Sunday, November 27, 2011

Handmade Holiday Workshop and Mini-Market!

I know that I've been neglecting my blog horribly, and to be honest I don't think it will get the attention it deserves until I've got my grad school applications in!  However, I will try to post occational announcements until then :)
Speaking of which... This Thursday I will be selling my ceramics at Etsy's Holiday Workshop at Austin's West Elm store!



Event Details
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011
Time: 6-9PM
Location: 1011 W. 5th Street, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78703
512-320-5415

I hope to see you there!





Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chili Festival, and a new Logo!

Yes I am still alive!  I have been very busy, as usual, and have barely had time to put stuff on Etsy, much less keep up with my blog.  To appologise for my lack of updates, I have two bits of exciting news!



Number one, and probably more exciting for you than my second bit, is that I will be selling my pottery at the Natural Springs Garden first annual Chili Cookoff and Festival next Saturday October 22!  It should be a fun event, with live music, all sorts of chili's and salsas for sampling, and of course the wares of various Austin-area vendors including myself!  For more information, check out their webpage: http://www.naturalspringsgarden.com/chilicookofffestival.htm

The second bit of news is that I have finally finalized my logo design!  I dont know if you remember this old post, or this even older one, but I have made a lot of progress since then :)  This is the rough version, I will be cleaning up the lines and coloring, so expect to see it on the blog and my Etsy store soon! 

Thanks for your patience, I hope to see you at the Fest, and I promise to give you an update soonish :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Earrings on Etsy

I finally have posted my earrings on Etsy!! I am very excited to have these finished products; there are a couple more I am experiementing with gas-firing (as opposed to soda-fired as all the ones currently on Etsy are) that I should also be posting soon.  I also have a bunch that are not painted yet that I will eventually get around to finishing up.

Things, as always, have been crazy, and I am about to start teaching Clayplay afterschool classes twice a week, which is exciting, but also means less time for my own work.  I think I just need to make sure to actually schedule my own work time, instead of trying to squeeze it in when I happen to have an hour or two to myself.  I've got to get my priorities straight, especially since I am planning on applying to grad school soon, I need to have some good work for my portfolio!

   

Monday, August 1, 2011

Earrings and Pendants



I know I promised an update weeks ago, but again, I've been super busy!  The last three weeks I've been teaching and assisting kids camps at Clayways every day, in addition to doing some project Clayplay stuff and of course glazing/loading/unloading etc.  I have been doing some work on my earrings and such at home.  Mostly I am painting designs on them in underglaze; some I plan on soda-firing with Ryans glazes, and some I'm going to use multiple colors of underglaze with a clear top coat and gas-fire at Clayways.  Hopefully I will have some finished pieces doen in the next few weeks!  I've already bought all the hooks and such to assemble them!

I am also working on a comission for some pendants, these I am carving.  I am really excited with how they are turing out, so I may try my hand at carving some earrings, though I may need smaller tools :P  I also have bought a number of new cookie cutters for earrings, including a cool little set of shapes, some of which I am trying out now. 

I will be going on vacation for two weeks starting this Sunday, but I will try to squeeze in another post before I go; I will hopefully have some of these new shapes painted by then :)

 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Workworkwork

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted, but the last few weeks have been extremely busy for me!  I've been working a lot with Clayways, both helping with kilns and teaching kids camps, and also with some of the Project ClayPlay classes.  Its been fun helping with the camps and classes especially, but with working 20-30 hrs a week at my day job and 10-20 hrs with Clayways I've hardly had any time to myself! 

The only throwing I've done in the last month is a few bowls for a Project ClayPlay fundraiser, though a few weeks ago I did manage to finish up the last throwing project I had started, some butter dishes.  I got the idea for these from a video I found online.  You throw the rim of the bottom dish and the walls of the top dish together with no bottom, then use a slab to make the bottom and top of the two dishes after altering the sides to ovals.  It was a cool idea, and I am fairly happy with the way these turned out, but the bottom dishes look too big to me, so next time I may try throwing them separately even though that will take more measuring.

I have also started a totally new and different project: I am making earrings!  And possibly some necklace charms too :)  I was inspired by some clay earrings I bought at NCECA (pictures in the next post).  I have already painted about 8 sets, and I just cut out 6 more pairs today.  I am really excited about this new project, and I cannot wait to see some finished ones.  I will do a post later this week on them and include some pictures of the painted ones and my sketches.




