Sunday, December 21, 2008

Beautiful Night

Here's wishing all of you a beautiful night, and Happy Holidays.
I am taking a pottery break from now until New Years, then have a show scheduled in Mississippi in January. We'll see what gets blogged during that time, but I will be checking out all your blogs to see what you've been doing.
My best to you!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pat's Tray

Well, here it is, Pat. Hope you like it! Will see you after the holidays.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sweet little trays

Fired version of some of the little candy dishes/trays I am making. These have small feet to elevate them off the table. I suppose you could use them for soap dishes and candles as well. This is a white clay body with dark slip painted for the vine design.
Book for inspiration for these.

Working on water and pine images.

Waiting for the feet.

Drying version . Brown clay with white slip background, cobalt slip for water, green wash for foliage and dark slip for pine needles. I was so pleased with these in the greenware state. Hope they meet my expectations in the glazed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The bottle/box series

This is an "S" shaped form in the series I have started. I cut out all the body pieces at once and am working on them individually. Plastic boxes keep the other pieces damp until I can get to them. They take a fair amount of time to assemble and then I always "fool" with them until I say ENOUGH. This one got feet which I do like. I did cut outs rather than braided lattice.
This is the one I finished yesterday. You can look back at the last blog and see the sketch. It definitely changed in the process. I have used a white clay and a brown clay. When Jim walked into my studio, his comment was "Nice boat". It was looking rather steamboatish to me at the end and I am trying to figure out why, because that wasn't the intention. Looks like I will be working on more of these to figure all of the changes out. I have one more body form cut out and then I want to throw some quick things to balance all the labor of these pieces.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bottle forms from idea to reality

These are some sketches I have made on these container forms that I want to make. I want to do a series of them, using different colored clays, making pairs, one of which is convex and the other is concave.
Texture I decided to apply to the first piece.

The first piece. Idea to reality changes are:
  • the feet--I was at the end of the day and tired so I settled on these
  • the size of the braids--couldn't figure out how to make smaller yet. I need to make more of these forms and work out the kinks
  • handles--didn't like the rectangular ones in real life, so went with a strap
  • spouts--wanted a thin, torn edge look but was uncomfortable that they would be too fragile in real life. I'm not satisfied with these, but I think doing more will help me figure a way to come to terms with the idea in the real world of hauling big pieces around.
  • angle of cut opening--I just need to figure this out. The curve of the piece makes it difficult to match the angles.

The size of this piece is about 21" long and 6.5" high, not including the spouts. I like the opportunity that posting this offers me to look at the changes I made in the making process.

Braided pieces

Braided baskets and trays from the last firing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A great image library

I was perusing blogs and came across this great source of pottery images. Turns out it is by an instructor at UNC Pembroke. It's called clayglazepots' photostream. Some eye candy for your Thursday.
The clay that has been sitting in my car will have to exit today, despite the rain, because temperatures are predicted to get down in the freezing ranges. So, I'll be moving clay into the studio. Unloading 2 kilns and loading a bisque or two. Maybe getting back to the bottle forms that I started on Tuesday and had to store in a plastic box because there was no time to finish.
On the literary front, I have been interested in haiku poetry (maybe for using on pots, plates, platters, etc--it's always about the clay somehow. Maybe we should start a new twist on the Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon, calling it Seven Degrees of Clay?) and got a book at the library. My faint remembering was that there were a set number of syllables. From the book I got that there were 17 syllables. Traditional pattern of 5-7-5 in three lines is what I remembered from school. This book said that there's some variation on this and it seems ok to just end up using a total of 17, breaking up the lines as needed. So, here is one. It is about one of the greatest (my opinion) inventions of the modern age--hot shower water.

Water pools between
the cleft of my chest and arm
bubbles and warm streams.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday, Monday, so good to me

These are some images of work at the open house this weekend.

Thanks to all the folks who came out! It was great to see people that I hadn't seen in a while and to meet all you new folks. I have just been catching up with all the blogs out there to see how everyone has been doing in the pottery world. I still think this internet is an amazing thing. Someone that I hadn't seen since college was able to find me via our Art Guild and send me a shout out.

This week will be devoted to finishing up orders and working on a proposal for a new piece in the spring. I'm very excited about the idea of doing an exclusive, limited edition order, so I hope it all falls into place and my prototype and proposal get accepted. You'll hear it here first, if it does.

I've also been thinking about some new bottle forms and got a couple of dishes with little feet done in a slip decoration. Some images will follow. This part of the year is when I really ruminate on new things I would like to try. There will be Treasures of the Earth in Shelby at the Cleveland Co. Arts Council, and I like to introduce new work there and at our Guild sale in May. Hope your Monday, Monday is good to you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Your Invitation to my Holiday Open House

Holiday Open House at Bluegill Pottery
Dec. 6, 10 am to 4 pm
Dec. 7, 1 to 4 pm
New work coming out of the kilns all the time!
Hand Crafted Work in all shapes, styles and prices!
Hope to see you there.....

Art mimics nature

What I saw when walking in the woods.

What you will find when browsing through the studio.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Glaze development, also known as the search for the holy purple

This is a little kiln filler that I used to test an overlap of two glazes. Green plus red makes purple in my glaze universe. How could this be, you say? Well, the green glaze does have some cobalt in it. I tried a blue and red combo first, in case you were thinking I started off doing things the hard way. Apparently the cobalt in the blue glaze was too strong and pretty much just looked blue in the trial.
These are also kiln fillers, original red at left, green at right. In between you see a red variation at middle left, which was taking the red, adding some clear and adding some very pale light blue in the hopes of a pink. Needs more work. At middle right is the liquid combo of the green and red glazes. On the leaf above I simply dipped one glaze, then overlapped the second. Here I have taken a small portion of green and mixed an equal portion of red. This method makes for lots of small containers all around the studio. Good labelling is essential for recreating your experiments using this method. I will try adding just a bit more red. I haven't gotten the color I want yet, but this is the closest I have come to it so far.

This is a shot of the 30 small bowls that went out of the studio for an order this week. I did a little color enhancement to the image so they are not this VIVID.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giving thanks in the Mountains

A view from up above Lake Lure, hiking a trail we found about 5 years ago. Nephew Jeremy is playing King of the Mountain. We spent time with my sister, parents and one of my nephews and his friend Alyssa. There was still some lovely color but just not much of it. The day after this was taken my snow crazy family drove north to around Bakersville to see the snow and tobaggan. I had to head back home to finish work. They were thrilled with all the white stuff.