Friday, April 30, 2010

still here...

yes i'm still here, not much clay going on this past week though i do have some pics to post of some finished work. that'll be in thenext post though.... we had 7 screaming 7yo girls here saturday for Gracie's Bday party/sleepover, plus cooper and kylie of course. i really should have stockpiled headache meds, earplugs, and valium LOL. seriously though, we had a great time. not everybody stayed the night, but everybody got along, cooper was a good boy and gracie really enjoyed herself. we almost cancelled it because our water pump went out on thursday. but a reschedule wasn't really possible so we figured what the heck, lets go for it, running water or no. kyle was out in the yard all day friday w/ an excavator digging a HUGE hole in our lawn to get to the wiring for hte pump. so after digging the hole and trying various methods of getting the pump up through the pipe, the hole's still there and first thing i have to do in the mornign is call a pro out here to fix it. now it'll end up costing alot more than if we'd just called a pro in the first place. oh well, guess you don't learn a lesson if it doesn't cost you something. so i'm in high gear on the pottery making, we need the cash and i need to stock some inventory for craft shows/farmers markets this summer.

i did finally have the chance to get on my wheel again today. i tried out some gobblets for the first time, we'll see how the parts go together and i'm keeping my fingers crossed! also 4 gigantic tumblers, some hanging planters, more soup bowls, i worked out a new design for some footed mugs- some of which will have covers. i made the walls for a caserole and also a large pasta bowl. still have a few more pieces to make to fill a few orders and a bisque kiln, but i'm close. i'm determined not to let the greenware pile up like last time. after 4 glaze loads in a row i was glazing pots in my sleep!

now my attention has been grabbed by the Stephen Hawking show on the discovery channel. the man has always facinated me, so i'm gonna rewind and go watch it, more tommorrow and maybe a few pics too! :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gracie's plates

Dont know how these will turn out once they're fired but they're lookin good so far... I put black underglaze in the lines and they're colored in w/ underglaze crayons, hope the color doesn't burn out. Unfortunately the 4th one cracked when i bisqued it.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010


today i went out to load my kiln for another glaze fire and i found it completely surrounded by all sorts of junk! shelves, buckets of reclaim, ware boards, empty buckets, my wedging table lol. yes Kyle was working on my studio again... so, i had to clear it all away, put away the tools, then decided to move all my shelves around so i could open the window and get some air flow going in there. and while i was at it decided the floor needed a cleaning. yes i actually went on a cleaning spree in the studio. not the easiest thing considering it's under construction but i just couldn't take it anymore. we still have to put up the rest of the drywall, but after that i'll be able to move my wheel and shelves down there. no more carrying greenware down 1 1/2 flights of stairs to be fired, back up to be glazed, back down to be fired, back up to be photographed. you get the idea. it's a total pain in the fanny right now. so now that it's all clean i just finished loading up the kiln and i'll get it going in the morning.

i tell you i'm so sick of glazing, this will be #3 kiln load in a row of glazed pots. i've got a lot of plates in this load. big, small, mostly experiments. note to self- start experimenting on plain slabs of clay instead of your good plates! i fit almost everything in there except for a tray which i'd liked to have fit in there but at least i don't have enough bisque left for another glaze load lol.

so i'll start throwing again this weekend. lots of stuff on the 'need to make list', even more on the 'want to make' list. an aquaintance sent me some applications for craft shows in the area later in the year and there's a weekly farmers market i'm going to try to attend this summer. not weekly, but every 2-3 weeks i think. so i need to up my production and i'm pretty sure i can do it w/ my new setup. right now i spend so much time trying to find what i need, carrying everythign back and forth and packing it back up when i'm done so we can sit down to dinner. that and keeping kylie out of everything. she can't talk but man that kid is smart. you can see the wheels turning trying to figure out how to get something she wants.

so i just changed the title of this post to Rambling since that's what i'm doing now. believe it or not i just deleted a whole paragraph lol. i think i just don't want to get my butt up off the couch, i'm pooped! so off i go...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

new stuff

spent the day taking pictures of the better things from my recent firings. i was fussing with the lights, trying to get everythign to look right and it just wasn't happening. i think i need different lights. so completely frustrated i went out on the deck for a break. it was a sunshiny day here today, still a bit chilly but at least there's no snow right? (snowed ALL DAY here yesterday) anyway, i decided to take my light tent setup out there and just use the natural light. worked great except the wind gusts that kept threatening to take my tent away lol.

so here's a few quick shots of some of the nicer things...

and i need an opinion on this bowl. i had to pour the glaze, it's 13" across and didn't have a big enough pan or enough glaze to dip it, and i didn't get the thickness very even on it. my father in law really likes it, my daughter says "it's the king of all pottery!" (she's 6) i think it's kind of neat but since it's not what i was going for i just can't make up my mind. what do you think? all i see is an alien sunset lol...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Last pic. Good thing too, i'm sick of this tiny keyboard lol. Anothwe bigger bowl, rest of the kids set, some tests, and the Wavy mugs turned out pretty good.i'm very happy w/ where they're going. There, another dish hiding under there too. More details later, i'm off to bed!

Here's the middle layer. Sending these from my phone so have to send 1 at a time. Espresso set, 2nd kids set, & the big bowl is a special order. Kind of reminds me of a sunset over the mountains. What do u think?