Lastly some pictures of my awesome pots at the Clayways gallery!! If you are in Austin, stop by and check it out!  I am definately still selling stuff through Etsy, in fact hopefully I will get some pictures taken and post a few more pots in the next week or so.






Thursday, June 9, 2011

My work is at Clayways!

Exciting news!  For the first time ever, my work is available for purchase from an actual gallery!  I currently have some cups, mugs, and a few odds and ends (a really amazing teapot!) for sale at Clayways's gallery.  If you want to stop by, its located at 5442 Burnet Road here in Austin (78756).  I hope to continue to keep pieces in the gallery, and this summer I will probably even be working at Clayways periodically.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wedding Vases








Last Saturday was the wedding, and happily the vases were finished in time and they looked great!  The arrangements turned out really really wonderful; I am crazy about succulents, and I pretty much thought it was the coolest thing ever to put them with the flowers!  The bouquets were also arranged with the same flowers and succulents.  I received a lot of compliments on the vases :) 



I got to take a few of the vases home, and once the flowers wilted I planted the succulents (sorry, I don't know what kind they were :P ) in the vases.  They aren't perfect since they don't have any drainage (I briefly considered trying to drill a hole in the bottoms, but I figured that would probably go terribly wrong), but I think they look quite nice!

 


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New teabowls, and other awesome things

I got some really great pieces out of the last firing!  It was a good one :)  These fountains are my favs, and I'm excited to get the pumps in them and get them running.  I am really happy with this green one, though it is a little darker than I really prefer.  I think I put this one in the Texas Clay Arts Association's six-pack show this year, its a good example of my style, and I didn't see any fountains last year, so hopefully it will really stand out (in a good way :P).  This is the first year I have put something in the show, so I've got high hopes!




This one turned out well also, I am having fun trying out pieces with the flashing slip and I plan on keeping it up, they are looking quite nice.  I'm hoping that branching out into some lighter, more subtle colors and surfaces will increase my sales.  I feel like my pieces are unique enough that they may only appeal to fairly small amount of people.  This is also part of the reason for my painted and wax-resist pieces, in addition to them being cheaper .



Some more experiments, these ones inspired by Ryan's new plates that are similarly decorated.  He has been incising designs and then putting the green glaze in and clear glazing the plates; I carved my plates like I normally do, then painted both the green and the blue glazes into the carved areas before clear glazing them.  I haven't really decided how happy I am with these yet.  I like the overall appearance and the colors (the blue turns a great deep blue/purple color under the clear), but I'm not happy with the way the carved areas look.  The clear is fairly thick, and now the carved areas just look blotchy, rather thna having that nice carved texture.  I may have to experiement more to get an end product I am really happy with.

Annnnd lots of teabowls!  Teabowls are probably my very favorite form. They are quick and easy, so they are a perfect form to experiement on, and they are so functional!  I use teabowls for pretty much everything I drink :)  With this set I was mostly doing different things with the glazes, in particular leaving bare clay vs the various glazes.  I am pretty happy with the results, although some of the pieces that have glaze on the top half bled a little into the white bottom.  I'm not sure if this is just because of the wax (I was having some trouble getting clean lines), or if it actually bled during the firing. 
Ryan's green glaze was absolutely stunning on some of these! I got some really beautiful oranges, which doesnt always show up (like the green fountain at the top).  The blue glaze turned out a little lighter than I really like, but the teabowls are still pretty satisfactory.


I'm also really happy with how this set of teabowls turned out.  Right after throwing them I used a  texture tool to make the ridges on the outsides, and then just lightly trimmed the bases without touching up the ridges at all once they were leather hard.  This was sort of an assignment for me, because I tend to get really involved in the surface and I have a hard time not touching up and smoothing things out.  But these turned out really well, and were super easy to make.  You will probably be seeing more texture experiments in the future.

I also finally got this vase and pitcher finished. They have both been sitting on my shelf for quite a while now, but now my shelf is COMPLETELY CLEAR. This hasn't happened in a very long time :P Time to start throwing more pots!

   



















Friday, May 13, 2011

Glazing some pots!


