Sunday, May 31, 2009

Color of the week: Sea Green

Last week's Color Feature received 500+ views and 1 item sold!!

Thanks everyone for entering for this Week's featured color Sea Green. With so many entries it was really hard to choose.

If you would like to enter for a Color Feature on my blog,

Post your item matching next week's color, "Steel Blue" (Color swatch below) in this Etsy Forum
Leave a comment on this blog telling me your favorite items from this week's feature.

Got a Blog Award!

Now how amazing is that! I checked my email this morning and there it was "A Lovely Blog Award" from Cat Hylton from She says, "Charan has created a well written and presented blog that not only provides readers with an insight into his creative process but promotes other artists "

So now it is my turn to give this award to other bloggers. These few artists pop into my head right away. I don't miss a single blog entry of theirs. They are all potters and they produce amazing work. What I really enjoy is how they talk about their work, inspiration and share their technique.

Jeff Campana

Kristen Kieffer

Grace Sheese

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Studio space

I have met very few artists who would claim that they have more studio space than they need. We are always struggling for more room and the space keeps shrinking.
Of course it is not possible for us to move to bigger space every time we run out of room, ….though that would be awesome! Like many other artists I try my best to get the maximum utilization of space that I have. Very often I convert a part of my space for another stage of the process as well.

Here is a glimpse in my studio
Using dead space under by slab roller table to store my glazes and having everything on wheels to make moving things easy.

Tools arranged on a pegboard with hooks for easy access when I am throwing on the wheel.
Stackable large storage bins to store glaze chemicals.
Clearly labeled chemicals in clear containers.
This is how my regular work space transforms in a photo studio.
Do comment with your secrets to make the most of your space.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Color of the Week: Light Plum

Last week's Color Feature received 450+ views and 2 items sold!!

Thanks for all who posted their "Light Plum" items to be featured in this week's Color Feature. There were so many good matches with color I decided to feature 8 items instead of 6.

If you would like get a Color Feature on my blog,
Post your item matching to next week's color, sea green (Color swatch below) in this Etsy Forum
Leave a comment on this blog telling me your favorite items from this week's feature.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Final stages of decorating jars

A few weeks back I had blogged about the process of decorating my jars.
That was one of the earlier stages after which the pieces get bisqued. After getting bisque fired they look colorful.

But to have the colors pop out more, I go through the process of painting the groove lines that were carved with a contrasting color. It is a time consuming process but makes all the difference.These are then glazed over and fired again with the following results.

You can find these jars for purchase on my etsy shop.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Go Green Platter!

I had mentioned in one of my previous blogs about the Peter Pugger pugmill. I have been using the pugmill a lot to recycle all my clay scraps, bone dry pieces, slop from my bucket of clay, flopped experiments and so on.
After a few weeks of using the pugmill, I realized that I didn't make a trip to my clay supply store, Clay Art Center in a while and I had no clay to throw in the trash either. I am recycling all of it reducing my impact on the environment.
As a tribute to my pugmill, I made the Go Green! platter. Also pictured is another platter I made with completely recycled clay. These platters have feet with holes so they can be hung on the wall as well. I will be showing these along with other new work in my upcoming shows this summer. i.e., the Edmonds Arts Festival (June 19-21), Gig Harbor Summer Festival (July 18th-19th) and a few others.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Color feature of the Month

If you know my work, you know that I am always fascinated by color. I like the way different colors contrast or compliment each other. Sometimes it is just shades of the same color that are very fascinating.

I like browsing online and offline through different products, just to see how colors and patterns come together and which appeal to me. Instead of me always hunting around, I came up with this idea of why not have artists themselves share the color they have used in their products.

This brings me to the “Color Feature of the Week”. The way this works is that there will be one color that will be assigned on a Monday. All you have to do is post a handmade item of yours that closely matches to that color via the Etsy Forum. By the end of the week, I will pick out 6 items that match the color as close as possible and these items will be featured on my blog with links to your etsy shop. Along with the feature will be next week’s color.

For this starting week I have chosen the color dark turquoise and following are the featured sellers.

The color for next week is light plum. If you would like to be featured next week, post your items with the color light plum in this forum.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Baking and Decorating Cakes

I think I am a true Gemini, leading two lives. In another life, when I was working on my Engg. degree, I was baking cakes and desserts on the side. It started off as making cakes for family members and then I started getting orders for specialized cakes. I even started teaching how to bake cakes from my home in India. That was my creative outlet then and now it is pottery. Someday I will post pictures of the cakes I made then.

My wife, Reema has been pestering me to bake a fancy cake since we got married. I still do bake occasionally but never spent the time decorating as I used to. On our 5th year Anniversary she insisted on a 5 tier cake and I had to decline. That was 2 years back and the number of expected tiers was only increasing with every year. This year however she turned 30 and I wanted to make her a 3 tier cake (more managable).
So I did it all from scratch. The cake was a vanilla butter cake with chocolate chips. The cakes were leveled and have a chocolate fudge layered icing. Then covered with butter cream icing for the fondant.
The fondant was made from scratch as well and I had forgotten what a mess it can be. Fun none the less.
The invidual cakes were covered, stacked, and decorated further. The roses on top took a lot more time than I expected (2.5 hours for 4 roses).

The cake took a little less than 30 hours... a lot longer than it would have taken me some years back. At the end of it, we had a fun time and it was a pleasure making that cake. Happy Birthday!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Process of decorating

Since I mentioned the construction of the jars in my last post, I thought I would follow it up with the decoration process. This technique is similar to the previous process of slip decoration, but it is a lot more tedious and time consuming. The textured surface (after being carved/stamped) is hand painted with several colors. This does require a lot of patience and a steady hand. Then it is slip decorated. After this it will dry and get bisque fired. In the next stages you will see more contrasting colors being added in the groves to really highlight the colors.


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