Thursday, April 30, 2009

Smokin' the lady

Been too busy this past week to post. The last wet clay day was this week, but there's going to be a bisque on Monday. I've also suddenly accumulated a huge amount of clay, not to mention several buckets of dry to be recycled. But let's start at the begining!

The muffler fell all the way off my car

We've been doing china painting in Sarah's class. That's a very low fire colorant that's applied to already glaze fired ware. Here are some of mine in the kiln

Been throwing alot lately. My centering callous has been acting up.

Smokin' the lady continued

It's been so warm outside we've been taking out the girls. One day was so hot bunny laid down against the house for a nap! hehe she's so cute!

Tuesday I was asked to stay late and demo for an art open house. We pulled a wheel out into the hall and clay was provided, it was pretty cool. But very very low turn out. Not to mention I got stuck in a conversation with Simpsons comic book guy meets Renassiance Faire chain mail maker. Of course I forgot to take pictures until we'd already cleaned up.

Tuesday we also started smoking my lady! First we packed her into a 55 gallon drum with sawdust and other combustables

She was a tad too tall so we had to build up a wall around her

Once she was all packed we got her started!

Unfortunately she went out sometime that night. She did smoulder for about a foot. So today we tried again. Brian ran out of matches, so I asked Jeff. He had.....flint and steel. He *actually* had some! So the boys were out there for an hour trying to get paper and then tried grass and then slivers of bark to start on fire. It was absolutely hysterical! I wish Colleen would have been there, it would have made our cave man reenactment complete! Then one of them had the great idea to stick a stick inside the firing gas kiln. I don't think they actually ever got a living flame, just embers, but finally they got some of the paper lit. It subsequently went out. We'll try again tomorrow---with matches!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

strange occurance

So I was at the water fountain yesterday filling my bottle. The stream kept moving up and down, though not in any orderly way--it was like someone saw where I moved the bottle to and adjusted the water pressure so I had to move it. It was kind of creepy. I did actually look around for a camera, but maybe it was just a ghost.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My haul!

Ooo ooo ooo I had tons of stuff come out of the gas kiln today! I'm not going to try and move pictures around so their descriptions are next to the pictures, you're just gonna have to figure it out ;)

The vase with the red, pink and purple is a gift straight from Cheesus! It's a chemical reaction that occurs during the reduction of the glazes near the end of the firing, and it is not guarenteed! It flows from a beautiful tropical aqua to purpley pinks and then pinky reds. Unfortunately it has a big ol' flaw! This would have been my best piece from the gas if it didn't :(

That weird looking bowl with the three triangle slices of deep blue is actually a glaze test. I took a base and made three variations of it, all with 10% cobalt. Unfortunately I couldn't get good pictures, but trust me-one of them came out awesome ;)

I also have pictures of the slides I made for Jimmy. Mom thinks they might be too short--I have no idea, I just asked the advice of a friend who plays bass. Coincidently, the green slide is the same color of the vase, just not blessed by Cheesus.

The rest of the pictures are just bowls and vases I did test glazing on. One in particular came out absolutely fantastic, looking like there's a sun in the bottom. I applied all the decoration to the bowls in a slip trailer.
Praise Cheesus!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Computer Crap

Well my life has been sucking pretty hard lately, since it revolves for the most part around my computers--of which I have two, and of which *neither* are working.

It started with the new rabbits after two months finally deciding they do in fact like to eat cords--so I had to play musical keyboards with all the other computers in the house trying to find one. Then my laptop stopped working with a monitor. Since the screen is cracked, I can't use it. I gave it to a friend to fix and can't get into contact with him, so I can't use this awesome case Dad got for me today to use its drive as an external. (This also causes major problems because all of my listing pictures for my store are on lappy) In the mean time I'd hooked up compy 386. It started having boot errors, culminating tonight in its total collapse. Turns out the hard drive is bad. Thank god I haven't saved anything terribly imporant on it yet since it's only been since last week that lappy has been out of commission. Dad had another, larger, drive sitting around that he threw in here but it's taking forever to reinstall all my programs and get everything the way I like it. And it has internet explorer 8 on it! I had been boycotting 7!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Apparently I still don't have the hang of arranging pictures correctly

It's been a while and I've been busy

Today we loaded a gas kiln. Marina said more stuff more stuff so I glazed the, oh, twenty extra test tiles I had from Sarah's class. I made bowls so that's them there in the lower middle. Alot of those small vases are mine as well. Tomorrow around nine she's going to start body reduction, to change the red iron oxide to the black, and give the body that nice grey color. I told her maybe I'd be there and maybe I wouldn't. She'll do the glaze reduction later in the day so I won't miss too too much.

