Sunday, November 30, 2008

Peek a Boo Kitty Christmas Ornament

I have decided to begin again to list a few items I have been making in my Etsy shop which has been bare for many months. Mostly because I put several of the items previously listed into a local shop here. Since I last spoke to you regarding the art show I was in and some of the items in that show, I am happy to say it was very successful for me. I have been selling regularly here in Wilmington and have another show next weekend. I will also be in a local gallery beginning the first of the year. However, I have made these adorable kitty peek a boo ornaments which I will list at the shop this week prior to my show next weekend to see what might sell. I actually have made 10 of these and I love them! I also plan to list several other ornaments, all of which feature my silk-screen transfer technique. I teach that technique at my local studio and have developed it further. I love using images in my work and this is an excellent way to accomplish that.
More later dear friends.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My First Art Exhibit/Show

I spent all day yesterday collecting some of my pottery/sculptures, etc to put in our local Art Show which opens tomorrow. It will feature some of my recent work, some you have seen, but also my new "Bowl Heads" very funny, makes me smile when I see them. Since you all can't come to the show, thought you might like a little viewing via slideshow, and here it is:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Glazed and Dazed

Well here she is in her lovely colors --I love her and will put her in the art show I have signed up for in late September.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

My latest

Shhh she is sleeping and is now covered with glaze to be final fired today, and hopefully emerge intact next Tuesday!

Her saucy, saucer collar is one step behind her, due out of bisque firing today:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Concealment Idea that needs more work

There has been a place in my kitchen that has outlets with wires to phone/lamp, etc. For years this lovely majolica plate (no I didn't make it), has tried to hide the area.

Now I have a new potential fix, this ceramic screen which was designed to hide that area and provide illumination through the holes (I have a small lamp behind it). Unfortunately while decorating it broke and I had to mend it before final glazing and last firing. It has held together, but has some weak spots as a result. I may refine the idea a bit and create a new one. This lovely sheep was painted from one of my favorite photos taken in Ireland in 2001. I have always wanted to use it somewhere. I also used ceramic raised accents which you can see in the closeup, I love the shaggy sheep idea. Also decided to play around with a quotation that might help geet the message across. I like it for now, but will work on another one later I think.

Now for some more "creative concealment" ideas

Have you ever wondered why all toothbrush holders stand up? I have, and wondered why there hasn't been a better invention. So, because I can do things with ceramic now, I thought I would have a go at a different design. Here is the "old" toothbrush holder, with slime dripping down and catching at the bottom, messing up counter, etc., see my green toothbrush for a clue to the direction I am heading.

YUCK! I don't even like looking at toothbrushes and wanted a way to hide them but still have them accessible.

Here is my new invention, it works, but a friend commented that it looked like "paraphernalia", and I don't think that is a good thing--so I need to find a more pleasing look for these toothbrush tubes.

More on these ladies

I sold the first "lady" I made and enjoy making them, here is a picture of the first one I sold in her new home. I am honored that she is standing next to an original "Claude Howell" sketch (he is an artistic legend here in Wilmington)

I will be making a series of these in different attitudes, etc. I love them.

The third one I have finished may be in an art exhibit late in September, it will be my first art exhibit and I love this lady, not sure what to call her though, perhaps
"Rooted and Reaching", let me know if you have any other ideas. I was amazed she made it through all the processes, but she did, so she is tougher than I thought.

Several posts, lots of new stuff

Aargh! I can't believe I messed up, but it was a long, long post, with lots of pictures, which I created whilst trying to blog. Made one critical error in enlarging a picture in the preview and lost the whole posting. I have had a Mojito too, so no telling what is coming through to all of you, but here goes, I will try again. First, I had taken several pictures of this lady sculpture, and it seemed a great idea to create an animated GIF to show her doing the Macarena (or some such dance), and I was learning on the fly exactly how to do that. So this post will cut off with her (so I don't lose it again), then I will continue with a new post. I have indeed figured out how to create this animated GIF, and how to put her up at and share her antics with you all. Hope you don't get dizzy watching her, not the greatest achievement, but I wanted to learn something new. She might look different the next time I see her since she is back on the glaze firing shelf to fix a bit of her top that didn't get glazed the first time, "and" might mute those polka dots a bit, but for now she is a "wild and crazy" lady. Ta Da!!
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008)

I think silliness is the "only" universal language and it is GOOD! If this doesn't make you smile, nothing will.

Friday, May 16, 2008

In Lovely Company!

