Saturday, January 28, 2012

Speaking of Back Burners & Godzilla

With  bows to Linda and Tracey I knew this house was floating around on my shelves.  After reading Linda's post today I went on a search and found it.  

It was inspired by a Christopher Priest novel Inverted World.  The idea was to make a bunch of buildings, faintly medieval in aspect on wheeled platforms.  I bisqued it with no intention of glazing to keep it from kitty destruction.

And for Gary......

Godzilla turtle has been living in the garden since last summer.  It's a combination of a cement turtle my sister gave me ten years ago after her son's dog bit two of the legs off.  The head came off much later.  The Godzilla head is all that is left of a Godzilla toy Proge had when he was small.  The head at various times has had flames coming out of his mouth and head, spikes and fangs, to name two of many incarnations.

Godzilla Turtle
There's sun and 50 F.,,,,,and we have fish activity.   Enjoy the day.

Thanks for stopping by.........-s-

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another Test

The bowl is a test of stains on a glaze I have not used for years.  It's somewhere between a majolica gloss and a semi-matt.  What I cannot remember is what the stains look like on the glaze.  All majolica glazes are not created equal.  Some are better used with colorants.....some need to be left alone.  The design is to see how different elements work......this is only a test!

stains on WOM Majolica

The petunias and impatiens are in the south window of my sun room.  It's such a bleak, gray day that I need some harbingers of spring!

Have a good week end.  Thanks for stopping by..........-s-

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Helper Cat

KikiLaSois decided to help me out....I'm not sure if she is warming the piece so the stains go on easily or trying out as a very large brush.   I turn my back for a minute and this is what goes on.  At least the pot is bisqued and the glaze is dry.  Such is not always the case!

Thanks for stopping by............-s-

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Snow Angel

We had about 1/2 inch of snow last night so this morning Aloysius ran outside to make snow angels on the deck.  We try to appreciate his happiness as it is about the most/only angelic thing he does.  I thought he had broken my speakers this morning.....fortunately it was just a disconnected wire.  All the critturs stopped chewing cords after I rubbed tea tree oil on them.  Small mercies.

It was 52 F. yesterday morning...this morning it was's been a strange winter.  Off to the market to buy cat food and people food.

Happy Weekend!   Thanks for stopping by...........-s-

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Decoration Evolution

This is a test...both with the glaze and the designs.  The glaze is a slightly matte white with a little rutile added to take away the extreme white that occurs in some majolica whites.  The small amount of rutile (about .0025) gives it more the look of a leaded glaze or paint.

I sized the glaze with an odorless hair spray and drew the designs in pencil.  I like pencil because it's easy to erase and it burns out in the firing.

The designs are lightly drawn because I wanted to be able to make corrections and adjustments easily.

I used a brush to erase three of the fish and drew in two poppies.  Normally I don't mix designs, but this is just a way to see if the designs and colors still work.

This is when I start to lay in color.  I am using Mason Stains mixed 50/50 with Frit 3124, the principal frit in my glaze.  I start with my lightest and work to the darkest or most intense colors.

Most of the colors have been put in.  They will fire to the colors shown but will be more vibrant.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Dragons

This is Morkaleb the dragon in Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.  It's the first Story Plate I did, over thirty years ago.  I did this in porcelain and had to think a lot about using colors that would not burn out.  A short time later I began working totally with majolica.


The story I was thinking of yesterday was my misremebered version of a story by E. Nesbit, 'The Dragon Tamers'  in The Book of Dragons.  It can be downloaded for free over on Gutenberg Press.  Her writing has an early twentieth century British sensibility about it.  It's easy to see that she influenced later fantasy writers.

I want to say thank you again to all of you have posted offering kind thoughts for my good health. The antibiotics are beginning to kick in....though they are tiring by their nature.....we'll see, grasshopper, we'll see.

Thanks for stopping by.....-s-

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


And life goes on....I have just been diagnosed with ear/sinus infection and Lyme Disease.  Oh joy!  Having been through many bouts of Lyme I know my stamina will be down.  The antibiotics will do their job but they take a lot out of me in the process.....lots of acidophilus is in my future!

Fortunately, when we took the Christmas tree down Proge helped me set up a space for decorating stuff.  I know I will not have the energy for a few weeks at least to be making pots, and whistles....but I should be able to decorate.  I can take frequent breaks if I need to; plus it is warm.  

I am working by an eastern window, which I have not done before.  The morning light will be interesting.  I use artificial light to supplement but natural light is extremely important to me.  It probably has something to with working without electricity for many years.  I still don't like using color with electrics as my only light source.

Upstairs Decorating Alcove

Here we have the Dumpster Duo with dragons.  They sort of look like dragons themselves.  Somewhere I read a story about dragons being tamed with milk, losing their scales and being cats underneath.

KikiLaSois and Aloysius

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

Friday, January 6, 2012


A large (for me) platter/pasta dish/ bird feeder finally glazed.  The design is pale because it's blue....and blue can become overpowering very quickly.  Hopefully the background will keep the wash effect. The poppies are in a turquoise blue with navy and delft highlights. 

There's nothing like experimenting on something other than test pieces.  There's only so much experimentation that I can do on test bowls and other pieces.  At some point the real pieces become so precious that I freeze when it comes to putting brush to pot.  The only way I have found to solve this is to plunge in and do it.

It's become cold enough in my studio to make working there very uncomfortable.  I'm rethinking when/where/how I work.  I'm moving a glaze area upstairs this week end.  Sitting and painting gets cold!  On days when I can warm my studio up to about sixty I will hand build and throw.  Sixty sounds cold but with a heater going and moving around it's plenty warm for working.  I just make sure to keep my feet warm!

It's supposed to be in the fifties tomorrow......this has been a most strange winter.

Enjoy the week end.....thanks for stopping by.......-s-

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

Old Christmas is past,
Twelve tide is the last,
And we bid you adieu,
Great joy to the new.

There is a tradition, at least here in southern RI, that Twelfth Night is a Feast of Fools where master and servants change places.  Our local very fine chorus always does a Twelfth Night celebration somewhat like the Christmas Revels, a perfect way to say farewell to the season.  And, yes, the days are beginning to lengthen.

Good Health and Joy to All in 2012!

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

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tests and Pizza

Testing, testing, testing......I'm doing some blue on white or very pale blue backgrounds.  The blue poppies are in turquoise blue with indigo on a white ground.  I have some other blues I want to try in combinations.  I find it works much better for me if I do designs rather than strips of color.  Changes can occur when they are layered and and blended.   Color also changes depending on the carrying medium for the stains I use.  

I'm not totally happy with the rim.  It feels a little bare.  A simple line design may solve the problem.

The bowl is an attempt at dogs.  I haven't done much with canines; they have an entirely different anatomy from cats.  One of the joys of google is the ease of finding photos and descriptions of animal anatomies. There is a lot of drawing in my future concerning dogs.  I keep looking at the bowl.  Most of them look more like odd cats and bears than dogs.

I always have pieces around that are not good for anything but tests.  If I like them I use them at home.  If, after a few months, I still dislike them, I photograph them and turn them into drive way fill.  Terra cotta is great for filling ruts.

BIG NIGHT named after the movie Big Night  and a wonderful pasta enclosed dish of many ingredients.  We do it as a kind of homage for special occasions.  Layers of goodies of choice with cheese and herbs.

Top layer of fresh mozzarella 

Covered and ready to bake