Sunday, February 26, 2012

In the studio

This week I've been redecorating- so not so much studio work per say- but a bit of painting and sewing in the master bedroom, and it's not quite done yet- but more so done- we are minus one old wall to wall carpet- and up one nice hardwood floor. The top photo  is of the velvet flocked wall paper that used to be there- covering some truly funky old green wall paper. We removed both and opted for clean painted walls in a light greeny-blue. the fabric is for curtains- I'll post photos when the project is over.

Friday, February 17, 2012

In the Studio

This is an example of the work I'm doing right now- not exaclty my style- but a good learning tool-I really love the way the thread looks in those french knots

the winter tree from the seasonal apple tree needlecase the group is working on presently

I also really love this picture of N, though it's not as clear as I'd like- I've been spending a fair bit of time this week dressed up as a princess fairy.

This week has been clay light- embroidery heavy- just getting the batch of clay ready to fire- smoothing out the edges of my test tiles, pulling out supplies- organizing threads, learning how to make French knots. I've been totally inspired this week by the Embroidery group- the breadth of the projects they're working on is amazing, not to mention the dazzling quality of the supplies.

I'm thinking that I'd like to design some of my own patterns for this hankie project, but I realized this week that I'm completely naive as to the availability of embroidery patterns out there, not to mention stitches- and might need to spend a bit of time familiarizing myself with that. I am somehow reluctant to use someone Else's pattern on a project- but at the same time I can't quite explain why I feel that way. I'm aware that any attempt at pattern making on my part would likely not be as complex or sophisticated as some of those available. I'm not a professional embroiderer- and I have no plans to become one- but I really appreciate the form, and I'd like to do my own stitching- I feel like that aspect is important to my finished work. That said I am a very very beginner- and so for now my work is more sampler like than the end works are in my minds eye.

Friday, February 10, 2012

In the Studio

New Mug sizes and patterns

My first attempt at a gravy boat-
It looked like an ocean liner before I carved it- graceful, but tooo big, but the vertyicals really help to loosen up the shape.

I also love the handle, I think I'll repeat this handle again.

the second gravy boat- a little more flowing

Scalloped Platter

This was a sample for a kids class I taught- I found it, and propped it up by my window, and I love the way it looks with the sun shining behind it. (It's a mini mixed media collage landscape)

So this week I finished up my kiln worth of stuff- it needs to get fired sometime soon, a whole bunch of smaller mugs, and I made my first platter- which I allowed to dry out a bit too much before I stippled the raised areas- and subsequently crippled myself trying to muscle them in. It worked but I couldn't even grate cheese that night. I'm not totally sold on the scalloped pattern on the platter, I think it's either going to be really cool and detailed, or too fussy, It's too early to tell, once it's glazed we'll know for sure. It's also rather small once it's dried down, more like a small side platter, but I am limited because of my kiln size- I can only do a 15 inch platter at most- and this is not that wide. I think I'll have to either search a thrift shop for a larger dish to use as a slump mold, or manufacture a plaster slump mold- ugh!

Also this week I've joined an Embroidery group! I was really happy to go to the first meeting and find such warm and welcoming women, kindred spirits- (despite the expected age difference) who all also talk about hoarding fabric and supplies, and seem to be always learning new things, and willing to teach me. I am amazed at how much easier it is to learn from a person than from a book, and looking forward to learning more surface work techniques with embroidery (I've only ever done cross stitch really). I've got a stack of vintage hankies that I've been buying or saving and I think a little project with some images, either photo transfer or painted, and some fresh embroidery patterns would be really fun and lovely, I'm sure I could work them into some project.

So keep tuned for more embroidery work next week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Oh hello there...

Dear Blog

 I've been meaning to write to you, to apologize for neglecting you this past month. In all honesty, I've been under the weather- and any moments when I haven't been under the weather I've been concentrating on things like- feeding my family, or keeping the kitchen sanitary, or getting some clay work done. I've been making some work, and getting a good start on a cache of stuff for a fall sale.

Since deciding to take a bit of a seasonal approach to my myriad hobbies, I think that I'm more productive in each of them, and also more able to act on ideas that crop up while working. Instead of thinking of ways to improve the next gravy boat and then starting it weeks later, I'm making several in a week, perfecting methods as I go. Which is probably no great insight, especially if you can keep your focus, but for me it's a revelation.  I am starting to get a bit nostalgic for my sewing machine, but really I don't miss it all that much, and it's only until spring that I'll keep it packed away, maybe I'll bring it out in May, to get started on some summer stuff for N.

I'm a long way from where I need to be in order to have the type of booth I want in October, but I think I'll make it, and starting early is going to make it so much easier for me. At any rate- I think I'm going to keep it a little low key around here until May, I'll post once a week - an update on what's happening in the studio, and maybe a little photo of N here and there, but nothing major until spring- just think of it like a hibernation.