Saturday, February 27, 2010

Old Sketches

Today is for old sketch book pictures! Not too old, because I don't want to show you those :P  The two drawings ended up on actual pieces, and you can see the rhinos on flickr.  I sketched both the drawings from images I found online or in books; I seem to have a talent for reproducing images I see :P

This one is from a pot that sadly did not make it through the firing, which was very sad because I was really happy with the way it looked carved.  I threw a lidded casserole dish, and these little newborn bulldog puppies were on the side, along with some surgical tools.  The mother bulldog was on the lid, all laid out for her c-section.  The lid split in half during the firing, and I still have all the pieces, so maybe I will post a picture of it at some point.  Very disappointing. But the little puppies are still cute!

These guys were from a set of plates I did that turned out rather nicely.  These were actually pen sketches; I am always shocked and how well most of my pen sketches turn out :) Baby rhinos are very odd looking.

This page is from earlier than the other two, before I started to carve on the surfaces.  I was thinking about working with altered forms, and I was really interested in somehow incorporating plants in with the pots, and also dirt.  I am still intrigued by this idea, and now that I have more technical skill I may pursue it further.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My 'studio'

Ryan was in the studio today, so the dogs were in. They are sweethearts and I missed them while Ryan was gone, even though they sometimes get in the way :P

This is my little 'studio'.  I have to pack everything away while I'm not working because all the table space is Ryan's, but he is okay with me using it while I am throwing, which makes things easier.  My wheel stows away under a table to the left of the picture.

I made some more jugs today; I am making it a goal to never make less than 6-8 of whatever form I am making.  Repitition helps get the hang of the form, and it lets you try out small variations and figure out which you like best.  You can see how the jugs have slightly different mouths and necks.  The little squat one with a large opening was just a mistake :P  I had to cut the neck off, and the remaining was way to thin to try and collar again, so I just left it wide.  The three in the background that are off the bats are from yesterday, so I ended up with 8 forms, 7 that were actually the jugs I wanted.

I used my awesome photoshop mouse skills to simulate the final product with these jugs.  I'm going to have some sort of pulled handle on the necks of all of them, though I am not sure if they will all attach at the top, I may try out some variations.  Also my plan for the little container, I am thinking two little lug handles and a wide cork for the opening. 

It is definitely good to get back to throwing after a couple weeks of just carving on old pots, so I am thinking I will probably stick with the simple designs until I have put some more thought into the more complex designs and developed my drawings to actually work well as wood-cut type images.

I am super excited about this set up!! It is so great to be throwing in the studio with other potters working on their stuff.  It is wonderful to feel like a part of the community.  I am also really excited that I am going to be working on the inside for this years Art of the Pot.   It is going to be interesting to see how they work to set the whole thing up, and a good experience for me!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I decided to make some bottles yesterday, mostly just because the bottle shape really appeals to me.  Unless I have something specific in my head when I start to throw, I like to start out by sketching different shapes, most of these I found online.

These are some bottles Chris has made, I particularly like the little ones with the spouts. I might try out something like that in the future.  It could be useful for something or another.

I ended up with these three. They are more jugs than bottles, and I plan on putting a little handle/loop near the top of each.  I think the first one I made turned out the best, its the front one on the right. I just liked its shape the best. The one in the back has too tall of a neck, though hopefully it will look more balanced with its handle.  The one on the left I was happy to end up with anything. It almost died on me early on, so I was proud that I managed to keep it together.  I'm going to try to concentrate on throwing more than carving for the next week or two, so we will see what comes next! (I think I'm going to switch to B-mix...).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


First post, so its going to be long! I want to catch up with everything :)  So to summarize, I had my senior show last semester (you can look at my flickr photos or my deviantart account to see pictures of those pieces).  Then I didn't do anything for a while (besides read a lot of books); then I took a two month, once a week class at Clayways, and I got a little bit of work done.

This teapot is one of the (few) pieces I did at Clayways, in addition to another teapot, some bowls, and a few little cups. It has the Clayways blue spod and teal glazes, with a bamboo handle.  This particular one had a lug break off, and I glued it, but I will probably give it away rather than sell :P.
So after that class I was lazy for the next few months; I did a lot more reading and sleeping, etc.  But I also got a new part time job in the evenings, so I had my days free...

Enter Ryan and his awesome studio!! I got ahold of a wheel somehow, and Ryan is letting me throw in his studio in return for doing fun chores like washing stuff and vacuming a lot :) Although I also get to help Ryan out with his stuff which is interesting.

To make things even better, Chris is also working in Ryans studio! So I get to hang out with two awesome potters with totally different styles, see how they work (and maybe even get some input from them?)

There is also a studio cat! Her name is Birthday and she is a sweety, though super needy when Ryan is out of town.  She loves to get in the way and shove at your hand with her head for pets, especially when you are handling something delicate :P This is a picture of her sleeping in a box that I believe is where Ryan keeps all of his important papers.

These are some of the first things I did, they are little tiny cups (whiskey cups? who knows).  I am trying to get back into the groove (hehe) of carving my pots, but I am working a lot smaller now than I was with the pieces in the show, so I am having some trouble.  Part of it is that I probably need smaller tools, and that I make sure the clay is the right wet/dryness to not crumble or stick.

But those designs also take FOREVER to carve out, so I tried some simpler designs on these bowls.  I liked the way they turned out, and I reallllly like the way the carved out spaces look (on these and the above cups).  I like the wood-cut feel, and I plan on looking up some wood cut artists to get some inspiration.

Still having problems here. I am not happy with the way these designs are turning out, but I think its only partly my technique/tools, and partly that I need to think the designs through more.  I generally just make a sketch, the carve it out, but I need to make the sketch with a woodcut/carving in mind, so it works better once its on the pot.

Because I was getting frustrated with the results of the earlier designs (and the time they take to carve), I did the same simple cut-outs on these mugs, and I really like the way they turned out. I may stick with this while I am figuring out how to do more complicated drawings.