Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow in Seattle





Seems like every year we get more snow than the previous year. This year we just got a lot of snow and everyone is home sick stuck at home. The worse part I hear is we might be getting more.. It sure looks pretty, but that's all there is to it. Here are some pictures taken from our home of our backyard and cul-de-sac.




Thursday, December 11, 2008

Made it to Front page on Etsy


Thanks to yalipaz (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6100051) for including me in this beautiful treasury which made it to the Front page. It is my new Noodle bowls with chopsticks.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Charan at the TideFest






I am going to have a booth (#68) at the TideFest at the Gig Harbor High School on December 6th and 7th (Saturday 10-5; Sunday 11-4).
The address is given below and you can also visit the website at http://www.tidefest.org/
Like always, there is more new work that I will be showing. Attached is a glimpse of my new soup bowls. My butter dishes and sugar creamer sets will also be available for purchase.

Attached are some pictures of my booth too.

For shoppers who can't make it, I also have an online store that you can visit at http://creativewithclay.etsy.com/

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Dancing Diva Sculptures

I had posted a while back about my Dancing Diva sculptures at the Puyallup Fair.

These are some new sculptures I have been working on since then. You can see they have become more elaborate. I have started texturing the fabric part and of course I do have my slip decoration done all over.

The newest thing are the earrings that I made and the embelishments on the head. I got the supplies from Lynn on etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5030344 Great shop with good prices and very helpful to a first time jewellery supply shopper. I got her recommendation from another Etsian.. Ginny at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5003910

Thanks for all the help.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Special 10% OFF SALE

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SPECIAL HOLIDAY SALE: 10% off sale price on everything in the store Nov 14th - Nov 28th

http://creativewithclay.etsy.com

I am going to be on vacation from November 14th - November 28th. All sold items during this period will be shipped on December 1st. Shipment to US destinations is via priority mail so you will get your items first week of December...well before Christmas. For your patience I am offering this 10% off discount.

I will be online and will refund the discount via a Paypal refund by end of day for all purchases.

Please convo me with questions. Thanks for your patience.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New items for your table




I am very excited with the new items that I am making. The butter dishes I had talked about in a previous post have come out just as I expected and fit a butter stick perfectly. They also have room for the butter knife. I hate to have another plate just to keep a butter knife.

The jar and creamer is a new form for me as well. I think the tray really brings it all together.
They will be available for purchase at Gig Harbor Tide Fest art show (www.tidefest.org) I don't sell out of those I will put them up o Etsy after that. If anyone is interested in purchasing them ($42 for butter dishes and $85 for jar and creamer set with tray), email me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pottery Shards


I recently sold my broken pieces of pottery and test tiles to a great mosaic artist on etsy. I got an email today of the beautiful functional piece of art that was created from my pieces. You can see it listed in her shop at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=16814009

I kept hanging on to these broken pieces thinking I would make something someday. I am so glad they went to a great artist and I didn't throw those pieces in the landfill.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Empty Bowls


During the Puyallup Fair, all the potters do demos and get an opportunity to show their process. The customers in turn love to see what goes behind going a piece of pottery. It is a great way to show people the effort that goes behind every piece we potters make.


Most of the potters at the fair do demos making bowls for the empty bowl project. Some potters throw the bowls, other might trim them and others decorate them. It is a great collabrative project. You can find more information about the empty bowls project here. http://www.emptybowls.net/


This year there were some beautifully thrown and trimmed bowls, which I decorated. I decorated these with a black slip and spent a lot of time on each one of these. These were then glazed by Dianne Kimball who does beautiful pottery too. She choose some great colors for these bowls which really highlighted the decoration. Attached is a picture taken by her... I wish I could see them in person, but they are already sold. Glad to know the money from that sale will be feeding someone in need.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Diwali Diyas



Diwali is a beautiful festival of lights celebrated by Hindus all over the world. You can call it the Hindu's Christmas. There is cleaning of the house, decoration, giving gifts, and lighting the house with diyas.
Diyas are small oil candles usually made of clay. They are lit with ghee (clarified butter) or oil with a handrolled cotton wick. With modern times and people being more cautious of fire hazards, you can find several in wax like candles too. I make these unique diyas or tealight candle holders which have Indian motif stamps on them. When lit up they look just beautiful. The light hits the designs in just the right angles creating beautiful shadows. Do check them out in my etsy shop. http://creativewithclay.etsy.com/

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Butter dishes

I have been working on butter dishes for more than a year now. Seems like a long time but it takes time to get the design of any product final. My challenge was to create butter dishes with lids in which one could keep a stick of butter.
Throwing these is an option, but that resulted in round butter dishes. Keith from Mudstuffing pottery makes an excellent design where they are thrown and altered. http://mudstuffing.setupmyblog.com/?p=269


I wanted to extrude them and after making several dies, I really like what I have now. In addition to having a lid these butter dishes also have space to keep you butter knife on the top of the lid under the handle. They remind me of palaquins or dolis or palkis which are these beautifully adorned carriers for women in India. The bride got into them and the men carried her in these palaquins to the husband's house.


