lifts first and then some high impact jumping). So, my throwing was kept to a minimum.

Right now, I've got a few plates to paint as well as some slab work. I'm really into painting right now, so making slabs is a quick way to create clay canvases to paint on.

Now, I need to make a few more slabs and plates and then start mass producing bowls for a red firing in April. Yes, I have to prepare for these things this early!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Year! Honey Jar

Happy New Year! Well, I am starting off the year with a honey jar made for a friend. You can see the jar in its leather hard state. In the photo above, the cylinder laying on its side is a glaze sample. When the honey jar is bisque fired, I'll be using the Ohata glaze which is a lovely rusty red.

Here is another view of the jar.

The other project I started was another hippo for another friend. After this, I have a number of items to make (3 custom plates, creamer and sugar for my cousin's bridal shower, yarn bowls for the store and for my mom's friend). I shall be quite busy in the next few months. And I am very happy about that. I just hope I have some time to do this sea-horse sculpture that is floating around my head and yes, that was a very bad pun... And the creature is more like a horse in the front with a fishtail rather than a real seahorse. I will keep you informed about it!