Monday, March 29, 2010

Next projects...

It's neat to see all the carved pieces I've been working on all out on the table together.  I am definately most happy with the designs based on straight lines.  Ryan took a look at them and said he liked them :D

So now I am going to start working on the next projects, which will be teapots, maybe some planters, and probably some sets of jars.  I saw this set at a friends house and loved them!

So I have been thinking about shapes of teapots (not so much the jars since I loved the shapes of the ones above so much), and also brainstorming new pattern ideas. Sticking with the rectalinear designs, I've ended up with some very Native-American looking designs, but I like them so far.

I started out with teapots (because I owe one to Hollen), and I started out with the simple curved shape.  These kinds of teapots make me think of the kettles you use to boil water :)  I was super happy with the way they turned out, the last time I tried a closed form (long time ago), it didnt work out so well, but these turned out great!  The cups are just going to be for some glaze tests in Ryans kiln.

Lots of stuff

Worked on the last bottle today!  I have to admit, I sort of cheated; it's only half done :P I didn't have time to finish before work, but I wanted to post it. A new rectalinear design! (I think that would be the word).  I was thinking about carving the top a bit too, but I like the way it looks now.  I will finish it up asap, because the clay is almost too hard to carve by now.

Sat I brought my 'little' brother to the studio to give him his first ever throwing lesson! He is taking an art class and wanted to try it out as an out-of-class project.  I think my wheel is a teensy bit too small for him!

He actually did remarkably well!  His first one was going great until it completely died; something I remember all too well.. (haha, like it never happens now...).  But the second one was impressive! He managed a nice little straight-sided cylinder with a pretty even wall thickness.  The top was only a little lopsided from a thin spot he got at the bottom of the walls.

I'd say its a passing grade for his 2nd pot ever :)  Hopefully he won't get too good... I can't have him be good at science AND art.

Lastly, a good random picture.  Today I came home and found Fidget, our old ferret (the sweetist, most awesome ferret we have ever had) laying on the couch like this.  I almost thought she was dead (and I have to admit I took a picture before I poked morbid would it have been if she really was?) she was laying so weird.  But I poked her and she was still alive :P  I swear, ferrets sleep deeper than any other creature.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Milk 3

Another! I like this one better than the last.  So far I really prefer the ones with straight lines, I'm still not a huge fan of the eliptical wedge things.  It just looks too blank I suppose.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Milk bottle 2

Milk bottle 2 today! I still need to clean it up, but I finished the carving about 2 minutes before I needed to run off to work, so that will happen later (I hope).  I put two pictures up so you can tell that the slits are two different lenths, rather than me just carving them super uneven. 

Hopefully I will get the other two done tomorrow, or at least by Sat, then I can get some throwing done before April starts! Its going to be a little crazy since we will be getting ready for Art of the Pot, which will involve a lot of cleaning, organizing, and probably helping Ryan make some of the stuff for the show.

It will probably be busy and crazy and tiring, but I am really excited to see how putting together something like this works.  Maybe someday I will get to be a part of it :P

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Milk can #1

Started carving the milk cans/bottles today! I brought all 4 home from the studio today; only carved one so far because I got distracted shopping at Target :P  Maybe I will be industrious and get 2 done tomorrow.  I should get back to throwing soon, but Ethan ('little' brother) wants me to give him a lesson on Sat, so that will put it off till Sun or Mon.  I have the feeling that I will probably keep working in a cycle like this, 1 week throwing, 1-2 weeks carving, so I don't get overwhelmed by stuff I need to finish.  I suppose I could just leave some pots blank, but I like carving! We will see.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

B-mix jug #4

Here's the last jug! Next I need to carve the milk bottles, and then I have to throw some small cups to use for glaze tests, then a teapot for Hollen's bday.

After that, I think I want to make some planters! I want to plant my succulents in some nicer pots, and mayyybe make some to sell too :D

Monday, March 22, 2010

Carving and glazes

Carved another jug today! I like this one pretty well, it was a little bit taller than I like, but I think the design fits the shape.  It was a pain in the butt carving the area under the handle.  B-mix is so smooth, but it is annoyingly softe even when its leather hard. It's far too easy to smear stuff or dent it.

Also I finally took some pictures of the test cups I tried out Ryans glazes on.  Most of them are not great, but I will figure something out.  The one on the left is just bare clay, I like it when it is more brown, but when it gets a lot of salt it turns blue, which I am not so sure about.  The on on the right has Ryans signature glaze, which I actually like, especially when it turns black.  It makes a nice contrast for the raised carvings, but I'm not sure it would work on the carvings I'm doing now.

None of these were that great, though the blue one was alright.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

bmix jug 2

Carved another of the jugs today!  This one started out with the same pattern as one of the stoneware jugs, with just the leaf-shapes cut out, but I still thought the spaces between them were too big. Since I am too lazy to actually try and calculate what size the shapes would have to be to end up almost touching, I just added more shapes in-between! I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, I like it a lot better than the stoneware one.

