Sunday, August 31, 2008


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.

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.

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


I was reading through some blogs and came across this one from Garciela

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!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Pottery Sale

This weekend a couple of us Pottery friends got together for a Summer Pottery Sale. We did this last year and it was a reasonable success, so we thought of giving it a shot again.

This time around we managed to sneak in a article in the News Tribune talking about the sale.

This made a huge impact. Customers were lined up Friday morning and I would have to say that 80% of our sales were from people who read the paper. Advertising does help...duh!

The pots from all the artists were just wonderful. There was a great variety of high fire and mid fire work. Also great discounts on seconds.

I had a good response on my new slip decorated bowls. I have to now make more of them. Got to get busy.. latersss!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First day blogging

This is my first time blogging, so I don't even know where to begin...
I am a studio potter/ceramic artist and work full time as a software engg. I like the balance that pottery brings to my chaotic life. Work always gets stressful and it is always great to sit down on the wheel and make pots. It 's my meditation, my yoga, my peace.
All of this is great about pottery, but what do I do with all the pots I make. My work schedule doesn't give me enough time to a lot of art shows. I do few in a year and that gets very tiring too.
I recently started selling my work online on etsy.
It has been an interesting experience and I am learning things along the way. Currently my shop there is very scarce as I am still trying to figure out what would sell there, how to post, how to advertise etc... I have had a few sales and it was very exciting. Especially because it did not involve me packing all my work, setting up my booth, displaying my work, standing on my feet all day and then packing up.... It is tiring. But I do enjoy the exprience of selling work in person at a booth. I like to meet my customers, talk about my work, tell them what inspired me to make what they purchased. That is the reason I hesitated doing online sales for a long time. I earlier felt that pottery can only be bought by touching. I am begining to think that personal touch feeling can be done by communicating online too.... so here I am blogging.
I enjoy talking about my work and like sharing what I do. So lets give this a shot!
Have to leave this morning for a studio sale. Bye!


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