Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Getting ready for a happy new year!

Wow I've been too busy to blog. I don't know how people do it.

So my Twisted Sister and I shared a couple booths at the cooler-than-cool "Catacombs Art Market & Bazaar" here in Columbia, MO, down in the groovy North Village area. I am sure hoping all the artistic vibes of North Village are contagious. Made a couple hundred bucks, then sold most of what was left to a dear friend over last weekend. Other online friends are placing orders off the photos I posted. I have had nothing special, but some pretty things, that some people have wanted. My friends love me, that's all.

I was so busy glazing and firing for a couple weeks or more, I have forgotten how to throw! But we have already paid our booth rentals for the next Catacombs event, January 22 and 23 "Love Fest" to shop for Valentine's Day.... I keep wondering if I even stand a chance of making anything Valentiney, but I'm thinking not.... no experience with adorable wall pockets or petite jewelry boxes.... Will have a ball anyway.

My Twisted Sister makes pretty jewelry with Swarovski, silver, and her "therapeutic" paper beads. They were very popular along with her vintage '70s turquoise rings. Later I will make porcelain charms and other beads for her to make jewelry with.

In the meantime, I'm thoroughly disgusted with the glazes at the amazing studio I use. So I had to break down and try to mix my own. I believe I threatened to share this experience with you. Fair warning!

I found Opulence Matte Color Base and bought a bag of that dry mix, and 4 generic colors of Mason stains: Buttercup, Grass Green, Pastel Blue, and Crimson. Here are my first results, just starting at the bottom and working my way up in percentage of stain.

These are Laguna B Mix test tiles fired to cone 5. Rear tiles are 1% of a stain and front tiles are 2% of same.
First up, Grass Green and Buttercup (still invisible at 2%). I like the green!!

THESE. FEEL. SO. GOOD!!!! The backs of these tiles are like the most special river rock or beach glass. Soooo smooth. I'm SO much about the FEEL of my pots. I had to put signs up at the Bazaar: YES! PLEASE TOUCH!!  It's really important to me. I'm very pleased with this Opulence glaze.

Next up, 1% and 2% Crimson and (ahem) Pastel Blue, more later on that.

They still feel beautiful, and I can see I will be in love with the way it treats my textures, but they want more stain before they are "my" glazes.  Closeup below of the 2% Crimson, a sweet pink; much too sweet for this girl!

As for the blue, well, I had my tiny little bowls with screw-on lids to shake my test batches up... was about to walk to the sink for a dribble of water, and DROPPED the bowl of blue stain and glaze powder. It took a small bounce on the table and blue & white dust popped up into the air like it was fired from a gun. Shot across the table top and streaked across the floor. OK so my percentages are a little off on the blue. But it's pastel anyway... I'll want more stain, and actually will probably want a darker stain instead.

Just sweet as anything, and maybe I see a little pearlescence?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Different Drummer

I don't know why, or where the idea came from, but my next project is going to be to make an Udu. The sound of this GORGEOUS CLAY DRUM just completely enchants me. I think I will use decorated slips to make it, because I notice in several videos that the glazed ones sound too tinkly, like someone just slapping a vase. That kind of racket would make me crazy, the way my older brother made us all crazy with his finger tapping all the time. So I will not glaze mine. Then again, maybe my first one can be completely undecorated, so I can just get the sound right. I can see right now this could be a long process.

I got my matte glaze base the other day, and some Mason stains. Will start a few tests soon since the studio glazes are so ugly at ^5. I realize when I get my own kiln, I will have to test all over again at ^6 but I just can't handle those studio glazes any more.

I owe a lot to the studio, and love everyone there, but they get no credit for their cone 5 glazes. LOL

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Counting down

Opened a hot glaze kiln tonight. Oochie. One more before the sale I reckon.

Tonight, some good, some bad. The clear glaze at the studio is milky and hazy and I swear I see a hint of lavender in it over my 5/6 red clay. It's tolerable on some things and crazy ugly on others.The white gloss at the studio is still reliable and I'll use it a lot to finish out the pieces for my first sale, with some brights sprayed over top etc... it's pretty and smooth to touch.

Found several coffee mugs to have rough lips. Not sure if I overlooked something before glaze or if glaze has bits in it (some do). Will pay close attention in future!!

The Amaco GDC (Gloss Decorating Colors) over HF-11 (cone 6 white) still come out SMOOOOOOTH and likewise the Potter's Choice Temmoku -- delicious to touch!!!!

I have 6 small, handled soup mugs I'm happy with and 6 soup bowls in same colors that are mostly fine but one of them realized an air bubble in the clay. I usually feel those bad boys while throwing and they haven't got away from me before. It's probably ok but I'll just give that one away to whoever buys the others. LOL

I'm so green at this it's ridiculous..............................