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.