They are not fired yet, but they are big enough to fit a stick of butter. Hopefully I will glaze them soon and post them on Etsy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New forms: Sugar and creamer



I have made small jars before. But after meeting with Ginger Steele (http://creativewithclay.blogspot.com/2008/09/pottery-trade.html) I was interested in trying some small creamers too. She is such an inspiration to push your limits and trying something new. A great potter to talk to.

These were thrown on the wheel, then altered to be oval. Using Ginger's method of templates I made the spout for the creamer. They were then decorated with slip. I like the way they turned out and I hope they look good when glazed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Slip decoration

There have been several requests from potters, friends and customers who want to see the process of my slip decoration. So here it is....
These are done on my Bollywood inspired mugs and of course I have to listen to Bollywood music while making them. If you put one of my mugs against your ear you might still hear some music. :) I hope you enjoy the clip.
The music track is taken from the movie Saawariya starring Ranbir Kapoor
To purchase, please visit my store http://creativewithclay.etsy.com/
video

Monday, September 29, 2008

More slip decoration


I was browsing etsy and came across the wonderful work of Kristen Kieffer. She stamps her work, uses sprigs and slip to give them that ornate look. The pieces are also altered and carved. You can see there is lots of detail in every inch of her pieces.

The pieces are glazed in nice soothing colors. I have seen her work published at other places too, but coming across her website was great. Do have a look at her process and you will really appreciate the patience it takes to make good handmade pottery.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Colorful bisque firing

Almost every potter I know is excited after a glaze firing, just like me. We can't wait to open the kiln. Just take a peek even when we shouldn't. I have even used a torch light through the key hole to peek in. Pretty desperate and still don't see a thing.

A bisque firing on the other hand is just a boring stack of white pots. Looking at the pile just reminds you of all the glazing work ahead of you.


However this has changed for me recently. With my new glazing technique and slip decoration for my Bollywood theme pottery, I realized that I am getting equally excited about a bisque firing. The pots come out white with bright colors and love the way they look waiting to be glazed. They pop with color and I can't wait to glaze them. See the pictures below of the bisqued and glazed bowls. This is something that is always exciting about new work.... you get excited over something you never even thought of. Very soon these bowls will be listed in my shop too.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Just Art Auction for Seattle Men's Women's Chorus


I recently donated one of my "Dancing Diva" sculptures for the Seattle Men's Women's Chorus. I just got the catalog and I am very impressed with all the art work and not to forget the quality of the catalog and printing. The picture I submitted looks great. I bet the event is going to be fun. You can see other art work for the auction at http://www.flyinghouse.org/specialevents/art_auction/2008/

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bollywood mugs go on etsy









In my previous posts you must have read about my Bollywood inspired sculptures. I wanted to get the Indian fabric look on my functional ware as well. I had talked about my mugs evolution and I am now posting them on etsy for sale.
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5953258&section_id=5639444
Keep looking for more Bollywood inspired mugs and bowls to come this holiday season.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

My first treasury: Curvy Curves


I am so excited that I finally snagged a treasury on etsy.com. I had no idea how could everyone grab treasuries so quickly. Every time I logged on, the waiting list was huge. But I finally did it.

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=8859. The link will not last forever so attached is a snap shot of the treasury as well.

What I put in the treasury is art work with curves. I love organic shapes and how one curve meets another creating another shape... then you join it with the starting end of the first curve with yet another curve and you get a totally different shape. A good example of this Tara Robertson's Offspring sculptural vessel. Great flow of curves making something very unique.


One thing I realized while making this treasury is that the best pottery forms that respond well to curves are pitchers and teapots. So I have included these. Note that even a simple lidded jar with a dramatic curved handle can make you look at it in a completly different way. I am talking about Barbara Dunshee's lively lidded vessel. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12341301

I also included some nonpottery items, like these earrings


I like the decoration and especially like the way the bone white earrings are photographed against the dark leaf background. The curves really stand out here.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Published online

Few days back I got an email from Ralph Stuckman from http://www.arttoartpalette.com/. He had stumbled upon my website and was intrigued by my story of how I got started in clay. He asked me if I was interested in getting published online on their website and I gladly agreed. Why would I say no to that....
There is also a chance of getting published in their bi-annual magazine and if that happens it will be great. I also got a chance to share the page with some of my favorite potters.
Go to http://www.arttoartpalette.com/ and click on the Potter Asks icon. Scroll midway to read my blurb.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pottery Trade


I am at the Puyallup fair and I see the most gorgeous pottery by Ginger Steele. She does these beautiful intricate patterns and fires her work in a salt kiln. Her business is rightfully named "Insomnia pottery". All of us potters have had those nights. But looking at her designs I am sure she takes the cake.

