Monday, December 22, 2008

Decal Disaster



Ok, so I've had requests to show the carnage. Here they are! I talked with Keith over at Mudstuffing Pottery who has fantastic decal work and he and I decided that speed had a lot to do with it. No, I wasn't on speed and ruined a bunch of pots! I fired super fast (like 3-1/2 hours to cone 05), and we are pretty sure that's not a good thing for decals. He suggested that I toss a couple pieces in my next bisque which is a lot slower to see the affects. So, after I do that, I'll hopefully post pictures of pots all in one piece ;)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What's been going on

Lidded casserole...I like it!

It seems like there is just never enough time to get everything done. I haven't made anything new since my trip, but I have to admit, the break has been nice. I am ready to get back into the studio and start a new making cycle--I have lots left unchecked on my make list. I've spent the past few days cleaning up the studio. It was a complete disaster! I can now see the floor for the first time in quite a while. I also purged my shelves of all of my old work--a couple hundred pots met their early demise by way of hammer! I had a ton of work that was bisqued and never glazed that I got rid of. It was all work that wasn't my best and didn't represent where I'm going, so I thought--'Why is this old crap taking up valuable shelf space?' Out came the hammer, and now I have room! It is wonderful! Shelves just waiting to be filled with new work!

I know the debate over wasted energy and resources, and I do feel bad when I think of how much clay and energy I wasted destroying bisqued and glazed pots, but I just couldn't feel comfortable selling, or even giving away that work. I am really bad about looking at past work and wondering what in the world I was thinking when I made it. I guess I need to get better at glazing pots more quickly, before I get the chance to find that I don't like them any more ;)

How do you all feel about trashing unwanted work?

I also tried my first toner decal firing last night, and it was a total flop. Fortunately, I used pots that I was planning on trashing anyway, because they all met Mr. Hammer in the end. I think that I may have bought the wrong decal paper because it didn't burn off! I fired to cone 05 for Pete's sake! I thought it was clear decal paper, but when I applied it, it was white. I thought oh well, it'll burn off. Wrong! I have no idea how it was still there at almost 1900 degrees, but it was! I know most decal firing is like cone 018, so how come my paper was still there? I have also heard of firing back to cone 6, but I didn't want my glazes to get another melt. They did anyways and all of my mattes looked like poo. They became super matte and felt like sandpaper. The gloss glazed pots looked ok, but decal paper was still there. The only good news was that the toner didn't burn off either, so I can keep experimenting! Any input on what the heck might have happened and why my paper was still there?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let's all go to Mexico!

Here are a couple of pictures from our trip! Enjoy (and be a little jealous ;)

This is of our room. Notice the two person jacuzzi in the corner. Unfortunately, Lindsay couldn't get in because of the baby. It was quite sweet though--I made
sure to give it some use.

Here is our view where we spent two whole days doing a whole lot of nothing. The actual beach was really rocky, so they blasted out these neat lakes that filled with ocean water and lots of fish.


I enjoyed the snorkeling:Chichen Itza had its ups and downs, but here we are conducting our own tour--we did a way better job than the tour guide.

And here are a couple of friends we made.


Part of the view from our balcony.


We had a really wonderful time! The resort is adults only, so it has a great getaway feel. I would really love to go back, but someone else would have to foot the bill again--I don't even want to know the cost :) Back to pots tomorrow!

I'm Baaaaack!

We got in late Sunday night after a delayed flight, and I've been trying to catch up on all of my online stuff. I had like 120 blog posts to go through!! I may follow a few too many blogs ;)

We had a fantastic time! It was truly wonderful! I swear I could live there! Well, I might weigh about 500 pounds and never leave the comfort of my beach chair or hammock.

I'll be getting back in the studio tomorrow night, so maybe some pots then. I'll post some photos of the trip in the next couple of days. Hope everyone is well!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

VACATION TIME!