Top layer in the kiln. I really need to get some kiln wash on those shelves. Just too cold out there lately for me to do it. the plate w/ the flower on it is one of my test pieces. I'm not happy w/ it but i think i know how to get it where i want it. you'd think i'd test my ideas out on a scrap piece of clay... The other stuff here came out pretty good though.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dust storm!

We've lived in Montana for almost 3 yrs and i've never seen a dust storm till today. I was working working on glazingthe last few pieces for my next glaze fire and all the sudden it got DARK! I looked out the window and it was BROWN out there! I stuck my head out the door and it felt like my face was sand blasted. The tumbleweeds were wizzing by like crazy and i couldnt even see the neighbor's house across the street. you can barely see it in the picture above. The wind's been howling all day, nothing unusual here, but the dust storm was a new one for me! Then of course it started snowing and now the suns out. Go figure...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Glaze experiments

New glaze experiments i'm working on. Some plates and a kids dinner set. I'm Planning on covering with white glaze and hoping the color comes through. Will probably have the kiln loaded again by friday if all goes well. The kids have been sick this week though so it's slow going. I'll probably come down w/ it next...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

my tooth fairy boxes are too small!!

you guessed it, gracie lost another tooth tonight. that thing was so loose she actually pulled it out herself after i tied the string on it. no dramatics like last time. well, not much anyway. she of course wanted to use one of the new tooth fairy boxes and suprise, suprise she chose the gruesome pink one lol. so she stuck her tooth in there and rubberbanded it together to keep the tooth safe. turns out the tooth fairy couldn't fit the money in there! the fairy had to fold the money up as small as it would get and tie a little ribon around it to keep it folded. then shove it in the box as far as possible and thank goodness for the rubberbands lol. there's definitely somethign to be said for using your own work. i've learned a huge amount just using my crappy 2nds around the house.

so... note to self... bigger boxes! no more dark colors on the inside. and i think i'll put the words "TOOTH FAIRY" on the outside so there's no confusion ;)

Monday, April 5, 2010

new pictures

just some quick pictures of the stuff i pulled out of the kiln today. i used the flash on most of these so the colors are not quite right, but no time to pull out the photo equipment right now. you get the idea though... i'm pretty pleased w/ most of it. there was one order of soup bowls that turned out less than attractive that i need to remake. but the other orders turned out fantastic so i'm happy over all.

juice cup, testing out some colors for a custom order
this is an order of 10 ice cream bowls, this glaze combo is my favorite! i also have a set of 4 nesting bowls in this same combo. it started out as a set of 5, but the big bowl cracked as i suspected it would. maybe that'll teach me to trim things before they dry out too much!
juice cups in the same blue/white combo
ring holders and an eyeglass holder experiment. they hold my glasses nicely for the first attempt!
got an order for 10 of these w/ the bears on them.
the next 2 are the tooth boxes i'm working on. the one on the left is one of the earlier pieces, a little clunky i think. the ones on the right are later attempts and i'm liking them better standing up on the root of the tooth like that. i think i've worked out the best way to make these, just have to work out a few more kinks. i'm not quite happy w/ the glaze on these. i maybe got it a little thin and i think the colors inside are a little darker than what i was wanting. and for some reason the clay where the lids sit is darkened a little. not sure why that's happening. over all i'm happy w/ where these are going. (just in time too, gracie has 3 VERY loose teeth! time to get out the string again lol)

a business card holder. (i can't stand my business cards - ACK!)
a few more glaze combo tests for an order. i really like the juice cup there, and the ramekins are handy to have around too. they're great for baking up some large muffins or a single serving casserole for the kids.

so what do you think? any comments or suggestions are more than welcome. the bulk of this kiln load was orders and i'm glad most turned out well. i've got some interesting things coming up in the next load though. hopefully by the end of the week i'll have more pictures for you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

been a busy week...

lots going on here this week. mostly family stuff but some clay stuff too. i've fired 2 kiln loads of greenware. then washed it all, waxed it all, and have almost glazed it all. i figure i have enough for at least 3 glaze kiln loads, very possibly 4. that'll teach me to just keep on making the stuff and not fire up my kiln more often lol. i'll hopefully get the kiln going tonight and will have some pictures for you guys on monday if all goes well. this kiln load will mostly be orders i need to fill, but i should have some things to list in my etsy shop. i think i'll take a few pieces to the local gift shop too and see how that goes. come to think of it, tourist season is coming up, maybe i should make some touristy stuff. hummm... time to buy more clay haha. i've forbid myself to buy any more clay until i get all these pieces finished and either mailed out, delivered, and/or up for sale somewhere.

and on the studio front, my husband is down in the garage as i type installing some drywall. so no more walk-through walls! i think i'm getting the layout firmed up in my head now and the end is in sight, i'm very excited to get out there working again instead of using the dining room table. over the years i've worn the finish off of it in spots! good thing i want to refinish it anyway.

he's also told me to go ahead and buy the kiln controller i want. now, this is just the controller board part i'm talking here. he's building one for me on the cheap instead of spending almost $1000 on an after market one. he's still got to buy all the stuff to make it an actual kiln controller and install it, but it's a start right? he says he can do it. i took one look at the wiring diagram and said 'you sure you don't just want to buy one?' but he's pretty confident so i say go for it, all the while keeping my fingers crossed ;)

so stay tuned to see how the glaze fire went. i'm doing some experiments and am anxious to see how they turn out. guess we'll see in the next few days...