Tuesday, May 6, 2014

a new direction

This blog has been so sadly neglected... mostly because ever since I moved to Palmer I haven't done any potting.  It isn't for lack of wanting to.  In fact, my brain is filled with so many ideas that it will take me well into my fifties, at least, to explore them all.  The reality is, at present, that the dream of having my own studio is a few years out, and that working in a local studio can't happen yet because I don't have the scheduled down time what with my two small hobbits requiring so much of my hands-on time and energy at present. 

I'm okay with that, but I also have the desire to do something creative in the meantime (aside from knitting, sewing, woodworking and gardening--there should be a diagnosis for people like this--jackofalltradesitis?) I want to contribute to the greater good.  That sounds so ambitious, but really it is just using time and talent to contribute positively to my local community and beyond, if that makes sense? I have been doing some pro-bono graphic design projects here and there--just for friends and family, and really cool projects like this one. Check it out here.

But I have been longing to do something else too.  I've decided that it needs to be visual art--and something to do with storytelling.  Maybe I have this home time with weird hours to work because I need to write and illustrate those children's stories I've always wanted to do ever since Jill Stanley's 5th grade class.  I'm not sure exactly what this project will look like, but I think I will use this blog space to explore that until I have my hands on my very own pottery wheel again.  At that point, I am sure I will fling all other projects to the wind and fill this space up with all my circular potter ramblings once again.  In the meantime, happy creating fellow artists!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spooky, but Classy: Black & White Halloween

Here is the rest of the Halloween Raku from the aforementioned fall class.  I am a big fan of Halloween decorations, but my tastes definitely run towards the elegant, Gothic, Poe-esque or nature-centered.  I try to steer clear of the plasticy, cheesy or gory... those just don't float my boat.   This year I had this vision of an all black & white Halloween display for Bearing Song {a local shop here in Nome where I sell my work}. I am pretty happy with how it came out.  
I used the white potion bottles from the aforementioned post, and made some seed-pod and fruitlike forms and fired them with the same clear crackle glaze.  Also pictured are an assortment of smooth, egg-inspired vases.  I was a little disappointed that they didn't crackle more in the firing, but that is the nature of Raku...beautifully unpredictable.
 A collection of spray-painted willow branches gives it a spooky, wintry feel {apropos for a Halloween in Nome, Alaska}
A couple of curious  Ravens give it a finishing touch.  I like that all of these decorations are neutral enough that they can easily be re-purposed for winter decor.
If you live in Nome, swing on by Bearing song and getcha some...the proceeds all go to a good cause too--so you can't go wrong;)
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween Raku

We've been doing a Raku class at the Northwest Campus this fall.  Lucky for us, the weather has been kind: cold but clear.  I was feeling kind of Halloween-y this month, so I decided to make a collection of spooky potion bottles for a friend.  Especially loving the ghostly effect of our clear crackle glaze.

Hey, Check it out! My project got featured on Homework:)

Friday, August 12, 2011

finishing up for farmer's market

Here are the finished versions of the mugs I posted about last time (gosh its been a while, but I haven't really been doing any pottery, just massively re-arranging the studio and recycling a butt-load of clay--thanks to my brother GABE!)

 These are all MAC 6 Porcelain with a Basalt/Mottled Blue/Purple/Rutile Tan combo.
 This is Studio Brown Clay with Ketchup/Nutmeg and Rutile Tan
Mi favorito new glaze combo--Ketchup, Nutmeg, Mottled Blue and Rutile Tan. Reminds me of the desert. (Also on Studio brown clay)

And a few other fun pretties for the farmer's market:
 soap bottle dispensers

 These are all the same glaze combos mentioned on the mugs.
 my first attempt at a yarn bowl.  (mottled blue & rutile tan on studio brown clay)
Tree of life serving bowl (Blue Rutile from the Potter's Choice Glaze series: Mac 6)

a pretty little pie dish just in time for blueberry pie (Ketchup, Nutmeg with rutile tan and mottled blue detail--studio brown clay)

A funny little french butter dish (with the word butter written in English, of course:) Stroke and Coat glazes on mac 6 (sour apple, moody blue)
And a little experiment. 
Porcelain buttons and pendants with carved underglazed details.  These didn't really turn out how I envisioned them, but I cant say I dislike them either:

Maybe we'll see you at the Farmer's Market at Bearing Song!
(maybe it wont rain tomorrow!)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

letting go a little

Tonight I needed to start making mugs for the first ever (or at least in recent history) farmers market in Nome that will be happening this August.  I want to have a bit of pottery there to represent my peeps at the NWC, but I have been so, so strapped for time, what with getting the house sorted, the garden put in, traveling, and chasing my wild tot around, that I have barely been able to get into the studio to clean and organize, let alone create anything.
For potters there always seems to be an endless battle between fussing to get a pot "just-so" or being open to going where the clay wants to take you.  I find myself often stuck in the former category... and I don't think there is anything wrong with that per se, but once in a while it is good to let go a little.
So for these mugs I decided to just see what the clay wanted to do.  It is a great excersize to just get yourself a bunch of 1# balls of clay and throw fast.  No fussing, no smoothing out all the finger lines with rib tools, no getting all matchy-matchy with calipers... just see what becomes.  I even cut these off the bat with a wiggle wire so I don't have to trim them later.
1 hour later and I came out with 15 funky mugs.  I even tipped a couple slightly off-kilter just to add character.  I'm kind of pleased with these guys... but I may change my mind after I have to attach 15 handles... that is not quite as quixotic an activity, to be sure.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Pots: Batch 2

Some of, not all of, what I have been working on lately. All of these pieces are made with Mac 6 mid-range porcelain from Tacoma Clay Arts.

"Sunshine & Roses" Platter (with complementary blue glaze spatters from its kiln neighbor:(
 "The Bluebird of Happiness" sugar bowl

 "Glass Rocks" tray and butter dishes

 Still in the works: Cake stand with rolled lace doily texture and slip-trailing embellishments, sourdough jars.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Pots: Batch 1

"Sunshine & Roses" Mugs and Tray
^6 porcelain, hand-built using textured slabs
Glaze: Tacoma Clay Art P-Series "Papaya" & TCA "Basalt"

"Winter Sun" Mugs
^6 porcelain, wheel-thrown, carved
Glaze*: Inside--Iridescent Blue (TCA) Outside--Iridescent blue sponged over Ivory (TCA)
*I would call this a "use at your own risk" glaze combo.  This used to be a set of 4 mugs, but one bubbled really bad, and the other ran down and stuck to the kiln shelf. So obviously there is some unpredictability at work here.

Colander Fun!
"Rose Coral" Colander and Dish Set
^6 porcelain, wheel-thrown, altered
Glaze: I did all kinds of weird things to this one!  I started by sponging on an irregular layer of Melon Underglaze from SPS. Then I layered on 3 coats of Ivory from TCA.  To top it off, I sponged on another thin application of "Chun Plum" from the Amaco Potters Choice Glazes. 

"Apple a Day" Colander
^6 porcelain, wheel-thrown, altered
This one is for givaway over at my other blog
Glaze: Light application of SPS Blue-Green Underglaze, 2 coats TCA Ivory over that, and flecked with TCA iridescent blue.

L: "Blue Lagoon" Collander, R: "Beluga Bubbles" Colander and Dish
^6 Porcelain, wheel-thrown, altered
L: Glaze--Iridescent Blue, R: Glaze--same as "Apple a Day" Colander above