Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year to you all

Enjoying this very last day of 2009 and hope you all are doing the same.
Life is sweet.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A couple more

Been so busy with family and Christmas, but had an abolutely beautiful Christmas with our two "new" grandchildren. My daughter Kristina married a wonderful young man this year who has two fantastic children and we were lucky this year to have the whole family visit for Christmas. I did manage to get a couple of things out of the kiln this past week and here they are.

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Silkscreen on clay

I love the wrought iron fence with birds and have another piece drying. Also have a few things coming out of kiln today but can hardly remember what went in there. My inventory at the shop is very low, which is a good thing. I am giving another silkscreen workshop on January 16th, so I thought I would take some time to use screens I had made but not used too much, plus working on screens to add more text, etc. to my claywork. Just having fun! Yesterday, I did spend the day wrapping gifts for Christmas, something I usually did at the last minute. Now I need to make a fresh wreath for the front door, but will head to the studio this morning for a bit.
We have 14 or 16 coming for dinner Christmas Eve for DH's annual lasagna. Plus, for the first time since we moved here, we will have children waking up on Christmas morning here. We are definitely looking forward to their visit.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I love doing this kind of work on my pottery, This bowl would look lovely as a decorative item filled with ornaments, or on the holiday table with a fruit salad.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Whew, been busy

Yes, the music plates (two at least), made it out in time and were presented by my friend's chamber music group to their music professors and everyone seemed very pleased with them. I have three more in progress, then I will change to another theme using the music sheets though. This was followed by our annual clay guild show and sale, so I have been very busy. It was a wonderful sale with fantastic pottery and ceramic art for sale. We had a wonderful turnout and I sold lots! The three kitties which I never did get around to posting photos of, sold immediately, as well as my experimental "Leopard skin pattern box" and lots and lots of other things. I am just now trying to get my inventory managed to see what sold, etc. so here are some photos of things "gone." My new beach boxes have a different glaze for water and some additional seashells added to sandy bottom, I think I like this combination better than my original ones, although I think each iteration is slightly different. I enjoy making these and they are very popular and sell right away.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In the Bisque Kiln

Two of these are sold if I can get them out --finished by Dec 2. I used underglazes on the leaves then I will clear glaze them. I have some more ideas as variations on this theme I will pursue maybe today at the studio.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Such a long wait

I made a few more music themed items, but it takes such a long time to get them finished. These babies are in for drying, then another week or so for bisque, then another week or so to get them out of glaze kiln. I have several things waiting to be final fired, and that batch might be out next Tuesday. In fairness, I think I made these things after we got home from our two week trip, so certainly formed about 8th of Nov or so, and to be able to see them next Tuesday is really about two weeks. I find that my brown speckled clay takes a lot longer to dry. I have several things on the bisque shelf as well. Made these today and will post when they come out of final kiln and will, therefore, have a real feel for how long it takes. The kilns are pretty busy this time of year, so things might be moving a little faster than usual.
Here's a photo showing the items on the "waiting for bisque firing"
Boy, until I posted all this I hadn't realized how busy I have been this month, especially since, for me, handbuilding takes quite a while. I also have another big leaf platter that will come out of Glaze kiln (hopefully intact) that I didn't photograph for this posting. Next week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My new creation

Most of my turtle items have sold in one week, also the beach box sold. I have two more drying as well as another two leaf platters, but my newest "fun" creations are my kitty vases. Here is a picture of one (I have made three), and I am hoping they look good after glazing, etc., I used to have a brooch that looked something like this with that backward looking attitude, and I thought it would be a hoot to recreate this look as a vase. I can see a bunch of daisies coming out of the vase can't you? Also did one with texture on vase and a different texture on rear and face. Stay tuned for finished projects in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My Goodness!

Before my stuff even got into "official inventory" at the shop, three of the items have been sold. I had a good day today and my turtle series is off to a good start. Of course, the lady from Ocean Isle Beach who "just happened to be an adopted mother of a turtle" bought several of my pieces, including three of my turtle vessels and my beachbox. I had already sold the tumbling rocks box I put in the shop just before we left. My Hosta leaf holders also have had a fairly decent run and today, I sold an item, I never did post on this blog, a lovely green platter with impressed leaves.
It is fun to meet the people who buy my items on the three days a month I work at the gallery. Today was a good day!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Turtles, birds beach and stars