Sweet Donna of The Decorated House, has included my "dancing gal" in one of Etsy treasuries. I haven't figured out how this is done, but I am honored to be included. I will be putting up lots more stuff in my Etsy shop after my return from a vacation (like I need a vacation with such a glorious life?), but I have always wanted to visit Greece and Turkey and in a weak moment DH said yes, so we will be joining three other couples on a tour to these exotic places. I don't want to put much up in the store since I won't be around to fill any orders, etc. so I will just wait until I get back to test a few other pieces. I have just made a lovely birdhouse decorated with silkscreens, etc. and it is waiting to go to bisque firing. Have several other things in the process as well. This new hobby is quite addictive.
Hope you all are enjoying this glorious spring!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pauline's Place is "Open"

Finally, I have opened my Etsy shop and are busy uploading an item each day from my handmade pottery. At the moment, only my ceramic things are listed, but I am keeping the shop fairly generic so I can add other things I love to make. Hope you all will stop by and view the items currently listed. I have just glazed a bunch of lovely pendants that should be coming out of the glaze kiln in a week or so at my studio. I also have been inspired by Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now", in particular, some of the memorable quotes in his work, such as "Life is the dancer, I am the Dance." I am creating a series of one of a kind vases with "dancing gals" attached, which I hope will sell. I will be listing a few of these soon. I tend toward things that have some practical use, such as boxes, receptacles, vases, etc., as well as some artistic flair.
PS, I am pleased to say my amarylis sculpture found a very good home at the silent auction and a very nice amount was paid for it which will add to the funds this Foundaton provides to local charities and other non-profit organizations doing wonderful work here in Wilmington, NC.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Old and New plus minor accident

I finished a piece today (actually, it was a handbuilt platter done by a friend but never decorated, so I had a go at it with a tuscan scene done in underglaze but not yet coated with clear glaze and final firing). As luck would have it (common occurence when working with ceramics--as I was pouring the final glaze onto the piece, the beautiful handle broke off! It was a feature I liked most about the platter, and I did take a photo before it got final glazed and here it is, with the handle that is no longer there. It will be a much brighter piece when finally fired, sans handle, however. Also in this grouping I am including a pear box I made a while back, and a pear vase thrown with dark brown clay and glazed in one of my favorite chartreuse colors. I had seen a similar vase on the web somewhere and tried to make one. Flowers do not stand up properly in the thing, however, unless I insert a pin holder in the bottom which I may do to actually use it. Now little lamb has company with the second lamb behind my range and inspired by my kitchen towel.

The middle grouping shows the wall vase I made which is up on one side of the fireplace and now I will need to try to make another hopefully like it, or close to hang on the other side. The photo grouping shows the piece ready for bisque firing which I posted earlier, thought you might like to see finished piece.

And lastly, the grouping to the far right shows a couple of vases and some of the silkscreened items I made for the class I gave last month and another one I will give later this month.

I will be away for a short while and then return to the studio to make more things. I have some buttons screenprinted which should be coming out of the glaze kiln while I am gone and if they turn out well, I plan to make more, also have several pieces drying ready for bisque kiln.

I think this catches me up on most of my projects. The kitty banks were traveling on their way to Southern Pines last Monday, that job is completed for now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Charlie bit my finger - again !

OK time out for a couple of cuties, saw this on blog of Corey Amato and just had to include it on mine. Love those children!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I hope you can bear one more look!

I hope I haven't bored you all to death with my obsession in working with this piece, but here it is finally. I need to do some small finetuning, but it has indeed materialized more or less as envisioned, a piece that can be used as a vase with three stem tubes to hold water and real flowers and then ceramic inserts with six amaryllis blossoms when there aren't any fresh flowers to show off! I will do my little finetuning, then carry it home for pickup by the foundation folks for the silent auction. I have to tell you I am both relieved and quite happy with the result. I am sort of hoping no one bids on it and I can bring it back home!
I really enjoyed this project.

Now I am almost finished with my first phase of the "Kitty Banks" project. I have six more to assemble, (add tops/bottoms and ears, and need to slab out and construct sixe additional banks to meet my promised quota).
I have spent hours and hours and days and days on these. The first few have popped out of final glaze kiln with a huge batch in the bisque kiln and another huge batch drying and awaiting bisque firing. Each of the banks takes about three hours work, times 50, 150 hours! These also are turning out quite nice and everyone who sees them in the studio comments on how cute they are.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Huge Sigh of Relief

My second "base" made it out of the glaze kiln OK, whew. I took this photo of it as I intended to have the piece used as a vase. Those are little tazetta narcissus plucked from my garden to show it holds water and does look pretty I think. The photo below shows all my amaryllis flowers which need to be assembled into stems that can be inserted into each tube when real flowers are not being used.
I am still waiting for a few little components to pop out of the kilns to complete the assembly. I am pretty sure it will be a beautiful ceramic piece with the flowers inserted. Hopefully, it all will materialize as envisioned. Soon, I hope so I can turn it over to the Foundation as my contribution to their silent auction. I am now spending hours and hours making the kitty banks and am making progress although it is quite exhausting to handbuild them and that is just the first step!
More later.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


