Monday, June 30, 2014

Majolica Monday Or.....


I swore I would get all the stuff that has been hanging around since early last winter glazed and fired, but I think there are some studio imps who keep inventing new stuff for me to find.  This is a small part of more mugs, teapots, whistles etc.

I also swore I was not going to make anything new until I got caught up.....not so much!  I've just come up with an idea for some floating candles......also more teapots, because there are never enough teapots in the world!

I'm not sure where Sunday went.  The wild roses are in bloom all over the top of the hill. And I am sneezing, coughing, you name it!  The pool was yellow with pollen when I went out this morning.

Even though it's Monday I'm going to post this over on Kim's Sunday Ceramics 20.  I'm so glad you are still doing this, Kim, even if I am late sometimes!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teapot Tuesday

Better late than never; there are still six more hours of Tuesday!

This is a handbuilt teapot I made over a bowl.  Last year there was an article on CAD about how to make a handbuilt teapot in an hour or so.  I managed to break the lid so I bisqued some new ones.  I'm also doing some work on the yellow.  It seems like a fairly sturdy pot so it should be okay with the refire.

The body of the pot is glazed with Spectrum White Satin Matte #250.  Spout etc. is glazed with Speedball Yellow.  I don't like the way it looks over terra cotta so I am putting down some white, then more yellow.

We'll see, Grasshopper......we'll see.

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

Monday, June 23, 2014

Majolica Monday


This is a precursor to the bird whistles I make now.  It's glazed with Spectrum 250 White Satin Matte with my own mixed Mason Stains.  In summer he sits outside under my Key Lime Tree.

Enjoy the summer day and, as always, thanks for stopping by.......*s*

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday!

I keep forgetting to post!  The summer weather has seduced me!  I thought I would work backward after doing a Wordless Wednesday post and realizing I never posted anything else!


I found this teapot during the general clean up; I have been slowly but surely making inroads on my studio.  It's the first of the 'bottle pots' I did. I throw these as narrow necked bottles; turn them on their sidess and cut a lid opening.

I kept it because there is so much wrong with it.  The lid is probably the worst.  That great bulbous lump does nothing to add to the design.  It needs a handle that echoes the teapot handle and carries the eye across the top of the pot.  The handle is okay but looks too much like a heart.  It needs to be more upright with, perhaps, three loops.  I'm not sure about the foot; I think it needs some of the seaweed to flow down onto it.

The long spout helps give it the Aladdin Lamp quality I was aiming for.  Believe it or not this actually pours quite nicely.  The bottom of the spout needs to fit to the pot without the visual break.

The seaweed and little fish work with the form of the pot. I would like the seaweed to move down onto the foot a bit.  The big fish are simply superfluous.   If some is good, more is better is not always the answer!

I did make several teapots that addressed these problems, but I sold them.  I was doing these many years ago, around 1997, long before digital photography.  I may have photographed them, but I lost many or most of my photos when a broken window during a hurricane did them in.


This is by Linda Arbuckle and is just about my all time favorite piece of majolica.  I love the way she decorates all her surfaces.  It's hard to see in this picture but the exterior painting moves into the interior.
It's a delightful surprise to have the decoration on the interior bottom.  Linda even decorates the bottoms of her pots where she signs them.  The feet raise this bowl about a centimeter or so.  Because majolica glazes are so stable there is no problem with glaze sticking the pot to a kiln shelf!


Between our terrible winter, sodden spring, and deer sneaking into the garden, (It looked like they sat on it!) I thought my poor rose bush was done in.  I did a lot of coddling and it seems to have pulled through.  In addition to this bloom I have one bud half out and several more forming.  Is the secret to growing roses to encourage the deer to sit on them?

The sun had risen a little too high when I shot this.  I get much better outdoor results in the early morning or evening when the sun is setting.

We are enjoying real summer weather, I hope everyone else is too......or at least not being rained, snowed, or hailed on.

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

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Catching Up

I've spent the last week finding stuff I had forgotten I made.  Most of it has been put away in containers as protection against kitties and dust.  Of the two the cats are the worst.  At times they appear to take an almost sadistic pleasure in knocking things off shelves and watching them go BOOM!

I know we should not anthropomorphize our animals, but at times I swear they have some sort of revenge motive or naughtiness in their hearts.  Proge has decided that all felines have a naughtenary gland located right next to the pituitary gland.

Below are two more of my small clocks.  The colors are not true as the designs have green wax on them so I can work on the backgrounds without smudging.  It takes more time but is worth it in the long run.

We had almost a week of clouds and rain this past week.  The pool is full but cool.  With the sun we're having things should warm up soon.

We have baby fish.  They're big enough so they come out from hiding under the water plants and are eating flaked food.

Kim has posted Sunday Ceramics on her site.  Go over and see what is going on in the world of clay.

Enjoy the week ahead and, as always, thanks for stopping by..........*s*

Monday, June 9, 2014

Third Majolica Monday

My First Boot Whistle  

I started making shoe whistles at least ten years ago, probably longer.  This little guy is terra cotta with Linda Arbuckle's white majolica glaze and painted with Mason Stains.