More on my beach theme, a box similar to the one I featured here and sold, and using a new silkscreen showing turtles on the beach including hatching scene. This area is pretty famous for our loggerhead turtle nestings. Also a batch of star ringholders and a pair of candleholders. Will be in gallery tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

More Pots for October

Playing around with some new shapes/forms, more use of my new acqua glaze, and addition of silkscreen turtles to my beach collection. Some of these sold from my trunk before I got them to the shop.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Still at the "Beach"

Still experimenting with my beach bird images and some new (for me) clay. I have only recently decided to work with brown speckled clay and to try various new ways to use my silkscreens. I have found I can "transfer" from newsprint onto matte glaze surfaces to give a sepia look. Same image direct screenprinted is decidedly more black. Also trying to capture the textures and colors of the beach as our beach season here in Wilmington winds down. I have a few new images of turtles that I am playing with also. I like the variations I have been getting with brown speckled clay.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New for August

I haven't had much experience using speckled brown clay before, and had a bag of it from almost two years ago, so decided to try a few things. Except for vase at the bottom, all these were made from that clay body. I see lots of possibilities and love the result so today I will get more of this clay and see where else I can go with it.
I had some nice surprises with this kiln opening.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My new Shorebird items

Having fun using the new silkscreen images from the sea. Quick items made to demonstrate using silkscreens on clay at my last class.
Love these little birds!

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Work in July

I am having fun as usual working in several different directions. Love making my "Seafoam" pods and am experimenting with different glazes as well. The cutwork is a personal favorite technique I find soothing. My Asian vessal has a screenprint in underglaze on it and I like the way it turned out too. I only made one cutwork bird, but plan to make many more of these since they look beautiful all year round "and" would look great as Christmas ornament as well.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some things change

This is the black and white box shown earlier before finishing, but after bisque firing, I decided it needed a little more color. It is finished and in place at the shop.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Forgot to show you the new teapot

I showed the "Petals" teapot I made and my DH broke, but forgot to show you the replacement, which I liked better anyway, and it sold rather quickly. Guess I will have to try to make another one.


Playing around with boxes, everyone seems to like and have some use for them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A couple of new things

Not yet finished, used silkscreen for butterfly:

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Artist of the Month--June

Hi all, here are some new things making their debut this month as Artist of the Month for June at the Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts. I am so pleased and had such fun making these items. The large planter is a second attempt at one I made last year, it is similar, but different in that the saucer is attached and the face is aligned higher. Just wanted to see if I could make this again, I never know!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lessons, lessons, lessons

As every potter/ceramic artist has experienced----things get broken. DH bumped into the table holding some of the items I had just finished grinding bottoms, etc. (my fault in that spout was hanging over the table a bit) and "crash." As I had said, I have a whole bunch of things I have been making in this series. In fact, just finished glazing most of them yesterday---to go with this teapot! Since this accident happened a few weeks ago, I have since made another (different though) teapot. All this potential risk at each stage of the process kind of adds excitement and makes a finished product all the more wonderful I think. My innate sense of re purposing won't pitch this mess thinking I might just be able to do something with it. Mosaic?? who knows, ----

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Mother's Day and how to expand the joy!

My daughter and her new family (got married in April to a wonderful man with two wonderful children----voila, I am an instant grandmother!). Anyway, they sent me a beautiful bouquet of tulips. I grow so many flowers in my garden, I often think I do not need florist flowers, BUT---surprise to me, this bouquet has pleased me so much. I moved them into my Master Bath, of all places and realized with the mirrors I quadrupled the display from one bouquet to FOUR! Beau, our oldest cat seems to enjoy them too. I put them in the bathroom since our youngest (and most mischievous cat) likes to push things over in the Bedroom to wake us up. Little did I know that the bathroom with its mirrors was the perfect place for them. I probably visit that room more often than I would like to admit and while there, get to enjoy these flowers all the more.

Petal Crazy

My newest teapot, plus lots and lots more using this technique/ and glaze combination. I have so many pieces lined up to be part of this collection. I originally made a plate to test glaze/technique and it sold so fast, I thought this might be an area I could expand upon. So made this teapot, also in the process I have a tray/plate, soapdish, sugar/creamer, vases and a spoon which I loved making. More on these as they make their way through drying, bisque firing/glazing! I will be "artist of the month" at the Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts for the month of June and I hope to have all of these items on display there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Music Themed items

Just put these and a few others in the two shops that sell my work. Wilmington is a very musical town and items I have made previously using my sheet music screenprinting have gone over very well. I enjoy making them too!