Lindsay and I will be leaving out tomorrow for our vacation in Mexico. A while back, our family business won a trip for equipment sales, so we get to go to an all inclusive resort in Mexico! It will be Lindsay's first time flying in a commercial airline (her father owns a flight school with mostly single engine planes), and her first time out of the country. I'm no world traveler, having only been to Mexico once before on a mission trip, but we are sooo excited! Warm weather and white sand beaches here we come! (And the free food, drinks, and excursions don't hurt either ;)

Check it out here

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Casseroles and such


video

I have been working, I promise! My resolution to be a better blogger hasn't quite panned out. Oh well, I'll post whenever I can. This is a new casserole that I am working on. I really like the way that it turned out. I have another one just like it done, and two larger ones that need lids thrown. I have decided that casserole lids are one of the more difficult things to throw, at least for me. I had never really seen one done, so I winged it and it turned out ok. We'll see how the next couple big ones turn out. Practice makes perfect and easier I suppose. I plan on uploading this one to the critique blog after it is done to get some critical feedback.

Things are really taking forever to dry now that it's a bit cooler. I thought the low humidity would help, but no. I may never get a bisque done at this rate. I actually made a pretty lengthy make list that I have been steadily checking work off of. It really is amazing how much it helps to have something to go by. When I would just head out and sit at the wheel I would make stuff, but I was never really productive. Now I know when I go to the wheel I'm making a dozen mugs, or three nesting bowl sets, etc. My greenware really seems to stack up a whole lot faster this way.

I've pretty much missed the whole shopping season again this year--I didn't do any shows, and my Etsy stuff isn't flying off the shelves. I did bring a batch of pots up to Southern Pottery, so maybe I'll pick up a few sales there. I really want to stock up over the winter for the spring show season. I'm also going to redo my booth setup to display my work more professionally. I am leaning toward covered tables with small shelving units and crates. Any input on where to score some inexpensive small tables? They need to be able to fit in the back of my wifes Rav4, so something under six feet.

I am still trying to create a more unified line within my work, and my next step is going to be place settings. I want to come up with two, maybe three different ones, and try to make them match the rest of my work. This is when I really wish I had a slab roller! I am not a huge fan of throwing plates and I think I may look for an alternative to thrown plates. What does everyone think about slump molds? I've never really done much with plaster molds, but I think I somewhat know how to make them. I would like to be able to have a few of them so that I could make plates pretty efficiently. Of course that would mean that I need to make a better table for rolling out slabs. It's funny how one project turns into another!

Well, my video is finally finished uploading! It's amazing how much I can ramble during a video upload! Sorry for the long winded rambling.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More of my dog--sorry, no pots

video

Ok, this has nothing to do with pottery, but I thought you might get a kick out of it anyway. My dog is so stubborn, but she still cracks me up!! I figure we got all of the spoiling out of the way with her so hopefully our kids won't talk back so much--she is completely rotten!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Layla!


I caught my crazy little dog in the middle of a yawn and I just had to share her mug with everyone! Who couldn't love that face??

My First Exhibition

I've finally decided to take the plunge and enter my first exhibition. I have already decided to not worry whether I make it in or not, but I can't get past the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing. I want to enter a mug and I know I need to mail the application along with a CD of photos, but how many photos? Am I allowed to only submit one photo with a straight on perspective, or can I submit several at different angles? Should I call the gallery and ask them? I am allowed one entry for one fee and two for another, but I think I'm only going to submit one. I get the impression that this is something that I should already know, and I'm reluctant to call the gallery for fear of making a fool of myself. Some wise advise would be much appreciated :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

It Starts! Critique My Pot

Ok, so I got it started! If you want to become a poster, email me at starkspots@yahoo.com and I'll set you up to be able to post. I will make it look a little better when I get home tonight, right now it's pretty much just blank. I really think this could be helpful--especially if we upload videos. I know you still can't pick the pot up, but we can comment on form and whatnot.

http://critiquemypot.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Critique blog?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the biggest thing I miss since leaving school is open class critiques. So today, I had this idea! Why not create a critique blog? If anyone that reads this blog thinks this is a good idea, leave a comment and I'll get it started! It would be open to any body, but I think it would be good to limit it to ceramics, at least at the beginning.

