Monday, April 14, 2014

Knitting... Beware, it is addicting

As some of you know I have been bitten by the knitting bug and it is an addiction.
I don't know what it is that keeps me going, but the slow build up of fabric one stitch at a time, shaping it slowly is just very exciting.

Here is an update on somethings that I have been knitting. You can follow me on ravelry to see the progress.
As you can see I am really enjoying knitting socks. The complexity of the shape of a foot, the calculations required to turn the heel and the fact that you don't need a lot of yarn to knit socks, keeps me going.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Make your own DIY Swift

As several of you know I have recently been bitten by the knitting bug. If you wish to follow me and my projects on Ravelry here is the link.
One thing I really wanted was a swift which is used when making your ball of yarn. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on gadgets though I love too.  Here is a pretty cheap and simple way to make your own yarn swift. I didn't spend any money on it as I have everything at home except for the pvc pipe. The ball winder I am using is from knitpicks and works really well with this swift

Featured in the New Edition of the Extruder Book

I am thrilled to have my work included in the second edition of "The Extruder Book" by Daryl E. Baird.
The book is filled with great insight on organizing spaces, techniques, designs and lots of inspiration. Daryl does a great job with the demos. Available as a book or an ebook!

I connected with Daryl few years back over facebook and was delighted to meet him in person in 2012 during NCECA in Seattle. He had come by my studio to see my setup and was impressed by several things which he has included in his book. Organized Extruder space, CD shelf reused for storing extruder dies, my dies made from Aluminum sheets... are all included in this book.

My Oil Vinegar Bottles and one of my Dancing Diva Sculptures is also included in the book.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New work Wine Bottle Stoppers

I just checked my blog and realized it has been a while since I posted. I apologize and hope to be more active about it.
It has been a busy year and this year my schedule changed, since the trade show I do, Buyers Market of American Craft also known as American Made show was early in January. So didn't have much of downtime during the holidays and it was work in full swing. Anyway... enough of excuses.

I have been busy and really excited about my new Wine Stoppers. I used to make some before but wanted a new style and a new technique for making them. I really like these designs that go well with my line of indian inspired pottery.

I have three basic shapes and the Spade and Fan shape can also be customized with initials for personalized wine stoppers for a wedding gift. You can see that they are nice large size stoppers which an really make a statement with the wine bottle you gift. A great hostess gift as well.

Which is your favorite shape and you do you have suggestions for more shapes?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Hobby?.... Knitting

It has been a busy year and it continues to be busy and it is at times like this that I feel I need another hobby.... really? The way I see it, when I worked full time as a software engg, I had pottery as my hobby to make me switch my brain.
Now since I have been doing pottery 3 years full time, I felt the need to exercise that side of my brain which wants to learn something new. Not that I have a lot of time, but I think it will be good for me.
But then the question came as to what new hobby. Sewing and Painting came to mind, but I just felt it was too much of a setup and room I would need to dedicate for it. Then it just occurred to me to try knitting. I knew I always wanted to try it, but always thought it was super hard to do.
I didn't have any needles or yarn. I then just took a pair of chopsticks and a chord and looked up some youtube videos and I got the hang of it. To learn better I went to my friend Ann Meersman and Ginger Steele to teach me some more and point out to things that I might be doing wrong.
So far it has been fun and I am enjoying the process of gradually creating fabrics with patterns... and you all know how much I love pattern... You never know how these patterns will make their way into my pottery work.
Here is the first scarf I knit for my niece and I am now working on another scarf and a shawl.
I am curious to know how many other artists have a hobby? Are you one of them?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Studio organized... progress

It has been a busy week and half, reorganizing the studio space. As you can see in my previous post the studio was getting really cluttered and I was completely out of horizontal space. Things always had to be constantly moved around and a shelf could be used for just one thing, storing handbuilt pieces in progress, decorating or glazing.

One significant change was moving the kiln in the garage. With the garage in my working studio space, I often lost a day or two of work during a week because it got too hot in the studio. Plus it takes up so much room. Now with the kiln gone I was not only able to put another set of shelves, but also add another working table. Now with more that one shelf I don't have to move things around that much.

The garage space also got a uplift. The thing that bothered me most about it was the packing peanut dispenser which hung in the middle of the garage. Cannot live without it but at the same time it shrunk my space in half. I modified the shape of it and fortunately it fit snugly in the dead corner between the garage door rail and the wall and could also go higher up. And those Ikea shelves work great for me to sort out wholesale orders.

To move the kiln in the garage, I did have to have electric work done. Got two outlets in the garage for another kiln in the future and added other power outlets too. Of course, got a lot of light added as well. Now with the kiln in the garage, I don't have to worry about my studio working schedule. I can make things when I want to rather than waiting for my studio to cool down.

And cleaning out the garage and the studio, did generate stuff that was taken to the Goodwill, distributed to other artist friends. But there was significant trash which was taken to the dump. Any guesses on how much the trash weighed?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Studio needs to be cleaned and reorganized

To have a good functioning pottery studio, one needs space. That would be true for almost any artist. The more space we have the better.
But what do you do when you don't have the space? Well, you learn to efficiently use every inch of space that you have. And it is very essential, to clean out the studio and get rid of stuff more often.
I know of some artist who have huge spaces. I am not going to name any names, but I am jealous. Some of them have their space organized well, but most of them can get away with just spreading around which also results in collection of stuff that never sees the light of day.
So sometimes I feel that just having the big space might not be the perfect solution, though I will take it if I got it.
For some of you who have been to my studio know that I work in a fairly small space for he amount of work that I make. My studio is the family room at the ground level of our home and it is ~350 sq ft and also houses the kiln in it. Recently with constant firing and struggling with covering things because they would dry sooner than I want and with the increased production, some serious changes need to be made. In addition to this space I do use a one-car garage as well to store inventory, packing orders, and all the other misc stuff.
Here are some pictures and you can see it is pretty tight and always a challenge for more horizontal space. Well, I am making some changes and will post pictures of what happens later. The kiln will be moving to the garage and more shelving added to the studio. Garage space will be organized a lot better.... hopefully.

How big is your studio space???


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