And just as an extra, the adorable picture of my cats that ended up as the carving on those mugs that I hate.  But the picture is great.  I love my kitties.  This blog is going to end up being half pots, and half animals. :D

Friday, March 19, 2010

B-mix jug

This is the first of the b-mix jugs I've carved. I forgot how soft it is to work with!! Very nice and easy to carve, almost too easy as sometimes the tool slips farther than I want it to go :P  Here you can see it in progress, first I lightly draw the outlines (which you can't really see), then one by one I carve the outside lines with my triangular tool, and then carve out the middle with the flat one.

Here is the finished piece! I think this design with the vertical lines is my favorite so far, though I will still work on other designs.  Sam is apparently very interested in my pottery.

Sam is investigating my home studio, aka the dining room table.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Carved Jugs

I got my business cards today!  I dont have any specific purpose for them, other than I want something to put with my pots if I sell any of them, but its very exciting :)  I got them from, and it was only $15 (with shipping) for 250!  Pretty good deal :D

I got some more carving done today! I've started taking stuff home to carve, half so I don't have to drive to the studio, half so I don't have to do more work for Ryan! :P  This is one of my favorites so far, but overall I am really happy with the way the carvings are turning out.

For all of the jugs so far I have been cutting out the shapes in paper, then outlining them on the pot and then carving it out.  I like this one a lot, though I'm not really sure what the lugs are for. I don't think they would hold its weight

Monday, March 15, 2010

Getting ready to fire

I've started carving on the jugs, and I am pretty happy with the way they are turning out.  I really love the contrast in textures between the smooth surfaces and the carved.

Lorraine let me take a picture of her since I was holding a treat, normally she runs away when I hold my phone out. She is a complete sweetheart, but very shy.

These are some of Ryans pieces that went into the firing today. I got to sand all of the tumblers and then wipe them down :) The big barrel thing had too much glaze on it, so I got to wipe it all off; super fun :P

Here is the kiln mostly loaded up. I got a few cups in, mostly just to test out Ryans glazes on my carvings. They are all stoneware though, so I will need to throw some b-mix tests too.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Here was the sketch of two of my cats snuggling that I tried to carve on some of my mugs.  I ended up not very happy with the way they turned out (see earlier post), but I liked the sketch!
And more old sketchbook stuff! These were for a set I did that turned out pretty cool.  It was a dinner set that was a landscape: the horny toad was in the bowl, the plate was a harvest-ant mound, the tumbler had some native grasses carved on it, and the teacup had the horny toad eggs hidden in the center.  You can see pictures of the whole set on my flickr page.

This one was another from my senior show. It shows a great dane with bloat.  In the final piece (a large tray that I handbuilt with altered pieces) his ears stick up.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Milk bottles and bisqued pots

Here are the bottles with their handles :) I am pretty happy with them.  I feel like they are a little thin compaired with the fairly thick rims, but they would also be somewhat bulky if I made them any thicker.

Here are all my carved pots bisqued!  Who knows when I will get a chance to get them glazed fired, not sure if I will be doing them in Ryans kiln or not. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Today I put on lots of handles!  Here are the same pots I used my photoshop skills to put imaginary handles on, but now they have real ones! Huzzah :) I am pretty happy with the way the bottles are turning out; I forgot to take a picture of the b-mix ones, but they are nice also.  I ended up putting three lugs on the wide-mouthed pot rather than two. 

These are the little milk bottles I made the other day, pre-handles. I actually put the handles on today, two small ones on each bottle, but I also forgot to take a picture of those :P 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Broken bull dog pot :(

I found the pictures of my poor sad bulldog casserole before and after it died in the firing.  Here is mommy bulldog ready for her c-section. 

This piece was salt fired, you can see the little wads holding up the lid so it would not get glued shut during the firing. You can also kind of see the cute little babies.

And here you can see how the lid split in half :(  It is propped up, but it is actually in two pieces. You can also see how it flattened out completely. Poor little wrinkly bulldogs.

Mommy bulldog is sad too. I was having trouble with my pots cracking along the cuts I was making, and this was probably particularly bad because it was a lid, and wanted to flatten during the firing.  Oh well. I'm still keeping it...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Milk bottles/things

 Today I forgot to take a picture of my pots :(   But I made some sketches afterward trying to figure out how the handles should be so you get the general idea.  It took me a while to find a picture of the sort of milk can I was thinking about, and at first I couldn't get the handles right, but I eventually found a good picture and realized the handles need to be horizontal not vertical :)  Then I was playing around with some possible designs to carve.  

I will post a picture of the pots the next time I go back to the studio.

 Also, some design ideas for the jugs.