Monday, July 19, 2010

Updates and Doings

Its Been a While - Deadlines!
Geeze - haven't updated in some time!
The heat has really drained me of any artistic gumption at all, but I do have some looming deadlines, so I must get crackin'.

Mosaic Project

I'm working on an address post mosaic for my brother and sister-in-law. Their birthdays are next week, so I gotta get this done! Its not as large as the last one i made, but I'm using much smaller pieces of tile, so its more labor intensive.
Not sure whether to use a dark grout or a light one.

Last Glaze Firing

I was pretty discouraged with my last firing - none of my test glazes worked well, and I just unloaded a kiln full of ugly. This blue needs some work. Its from an article in Ceramics Monthly about subbing Stronthium for Barium. I think I may need to add some Zircopax or Tin Ox to it and opacify it a bit. Maybe a little less Copper Carbonate too.

The bird feeders don't look so hot, but they function well, so at least I've managed to get a good design down. The Bug Jugs need some refinement. The feet are just too intricate for efficient waxing/glazing, so I need to simplify them. Trying out a glaze Melinda shared with me, and had some problems with it crawling, but I was telling Jeff about my glazing issues and how glazes are formulated. I mentioned that I use a postal scale to measure my ingredients and he thought that was probably a large part of the problem, so he bought me a nice new gram scale!

Mi Casa Project

The tiles glazed pretty well. I had initially put a black slip over them and bisqued them.
For the glaze firing, I added some oxide washes and glaze highlights and then put a simple clear glaze over the whole thing and then wiped away much of it. I was pretty happy with the result, but one of the tiles was cracked during glazing and so the piece was not going to work for theHands in Clay show next month.

Rather than try and make a replacement tile, I decided to take the idea in another direction and came up with this plate. its a slab plate with a thrown foot. I inlaid colored slips into the textured background and then sprigged the figures on top of that. It has all the life and chaos I had wanted, though I did have to omit the goat :(.

I also made some test tiles so I can be absolutely sure of my technique before I glaze the plate. They are firing tomorrow, with a variety of treatments. I'm most hopeful that using a dark Tenmoku wash instead of the black slip will work.

So I am loading a glaze/test tile kiln load today and hopefully firing tomorrow (wind and heat permitting).
If I like the results, I'll fire the plate later this week and if I'm happy with it, I'll deliver it to Modesto on the 30th.

Calaveras Arts Council Studio tour

The last couple years Jeff and I have gone on this great, self guided tour of local art studios.
This year I joined the Calaveras Arts Council, and the San Joaquin Potters' Guild.
I've signed up to participate in the Calaveras Arts Council Studio Tour at the end of September.
I'll be showing up at Quyle Kilns (I hope) as my studio is too small and too remote to be practical on its own.

That means I have to get into production mode in August!
Son after that, I think both groups will be gearing up for holiday gallery sales, so I need to be thinking about that too!

Sketch Book Project

I started taking ceramics as a distraction from my other art classes in college.
For most of my life I considered myself a 2D artist and focused on drawing, painting and printmaking.
Recently I learned about something called the The Sketchbook Project put on by the ArtHouse Co-op.

They send you a little sketchbook, and you have till January to fill it and send it back to them where it becomes a permanent part of a traveling exhibit.
I chose the theme "Face in the Crowd", as I want to do some studies of my goat herd.
Its been a long time since I've picked up a Turquoise #b1...


Lastly (whew!) my former Stay-at-Home mug exchange partner and FaceBook friend Sabra Wood has proposed a cross-country collaboration! We enjoy each other's art very much, and she suggested we find a way to collaborate and develop an item together.

I love the idea and can hardly wait to get started. Gotta clear out a few of these other things and then we'll see what we can come up with.
I've anchored a blog for us so when we get started we can keep track of our progress.

The only other thing I need to do is take new pics of my Etsy pieces. I haven't made a sale in a while and need to promote my stuff more.

The KC Clay Guild show has closed. I have not received either my tea bowl or a check, so I don't know if it sold or not. I'll give it till Aug first before I inquire about it.

So, that's the big ol' update from the Mother Lode.
I'll post again after this test firing.