I'm not sure how to get a blog with multiple posters, but I know it's possible. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think it would be neat to be able to post images and videos and get honest critical feedback.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New photo tent


I got my new photo tent the other day, and I've been a photo taking fiend! The other wonderful thing I got was a awesome new camera for my birthday! Thanks Lindsay!

Yay for good pictures! (well, good for me anyway ;)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Look Mom! No mess!


I got to try out my new trimming box last night, and may I just say, it worked fantastically! I had a great day working in the studio, even if it was only a half day. I got some glaze mixed up, cleaned up a little, made ten mugs to completion, and threw a couple of bakers. It was my first attempt at these, and I'm pretty sure I made them too thin. I was told that they needed to be a little chunky, and mine are really not. We'll see. Tomorrow I might get some pics up of the finished pieces.
That's all for now. Here is a picture of the mug handles all lined up.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Well, now that's a box.

So, I really love my new Griffin Grip, but it really did make quite a mess of my studio. I decided to make a bigger splash pan that would catch all of the trimmings and keep them off of the floor. Basically, it is just a plywood box with slots cut out for the wheel. I made the box and cut out the slot for the base of the wheel head in the bottom of the pan first. I went to put it on the wheel and found that, yes, the wheelhead exists as well, so I had to cut slots into the side wall as well. That would be why my little flap wall has two gaps in it. I made the flap before I discovered my critical flaw :) I also ran out of plywood at the same time, so little gaps get to stay. Just call me Lazy!


I would love to one day make a better one, but this will work for now. I want to have the flap incorporate both the side and base in it so that there are no more gaps.

I just wish I had some stuff to trim.

On that note, I get to take a half day at work tomorrow so to the studio I go, during the day and everything!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

( Before)

Yay! My parents got me a shiny new Griffin Grip for my birthday (not really til Nov. 2) and I got to try it out tonight. It is really quite sweet and really makes trimming easy. There is only one problem that I have found. It makes a total mess! Because it sits higher than my wheelhead, it slings trimmings all over the place. I'm going to make a box to go around the wheel and collect all of the flying clay.

(After)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whatcha think?

Here is a new vase form I've been playing around with. I may have gone overboard on the decoration, I don't know. I feel like I'm being influenced by all of you bloggers out there, and I think this pot has a lot of qualities of some other's pots. I always have this fear that I will make a pot just like something that I saw online and not even know it. (I haven't yet, have I?)

What do you think of it?

video

The glaze load that I did last weekend was half good, half bad. Mostly because I only had two glazes in there, and I knew I liked one and it turned out the other sucked. It was a clear with copper added for a green, but it has about zero interest. A couple of pots came out nice where the glaze was really thick and the slow cool got some nice crystals, but overall, it sucked. Ah well, whats a couple dozen pots? It wasn't too bad on some smaller pots. I still think I might use it for a liner, but it just isn't interesting enough to carry a whole pot. I'm going to let it thicken up some too and see if that helps.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Holy Organization Batman!

I brought home a leftover shelf from work today and put most of my glaze materials on it. It won't fit my 50 lb containers, but everything else fits. See the empty box of silica? Yeah, that sucks. I have 50 lbs. on its way along with some much needed F-4 Feldspar. I really did a crappy job of estimating what I would need when I started mixing up glazes. Live and learn I guess.


I also made my first trimming tool yesterday! It was fun, and if it works, I'm going to make a few more with different shaped cutters. This is a fancy version. I haven't been in the wet clay except to throw the one cup to try out my cutoff tool. Maybe tomorrow. Anyways, fun today spent organizing the shelf and separating all of my bisque work to be glazed. I got maybe about 1/5 of it glazed tonight and found out that for some reason, I can no longer glaze bowls. I dropped two in the bucket and two more dripped all down the sides. Nothing the hose can't fix. Maybe I'll give those another go tomorrow. Once I get all of the work set aside for the two glazes I have mixed up done, I'm kinda at a stopping point until my silica and feldspar come in.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How wavy is your bottom?


