Thursday, March 19, 2015

Squares

A couple weeks ago, I needed a little distraction from my usual thrown work. So I put the slab roller to work and made some little trinket dishes.  The first group of them were fired yesterday with green glass marbles in the stamped impression.  I really like the outcome. 


Also in this firing were several glaze test tiles.  I'm looking to add a couple new glaze colors to my line up and maybe retire a couple colors as well. Haven't really found anything I like so far, so I'll have to keep testing.





Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nick DeVries Workshop

Last weekend I attended a Fundamentals of Design in Clay workshop lead by Nick DeVries  at the Edina Art Center.  It was a great time and very educational.  Edina Art Center has a wonderful facility and always puts on equally wonderful special events.  

Principles and elements of design as they relate to creating works in clay were the primary lessons of the workshop and the concepts were made clear while watching Nick demonstrate his very unique processes.  

Most of Nick's work is thrown rather thick and his shapes refined by the use of a rasp.  Using this process, he often makes squared shapes out of round and uses the subtle texture left by the rasp to give his pieces a great textural feel.  Nick's additional stamped and carved design elements along with his gorgeous matte oxidation glazes finish the pieces off perfectly.


I look forward to keeping the principles and elements of design in my mind always as I create work and over the next couple weeks hope I can try out a few of his decoration techniques to see if there is anything I can adapt to my work as well.  It's always so fun to learn new techniques and consider how they can change things you may already do.  If nothing else, it will be good to get the rust off my Mudtools small shredder.



You can find more of Nick's work HERE.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Winter Wood Firing

Last Monday, Becky Brandow of Willow Avenue Pottery joined me to unload the wood kiln we'd fired the weekend before.  Between the firing and pizza party we had during the firing, I didn't manage to get any photos of the firing itself.  Didn't even get my traditional pic of the loaded kiln before we brick up the door.  Apparently I don't deal well with distractions.  Oh well...the photos would have looked just like my previous firings anyway.



Becky is planning a kiln build for this summer so she brought a bunch of glaze test cups as well as a collection of other work to join my usual body of work for this firing.  


 Overall, we had a really good firing.  There are always some pieces that get blasted by ash or serious glaze runs, but most needed just light sanding.  

Here's some of the results.
 






Time to mix a couple new glaze batches and start of new round of work for my April firing. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Getting Started In The New Year

Like so many other artists, I like to take a bit of a break through the holidays to enjoy the season and my family.  We had a great Christmas and fun with friends on New Year's Eve.  And just before settling into the studio for the winter, potter friend Becky Brandow of Willow Avenue Pottery in Iowa visited for a couple days.  It was two days of potter shopping (Continental Clay, Ikea, The Container Store and Northern Clay Center), discussion of glazes to test in the woodfiriing we'll be doing in February and just plain lots of fun.  
 


Now it's time to buckle down and put a serious dent in my "need to make" list before spring sales begin.  It's a pretty long list but I think I'll be glad to start the season with a good inventory of the things I sell a lot of.  Of course there's always time for a little distraction by some of the daily beauty of a Minnesota winter.  Here are a couple of this week's distractions.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Long Overdue

I've been distracted by holiday goings-on and neglected to post photos from my last woodfiring.  Fortunately... I know you're a patient bunch.  

We fired the kiln on Thanksgiving, finishing up on Black Friday.  The following Wednesday, I quickly snapped my after photo and unloaded so I could have the pots ready for my Holiday Mud and Suds Sale that Friday.  A little whirlwind like, but the timing worked out great.


There was a great deal of turquoise in this load which is always a popular color.



Also in this firing, I was testing some decals I'd applied to the pots while leatherhard.   The decals are printed on decal paper with a black only laser printer so really any black/white design would work.  Lots of people apply decals to pieces after glaze firing, but I kind of want to get a subtle iron effect without adding an additional firing.I like the possibilities, and will probably have a few more tests in my next firing before deciding if I want to make the process part of my regular work.  


 And here are a few of my favorites from this firing. Many are available in my Etsy shop.


 
 
 
 
 

To transport the pots home for the sale, I packed them in bins in the back of the truck with bubble wrap and newspaper between the pieces.  I transport pots like this all the time with no problems.  HOWEVER... I've never gone over a speed bump quite like the one I experienced in the parking lot of a craft shop I stopped at to quickly pick up some ribbon for the ornaments in the firing.  It was a monster of a bump.  Upon unpacking the pots, here is what I found.

There were some choice word heard in the studio that day.  Fortunately there were no sailors around to be embarrassed by my language.  All these pieces have found a new purpose with several mosaic artists so I'm trying to see this as a silver lining kind of experience.

Enjoy your holidays everybody!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Day After A Firing

For lots of people it's Small Business Saturday.  But for me it's the day after a firing so I'm having a Peek In A Cooling Kiln Day or Melt Your Flashlight Day.  I've done both today and will continue to peek in the kiln with a different flashlight and try to remember not to place the light so close to the peek hole.  




Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and successful Small Business Saturday. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In the home stretch

This past weekend we had our last event at the Lanesboro studio and have official closed the studio for the winter.  Having received our first significant snow for the season, I'm busy getting indoor things done today.


Like addressing post cards for my last sale of the season, photographing pots for my Etsy shop, and anything else I can think of to avoid having to shovel the driveway.  Maybe while I'm doing this, the sun will come up and melt everything so I won't have to shovel.  It could happen.  

Anyway... also getting some glazing done for my next wood firing coming up in a couple weeks.  Lots of mugs in this load because I always seem to be short on mugs.  



Dots, stripes, swirls and panels - the most popular designs.

Thanks so much to everyone who has served or is serving.  Your sacrifices are greatly appreciate.  Have a great Veterans Day.