Anxiously Awaiting More Pottery

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I’m so excited!

I’ve been eagerly sketching ideas for pottery creations for this up coming fall.

I start up again Tuesday after Labor Day.

A friend of mine Karen Stackow from Signs O’ Fire, has a booth for the next three days at The Rhythm and Roots Festival here in Rhode Island.  She is graciously selling some of my pottery in her booth. For doing so, I filled all my larger vessels with flowers from my gardens.  She sells my wares, I help decorate her booth.  Win-Win!

It reminded me, I never posted the finished outcome of the first pitchers I ever made.

I especially like the heart one.  It’s soft and smooth. Plus the colors look old like they’re from a country cottage.  I shall have to remember the glaze combination for future endeavors…

Even better  containing nature’s bounty!

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Of course in digging everything up, I found these little sugar bowls I never posted about either…

Yes, tearing  through all the boxes has left me most definitely overly excited…

Now I just have to patiently sit through a three-day-holiday weekend…dag nabbit!

 

 

 

 

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FUN DESK

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I got a few pottery pieces back yesterday. The two vessels in the back were coil pots I created.  Their finishes are not perfect.  I couldn’t sell them or anything, but I do love their hand-made one-of-a-kind uniqueness.  Totally my speed.  They shall become my pen/pencil organizers making for a very fun desk experience.

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In other pottery news, I spent my entire session on the pottery wheel.  I dare not say the words out loud,  but it’s Christmas present time.  All of these small vessels are going to be the bases of tea mugs I am going to make for a holiday pottery show.

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I throw the bottoms on the wheel and then hand-build the tops out of slabs of clay.  These are definitely my favorite thing I’ve created in pottery thus far.  I use them everyday.

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I also started painting my bottle tops.  I’m sort of feeling like they are over-done.  I might make my next batch of birds un-painted but simply dipped in glazes instead.  I guess I have to try both ways before I can figure out which way I like best.  Either way they are going to be a pleasure to have on my fireplace mantel.

I still have quite a bit that hasn’t made it out of the kiln.  This means I shall have more to look forward to next pottery class!

BIRD BRAINS

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You might see these feathered friends for quite some time.  I want to create an entire mantel full!

The idea came from the gifts I received from my friend Christine.  She found an old bottle graveyard on her property and gave me a few bottles knowing I was crafty and might put them to good use. She also happens to have the most beautiful assortment of chickens, ducks and guinea fowl on her property.  I gathered up a bunch of feathers while visiting, shoved them in the jars, stuck them in my car and didn’t think about them for some time.

Of course the best ideas come while driving. I looked down at my passenger seat, saw the two items together which made me think of the seventies when people had curiosity jars filled with rocks, shells and feathers… BINGO!  I want to fill these jars with all the gorgeous flora and fauna from my area. But they had no tops.  Instantly I thought of birds. I’m obsessed with birds. I watch them all day…thus this idea.

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Here’s a third bird.

I look at these silly clay creations and they make me smile. I hope they crack you up to!

In other clay news…

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I got some of my pieces out of the bisque kiln.  I glazed them yesterday. Deep breathe & crossing my fingers they come out the way I see them in my mind :)

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I hand-painted the rooster platter too.  Next week it should be bisque fired and I’ll add some clear glaze and send it in for its second firing.

I have some colorful stuff in the works… and I’m still loving every minute of it!

I LOVE POTTERY CLASS!

Getting Fired Up!

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I’m getting closer to some finished pieces at pottery class!

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Last week I hand-built these pieces and came up with a solution for the two pots I previously ruined.  Did I throw them in the garbage? Nah, I took them home and created coil pots on top of the destroyed bases. I was able to clean them up fairly well.

Here’s a look:

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They are purposely a little wonky simply because I like how it looks.  Perfect bores me -imperfect gives my vessels some personality.  With that said, I loosely applied the coils until they looked the way I liked them, attached the pieces and today I under-glazed them. After they bisque fire I will be adding an oatmeal white color to their bases.

Next:

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I added under-glaze paints to these pieces too. I pretty much spent my entire session painting!