Here is a cup I threw quickly last night to try out my new cutoff tool. I think it turned out pretty nicely! Sorry the picture is a little blurry.

I also fired a really small glaze load--mainly to test out some new glazes. I had 7 tests in there, and I'm going to mix up three, maybe four. I also threw in a couple dozen pots glazed in Randy's Red, the only glaze I have mixed up in any quantity. Man! This glaze is awesome! I really, really like it, and I have a crap ton of it, so all the better! It really accents carving and has tons of variation. It is also really stable and fits my clay body very well. I'm going to do a test and change the colorant and see if anything works.

I've got to set up my real picture taking set up to get some better pics, but right now my studio is completely trashed. I really need more space. I have completely outgrown my tiny one car studio. One day...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New cutoff tools


I have always really liked cups and such that were cut off the wheel with spiraled wire. I have always had access at work to the little springs that are used to do said cutting, but I just got around to making a couple tools. I wish that I made more of my tools, and I really want to make some trimming tools next--you know--those simple angled things that basically look like a flat piece of metal bent at the end. (really technical, huh?) Any suggestions on the metal to use?

Monday, October 13, 2008

General Loathing.

Fair warning: This post is going to be basically a bitch fest over our current political situation.

I find that this whole election is going into the crapper. I consider myself an independent that leans a little to the right. I hold many conservative values, but I would never define myself with the republican party. I am very religious, believe in family, a small government, and a free market economy. Sounds like a republican, huh? Well here is my problem--the current republican running for president just plain sucks. What can I say? He supported the bailout and wants to spend another $300 million bailing out people who made bad decisions and got screwed by the housing market and credit crunch. Don't get me wrong, I all for helping out the needy, but seriously, what the hell happened to personal responsibility.

I also see health care going to crap if it is run by the government. McCain makes a good point when he asks why you would put the government in control of health care when it has screwed so much other stuff up. And, is NO ONE concerned about the national debt any more??? How is the fed going to pay for this stuff without raising taxes. Oh yeah, tax the wealthy, they've got the money! People seem to forget that the politicians that make these laws are the wealthy and they tend to look out for their own wallets.

I think my biggest issue with this election is that I see it as the lesser of two evils. I don't want to vote for either candidate, and I just can't decide who I want to vote against. I think my solution is to not vote at all because, well lets face it, I live in SC, also known as the reddest state in the country.

Anyway, another issue I have this election season is the ridiculous partisanship--people are genuinely mad at others for being a republican or democrat. Why is it that we feel it is our place to tell people what to think, or how to vote. It's all so disgusting. There's nothing wrong with civilized debate and discussion, but it is just so personal this election. It feels like people are being plain hurtful to each other for no reason at all.

I just hope that after this election things calm down, and our government can actually be productive and get things done that will really help people. I feel better now. If you made it this far kudos! I hope that's my only political post and I can get back to something that makes me happy--pottery!! Ahhhhh....pottery.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Untitled

Well, it's been an interesting week. I had a dealer meeting to go to on Wednesday in Welcome, NC (that's outside of Lexington somewhere), and I had to pick up a trailer at my uncle's in Winston Salem Tuesday night. I figured that while I was in NC, I would make the trip to Highwater Clays to pick up a bunch of glaze chemicals. (By the way, Asheville is in no way on the way to Winston Salem from Charleston, and I spent much of the past few days driving.)

I had a great time in Asheville. I hit Highwater around 10:30 and left about an hour later loaded down. I did manage to forget the 50 lb bag of silica that I needed. But anyways, after Highwater, I walked around downtown and went to a few galleries. I particularly enjoyed Blue Spiral, and seeing Kenneth Baskin's work was great. Ken was one of my favorite teachers in college and really got me making decent functional work in college. I think he had more influence on me than anybody else. Tom Turner's porcelain was absolutely beautiful, and another of my favorite Southeast potters, Jim Connell had some nice work on display.

