Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pushing Myself!

I promised my good friend Adriana that I would have a blog post for Mud Colony this week. I keep missing the deadline, which is Sunday...IF you live in Australia! For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, that would be Saturday. I see she's kindly left me a little reminder on Facebook, so I won't forget....so here it is....

I wanted to share my new pitcher/jug with you. I'm trying to challenge myself, so I decided to go big or go home! I've made a little ones...creamers or creamettes as I like to call them. All of them handle-less because you know how much I dislike attaching a handle. Little ones are fine without that ...big ones...not so much. So, I poured over several of my pottery books looking for spout options and handle sizes and watched more then my share of videos too and even got some great advice from a few friends.

In the end I suppose I should have sketched a pre-throw diagram, but to be honest, I didn't really know what shape I wanted and I'm so thrilled that I seem to have this cylinder thing licked that I just started throwing and then I shaped it....a few times to be honest. If there is one thing I am pretty good at it's altering the shape of a pot....sometimes quite drastically! Anyway, I worried it was too fat and maybe the bottom needed to be narrower? or should it be wider? I don't like the idea of a tippy pitcher full of something sticky! I also considered pulling a spout but figured it might be too small for something so round.

In the end I'm pretty happy with it. Whether or not it will pour? Hmmmm....I guess we'll see. I did try the 'centre of gravity' test that Robin Hopper suggests in 'Functional Pottery' and I think I'm pretty close. My one concern is the handle? Too big? should it be closer to the body? I'd love to hear some critiques! (I'm a big girl, I can take it, really I can!)

And with that....Voila! When you've finished ogling and left me your suggestions, why not stop over at Mud Colony to check out what the other talented potters have been up to this week!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Pace Yourself

Time for a short break for a quick, cool drink and then back to my studio. I'm almost there. Almost ready to throw! If not today, then absolutely, positively tomorrow for sure! Ah...life...it keeps getting in the way!

I got a message this morning from a friend of mine, telling me she was going to drop an application off for a big art market held here in June. I thought it was strange that she would be sending it in so soon, when it isn't due until February 15....that is until it suddenly occurred to me that this IS February!! Where did January go? That head cold must have caused some amnesia because it's seriously all a blur!

Panic has set in! I need to get that out asap. Thankfully, I have some photos that I can send because as far as work goes, what I have here in the house, isn't photo worthy or sale worthy for that matter. I have posted a list of upcoming art markets and sales happening in 2013 and highlighted the ones I'm hoping to attend. I'm trying to keep it to a minimum so I can actually enjoy the production process and not overwhelm myself. I love the money a sale generates, but then who doesn't? But, I want to have fun too. This year, I hope to play more...experiment...push myself. I love my polka dots and the stripes and the bright colours, but I also love to carve and I haven't been doing much of that. I've been wondering if I can't incorporate carving with whimsical? Maybe experiment with some glazes....

Ooops....time to play!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Colds, Snow and Dreams

Good news! There's a little less nose blowing happening here these days and I've had the same tissue box sitting beside me and it's still half full, so that in itself must mean I'm getting better! Actually, I am feeling better, much better, so today...yes today...I'm going to finish up a few things in my studio so that I can start throwing. Yesterday I rearranged my cupboards so that I could organize my show and sale props, etc. and I cleaned up my little jars of underglazes, which I know might seem tedious (and it was to be honest), but surprisingly so many of them were drying up and they're far too expensive to just toss!

I also enrolled in another pottery class. I'm still not happy with throwing a cylinder and I'm hoping that this will be the class where I master that. I explained that to my instructor, Jan, when I registered and so my first class, she had us throw cylinder after cylinder and cut them open. Admittedly the first one was hard to cut open. But it got easier as the night went on, especially when I could see some improvements. I'm determined to perfect them, once and for all! We're going to attempt to make a tulipiere, which fascinates me. Of course I'm loving all the wonderfully detailed ones I'm finding pics of on google, when I know I should start with something less complicated!

Feeling a little housebound these days with all the snow and bad road conditions that I find myself day dreaming...more than usual! I normally get the itch come January and start dreaming of summer and my garden, and having fresh veggies to pick and eat. Not one seed catalog has yet to arrive in the mail, so that's a little disappointing. I must remember to order some. This year, I'm also pouring over possible workshops that I'd love to attend All quite overwhelming, because of course I want to do them all! What's really interesting me is a porcelain workshop. I worry that I'm not experienced enough yet for porcelain, but I'm so in love with the carving of it! Here's a few examples for those of you less familiar.


The gorgeous vase is by Lynne Meade. I love layering! You can read more about here here!


This is the work of Jennifer McCurdy. Stunning right? The movement is amazing! Ceramic Arts Daily has a video of her carving one of her pots. She makes it look so easy, but trust me it's not (yes, I've tried). You can find more of her work here!


Another favourite of mine is Antoinette Badenhorst. She and I have become FB friends and she's really so lovely and encouraging. Her work is so incredible. I love the translucent porcelain. I really do hope to one day attend one of her workshops. You can find her here!


Last but certainly not least, because there are so many more porcelain artists whose work I admire, is Amy Kline. Like Antoinette, Amy has become a FB friend too. I won't lie. When I get a response from any of these exceptionally talented clay artists, it feels a little like I've met a movie star (but frankly far more exciting to me!) The fact that they take a few moments of their time to talk to little 'ole me...well....

I have Amy's workshop on my wish list, and just hope that it's not full before I make a decision. Vegas in the summer...HOT...but there's a pool at her studio, and it all looks very comfy. You can read more about her here and her studio!

Ah...to dream....