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Oh wait, that’s not true.  I created this 18″ x 18″ rooster platter today as well.  I had found a small rooster weathervane at a hardware store some time ago and thought “hey I could use this as an impression in my pottery”.  It worked, there wasn’t much detail in the weathervane though, just its shape, so I used pottery tools to create the detail. I wasn’t sure what colors I wanted, so I left it to finish next week.

These pieces should fire this week, so hopefully next week I can glaze and finish them up! Quite the colorful batch I must say!

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

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All those pretty pots I threw last week, I sadly ruined this week!

I just hate when everything goes wrong!

I tried hand building on top of two vessels which completely collapsed.  In hindsight, I realize the slab clay was too thin.  Also I tried smoothing out the inside of the vessels with water which made them damp which made them fold in on themselves.

Grrrrrr…hours wasted!

But not all was lost.  Next time I now know what I need to do to succeed.

SLAB = THICKER + DRIER

I did create two pieces which turned out pretty well:

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This little dude totally needs a hat!

Ahh, I guess there’s always next week!

Back to School

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My kids were not all that thrilled to go back to school, but I am!

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My pottery classes started up again. They are every Tuesday.  It feels awesome.  I’ve been taking pottery classes for two years now and I am finally feeling like I’m getting the ropes!

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I made 6 vessels.  I centered the clay on the wheel all by myself and I did not have any failures.

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Well sort of… This pot collapsed and I probably should have scrapped it, but I just loved the way it fell.  It’s like stripey-ribbons of clay. It reminded me of a bird bath, so I am going to work with it. I’m not all too fond of perfect anyways.

I’m not sure what I am going to turn the other pieces into yet, but stay tuned.  I definitely won’t leave them the way they are!

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It feels so great to be back!

DON’T LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG!

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I know, I know, what was I thinking?  How on earth did I wind up with a cat in a bag?

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Well, it began with a lesson in pinch pots.  I was learning how to trap air inside a pinch pot.  Pretty much, you create a clay bubble.  When air is trapped inside, you can then roll, morph and play with the clay, yet it stays inflated. I took my clay bubble and transformed it into a cat head.

Well, then what do you do with a cat head?  First I tried making a coil pot for its body, but it looked horrible.  It looked like an abandoned bee hive.  It was abandoned to the trash!

Then the idea struck me…BAD PUN = AWESOME! = CAT IN A BAG

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I made a ceramic bag out of clay slabs, stamped in my bad pun, added some handles and viola!

It’s being bisque fired as we speak….

Now what will  I do with a  cat in a bag when  I get this thing home? …hmm… I have no idea!

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DAY #344 – DO-OVER

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I tried so very hard today.

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These were my last attempts at mugs in pottery class.  They actually look and feel great, the only problem is that all three of these mugs were glazing failures.  The tops of these mugs were supposed to be bright pinks, blues and Chartreuse green.  One of the glazes I used backfired and turned them all brown.  As an artist or maybe just as a perfectionist, this will haunt me until I get it right.  I called today’s post DO-OVER because I am still in pursuit of the perfect mug. Perfect to me that is!

I spent two hours today glazing four mugs.  That is ridiculous, but I really spent some time thinking about color combinations and chemical reactions.  Each of my new mugs will have a matte finish glaze on the bottom and the tops will have all sorts of color combinations.  The first mug will have matte amethyst, red, pink and purple.  The second mug will have fern mist green mixed with colonial white, the third mug will have cobalt blue with whites, pinks and purples.  The fourth mug will have periwinkle, cobalt and golden yellow.

To reiterate, all the glazes I picked today should not have any browns in them.  In my head I see them as sort of bright and colorful.  It’s so hard to wait for the results.  They never turn out like I imagine.  I’m crossing my fingers though!

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I got three more soap dishes back today.  They are going to be teacher’s gifts.

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I brightened up this mug by adding blue & yellow glazes and re-firing it.  My teacher doesn’t recommend doing it, but luckily it worked out.  It actually looks better in real life than in the photo.

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I stayed late today to start on some bowls for next week.  I am going to attempt something similar to the mugs in style.  I threw the bottoms of the bowls on the wheel and next week I am going to hand-build higher walls with slabs of clay and then embellish them of course!