This week has not been terribly productive, but I did go up to Southwestern on Wednesday to take some photographs of my pots (I will post some pics this weekend), and to catch up with my professor, Patrick Veerkamp.  Patrick is nice enough to let me photograph stuff using the ceramic studio's set up, which is very handy.  I love taking my sort of artsy Etsy photos, but it's also good to have some more professional looking photos around. It was great to catch up with Patrick, as I had missed him during Art of the Pot. One of the things we discussed was his retirement, and the subsequent open position at Southwestern. it was really interesting talking with him, as it had never really occurred to me that at a university as small as SU, that whoever fills his place is going to have to be able to teach more than just ceramics.  Patrick actually teaches design and drawing in addition to ceramics, and the next teacher will have to be as broadly educated as him in order to fill the position. I will file that away for the future!

Today I got back into the studio for the first time since last weekend.  It is still not very functional
yet, but all I needed to do today was wash some cups and get started on glazing them.  I'm mostly concerned with getting some vases done for a friends wedding mid-June, but I also have a number of teabowls I am excited about seeing finished up, plus two fountains! I'm really excited about getting the fountains up and running, especially since I didn't get a very good photo of the first one I made before I sold it.


Fun tip: the way that Ryan waxes most of his pots is with a small sponge he leaves in the wax.  This method is super easy and gives you really nice clean lines.  We both wax the rims in addition to the bottoms, since we clear glaze most of the insides, and waxing the top ensures a nice clean line on the outer glaze.  So you just place the pot on the wheel, and spin it with one hand, while applying the wax with sponge.  The key is to squeeze a little bit of the wax out of the sponge before starting so it doesn't drip!  To completely fill in the foot, I usually do apply extra wax with a paintbrush.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Art of the Pot 2011

AOTP this weekend was a blast!  Before I get into that, I just had to post a picture of this mug! The latest firing was not the best, the blue glaze in particular was a bit lack luster, but this guy turned out awesome!  I really am liking the flashing slip against bare clay, and I plan on glazing some more pieces like this.  I love the way the blue and green glazes look on my carved pots (when they fire well at least), but I would like a little bit more of a variety of surfaces, and in addition the flashing slip is a bit more subtle than the others.


Art of the Pot!  I had a great time this weekend, I helped out at Ryan McKerley's studio both days, mostly by taking payments and wrapping pots, and I also went around the tour each day, saturday with my dad and sunday with my mom (great mothers day activity!!).   The tour was great this year, though it was a tad bit hot in some of the un-air conditioned spaces.  For the first time this year Keith Kreeger had several guest artists in his house, which was very nice. I love having the studio's on the tours, so that people can really connect with the artists, but it is also really neat to see work in someone's house. I think it really lets people visualize having these ceramics in their houses.  So I was excited about that change.

In this post I'm not going to to over all the guest artists, just highlight some of them.  There were two artists at Ryan's studio in addition to him and Chris Campbell, including Chris Gray (I could not find a website for him, but he works at the community college in Plano, Tx).  Chris G. has some really beautiful surfaces and decorations, and some really neat forms.  He makes these great morter and pestles that I definitely would have bought if I could afford it :).  However he did give me a great teabowl in exchange for helping out at the studio.  I haven't gotten a picture of it yet, but it is a beautiful celedon piece with a silhouette of a raven on it, similar to the piece pictured, but imagine a large teabowl instead of a mug :) 

The other guest at the studio was Maria Dondero, who makes some really amazingly decorated ceramics.  I just love these pieces; the attention to detail, the quality of the surface created with all the different glazes decorations, and the whimsical nature of the images.  Maria also gave me a piece (all these artists are so generous!), and I chose a small mug like the ones pictured, with a wonderful little bicycle on one side, and a deer on the other. What I love about these pieces is how Maria puts little snippets of her life onto her pots' surfaces. She draws things she sees around the studio and her house, she makes little notes on them about things happening in her day, or comments on the drawings themselves; they are basically her sketch journal fractured into many little pieces.  This quality makes it really fun to see a bunch of her pots all together.

The only pots I actually bought for myself this year were two lovely miniature mugs from Margaret Bohls.  I really love her black and white pieces, the simplicity of their surface goes well with the little details of their construction.  I really love how you can see exactly how she built the mugs; they would not be nearly so compelling if she had smoothed out the seams of the slabs. 
My only regret for the weekend is that I did not by this amazing vase by Diana Fayt!  It was pretty far out of my price range, and so I convinced myself to not buy it :(  But I will for sure buy something from her in the future.  I love the way Diana combines the organic images of flowers and plants, and in this case a lovely little bee, with geometric elements.  Some day...