I had lunch at a great pizza place--I can't remember the name now, but I sat at the bar and had some great dark beer and talked politics with a salesman in town for business. It was really funny, because he makes furniture on the side and had some really great retro inspired work that he showed me on his phone. Isn't technology great! I need to move some pictures to my phone :) It is really interesting how many people have the need for a creative outlet, and meeting this guy was a real treat--tailored suit, clean shaven, and much the opposite of me :) But, we both shared the need to create, and surprisingly, very similar political views.

So tonight I finally got to get back to mixing glazes. I finished the red that I was short of Gertsley Borate, and it made a lot more than I thought it should. It was just over 11,000 grams after colorants and bentonite, and made probably 8 gallons. I do mix my glazes fairly thin, but seriously, is it supposed to make that much? I know some chemicals need more water than others, but I haven't really mixed enough glazes to figure all of that out. I have The Ceramic Glaze Handbook that I am going to pull out tonight to see if I can figure anything out. If you've got any suggestions or comments, let me know.

I was going to talk a little politics, but I'm too tired tonight. Let's just say that politics suck and so do both presidential candidates. The end!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Penis pot?

So...I made this pot today and in my brain it looked great. When it was done, I looked at it and thought, boy doesn't that spout look like a penis! So, I took it inside, and Lindsay confirmed my analysis. I wanted the spout to mimic the neck, so I added the little ridge.

What do you think? Is it an everyday, run of the mill, normal spout? Or does it turn an otherwise cute little ewer into a penis pot? My problem is that I have a few more to put spouts on and I don't want to make a line of penis pots! They make nice little bud vases, but I really wanted to make some ewers. I covered them tightly in plastic with some spouts, so I can wait a couple days for a consensus on the subject.

I think that I am finally getting the knack for pulling handles off of the pot. Here are a couple of pitchers that I think turned out pretty nice. They still aren't exactly what I want, but they are getting closer. I find that I end up making a much more substantial handle when I pull them off of the pot. I guess it's just like everything else, practice makes more perfecter....or something like that!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

A few new pots and wheel setup!

I haven't been blogging as much lately as I would like, and I haven't had time to comment on everyone's blogs, but I have been reading them. Anyway, these are some new creamer and sugar sets--I think they turned out pretty well. I also built a table for my wheel so that I can stand up and throw again. I did this in college and I really missed it, especially my lower back! I am heading to Sam's this weekend to get some of those cushy mats to stand on to help my legs.


I started mixing up a 10,000 gram batch of a new glaze and found out that I was 865 grams short of Gertsley Borate! How frustrating. I really wish that I lived closer to a supply that carried raw materials. It is nice living close to Coastal Ceramic Supply, but they order materials as needed which means about two weeks of wait. I have decided that it is not economical to order them online because shipping is almost as much as the materials. I'll be making another order on Monday, and I'm getting full bags this time instead of small amounts. I just thought I could complain some, so there you go :)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! The weather here is fantastic! Sunny, low 80s! Talk to you later!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shot glasses and Pitchers

I haven't been able to get into the studio as much as I would like lately, but I've gotten a few new things in the works. I had fun throwing all of those shot glass size test tiles, so I thought I'd make a few more. I really like the way these turned out, and I'm going to make a bunch more when I get some more clay. I'm totally out of clay--except for a half bucket of reclaim, but that takes a couple of days to get back.

How many times can you reclaim clay? I'm sure that some of the slop I have has been thrown about 4 or 5 times, and it is super great to throw now . The only problem is that is smells terrible!! It's nice and moldy, has g
reat plasticity and stands up really well. But, man does it stink! Just curious really :)


These pitchers are fun to make, but I think they need some more work. Something isn't right with them. I tried making the handles that were thick at both ends, but I think these feel too heavy. I also wonder if I should push the form a little more--maybe more bulbous at the base with a longer neck. Tell me what you think. I'm looking for a serious critique here, so go all out--I'm tough!

I hope to get a few more tests mixed up and maybe a glaze firing done early next week. Changing my whole glaze pallet and all new forms really seem to have slowed my production. I can't wait to get some tests done! I'm really waiting on my black iron oxide to come in off of backorder. On my test cups, I plan to paint it in the carvings under the glaze and also paint the same on the reverse side on top of the glaze. I want to have some surface decoration on all of my pots, but I'm no paiter, or drawer (is that really a word) for that matter, so I want to do some basic decoration. I also can't quit dipping and spraying pots, so my decoration has to be in addition to the glazing.

