Fri

27

Aug

2010

at it again

It's the final count down here at Smith Meadows and I feel like I still have a lot of work to do! I'm hoping to keep busy and to make it through my lengthy 'to-do' list, including gifts, commissions, and items to sell during the Studio Tour. Will I finish it all? Only time will tell...

 

I had so much fun glaze testing last month, that I've decided I should do it again--this time with rutile and red iron oxide. The blues and greens are great, but not entirely my style, so I'm really looking forward to a new set of tests. It won't quite be a tri-axial blend, but I plan on setting up the tests similarly and with different variations again.

 

So, step one: make lots and lots of cups... complete! I went for an even smaller size this time--more of a shot glass or votive candle size--and I think the doilies turned out the best yet so far.

 

The next step is to fill up the kiln and bisque fire. Then, the glaze-mixing-fun begins!

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Tue

17

Aug

2010

making a vase

While processing Nancy's old low fire clays in order to clear out the studio, I've been making planters, vases, leaf tiles, and keyholes. Here's some process shots for a vase made out of the salmon clay.

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Sun

01

Aug

2010

tri-axial blend results

The three corners are the three glazes I blended: Spearmint,  Slate Blue, and Bone (from the book Mastering Cone 6 Glazes). Each of the cups are a slightly different blend of the three, showing off a nice range of blues and greens. 

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Thu

29

Jul

2010

busy bee was me!

I kept very busy these past two weeks, wrapping up a few projects before heading home for a mini vacation. My goal was two bisque firings and two glaze firings and by golly I did it! The list of achievements include free drink chips for my mom's bar in Des Moines, IA, practice wedding gifts for folks in Minnesota, glaze testing on doily cups, more tea bag plates, and slab plates. Check out the new photos in my gallery!!

 

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Mon

05

Jul

2010

i shall come bearing gifts!

I have been asked to make another planter for a wedding gift. The last time I attempted such a task I came up a bit short on the size requested. I threw two on the wheel and I also made two tripod planters much like my doily tripod cups, but bigger--but not quite big enough. So, this time, I'm making slabs and will be building a square planter. This clay is from Joy Bridy and will be fired in her first wood firing in her new kiln in West Virginia!! I'm crossing my fingers that it'll all work out!

 

Oh yeah, and scratching my head, trying to figure out what I will be making for my gift...

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Sat

03

Jul

2010

production production...

My mom has asked me to make some free drink chips for her bar in Des Moines, IA. So, I did: more than 300 of them! They're on the bottom shelf of the kiln and not taking up much space so that means I gotta keep on workin in the studio!! Let's see what I can do in the next month before heading home for a wedding...

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Thu

01

Jul

2010

in order to glaze test...

...one must first make a whole lot of pieces. Here's a whole bunch of mini tripod cups, pressed with doilies--of course! This is the dark brown, Standard #266 clay. Next is the white Little Loafers clay...

 

I placed the cups in this formation to visualize my future testing of three glazes: bone, spearmint, and slate blue. The glazes you see in my gallery are 'text book' glazes--recipes I pulled out of a popular electric kiln firing book. They look great, but they're not really mine. So, I'm going to do a bit of work and see what I come up with!

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Sat

12

Jun

2010

1 down, 53 to go!

I submitted 54 pieces to the Fire House Gallery and Shop in Berryville, VA, just in time for their summer open house. It was great to meet some of the other artists with work in the gallery, including Nancy Bishop, a local potter. 

 

A few of my pieces are here and there throughout the gallery, and I'm told they move things fairly often as pieces get sold and/or to freshen things up (this picture shows one of the shelves under the cash register table with four of my cups and two tea bag plates). While I was at the open house, a couple bought one of my tea bag plates: my first sale! 

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Wed

09

Jun

2010

photo shoot!

In order to bring artwork to the Fire House Gallery and Shop in time for their open house, I was quite the busy bee in the studio. I made work, loaded and bisqued, mixed glazes, glazed, loaded and fired again, as well as helped Joy on her kiln two times, all in about a week.

 

Everything worked SO smooth: the kiln cooled while I was out at Joy's on Monday, Derek's schedule worked to take pictures on Tuesday, and I was able to bring a boxful of work to the gallery on Wednesday before working in the kitchen and going to a concert on Thursday! Pretty amazing if you ask me!

 

As you can see, I was pretty proud of my packaging job:

Check out my updated gallery page to see some of Derek's photos!

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Mon

07

Jun

2010

chimney thru the roof!

Kate and I visited Joy's to help build her chimney. She had already built it up to the roof line from below, but waited for help to finish above. We had quite the system going: Kate would schlep bricks from two piles under the kiln shed and up two levels of scaffolding to where I was sitting. We made a pulley system so that I could hoist two bricks at a time (25-30lbs) up to Joy without anyone having to walk on the roof. Joy sat, kneeled, squatted, stood and tiptoed on the roof as the chimney grew. We paused only to reinforce Joy's bench (and a quick snack while we were at it). 280 bricks later, Joy's chimney was finished: 20 feet off the ground AND her goal height!

It really is a beautiful kiln and I am so thankful to have been a part of the whole process. I can't wait to help fire it!!

 

For more information on Joy's kiln building project, check out her website!

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Sun

06

Jun

2010

i'm a mixin machine!

 

To get ready for the open house, I had to mix up a few batches of glazes. Here are three, all measured out, ready to be dry mixed and added to water. Then of course mixed again and sieved before my pots could go for a quick dip. We'll see how they turn out!

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