We talked about pottery and she liked my work too. So we decided to do a trade. One of my wall sculptures for her platter. Attached is the picture of the platter. It is so wonderful, both my wife and I can't stop staring at it. Check out more of her work at http://www.insomniapottery.com/

Friday, September 5, 2008

What is going on in the kiln??

If you are a potter, I am sure you always wanted to peek in the kiln and see what is happening in the kiln to your glazes.
Here is something for you curious folks. Just some special effects.. I was not sticking my head in the kiln to take pictures. LOL
video

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Puyallup fair

I am at the Puyallup fair from September 5th through the 21st. Yes, it is a long fair but every year is exciting. One great thing about doing this fair is that I don't have to haul my shelving or booth for the show. I just take my work and setup on day 1 and leave my over stock in the back room. The artists there are always on their feet sticking your shelves.

Sometimes I have gotten stuck in a corner there which hasn't been fun. But this time I got a good spot to display my "Dancing Divas". I got to display them on a white wall with a white grid and I think they really stand out. Also my pots are against a window, so people walking outside can also peek in. This is the first time I am displaying my divas at the fair along with my new slip decorated work.

Here are some pictures of the display there.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Inspiration

All artists need some kind of inspiration. And I don't think one can go around searching for inspiration. It is out there somewhere, but it doesn't have a sign on it saying "Inspiration". It could be something that catches your eye, a color, the way a leaf moves in the wind. One just has to be open to experience and inspiration will find its way to you.

I for one have always been fascinated by Indian culture, fabrics and especially Indian movies... Bollywood. Ever since we were kids I remember our family snuggling up in blankets watching 3+ hours of a Bollywood movie. Lots of singing and dancing, great colors and clothes. Story lines were all the same but it didn't matter. It was and it is fun. Complete entertainment. And as they say,... the movie has everything,... dance, drama, emotion, sex, betrayal, etc... etc..

I have tried to incorporate the fluidity and movement of the human body into my pottery forms and it is only till recently that I started doing decoration which reflects the Indian fabrics and embroidery. One source to help get started with this technique is Grace Sheese. http://www.gracesheese.com/

I still keep staring at her decorations and they are just wonderful.

I started experimenting and testing different glazes, techniques and tools and I am close to effect I like. attached are some pictures from a Bollywood movie and some of my sculptures. Do you see the resemblance?





Thursday, August 28, 2008

Test Test Test

I enjoy glaze testing a lot. I know I am among the few. I didn't start of as a potter who liked to test but ever since I got organized, I started loving it.
I have a system and I keep good records and sometimes drive myself insane while testing. But it is so much fun. This is my process from start to finish...
I use recycled clay for my test tiles. These are extruded through a die I made which have texture and feet to stand. I number each tile with a rotary rubber stamp. It is real quick and I number them sequentially.. I started at 0001 and I am already at 1800+. then they all get bisqued.
When it is time for making a test glaze. I write my recipe in my glaze log book. write the test tile numbers which will get this glaze. If I am layering with another glaze I write that info too. I write the Firing log number in which these test tiles will go. This is done so I can cross reference and see if I did anything different in the firing which I liked or disliked. I also leave a column for comments.
When the tiles come out, I reference them with the stamped tile number and write down with a sharpie the glaze used on it. Add the comment in my glaze log. To make matters worse, I then scan them all in my scanner, so I can look at them on my PC when I need to.
Crazy huh? This is what my scanned test tile looks like




Since I do a lot of testing I also land up with glazes that just aren't right for me. What do I do with all these un needed test tiles, broken pieces of pottery etc. I always thought of making mosaics with them, but who has the time. I figure I just benefit someone else then. I filled up boxes of broken pieces and test tiles in a flat rate priority box and will now ship them. Cost is only for shipping and posting on etsy. Check it out.
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=14692468

If these can go to a good artist, then a balance will be attained... I will keep testing and someone can make beautiful art from my tiles. :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mugs

I was reading through some blogs and came across this one from Garciela http://glyntpottery.blogspot.com/2008/08/why-pot.html

Very interesting note. I think mugs are the most intimate thing a potter makes. It is a simple form but creates this intimate connection between the potters hand and the user. When I drank first out of a hand thrown mug... I couldn't help but think who made it, whose finger marks are those, glad they made the lip of the mug in such a way that it felt so soothing to me, the handle was made for me to hold it.

Every potter I know is always perfecting their mugs. They want their work to be individual and at the same time make a connection with every person who buys them. So from being a very simple form it becomes a very complex execution.

Below you can see my transformation of cups starting from earliest to current and I am still learning to make the perfect mug!










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