What you have to be ready to deal with in making pottery is that every process is fraught with potential risks as I am learning all too well. The base of my sculpture with its final glaze did not make it through the final firing intact. The tip of a leaf broke off in the kiln and fused itself to the base. So I had to make another base piece which is now awaiting bisque firing. The flowers (darn it, I forgot to take pictures of them all lined up on the final glaze firing shelf), are ready to go into final glaze kiln though and I am hoping eventually, this all will come together without hazard.
In the meantime, I have been asked by a friend of mine --Camie Marion,to make some "kitty banks" for a fund raising effort by the Feral Friends of the Sandhills. I have come up with a unique design and after total failure on my first try, have managed to produce a prototype which is currently awaiting bisque firing. I will then use my screenprint technique to finish, then clear glaze these to be used by the group. They have ordered 50 of them, so upon my return (short trip away this week), I will be finishing up my donation piece for the foundation and starting on the commission for the 50 "kitty banks."
Here is a look of prototype in process:

Camie Marion by the way, when she is not donating time to her animals and animal rescue and suppport efforts, does wonderful pet (and other) portraits and paintings--check out her new website when you have time here

I spent yesterday making forms for the kitty banks so that I can produce more than one at a time, otherwise, it would take me months to get 50 done. I will start on this when I get back. I also have lots of ideas to expand this basic form into other interesting items.

In the meantime, I will give a class on what I have learned about screenprinting on clay on February 9th, and I have created this piece as an example of what can be done. I will do another and take more care in the design/etc, but this was done in a hurry. This picture shows what it looks like coming out of the bisque kiln, it has since been clear glazed and is also awaiting final bisque firing:

Also, produced another little lamb to face the first one I made behind my range:

More on all this when I return!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The pottery continues

Well, I really meant to post something for Christmas, but the whole holiday zipped by me so quickly, I didn't get around to it. I did manage to decorate the house and tree but less so than last year, but in the end, quite enough since holiday decorating follows the rule of gravity, what goes up must come down.

I have been spending every spare moment at the pottery studio. Yes, I am immersed in my newest hobby trying to learn more and create unique pieces. I blythely volunteered to donate a ceramic item for a silent auction to raise funds for a local charity. I envisioned an unusual piece, but am taking quite a risk trying to produce it for the auction, never having done one, or anything like it before! But that is part of my personality and hey, if it doesn't work, nothing really terrible happens. I had to write up a description for the item to put in the print materials that are being created for the Gala event at which the silent auction will be held. Talk about pressure huh? Especially since the piece has not been finished. I was a little heady with excitement when the first phase progressed rather well. That is the base with the stems. By the way, here is the description I wrote up for the piece:

"This unique ceramic sculpture incorporates the artist's love of all things botanical, and the desire for combination of both art and function whenever possible. The sculpture is the artist's original design and was constructed from a blend of stoneware and porcelain clay using slab handbuilding techniques. When glazed with clear coat, the clay body results in a creamware that fits in any decor. The design was inspired by the unusual stems of the Amaryllis plant. This dramatic sculpture is useful as a vase since each of the ceramic stems will hold water and showcase your favorite "real" flowers which become all the more dramatic against the creamware finish. When not displaying live flowers and/or foliage, separate removeable ceramic flowers fabricated from the same clay body and clear glazed, can be inserted into each stem."

The base piece with the stems is in the final glaze kiln now and will come out on Tuesday. Here is a photo of it covered with glaze awaiting firing:

As you can read from the description, I wanted amaryllis-like ceramic flowers to be inserted into those tubes when they are not being used to hold water and "real" flowers. Creating the flowers and thinking about getting them into and out of all the processes safely has been a huge challenge, but I have made several of them, after finally figuring out a technique that would work (or should I say "might work"). At any rate, I think I see the light at the end of this tunnel. While pondering exactly how to make those danged flowers, I created a few other pieces to keep my hand busy. Here is my little lamb inspired by the tea towel (now I must make another one facing in the other direction to go behind my kitchen stove, and some sort of little ceramic wonky house to be in the middle I think):

And while the flower challenge was churning back in the brain cells, I thought I would make two wall vases to hang over my fireplace. I had thrown and altered (that's a funny word used to describe something you do to a thrown piece deliberately to make it look "not thrown", but I must come clean and say that this piece flopped and I just rearranged the floppy pieces to create this cute little "whatever.") But I purchased two commercial glazes that I tried on this piece shown below, and loved it, so hence the more aggressive project, large wall vases, handbuilt, not thrown to be glazed similarly to this piece:

So the vase will be coming out of bisque kiln and glazed like the above piece (green on outside and inside the honey color with the ruffley bit done also in the honey.

If this piece works I will attempt to make another one just like it, or close so I can have the pair I had originally envisioned. I can see it with long branches sticking out of it on each side of the painting above the fireplace.

So kids, you can see I am busy ---perhaps not focused, but having fun with all of this with hundreds more ideas playing around in my head. I am also scheduled to give a class on screenprinting on ceramic on February 9th. I have experimented a whole lot with this technique and am ready to share what I have learned and also to put the technique to some interesting projects.
By for now!