Monday, February 20, 2017

I'm Still Here!

No!  I did not drop off the face of the earth at the end of January.  I ran out of clay; I have been prepping small amounts so I can get back to making.

Most of my clay is at a stage where it is too stiff to work with, but not completely dried out.  I usually put the entire bag in a cat litter bucket.  Pour water into the bag and into the empty bucket.  After a few days to a week it's ready to use.  Thanks go out out Clay Buddies on Facebook for this one.

The photo below is of all the stuff that has fallen out of bags.  I think talking about prepping clay is about as exciting as watching grass grow.  It needs to be done, but......

It took me a while to figure out why I didn't process enough last summer to get me through the winter.  Then I remembered our caterpillar infestation and the the resulting poop parade.  I usually do all my processing outside, but having clay full of caterpillar crap was/is not at all appealing.


Meanwhile my amaryllis have been in bloom since Christmas.  I planted them at intervals so they wouldn't all bloom at once.  I wish I knew what I did differently to get so many of my old bulbs to bloom!

Below is the last group.  Toes crossed for the beginning of spring bulbs when these finish.


Our weather is being pretty typical for this time of year.  Sun yesterday, sun today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  We'll see, grasshopper.......we'll see.

As always thanks for stopping by............*s*

Monday, January 30, 2017

Soft Slabs

I've been having fun working with soft slabs.  

I take the clay I recycle into a very thick slip and put down a puddle on several sheets of paper.  I use a bench scraper to smooth it out to a more or less uniform thickness.  I then let it dry enough so I can work with the slab without it being jello.  I painted on the hearts a little too soon, but I find the result interesting enough to want to experiment more.  I did use a form for this because the clay was not as dry as I initially thought it was.

I have made several, but this the first one I have kept.  Obviously it needs some finishing and clean up.  The rim needs rethinking and evening out enough so beverage does not spill when trying to drink.


I have not been posting much anywhere due to my poor, misused MacBook.  I do need to learn how to transfer stuff to my IPad.

The sun is fitfully trying to break through many gray clouds.  Well see, Grasshopper.....we'll see......

As always, thanks for stopping by............*s*

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Forms

No this is not a tiny igloo!  I've been making forms so I can handbuild some bowls.  If I use tissue paper as a separator I can use them unfired.  I will fire them in my next kiln load.


The one below is much smaller.  It may become an egg.  I had a dream about majolica eggs so I may give it a go!


This is a shot of a hazy full moon I took early Saturday morning.  At one point there was a rainbow halo around it that only lasted for a few minutes.


After several days of forty and fifty degree sunny weather with the woodstove off and doors open temps have dropped again.  This is not unique in this area.  We are about five miles inland from the Atlantic and just on the very edge of the upland plateau.  Microclimates abound here.

Toes crossed that all are warm and dry, or cool and dry, depending on location.

As always, thanks for stopping by................*s*

Sunday, January 8, 2017

More Snow

Yes, we did have a goodly amount of snow all day yesterday into the early hours of this morning.  So of course Aloysius had  to go out for his yearly snow expedition!  It was a lot deeper on the deck than he thought it would be.  I wish I had been able to catch the expression on his face when he landed in the snow bank!




The picture below was taken mid afternoon.  This is what it looked like until I went to bed.


And this is what the deck looked like when I went out around 9:30 this morning to clear a path to the bird feeder.  They are flocking to eat.  It is so important to keep feeders filled when the ground is covered.


We got between eight and ten inches.  Fortunately it's very light and fluffy so it should be easy to get out the driveway.

I've been hearing snow plows out on the road.  This is definitely a good thing.

Today is going to an indoor day.  If I can warm my studio up I want ti make some more forms for handbuilding.  I recommend indoors to one and all.

As always thanks fir stopping by.....*s*

Saturday, January 7, 2017

More Fun?

More water works.  I had a helper who offered to water plants in my sunroom, not realizing  that the plants over my computer table always get taken down for watering.  I went to use my computer about an hour later and found the keyboard flooded with water.  After drying and all the keyboard appears to be shot, so at present I am using a Microsoft keyboard.  I will, however, be getting a new MacBook in the near future! Tell me again how much you love Microsoft, because I think their keyboards suck dead monkey meat.

On a happier note I have not yet shown the glaze tests I did.  The whites look and feel so much alike that I am confident that I can combine them, which will give me about a gallon of glaze that is good for both dipping and brushing. 


The two below are Taffe on the left and Ian Symmons on the right.  I painted my designs over the glaze for this test, but I think I can get some interesting effects with underglazes.


It's snowing!  It has hit the whole east coast, and is not expected to stop until early Sunday morning.

I took the picture of the cardinal yesterday.  I am not sure why he is looking at me with that expression, but we did put more seed in the feeders.


The feeders have been busy all day.  Sparrows are bullies!

Here's to staying warm and dry and safe inside.  Toes crossed that everyone has all the bread, milk, and beer they need!

As always, thanks for stopping by.............*s*

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Last Piece

There was talk on FB Clay Buddies about the last thing we made in 2016.  I made these mermaids and gargoyles for my great niece's wedding on New Year's eve.  She and her new husband are part of Ten31 Productions.  Ashley is The Mermaid and Patrick is The Gargoyle.  There were gargoyles and living trees at the wedding so the cake toppers and decorations were fitting indeed.


I took this picture while they were still cooling in the kiln.  I paint the mermaid faces with acrylic after firing; it's safer that way.  These are made of porcelain bisque fired to ^05. I mixed my underglazes colors with one coat of Spectrum Clear over.

Happily, they were well received!

Here's to a new hope for a happy, healthy and joyous 2017!

As always, thanks for stopping by..........*s*



P.S.  Edited to add a photo of the mermaids with faces.  Thanks for reminding me, Michele, that I took these before packing them!

 Continuing..............*s*

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Small Rewards

After our floods, (I never mentioned the one that happened when the discharge hose from the washing machine was disconnected.) I have had the chore of going through several boxes that had been left on the floor.  The cardboard was pretty soggy, but the contents were fine.

At the bottom of one I found this mug that I either did at Haystack in a Linda Arbuckle workshop or shortly after returning home.  I know it is Linda's glaze, obviously on a terra cotta clay, but whether it's the one supplied by Haystack or mine I can't remember.  It was 2002 after all!

Below are two views of the same mug.  I was going through a huge Clarisse Cliffe phase.  I did this design as a direct homage to her work.  




On a sadder note, I was so very sorry to hear of Carrie Fisher's death.  She was not only the world's princess, but a gutsy lady who carried on through all the adversities of her life.

 I love the fact that the final screen image (admittedly CGI) is of her turning and when asked what the file she has been handed holds, answers, "A new hope."

2016 has been the pits, so I have decided that my words for 2017 will be that.....A NEW HOPE!

As always, thanks for stopping by..............*s*