I started out doing a 'tissue paper' stuffing for the tops of my shoes so I could get a good seal for the whistle.  I've since figured out how to seal the boot itself where it doesn't show.  It was all pretty moot in this case as the whistle is in the heel which is a separate structure.  I think at the time I had intentions of doing more than one whistle in the structure, or perhaps an ocarina.  Alas, all is lost in the mists of time, or rather in the jumble of notebooks which I never bother to index!

I like the way western boots are made and enhanced with fancy designs.  I wanted my little whistle to reflect that tradition.

Can you see the little whistle hole down near the base of the heel?

The sole of a shoe whistle is as important as any other part of the show.  I think the glaze is Linda's white with Florentine Green Mason Stain added.  Don't quote me on that!

The air hole is visible on the heel.  I have found that the most important part of getting a whistle to work is to make sure the air from the blow hole splits over the sharp edge of sound hole.

OOPS!  I got so busy yesterday that I forgot to bring my laundry in.  We may get a shower later on so I better get hopping.

Enjoy the day, and, as always, thanks for stopping by............*s*

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Teapot Tuesday

A slightly funky and very functional teapot I bought at Mt. Sunnapee several years ago.  Again I have managed to lose the maker's card.  I am going to start marking the bottoms of pots as soon as I buy them!

This one holds one generous cup.  It's perfect for afternoons when I just want one cup of tea.

I've spent the better part of the morning trying to get a picture of the hummingbirds at the yellow flags, with no success at all.  Man they are speedy little devils.  I hope this means we will see more of them as summer continues.  No phoebes nesting under the deck yet......we'll see grasshopper....

Get out into this wonderful weather, or if you are in the southern hemisphere snuggle in.

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

Monday, June 2, 2014

Majolica Monday

Linda Applebee on Facebook Mud Buddies posted about the trouble she was having making her whistles whistle.  I'm happy to say that she has now made a very nice ocarina indeed.

This got me to thinking about my own whistles.  A few years ago it was the middle of winter,I was going through non-creative blahs; my studio was more like a refrigerator than a place for working.  To get myself going I set up a little goal.  I moved upstairs and decided I could make whistles as they are small and can be made on a table top. The idea was to make a gang of at least three whistles every week.  I ended up only going through June but a simple project that was not too time intensive was just what I needed.

I did manage on one warmish day to throw a lot of the little closed cone shapes I use for my thrown whistles.  I stored them in Rubbermaid shoe boxes with a layer of damp paper towels in the bottom.  They make little portable damp boxes.

The four examples below are just a few of the people and animals I came up with, ducks, pigs, frogs, turtles, mice were some of the others.  The blow holes are at the bottom front.  If you enlarge the photos you can see what look like spots are really little holes.

The bottoms show the actual whistle hole.  I drill them when the clay is leather hard and trim the hole to a sharp edge.  I then drill the hole, either using a very small drill bit or a pin tool.  It take a little practice to make the air stream hit the edge.  Sometimes I change the angle of the blow hole a bit; sometimes I smooth the clay where the hole comes through.  The idea is to have a clean area that will produce a clear note.  Not for nothing do we say Clean As A Whistle!

Below are a few of the many handbuilt whistles I have made.  It's a thing with me to put the whistle where it becomes part of the animal, or at least does not announce itself as a whistle.  The bear, rabbit and hippo all have their blow holes in their mouths or noses.  The seahorse is the little spot at the base.

 Turn them over and the holes become evident!

And finally a few shoes.  These may be what I enjoy doing most.  The possibilities for shoes is endless.  The Baby Cakes shoe has it's whistle on the heel.  Can you see the blow holes on the other two?

Look at the soles and there they are.  I had a good reason for making the baby shoes have their whistles on the heels.  Of course I have no memory of that reasoning, but I'm assuming it was a good one.

Most of these are done in terra cotta; some are in white; it depended on how I was glazing and decorating them.  Majolica is the perfect medium for lots of color and design.  I think I have posted many of these before, but it has been fun to gather some of them together and look at the various groups.

It's one of our warmest days yet with sunny skies.  This afternoon is definitely pool time!

Enjoy the coming week, and as always, thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Ceramics 18

Hares and Rabbits!  I can't believe it's the first of June.  At last Summer!  I hope all those who are under the equator don't have to endure the winter we experienced here in the north.

Enough said.  We are enjoying golden days now.

Below are some mugs in progress.  The rooster mug is waxed that's why his color is so much more intense than the others.  This is a fairly new style for me.  Square, but with flared, rather than straight sides.  They should hold about ten ounces when finished.  I am thinking of leaving the flower mug on the end with a white background.  I haven't used white backgrounds in years.  It's making me a little anxious, but hey, it's only one mug!

I wish the companies that make swimming pool vacuum hoses would make sturdier ends.  I have had to replace too many hoses because the connectors crack or break.  This is true across the board no matter the cost.  Nothing like a little built in obsolescence to make things interesting....grrrrr!  I bought a very short hose that I am going to try cutting the ends off and putting on the long hose.  We'll see, grasshopper....we'll see.

I am going to post this over on Kim's Sunday Ceramics 18.  This is going to be the last week.  I don't blame her for stopping, but I'LL MISS YOU, KIM!  Thanks for taking the time to do this.  I hope potters will stay connected one way or another.

Enjoy the week ahead and, as always, thanks for stopping by.............*s*