Greetings


HAPPY HANUKKAH FROM DEC 12-20!

HAPPY SOLSTICE DEC 21!

MERRY CHRISTMAS DEC 25!

HAPPY KWANZAA DEC 26- JAN 1!

HAPPY NEW YEAR JAN 1, 2018!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Dry and waiting

For the firing to bisque it...right now at bone dry stage is the most fragile.  I even put a note, thanks for not touching, in hopes nobody will try to see the other side or something strange.
Didn't make it into the last bisque firing, so it will wait another week or so.  With this weather we're having, the students have cut back a bit on their production...what, you disagree?  Well, that's my impression, but I admit I was out of the studio for a week.  I'm sure my one or two pots a week weren't missed.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

And serving soup now...

Yes, I couldn't skip having soup in that bowl that's captured my heart.





Just a can of plain old Campbells Chicken Noodle, with a half can of water added, throw in the microwave for 1 min, and voila! 

Oh I need to tell you about the butter colored butter dish.  One of these day's I may get around to selling it, but it's very special.  You see, on the bottom, I scratched out "Make butter into gold." and signed my name.  I love the silliness of that concept.  People seem to go gaga over gold, and butter is still a pretty neat thing, I think.

Isn't that a pretty place mat?  My present for Solstice/Christmas in 2012 from Tai and Kendra.  They wash and fold and are ready to go back on the table, and these days really brighten up things!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My favorite shape bowl

Eating out of this bowl was such fun.  I don't remember what I tried it with first.  Now I've washed it and will let it go to it's forever home.

It's BIG but has a nice smooth curve into it's flanged lip.

OK, I'll go see how many cups of water it will hold.

Ha, only a bit over 3 cups.  That surprised me, because the smaller looking bowl made at the same time holds over 4 cups.  It was  listed on the Etsy shop already  HERE.


So if you're after a heaping serving, go for the rounder bowl shape rather than the wide flanged lip and a narrow bottom!  Just thought you might want to know that.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Another learning experience


Here's my experimental teapot.  You may have read about my cobbling together various components HERE.  

I was highly critical of the outcome, and just added the three little blobs on top of the handle before bisqueing, and after the last pics were taken.

It survived the bisque, and I then tried applying some matt bronze green glaze.

 I like the results of this experiment, and have learned not to be too critical.  But of course the next one I make will have some improvements on it.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

3 overlapping colors

With white stoneware, three glazes dipped one on top of another create some new colors.

First dip in Matt bronze green, which on center right is it by itself.  Then going clockwise, dip into Raspberry, which gives a nice speckled black over the green, and has just a small portion of pure red.  Because then I dipped into Satin White, and the red turned green with the white over it.  I expected the pretty green being more shiny where the white went over the green.

Isn't this fun?  I want to try doing more of this.  After all, life is full of surprises, especially for potters.

And it did the same things on the outside too.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Tree creation three

Tree three, say that three times fast.  Ha ha.


Piercing.  That was the job for over 5 hours, I'd guess.  Then fixing a bit of a design glitch in the root system of the tree.



Oh did I mention, carving out the extra clay on the main body of the tree... behind those added roots and limbs?  That was done with a trimming tool, and a plastic to catch the shavings.




So most of the work was finished in a leather hard stage.  The pierced part wanted to dry fast, so I had to keep spritzing it with water from a spray bottle.

Now I really want to make a cat.  Trees again soon!

And I reopened my Etsy shop yesterday.  Not sure how to do all the bells and whistles, like how to get a connection in the sidebar here...a link.  Will check with all those other potter friends on Etsy and see how they did it!  Come on over...more things being listed daily.

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlchemyOfClay

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tree creation Two

Moving along, a daily visit to one studio or another.


Yesterday I took what I had worked on at home into the BMCA studio, and  came again at night to work on it.  I also wore my better close lens glasses...for close work.



But I had worked for 3 hours that afternoon on the tree creation...so I didn't stay till 8 when the open studio was over.  I worked till I thought I might goof.



As you might notice, there are lots of changes over the last 24 hours.  And today I finished piercing the bowl and smoothing my holes.  It's a lot of work, but I think it will look really good.  And I definitely didn't want it inverted when there's such a sense of joy I feel with this uplifting shape.

So that's what's new here.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tree Creation One point One

Tree Creation One was published by mistake yesterday, so here's the real thing, TC 1.1


Throw a tall cylinder.

Slap some additional clay on it for branches and roots.  Make lots of indications of where bark and branches might be.

Throw a medium size bowl.

waiting for trimming consistency
While waiting the 24 hours or so before I can trim the bowl (yes NC is humid most of the time)
I work a bit more on the trunk.

This sculpture started at the stop light in downtown Black Mountain.  I thought, the trouble I've always had was putting the crown of leaves on a tree sculpture.  It never looks right.  How about an inverted bowl, carved into leaf patterns?

So I went to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts Clay Studio, and this was started.  I brought it home to work on, thus the blue plastic tablecloth which is covered with suns, moons and old clay.

There will be more steps to see coming up.  Fairy door.  Goddess.  Cutouts...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ceramic art vs craft

"Ceramic art, referring specifically to American ceramic art, has finally come out of the closet, kicking and disentangling itself from domestic servitude and minor-arts status—perhaps for good. Over the past year, New York has seen, in major venues, a spate of clay-based art. There was the much-lauded Ken Price retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as his exhibitions at Franklin Parrasch Gallery and the Drawing Center. Once known as a ceramist, Price is now considered a sculptor, one who has contributed significantly to the perception of ceramics as fine art.

THis is the lead paragraph in an article, which I swear is dusted off about annually and published by some art magazine or another.

http://www.artnews.com/2014/01/15/ceramics-enters-art-world-mainstream/

I am interested in your reading this article and commenting.
What do you think of ceramics reaching into the Art Scene?  Should crafts be kept separate?  When does clay become art?

I call myself a clay artist.  If you work in clay, do you have trouble figuring out what to call yourself?  If you make sculptural pieces, are you still a potter?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Time to glaze

A sad attempt to stamp a very wet pot...gives mixed results.  Just like that 2 dollar bill ad on the newspaper insert below it...not worth very much, but experience.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Letting the clay guide me

I sat down to throw something.  Maybe a teapot.
So I made some components.  No design in mind, let's see how they go together.


Critique:
I'm thinking it looks just like that, some components thrown together rather than a planned design.  So I learned something out of this ...and may try to do some changing since it's slowly drying. 

1.  I think the connection of the handle to the body is too tenuous, and will try to add some clay around the base of each connecting place (if possible).

2.  next time I'll try to remember that when I see a width of a handle as I throw it,  it won't be that thick by the time it dries and is fired.  I'm sure this one is way too thin for the size of the body.

3.   I wanted to work with the curve of the handle, which is a hollow thrown circle.  But it dried too fast for me to do anything but cut it and try to find a place to fit it to the body.  And yes, it does have a hole on the underside to release pressure as it fires.

4.  I learned about putting a handle at the joint of spout to body.  But I'm not sure I like it coming off the widest part of the body on the other side.  Perhaps the next one will go more parrallel to the wall of the body rather than perpendicular, which looks as if it would break off easily. 

5.  conclusion is this doesn't look like a workable vessel.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Review of pottery



 Vase collection.
Bowls as of March 2013.
Jars...







Mask




More vases





 

Tailgate Markets, Sat. morning for 13 Saturdays.
Clay Studio, Black Mountain Center for the Arts



















http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EDVxyhwWSts/UlFlz1BrhyI/AAAAAAAAUW8/p0b5cFxJQc0/s1600/IMG_0974.JPG













Martha's vase