Monday, April 06, 2009

My poor "Piglet"

Piglet is my cat and she is an indoor cat, but she has gotten little sleep during the day watching this bird make a nest in one of those cheap wooden birdhouses bought at craft shop several years ago, and plunked in this bush outside my BR window. This video clip is from yesterday and she watched the activity all day:

Then again this morning, she is perched up on the back of the chair watching again:

Monday, March 30, 2009

More new stuff

I am busy making more "music-themed" items, as well as a few other things. Here's an assortment:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Answers to questions

Undaunted in the comments has asked: "Is the design produced with decals?" The answer is no, I have developed and refined the use of silkscreens on ceramic. It certainly has been done by others, but I think the specific methods I use work best for me. I teach a class here in Wilmington, NC on how to create silkscreens (very easy process actually), and I have over the year and a half that I have been into ceramics created about 50 screens. I also have learned a great deal about how to make them work with clay and the various tips. I silk screened underglazes onto the leatherhard (sometimes even dryer than that) items. I also have silkscreened onto bisque items, but find doing it earlier, before the bisque firing, makes it easier to correct
smudges, etc.

If you look at the slideshow in this blog entry, you will see numerous items where I have used the silkscreens. My musicsheet silkscreens have produced items that have been very popular and I have sold all that I have made. I did a huge sale in December on my silkscreened Christmas ornaments too and can produce the images in any color of the many available in underglazes. The Peek a Boo kitty ornament used a silkscreen also. I used the same silkscreen on the two vases in this slideshow which sold quickly at that sale. I actually began experimenting with silkscreen on clay in 2007 and you can see some of my early silkscreened items, pendants, etc. here. That should answer your questions. The silkscreens I make are from two companies PhotoEZ SilkScreen and EZ ScreenPrint They supply the 8 1/2 x 11" sheets already covered with emulsion --then I make transparencies with items I want to silkscreen printed in the blackest ink (opaque) as possible, then I expose the screens to sun for about one minute, then place in a waterbath for about 15 minutes, then scrub out the soft emulsion that did not harden by the sun because it was blocked with the black line images, text, etc. then the screen is ready to use. Each screen might cost about $15.00 counting the making of the transparency and cost of blank screens, but each screen can be used countless times! I made silkscreens for the kittybank project and used them over 50 times. These screens are flexible and don't have to be mounted in a wooden frame. You also can screenprint on newsprint then transfer that to the clay items, to include a thrown cylinder for example, that can then be manipulated into complex shape and the image expands nicely. Bonus is that the screens can be used on card stock, paper and on fabric as well with acrylic paint with textile medium. I love using them and create some unique items using them.
Hope this answers your questions, I will try to get some photos made of the screens and some parts of the process so you can see it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

OK, I'll have to fess up

"Undaunted" wants to see all around on this teapot. I did show the good side before.
But now I have to come clean. The other side got a little too much clear glaze on it, I didn't check the glaze bucket to discover someone at the studio had left the lid off overnight and the glaze got too thick, soooo, as you will see in this picture (the whole truth and nothing but the truth!), that heavy glaze shows. I have since ground down the thick bits and touched up glaze on the bad side and teapot is ready to be refired to smooth things out. Good news is that today I have gotten the matching sugar and creamer out of bisque and glazed ready for same kiln load as the reglazing of the teapot, so (fingers crossed), it all will be beeeutiful maybe next week or so. In the meantime, here is teapot from all angles:

My first Teapot

Here it is, I have since made a sugar and creamer to match, but they should be coming out of Bisque Kiln this morning at the studio. Will have to clear glaze and hope they come out OK. Most of the items I have put in the Gallery have sold I am happy to say. Some of my things are also in a shop in Wilmington, NC---Blue Moon Gift Shops
This is actually the booth of a friend of mine and the paintings on the wall are from another friend. At the moment, I am wondering if I am spread out too much. It takes such a long time to get items through all the processes. I still hope to do two shows a year and just hope I can produce enough items to do all of this. Yesterday, I made five more of my musicsheet screenprinted hanging cones. So far, I have sold all seven that I have made. I am also experimenting with some other items with music themes since they seem to be quite popular. The vases with falling squares sold after four days in the gallery and the "Lovers" sold a week ago.
I had a large order for Christmas Ornaments which I have completed and another commission that I have finished, so now I am ready to work on getting some inventory produced for the gallery and the gift shop any maybe a few items for the two shows I will be in later in the year (September and December).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

For Diana Gabaldon fans

Can you believe this two posts in one day, and this one has nothing to do with pottery/ceramics. Some of you might have read previous posts about one of my most favorite book series/authors here and here.