Lindsay's first ultrasound appointment is on next Wednesday, and I'm taking off work to go with her. We are so excited!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Finally! (For two reasons)

The first news is really the more exciting tidbit, Lindsay is pregnant!!!! If you didn't know, we have been trying for almost a year, and just found out Friday night after a party at our neighbors' house.

The second exciting bit of news is that my glaze chemicals came in! I am going to make my list of tests after this post, and get to work tomorrow night mixing them up!

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ok, so here is my tagging thing. Enjoy!

Here are the rules of tagging:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog. (this is what you're now reading.)
3. Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them. (This is only a game.)
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

Six random things about myself:

1. I got married when I was 19.
2. I once wanted to be an engineer, even majored in it for a few semesters.
3. I am a car guy, and have been restoring a 67 mustang with my father for about 10 years (kinda stalled on that one)
4. I am a Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings fan, and have read the Harry Potter books all at least twice.
5. I don't like lettuce because of its texture
6. I have a puggle who likes to make noises like a gremlin (not the car).


I am tagging the following.

Maku Studio
Judi Tavil
Lapella Art

The Mudd Pit
Mike's Pots
Alina Hayes

Monday, September 1, 2008

New shelves--already full!


Is the weekend over already??? I have been having a fantastic weekend, mostly sleeping, and napping, and a lot of time in clay. Lindsay and I took Layla (our little dog) to my FIL's pool and swam Sat. I wish that I had pictures of that! She is not the biggest fan of the pool, but she likes to be held in the water, sort of. As soon as you let her go, she swims as fast as she can to the stairs. We then watched Clemson LOSE to Alabama and had a grand ol' time. Sunday consisted of church and napping, but I did load a bisque and got it firing last night. I crammed all of my test cups in with a ton of other work (who knew 7 cu. ft. could hold that much), then built some new shelves that I filled today with all of that bisque.


I also got a new tool that no potter should be without (at least one mixing his own glazes)--a triple beam balance. I got it on feeBay, and it arrived Friday. Now all I need is my chemicals--I'll call about that tomorrow.

Let me know what you think about the new font/colors. I wanted to keep the black background, but I want my blog to be easy to read too.

So, anyways, I need to do that tagging thing, but I'm not into it right now. Tomorrow for sure though!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who says test tiles have to be flat?


I have come to a decision on my test tiles--shot glasses! Well, not exactly shot glasses. I'm not going to trim them like I would if I were selling them. I balled up around 50, 1/2 lb. balls to make these guys, and I got half of them done tonight. I didn't get started until 7:30 and only worked until about 9. Not too bad--I had fun seeing how fast I was going--a little less than 2 min. per.

I really suck at throwing off the hump. I tried throwing little cylinders without bottoms, but they were turning out really bad, so I made these guys. I'm going to carve in them like I do my bigger cups to get an idea of how glazes will break over the texture.

I've got to fire a bisque soon--the whole bottom shelf is greenware, and I've got a good amount more stashed around the studio. It's still super humid outside, so most of it is not bone dry yet.

My wheel is in terrible shape already--why do I even bother. I wish that I could just roll it outside and hose it off, but I'm pretty sure the motor wouldn't appreciate it. Same goes for the floor. I can't wait to build a real studio--one with a drain in the middle. I'm working in my seriously small one car garage, and part of it is dedicated to the water heater and a shelf unit filled with random crap. What would a garage be without some random crap?

Exciting news! Carolina has it's first game of the season tomorrow night, and for those in the Southeast, it will be televised at 8 on ESPN. We are playing NC State.