Here are my majolica tests from Sarah's class.

The Galburg opening is tomorrow, I'm excited about that. However it's given me my first chance to be the "disgruntled artist." I told two seperate people my eggplant is *not* a floor piece--of course it ended up on the floor. I'm sorry if you don't have the right size displays, you shouldn't accept pieces you can't display properly! I didn't attatch the two pieces of the eggplant on the same slant, and the higher it is the less you can tell. I'm upset because there's monetary rewards involved and now is a time where I could *really* use it!
I learned to cross stitch over the weekend. I bought a set of stamped pillow cases when Hancock moved over to Lombard and finally had Mom dig them out the other day and say "hey, are you ever going to make these?" Check them out

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Candles and Majolica

My procrastination has once again led to me scrambling to get things finished. Tomorrow I'm supposed to have two pieces ready to bisque for majolica glazing--I threw them tonight, hopefully I can get the feet trimmed on the bowl and plate and the handle attatched to the teacup tomorrow. I'm sure I can finagle them into a bisque sometime this week so no one will be the wiser. It would be much worse but Marina pushed back our due date on the teapots until she gets back from NCECA *turns green with envy*
I got a compliment from another potter on Etsy who said I had a niche with my mushrooms and my candles. Then another seller who runs a not for profit selected a candle as a possible piece to go into her store. This persuaded me to make a few more for my store--check out pictures of some candles in progress and a couple done!

Chris and Jeff's friend Greg has been giving me tips on how to take better photos, one of them being how to build a two dollar light box. I meant to have it done but made a wrong cut on the box and am too tired to fix it tonight.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Notice the hazing reaches even the lid

This is how they were stacked in the kiln


Here are the results of the saggars!!!!!! I simply can*not* describe how excited and pleased I am with the results!
The bowl was completely unglazed. It was made from the Great Lakes superior stoneware, a body that matures pinkish. It gave two fanabulous suprises! It was fired upside down, and the unglazed inside flashed PURPLE--and not just a bit of that pinkish purple you get often from copper reduction, deep plum. It also cratered a bit. The outside flecked beautiful gold specks in the bare clay. Not burnt yellow--metallic gold. It must be the body--the saggar was made from the same clay and did the same thing on the inside of the lid. It also hazed a bit of metallic around where the soda ash was applied (see last post).

The container turned out nicely as well. It was a porcelain from Great Lakes. I decorated it solely with unwashed ash. I'm not stoked about how the ash came out--it was nice, but it seems like there's too little or too much. It has that beautiful long wood fired look where it was applied though, nice and crusty. It picked up a beautiful copper-colored fuzzing around the marks, metallic again. Just beautiful! The inside was an experiment more successful than I could have imagined--a RED copper red. Semi-matte, but it goes well with the overall piece. The inside of the lid was glazed as well, and it hazed over the inside of the flange to create a beatiful orange all the way up to where the flange meets the lid. I'm very eager to test this in the wood kiln.

Can't wait for the next saggar!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Of interest this week...I got into the Galburg Gallery show! I entered a pair of nestling pitchers and a goblet that was carved out to look like a tree, but the eggplant was the one to make the cut. I didn't realize how selective of a show it is. I didn't look at the list in its entirety (too excited ;) but I don't think there were more than fifteen or twenty pieces. That's fantastic though, because there are cash prizes and that drastically increases my chances of gettin me a hundred smackaroos. Also it would be very nice to have another ribbon on my resume.

This past week we packed and fired our saggars. I did two pieces, a sauceish sized bowl that had been altered and an asian-looking lidded container. I used a pipe cleaner soaked in soda ash to wrap around the small bowl. I wadded it upside down to the bottom, and then also wadded the foot ring. I packed the bottom half with pine cones. then I set my container on the wadded foot ring, and covered it in the wheatish part of prairie grasses that had been soaked in an unwashed ash paste. I glazed the inside of the container with the celedon/matte green combination hoping for that oh-so-luscious red. We unpack them tomorrow!!!!!!!

I've been having more weird dreams, last night Melissa aquired a kitten that pooped on her bed. She was younger than I was and had a panic attack about it, so I sent her off to stay with her friend for a couple days while the potty trained? While the problem was taken care of, however it was done.