This mornng, my DH called my attention to a Mallard Fillmore cartoon which cracked me up since I usually sound just like this when I explain the book series to friends!

My newest things popping out of kiln:

OK this time I will forgo making an animated gif, but I really love these very contemporary vases. I have such fun pushing the limits of ceramic to see exactly what I can get it to do. I love the look of these and the seemingly precarious bits flying out of each vessel:

Sunday, February 08, 2009


OK, I promise this is my last animated gif, but once I remembered how to do these again, I wanted to reinforce the learning by doing several. This is the first time I have made a figure of a couple. Inspired by something I saw in Greece last summer, I wanted to try to create a similar look in ceramic. I am very happy with how it turned out, now I need to put it up for sale. My DH has gotten me a grinder with a rubber wheel and proper sanding strips for it, so I can get my bottoms (of my ceramic creations) nice and smooth and clean. Well here is the lovely couple dancing of course:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Another Dancing Lady

I am trying to reinforce my animated gif skills and share another ceramic creation with you. The Dancing Lady I made and showed in this blog entry was sold and it was time to make another. I just love making them dance.
Isn't she cute?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Meet the new Family

I loved making these figures, just in time for valentine's day ------

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gallery Walk--Jan2009

During my workday at the Gallery last Monday, I took a series of movies that have been put on this site Take a tour of what is currently for sale in the gallery. I think Sonny Hall will be updating this monthly so each time I work, I will do a little gallery walk for all of you and you can see what has been featured recently in the gallery.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy New Year everyone

It's official, a local gallery, Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts has accepted me into the gallery. This gallery is owned by seven potters and has been an extremely successful venture for a almost two years since they opened in April 2007. There are about 20 talented artists in the gallery and I am honored to be among them. Recently, one of the fiber artists, Louise Giordano posted a detailed rundown with photos on the gallery, its artists, and some nice photos of items that were on sale in the gallery here in December. Louise's most recent posting features an article/interview with Diane Masi, the gourd and pine needle artist who is one of the gallery members.

As part of my commitment in selling my items in the gallery, I will work three days a month, all gallery members work in the gallery and I look forward to working with the other artists and getting first hand acquaintance with visitors to the gallery.

Below is a slide show of some of the newer ceramic items I have made and are making, as well as a couple I may not have shared in previous posts. I will be giving another workshop on my methods of making screen prints and using them directly and as transfers to add patterns, images and text to clay on January 31st at the studio where I do all of my clay work (Fat Cat Pottery in Wilmington, NC) One of the readers of this blog, I am happy to say, has contacted me as a result of my mentioning my class in my previous posting of the screen printed Kitty Boo ornament and as a result, she will be traveling from the Charlotte/Hickory area of NC to Wilmington, NC to be in the class. Information on the class can be found here. I have used screenprinted/ transfers onto lots of my pieces. The kitty vases in the slideshow in the September posting showed a few, kitty faces on two vases which have sold and the turtle vase, also sold in December. I also sold over 40 ornaments with silk screened images/print during the December show--my first as a part of the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild.
At the last minute (literally, the night before), I decided to do some creative packaging, i.e., cutting paper envelopes and using my sewing machine to stitch blanket stitch pattern in red thread. Made over 40 of these in one night to make a more interesting presentation of the ornaments and it worked! They flew off the table, I guess Dec 6th was a great date to pick up small, affordable, handcrafted gift items. At the December show, the "Dance with me" lady and my tree lady also sold.

I have also done a couple of things in damask pattern (which is my favorite), I guess I was on a napkin ring--coaster--ornament kick for a while. I have a few more sculptural figures in the works (some drying, some bisqued and one ready for final glaze). I love the lady with the two children, sitting on drying shelf, I have already underglazed these and will see how they make the kiln journey. I want to make more in different shapes, positions and colors. also have a silkscreen with sheet music and have used this one to make wall hanging vases which can hold flowers. I was inspired by the Scandinavian custom of making sheet music cones, mostly for Christmas as I understand, but think these would be pretty in ceramic all year round on porches, fences, indoors and out.

I look forward to working with Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts in this coming year and to continue to share the adventure with those of you who continue to read my blog despite my recent laxness in posting. I hope to do better and wish you all a healthy and happy 2009!