So this wasn’t the best show n’ tell week, but hopefully next week I shall have some beautiful mugs to show!

Until then, Sayonara!

http://www.becreativemary.com
join me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary

Day #330 – TOO BROWN FOR ME

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Would you use these mugs in your home?  Many people I know have kitchens that would tie in with this nice warm earthy color palette. Unfortunately, my house isn’t one of them. I don’t own a lick of brown!

I was kind of bummed when I got my pieces back today because I didn’t apply any brown glazes yet that’s all I got.

I was expecting most of these pieces to have a Chartreuse green crackle glaze and to be bright and cheery.

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This mug was supposed to be a pink-purple color on top with yellow-green crackle throughout.

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This one was supposed to be yellow-green on top.

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All three of these were supposed to be a bright yellow-green and instead, I got brown. The Chartreuse crackle glaze didn’t work.  On all of my pieces it either turned clear or brown.  The glaze is new to the studio and it hadn’t been tested yet. I guess we can call my pieces the testers and guess what, the test failed.

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These two mugs came out as expected.  They are fun, playful and colorful.

You do realize that when I complain, this would be like a 1 out of 10 on the importance-meter.  Meaning – not at all important. It’s simply a self-critique. They still will hold coffee and I still had a great time making them.  It’s just when you build your expectations up high, you have a vision in your head of one thing and then the reality is way off, you can feel a bit down.

What do you do when you feel beaten? When you feel like a pottery failure??

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You make more pots!

I was so angry, I took that frustration and began the process of making more mugs. I learned a lot from this previous batch. The hand-built upper walls of these past mugs were an idea to fix a mistake.  I like the look so much I am going to try it again and they are going to be straighter and fastened smoother. I have some ideas on using under glazes to gain better control over the color outcome too. I will get this right I tell you!

This will be my third attempt this year to get “the mug” perfected. I think my poor husband has seen at least twelve mugs come in and around twelve mugs move out.  I keep giving them away before my latest attempts come out of the kiln.

I promise hubby I will keep this batch of mugs until the new ones are finished.  But as God is my witness, I vow to continue the mission, the mission to create THE PERFECT MUG!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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DAY #323 – GOT TO GET GLAZING

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Can you tell glazing is not my favorite part of the pottery process?  Yep.  I’ve put it off for so many weeks now, it’s going to take forever to glaze them all!  For all you non-potters, glazing is the final step where you generally dip your pieces in different colors.  If the glaze colors overlap, then you get chemical reactions and you just never know what the piece is going to look like until it comes out of the kiln.

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These are the jewelry trays I made some time ago.  I made the tray a gloss black and then each bowl has three different bulls-eyes of colored glazes within them.  It took me an hour to just glaze these two trays!  Each glaze has to be stirred and prepped.  Too many colors= too much time, but you know me, I’ll go with the color!  I also added marbles to be fired.  This will leave glass crackles in the bottom of each bowl.  Wish me luck on this one.  I have no idea how it will turn out!

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These three mugs have a color called “oil spot” on the bottom.  It sort of looks like oiled bronze when it fires.  The top portions are mixtures of light & dark greens, hyacinth pink and a bright yellow Chartreuse crackle.  Again, in my head I’m thinking these are going to be awesome, but you just never know….crossing my fingers!

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I then had these two.  The floral mug has the flowers already painted in an array of bright colors.  I just added clear over them.  Then I added greens to the bottom half and a periwinkle blue to the top half.  On the small vase I added 3 different greens.  The top being the yellow-green crackle.  Green is my favorite color, so I went a little heavy on the green glazes today.

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Finally I had this little guy.  I painted on a green tinted white colored glaze.  I’m hoping it will have this sort of creepy white matte look to it, with a pop of orange inside of course!

I still have 8 soap dishes and a few more mugs to glaze next week.  I finally had to kick myself out of the pottery studio.  I was there from 9:30-2pm.  4 1/2 hours to glaze these pieces and that was only half of them!

Now do you see why it’s not my favorite part of the process?

The only good thing about glazing day, is that the next time you go to class, you’re pretty sure to have some completed pottery pieces to take home and that’s the best part!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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