Sunday, April 07, 2013

The heart form is a great way to try new techniques

I have the shapes precut sitting in a damp box, so whenever I want to try a new technique, they are ready.  I have been wanting to try the monoprinting technique I saw some time ago on Ceramic Arts Daily.  So yesterday I tried it and these two hearts were made using basically that technique but editing them after.  Interesting and different.  I think I can use this again.  It is a lot like gelli printing which I have looked at for paper/fabric, actually wet clay works a lot like the gelli base.  I think it was fun and will be interested to see it once glazed.  I will try this again too.  Here are some photos:  I started by using two flat hearts before shaping, one I covered with red underglaze, the other with deep yellow (didn't take a photo of the base yellow heart) then on the yellow heart proceeded to draw/apply other Underglazes, and smeared with fingertips, etc until I got something I could work with, then turned that over on top of the red Underglazed heart and rubbed---when I separated them, had two different images which I then edited, adding more blue underglaze to one, and finetuning some of the other features, lastly adding a silkscreen quotation from Bette Davis to the original one.

Then after letting them set up a bit, shaped them into puffy hearts:

 I will use clear glaze over them and they will be ready for firing

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Found this draft from February ----I had intended to post then

So I will publish this in case anyone wants to see the "in progress" pics of the things I just posted below.  I often like to see all the stages of an item being produced.
"I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted.  Lots of sales, etc followed my last posting and most of the items are gone.  Finally getting around to doing some new things and the kiln just stopped and I will have more to share in about 24 hours.  Hopefully, there will be some interesting things coming out.  Again, whole kiln consists of things I am single firing at Cone 5, stoneware.  A rather large beach box will hopefully make it through OK, as well as some wall hearts (didn't make it in time for valentines day), but hearts seem to be popular at any time, like stars.  I have another set of kite flyers, this time two boys.  Have had a nice run with these, and even got a commission for a set of little girls from my art show in September.  Here are some pictures of the work drying/in progress.  Hope I will see happy things coming out of kiln tomorrow.

I also did several pillow beads using my silkscreens, but got so busy I forgot to take pictures.  I always forget how much time is involved in last minute glazing, etc., and loading the kiln.

New things

Well, I really can't believe it been so long since I have posted here.  I got busy making things for shows/holiday sales, etc., then got plain lazy, but now am having fun trying out some new ideas.  Still committed to "single firing".  In fact, this very large box was constructed from little loafer's clay and decorated with underglaze, then glazed with clear on outside and a tinted clear on inside over a silkscreened text.  Then single fired in my electric kiln at cone 5 (slow).  Until I run into a problem, that is what I will continue to do since I paint all of my glazes on (not dipped).  I may explore spraying glazes also which will still enable me to single fire.  Well, here's the picture of the box:

Then I decided to make some ceramic hanging hearts which will enable me to try out new techniques, ideas, etc using the clay heart as a canvas.  Here are some finished hearts, the first batch were a little too small, then I made a hump mold our of clay and let it dry based on an idea I saw in Ceramic Arts Daily  I have plaster molds and was planning on making more, but I needed one quickly and in the heart shape so I used this idea and I have to say I am quite pleased with it.  They clay doesn't stick to the dry mold, and later, if I don't want or use the mold I can just reconstitute it and use the clay again.  I used white (actually gray before firing) low fire clay because it is what I had the most of.  I have since made a few more molds that way.  Actually, it seems to make more sense especially for hump molds.  I will continue to make/use the plaster molds  for detailed items/ springs, etc.  The mold has enabled me to make these hearts pretty quickly and I can then concentrate on decorating techniques.  I think I can get these to a price point where they will sell.  So far, all are one of a kind.  










Also my beach kite flyers are selling faster than I can make them.  This time (first time) two boys flying kites:
and a very new idea I have of creating the "Unsoftie"---love all the plush little figures sewn with fabric and I thought I might try a few done with ceramic, and here is my first "prototype."  Isn't it cute?  

I will play with a few more ideas, love making it look like fabrics, with stitching, etc.  

Whew, that should do for a while, I am still making silkscreened jewelry but fabricating it into actual wearable items slows me down.  I love making the components but now they are piling up waiting to be made into jewelry to wear.  Just to show you all the pieces I have stashed away:

and this is just a few, have loads more---I have been experimenting with monoprinting from gelli plates for some of these pieces in the picture on the right.  Well I think this post will show that I have been busy, if not posting.  More later.