Friday, December 30, 2011

'Tis the Season'

It's hard to believe the "season" has come and gone.

In the pottery world, the "season" starts in June or July, which makes for a long time of designing, producing and marketing. And we always make open promises not to start so late again this year.

In the course of designing, making, testing and finally marketing, we learn many what works, what doesn't and sometimes what people want.

Like this year, I had a great idea! I am going to make this "12 days of Christmas" ornament for collecting. Seemed great, but I had more requests for all 12 and the buyers did not want to wait for the other 11 days. Makes sense, I do not want to wait to create them either.

So off to the drawing pad to start designing, planning, producing and hopefully be ready for next years "season."

Happy Holidays,

BTW...It was a great season! Coming soon will be some of the highlights and new products in the works!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Etsy Mud Team Donut Challenge!

Oh no, this is not a contest to see how many donuts we can eat! Donuts is the form that Etsy Mud Team members had to create. Clay donuts are thrown or hand built and the challenge is to design something unique or functional with the shape. Check out this link for all the wonderful entries that clay artists have produced!

Please vote for your favorite donut creation and you will receive a coupon code for 20% off to use in participating Etsy pottery shops, including mine.

Here is the Zen Garden Sculpture in final form and entered into the Etsy Mud Team Challenge. I really liked the sculpture in its naked (unglazed) finish, so I decided to enhance the details with a Red Iron Oxide stain. The top feeder surface has a glossy glaze finish. The sculpture is built in 3 pieces and they fit together like a puzzle and balance perfectly. Yet, they come apart for moving and shipping! Both donuts in this sculpture are wheel thrown and the vine and pod detail added.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Custom Pendant Design

What seemed simple, turned out to be a bit of a challenge. Yes, it would be easy to closely duplicate the pendants, but to replicate with a new design was more of a challenge.

First of all, I thought how wonderful that a husband would go through the process of finding someone to reproduce a new set of pendants that his wife loved. So this first set of images came to my mind. A graphic image of a man and woman with a heart pendant. I first carved the pendants and then made molds of them. In this design the black frame and detail is raised similar to stain glass.

As an artist world events can influence our designs, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan was deeply in our hearts and mind. People from all over the world were coming together to help and aid those in need. Our Etsy group also got together and made donations, which I was very happy to donate to. So my design idea was...when hearts and hands join together, we can make a difference!

Here's another variation. The color and design on this next set wrap around the edges, with the heart finished on the edge as well. The white line is carved into the surface.

This next set is an abstract with the glaze applied and swirled together. Then, I had an idea to add black glass beads just before firing. They ran more than I expected and you can't really see the swirl design. They looked really good as small black dots, that will have to be in the next generation of designs.

Here's some of the blank pendants and molds that I created. Also a close up of another man and woman design. I do not have one of these glazed, since it was broken during process.

I have learned a lot about the process and fun designing and carving the images. The painting process is tedious and I now believe I need a magnifying glass or reading glasses to keep my eyes from going blurry!

This was a great challenge to replicate some 20 year old pendants with a fresh new design. I look forward to creating more designs.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Don't Get Fooled Again!

The day to play a little practical joke is here. My son has already been scheming and practicing jokes all week, mostly as pranks. The cold wash rag on back of neck, was delightful. And the fake snake perfectly positioned as I almost step on it walking out of the room. EEEEKs, I am afraid of what will be played today. My Moon Flower plant played a joke on me last fall. When I walked to my studio every morning, there were 10-15 new fully white bright beautiful flowers gleaming but wilting away in the rising sun. I thought how awesome it would be to press them in clay slabs and make wonderful little trinket dishes.

Well, each day there were more of these wonderful flowers and I became more obsessed and could not do anything until I pressed them into clay. Needless to say, I ended up with a ton of these flowers and now they need to be glazed and fired.

Listing for Moon Flower Dish - U Paint


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Naked Zen Garden Sculpture

Ahh. Caught you looking.

The donut creation is finished and has been bisque fired. It was a great relief that first, it survived the firing and second, it all fit together as designed. I was not sure if the donut would stand with the feeder on top.

Now the question.
What color do I want to glaze this sculpture?
All thoughts and comments welcome, just post!!
Stay tuned for the glaze results!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Challenge

It's a new year and new ideas and challenges are in the making. It was a slow start to the New Year, but things are rolling now. Joining the Etsy Mud Team was my new year's resolution for 2010 and it was the best thing I did for my pottery development. It's a large group of very talented potter's who share ideas, techniques, and everyday chat. One of the features of the team is themed challenges that the members create and post their design to be voted on by the team and the public. The next challenge is creating with a donut form. The following photos are my creation in the works...A Zen Garden Bird Feeder!

Most of my designs start as a rough drawing. As the clay art is being created, some aspects evolve and develop into another design.

The donut form with bird feeder perch. The bottom photo is turned 180 degrees to show true orientation.

The base for the donut form. The perspective in this photo is a little distorted, the donut is not oversized for the base!

Sometimes when building these larger pieces, I have to borrow forms to shape my designs. The smoker grill became the mold to form the base on.

Now if all the pieces of this garden sculpture survive the firing and glazing, the Zen Garden Bird Feeder will be entered into the Etsy Mud Team Donut Challenge.

To vote in the current Etsy Mud Team Platter Challenge and receive a 20% coupon code to use in my Etsy shop and other participating potters shops, go to the following link and vote this week.