Hope everyone's week is going well! Post again soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

S'more new work


Here are a few more pics of some other new stuff, and even though I said I wouldn't post about it any more, these pieces are faceted--blame Deborah Woods. So anyway, this first picture is of the larger bud vase form that Judy Shreve said that I should make. I'm not as happy with the form, but I'm too lazy to make more tonight. I think it either needs to be taller and straiter, or shorter and squattier (I have now declared that a REAL word). I still need to make a tray and arrange them with the larger one in the middle with several of the smaller vases around it. I really think that it's going to be neat when it's all done, but hand building was always my least successful activity in clay class.


This second picture is a new bowl with the fancy, smancy rolled lip that is so much fun to do. Sorry the picture is a little blurry--it's so damn humid outside that the camera lens is continually fogging up.


This third one is just a bottle, but I kinda like it. I like the relatively straight walls, but I may try it bulged out a little on my next batch. I'm also going to try the spring faceting tomorrow for the first time. We'll see how that goes :)

Lindsay and I have been talking seriously about grad school--both for her and me. She is going to go back and get her masters in education, and then I really, really want to go back and get my MFA, obviously in ceramics. I think she is going to start next fall (hopefully), so that puts me going back in four years (possibly). The scariest thing is really money--we made it through undergrad without any student loans, and I would love it if we could avoid them, but I don't think it is going to be possible. We are still at the early stages of discussing it, but we both really want it to happen. I know she is going back one way or another, but whether or not I go is up in the air. We've still got to look into financial aid and such, but I really hope we can do it! Not to mention we are trying to expand our family, which will put a very welcomed strain on the funds as well. Wish us luck--I'm sure we will figure something out!

(By the way, the pitcher from the last post bit the dust last night. I've only tried a few times to pull handles off the pot, and I've tried on big forms every time--don't ask me why--I'm an idiot. Needless to say, it didn't go too well. It's ok, I'll make more some day)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A new pitcher and bud vase


To go along with my current faceting addiction, here is a couple new forms. I've got about 15 of these little bud vases made, and they are truly cute little guys! The only thing I worry about is if I will be able to sell them for enough. They are really quite small, about 2-1/2" to 3" high, and they are a fare amount of work. I could knock a regular bud vase out in no time, but the faceting adds a good amount of time to the making. It's kinda like fancy mugs--how do you charge enough for the amount of work? You can throw a mug body, trim it, embellish it, handle it and sell it for X amount, or you can throw a 5 pound bowl, take less time to complete and charge five times as much. Oh well, the bud vases are lots of fun to make and hopefully they will sell.

The second new form is a pitcher that is....can you guess? Faceted! I think that I am going to lay off the faceting for a while, mainly because I am getting sick of the word--writing it, saying it--it's just getting annoying. I'm sure reading it is as well :) So the next post will NOT have the word facet in it, I promise!


I think that I'm gonna stick a fat handle right where the smooth rim meets the facet and have it meet the bulge just after it starts. On my next one, I am going to try to keep the neck thinner. While opening up the base, I stuck my big, fat hand in and widened the neck. On the next one, I'm going to use my trusty throwing stick to open up instead.

Well, that's all for tonight. Have a great week! Weekends are always too short aren't they?

Friday, August 22, 2008

A rare sight indeed!


Here is a rarity in my studio--a clean wheel! I knew it was time to clean when I couldn't find my tools in the clay buildup. I just moped like 3 days ago--can't tell, can you?

Maybe too much faceting?

Ok, so maybe I have a problem. I have been having too much fun with this whole faceting nonsense. I am still working on developing forms, so now I need something from you, wonderful reader. Here are a few tumblers that I threw this evening, and I need some input on which ones are successful and which ones aren't. I have my favorite, but it is always helpful to have another's eye.

Most of these I think need a little more shape to them--they are kinda boring. Number 4 (from the left) is the most successful to me. The two on the right are just plain terrible (they were the first attempts).

I think that this form works better in a smaller vessel--small cups that I like to think of as booze cups--who drinks juice anyways?? ;)

Pots are taking FOREVER to dry! Stupid Fay! Although I know I shouldn't complain; the rain that we have been getting is nothing compared to Florida.

Well, I better get back to work. The Lord of the Rings is on TV tonight, but pots must come first you know.