Ornament Extravaganza

I hate to admit it, but Christmas is right around the corner.  Which means I need to get to work on some ornament.  The last few days I’ve been working on some snowflake ornaments. 

 After rolling out slabs of Continental Clay’s B-Clay, the ornaments are cut out using a snowflake shaped cookie cutter.  When leather hard, slip in a squeeze bottle is used to make the raised design.  Then the snowflake is glazed with my studio white liner glaze and wood fired.  Ornaments fit in all the nooks and crannies between the other work in the kiln filling up all the gaps that would otherwise be wasted space. 

Other designs include angels, stars, trees and a studio visitor this week made these greyhound ornaments and pendants. 

February 2013 Wood fire

Last weekend Becky Brandow from Willow Avenue Pottery joined me for a wintery wood fire.  Yesterday, I unloaded the kiln and spent a little time taking photos. 

Every firing has it’s good and bad outcomes – here are some of my favorites pieces. 

A couple slip decorated bowls glazed with amber celadon.
 

Snowflake impressed tile with turquoise glass

 

Random other things
 
 

And my favorite Becky item… you’ll have to watch her blog 
for more of her work from this firing.
As I mentioned, not everything turns out as you’d hoped and I’ll discuss those in my next post after I’ve had a little time to explore the hows and whys of my disappointment in them as well as what can be learned and improved.  
Have a great week.

New cups


Last weekend I mentioned I’d made some mugs in a new design. I hadn’t put handles on yet so I didn’t photograph them. Well, they’ve gotten handles and I spent some time yesterday adding decorative details. Several received these slip stripes and others were stamped on the lower section. Now I can hardly wait to see how they look glazed.

Have a great week.

New from the Kiln this Morning

I was up bright and early this morning to unload a kiln full of glazed pieces. Didn’t even wait until I had breakfast first!! There were some very fun pieces in there and I couldn’t wait to see how they turned out. I’ve very pleased. Check them out…

Iron Red oblong vase with slip design
Glossy Green and Black reed diffuser
Glossy Green and White handled bowl
Glossy Green and Black Mugs
Sapphire Blue and White oblong platter

Most of these pieces will be available at the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour next weekend. Later, anything that hasn’t sold will make it’s way to my Etsy shop.

The kiln has been reloaded and I hope the things in this load will turn out as well as the one this morning.

Etsy Mud Team Mug Swap

The Etsy Mud Team is having a Mug Swap this week. Here’s a beauty I just unloaded from the kiln this after noon. It’s glazed with Glossy Black on the inside and the outside is Iron Red over a slip design. It’s perfect for a nice cup on hot chocolate on a cold night. There are so many cool mugs other potters will be exchanging, I can’t wait to see which one I receive.

More Oblong Platters

In my last post, I showed you an oblong platter I’d made using a wooden bowl as a mold. The shape and process have really been speaking to me and I’ve made several more since that last post. They measure about 13″l x 9″w and about 1″ deep. The process of decorating them with trails for slip (thick liquid clay) is something I really enjoy. And if you don’t like how it’s turning out, you can just wipe it off with a sponge and start over. Here is one glazed in a rutile green glaze.


And the one below is glaze in deep iron red with one end dipped in sapphire blue which creates a mottled black appearance. The black end is also incised with a ribbon tool creating the subtle lines after it is glazed. I’ve also added three slip dots on the red end of the platter.

Right now the kiln is full of bisqued pieces and I’m waiting patiently for it to cool to an acceptable temperature so I can unload it. Patience is not one of my strong points. I’ll unload tomorrow and then will begin a weekend of glazing pieces from my last couple bisque loads. And then the cycle begins again. Throw, bisque, glaze, sell.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Oblong Platter

I unloaded the kiln last night and was very pleased with some of the results. It’s always a mystery which pieces will turn out as I’d hoped and I’m sometimes disappointed. This opening, I was please with nearly everything and very excited about a new design I’ve been working on. I’ve began making some oblong platters using clay slabs made with a handy piece of equipment called a slab roller. It works a lot like an old wringer washing machine. (Am I old or what?!). The clay slab is draped into a carved wooden bowl/platter shape I purchased while in Virginia a month or so ago. Here is a picture of the carved bowl. The wood draws the moisture out of the clay aiding in the drying process. When the piece is leather hard, I use slip to decorate the inside of the platter. And here is a picture of the piece I took out of the kiln last night. It is glazed in a rutile green glaze which flows nicely over the slip texture. I’ve got several other platters like this to glaze and fire and I can’t wait to see how they look.

Slip

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended a workshop presented by Sarah McCarthy at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd, Virginia. The workshop focused on texturing wheel thrown pottery, but we also spent some time discussing hand built and slab pieces as well. I enjoyed using slip to add texture to many of the things we worked on the workshop weekend and wanted to put the technique to work adding interested to some rather plain square plates I’d been making. I have plenty of slip in my throwing buckets at the end of a day so that was pretty easy, but screening out the grog was a little more challenging. With a great deal of determination, I managed to screen an ice cream bucket of slip and prepare it for use in a squeeze bottle. Here is a picture of one of the square plates with a slip design on the rim. I’ll have lots of experimenting to do to find patterns that appeal to me, but that’s part of the fun right? And one of the cool part about slip is you can just wipe it off with your sponge if you don’t like what you’ve done and start over. The possibilities are endless. Thanks for visiting, let me know what you think and stop in again.