Friday, March 23, 2012

In the Studio

Smaller child size mugs, this one personalized for N, I love how it looks, I may have to do one for myself too.

This one is for my niece- the lace may be too girly for her- but I think a nice black glaze will win over her pre teen heart.

Lots and lots of running this week, mostly with manic looks of glee on her face.

I have got a few more mugs made this week, I'm actually finding that I can make about 10 in one day- then put handles on the next day, or about five with handles in the time that I can also keep N busy with a show on her travel DVD, (not the best parenting techniques, I know, but I've got to get some work done right?). After that she wants to 'help' me, or to eat chocolate chips non-stop, and that's not good for anybody. Of course I still have to finish smoothing them and shaping the handles before they get into the kiln, but it's been making me feel pretty productive anyhow.

I've been working on a couple of different sizes of mugs, the first ones I made were so giant they would give me a crazy caffeine rush If I drank a whole one. So a few new sizes including a child's size, will go into this batch, and hopefully one of them will be just perfect once fired. (Clay shrinks as it goes through it's drying and firing processes, so it's always a bit of a guessing game as to what the end size will be, there are people who can figure this out with precise tests and Math- I am not one of them)

I'm planning on firing a glaze kiln this weekend too- a few test glazes for some new colours, I want to get a nice spring green colour, and maybe an orange one as well, but I'm not sure I can do it from my current colours. I use stains to get my glaze colours, in the same clear base glaze for ease, and I generally love them, I have used oxides in the past, but it's more difficult to get a bright candy coloured hue, if it's at all possible. The other thing I love about Mason stains is that they seem to mix like paint- as in a blue stain and a yellow stain will make a green one, which mostly doesn't happen with oxides as they derive colour from chemical interactions, not pigments. 

This is how I think they work after a few experiments, but I don't know if they all work like that- or if it's just that particular yellow stain, with that particular blue one that just happen to make green, (if it is just some random thing then that is just the pottery god's way of screwing with painters who make pottery). Anyhow, I plan to do a big glaze test using all my colours and mixing them methodically to see what else crops up.

Friday, March 16, 2012

In the Studio

 I did get a few mugs done up this week, I'm getting back on track with some art making (and housecleaning...ugh). I also got the bisque Kiln fired, and nothing broke, even my patch job with Paper clay, which I was really skeptical of. We'll see what it looks like after the glaze firing, right now it's not quite the same texture as the rest of the piece. Probably no one else will notice, but if it takes glaze differently it'll be quite noticeable, so the verdict is still out on that.

I tried a few new designs on the mugs, some cut out stamps I made and some word stamps as well, I like them- but as of yet I'm not sure how to glaze them. I've set a bit of a strict limit on firing for the next couple of months, I want to fire the kiln every weekend, alternating Bisque and Glaze firings. That should let me get enough stuff done so that I can relax a bit over the summer, and also attend the big craft sale in the fall. I'm sadly short of my intended Quota though, so I need to step it up.The weather in these parts is not helping, as it's supposed to reach 22 degrees today (in MARCH!!!), and that makes me want to be outside, getting the yard ready for spring, or just basking in the sun.

So we'll see if I can keep on track with all the planting and stuff going on around here, hopefully I'll have a few finished items to show next time.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In the Studio

A heart plaque, made by my good friend Kristen Perrott, stands out amazingly well on the wall colour.

This is maybe the best picture of the blue- though it's a little more saturated than it looks here- lovely against the white trim though.

N, demonstrating her new no milk diet- actually I don't know why she wanted to cover her mouth- but I loved the light in these pictures, and the way she looked, so here it is.
Okay so not so much in the studio per say- as in not so much art making going on round these parts- but lots of activity none the less. My mom was out visiting for a couple of weeks, my sister is going through some health stuff which which (I assumed) required some freezable comfort food, and also we're expecting another baby- sometime in early fall- and so life has as usual taken precedence over art making.

When we moved into our house- our giant king sized bed was already in the master bedroom, and we'd just completely re done the house we moved out of, so renovation was not uppermost on our minds- we also kind of loved the crazy velvet flocked wallpaper- even though it made the room feel pretty small, and I wasn't crazy about the colour, and the carpet needed to go, but we focused on the rest of the house, and lived in our bedroom as is.

Now with another babe on the way and most of the public spaces in the house painted and updated more to our taste- I figured I really wanted to make a special space for us- a relaxing sanctuary, so we did it- took out the carpet- took down the wallpaper, painted a bright and calming blue/green and made curtains, (a padded headboard is forthcoming). I'm so happy to have done that, as K said, it feels frivolous to spend time on a room just for us- but it's awesome to have a nice space to close your eyes on at night and open them up to in the morning.

Also this week- the babe has weaned herself from breast milk, I really should write a post about all the growing up N has been doing this winter- it's amazing. It all started with her sleeping in her own bed- after co-sleeping and nursing through the night. She was still nursing through nap time though- this last week, we cut that out- and to my surprise she started to nap in her own bed- no milk required. She also got put to bed by Nana one night and I realized she really didn't miss the milk at all. So I stopped offering it- and she stopped asking for it, and suddenly it's been a week and no milk- no big tears about it either. Anyways- all of this has put a break into my making art work- I 'll resume this week- but also I'm getting my appetite back after having 'morning' sickness for a couple of months. so I've been really trying to get more cooking done too, now that I actually feel like cooking again, thank goodness- I think the Man was going to revolt if I didn't start making tasty food again, all I could stomach was mashed potatoes and other 'invalid' style food- not our usual fare.