Thursday, September 30, 2010

stamp

The small stamp I made at the beginning of the year has lost half of the 'M', so I made myself a new one today.  Fiddly and time consuming, but totally worth it to know that my hand crafted ceramics are imprinted with a hand crafted stamp!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

today



Thursday, September 23, 2010

miss perry



I like Katy Perry.  She makes good throwing songs. (And we share a page of search results when you Google 'Katy in the Clouds'!)  I love this video.  I think it's beyond cute.  Boo to the people who complained.
(Found via Miss Pip of Meet Me At Mikes)

new(ish) space

The wheel has migrated to the study. I like to be able to close a door on my work and forget about it for a while. Even as a kid, I hated keeping my school books in my bedroom! So I've donated one desk to Salvos, adopted a shelving unit from some friends and moved the office stuff onto the dining room table (much easier to tidy up when we need to eat) so that I can totally dedicate that room to pots. I can't begin tell you how considerate my bloke is!
Yesterday I attempted some cups. None of them are the same size and 2 are very uncentred. Hopefully it won't be too noticable once they're folded...! This bag of clay is very firm and so quite challenging, but I need to persevere with it. I hate wasting clay.
My stamp is falling apart! I have to scratch in the 'M' now. Must make new one, must make new one, must make new one...

Monday, September 20, 2010

page 4 & 5

Yes, I know, this is 2 weeks late. I'll do my best to catch up. The paper was still damp when I scanned these!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

my creative space

The kiln gods have been kind to me of late; my new batch of clear gloss glaze works perfectly. Phew. I've been preparing work for a Christmas retail showcase in Brisbane this year, but now that most of the pieces are finished, I'm having a confidence crisis. So my creative space is full of glazed pots. I was asked to make some feather pots without the coloured glazes, so 2 of these square slip-cast sets are just clear gloss glazed. I like them, but I worry that they are too plain; there is only one or two feathers on just one side of each piece and now I feel I should have painted more feathers. I've been making this collection with the bright glazes for 5 months now, maybe I'm just too used to them.
Lined up like this, they look great, simple with a touch of colour. I've finally perfected the paint layers to achieve those bright colours.
But when seated together, they look so...white. Not even white, because the clay is stoneware, not porcelain. The bases are a little uneven too, so they wobble a bit. This can't be helped, some pots have a tendancy to warp in the kiln, especially wide flat pieces like the trays. I feel like the quality should be higher for a high profile retail showcase like this. But at the same time I can't see a way that I could have improved the production and that the point of the showcase is to promote handmade. That means imperfect.
I'm so worried that I'll send these to Brisbane and they won't like them! What if I'm told that they're no good?! I'll have ruined my first wholesale opportunity! I'd love to hear some advice from folks who are in/have been in this situation? For now I will calm myself with tea and tim tams and visit Kootoyoo to distract myself.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

bird brains

Friday was a nice quiet day to tidy up and paint my slip cast birdies. Half of the other students arrived late and other half didn't turn up at all, so peace and quiet reigned for all of, oh, an hour and a half?! As my lorikeets are so small and narrow, I've been having difficulty in pouring the slip into the molds (it's quite thick and tricky to get into small spaces) so some of them have hollow heads. So I have been filling the hole at the top of their heads and piercing 2 smaller holes either side of their head, to be conveniently disguised as eyes!
I've also pierced 2 holes where their legs would be. The plan is, once they are fired, to glue some wire in the holes then wrap it around the branches to hold the birds in place.
See my precarious demonstration of how they will sit?! Bad ceramic student, holding greenware by the narrowest point.

Ceramic paints, bird, bird, bird, bird, bird, bird, bird, bird, bird, brushes, potter's knife, dark chocolate tim tam, laptop to reference, oh, about 100 photos of lorikeets?!

So many happy looking birds! I must say thank you to everyone who left a comment on My Creative Space this week, I have never received so many quality, supportive and interested comments! You made my day!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

my creative space

The kiln was around 1000C this morning, so for once we got to see 'orange heat' through the peep hole;
We usually fire the kiln in the morning, so it reaches its top temps overnight, but this firing started late yesterday arvo, so it is still super hot this morning. All my pots could be glowing the same colour...how mental is that?!
I'm progressing with my lorikeet casting today. We use strips of old tyres as giant elastic bands to hold the two sections tightly together,
Pour the slip (liquid clay) in though the 'slip channels',
Leave it for about an hour, then remove the bands and pull the mold apart,
And this is what a fresh cast looks like! That funny line is called the 'seam'
They look quite ugly when they're fresh out of the mold, especially the the slip channel (or the 'spare') on their heads...!
After cutting off the spare, reshaping their heads and fettling the seams away, they look pretty darn cute!
I've got 2 sizes of birdies, I want to make 7 or 8 larger ones to perch along a branch or a piece of driftwood and hang from a window or the ceiling maybe and I'm thinking I could make a pendant from the smaller size...hmm...
I'll show you some painting birds next week, or maybe even tomorrow if you're lucky! Many thanks to the lovely Kirsty of Kootoyoo for hosting My Creative Space, I haven't been keeping up recently, so I'm happy to be back in the game this week!

Friday, September 03, 2010

2 piece

I made my very first 2 part plaster mold today! I'm (hopefully) going to make a small series of simple bird (well, rainbow lorikeet. Can you say tunnel vision?!) forms.
2 clay models half buried in clay to make the first half of the mold
Cottle boards up to hold the plaster
Clamps to keep the whole thing together
And my finished 2 piece mold!
The slip channel makes them look very strange, they will have normal shaped heads in the end...

Thursday, September 02, 2010

my creative space

Oh times are busy around here. Making, painting, firing, glazing, firing, and repeat.
Not that I'm complaining, it makes me happy to have reason to continue potting :)
Have you been been to see the lady herself yet today? Go look!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

paint

Today: