Sunday, January 30, 2011

When Potters Play Together

... we sure can have fun.

It is always a joy meeting other potters and chatting about pottery. We all lead pretty busy lives but it is great to hang out in the studio with another potter. I have been fortunate to hang out in Ginger Steele's studio from time to time. After the Christmas season was over, I made a trip to her studio in Oregon and we experimented with making sculptures constructed with coils.

Check out Ginger's cookie jar with the dog head. I am too embarrased to show what I made. It was a pretty saucy diva sculpture which unfortunately cracked on my trip back home. In any case it was fun and a good exercise.

A week back, Ginger visited our home and our goal was just to play in clay. We extruded some of my pillow shapes and this what Ginger made out of one of them.

I wanted to make some rectangular trays and she helped me make a plaster mold for that and I love the way the tray came out. Look out for these in my shop in the near future.

Ginger liked my extruder dies and had a design in mind for oval casseroles. We went through the process of designing it and I made the die for her which worked like a charm. Here is the casserole I made with that die. I am waiting to see what Ginger makes with that die in her studio.

It was time to spice up Ginger's Etsy shop. So we took pictures of her pots. I showed her how to edit them using picassa for Etsy and we listed her pots. Check out her shop. Really lovely work.

We had a great time and are looking forward to the next time we can play together.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Great Wedding Gift!

It always thrills me more when people buy my work as gifts. One can always spend money on themselves, but when they spend it for someone else, it shows they have confidence in their purchase and the the receiver is going to love them.

And of course it is great when people combine different items as gifts. This last order was just the perfect gift for a wedding. Sugar creamer set, a butter dish and salt pepper shakers.

Wouldn't this be just great for a wedding gift? Other popular items in my shop for gift are my Oil vinegar bottles, teapots, set of mugs.

Best wishes to everyone receving these gifts!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Try Try Try.. till you succeed

So I woke up Christmas eve with this idea in my head... pillow shape bowls. I did make some wall clocks with my pillow shape extruder die and they sold well over the Christmas holidays. Now I wanted to make something else. The basic idea was make a long pillow form, cut out a hole and slump in a slab and attach the edges. Done!

I wish it was as simple as that. :) I spent all of Christmas Eve and Christmas day trying to figure out how to make these bowls. I went through 30+ pounds of clay and made 7 or 8 of these. The difficult part was making a clean piece with the bowl portion having a clean edge.

In the picture below you can see the progression of the last five from left to right. For the first piece, I cut the hole in the pillow shape and took a bigger slab of clay to slump it in. The edges of the pillow collapsed and after a lot of fussing finished it but I wasn't happy. The next one I tried a different shape cut out to make it easier to slump the clay in and that was not as clean as I wanted.
In the third I used the cut out itself, flipped it over and atached it. It attached fairly cleanly but had no volume. It would be a bowl that held nothing. Which made me think that the piece of clay being slumped needs to be a perfect match in dimension.
So that is what I did. I took precise measurement of the cut out. Increased it by 1/2 inch all around and it slumped and fit in a lot better.

Making anything new is a process, but it is a process I enjoy. Never fear to experiment and see what direction it can take you. In the picture below you can see how the edges got cleaner with every piece.

I did toss out the first three pieces too and decorated just the final two with my signature slip decoration. That just gave them the WOW factor!
Here are pictures of another one I completed. Would make a great serving bowl for nuts and candy.

Wish everyone a very Happy New Year! And with the New Year make a lot of New work!


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