Thursday, February 17, 2011

Soap Dishes with New Recycled / Upcycled Glaze

I have been making soap dishes for a long time now and I love their simple design and at the same time they are very practical.
The deep grooves help keep the soap high so it drains and dries the soap well. They have very smooth glossy glazes which makes them very easy to clean. And if you love automation, just stick them in the dishwasher to clean them. :)
And the feedback I have got for these is just amazing. Custmers love them and keep coming back for more.. either for their other bathroom, kitchen or as gifts. Read through some of the feedback I have gotten with pictures sent by my happy customers.

"Well made, sturdy, great design and functionality. I love the two tone veriation that looks great with the tub and am so glad I got two for my master bathroom!"
"Wonderful product!!! So well made and generously-sized, these soap dishes are more like beautiful piece of art. Seller was great to work with - attentive and responded quickly to my request. Highly recommend!"
"Love my soap dish! I used it today for the first time. Awesome quality! Quick shipping. Arrived safe, all in one piece.I will definitely be purchasing more from this artist!"

The main reason of writing this post is that I am introducing a new glaze color for my soap dishes. And it is just not a new glaze recipe.. it is very special. While working in the studio and clean up glazes, I always saved up the glaze which came from spraying glazes or cleaning pots. To this I also added glazes that I wasn't using any more. Rather than just dumping this in the environment, I tested and tweeked it. Low and behold, I have this beautiful deep blue grey glaze which has some specks of brown. I looks beautiful over the white glaze and also has some white specks in it if you look closely.

I cannot replicate this glaze ever, but I have 5 gallons of it. So I should be able to make several soap dishes.
So don't waste your glazes. Mix them up and see what you get.
I would love to hear what waste material artists recycle in their studio and upcycle it to create truely unique work.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pushing the limits

If you have been following my blog and my work, you would have noticed that I have a big fascination for patterns and textures. The patterns on my work can get detailed but I felt I could push my slip decorating skills further. I always wanted to try the hanna patterns applied to the hands of the Indian bride.

I started with this platter for which I made a floral pattern inspired by Arabic henna designs. I love the flow of the pattern with the shape of the platter.

I got great feedback on facebook with that platter and wondered, "Can I push myself further?"
So, I took a slab of clay (16x12 inches), put some lines on it as general placement of my pattern and went to town with it. I spent my entire Sunday doing this, so it did take me forever.
I will make a textured mat with this, so I can redo this pattern on other pieces of my work. I still have to figure out how that is going to work.
This might be moving my work in a new direction and hope it is a good one.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sponges Sponges Sponges

As a potter, I have to admit, I have weird relationship with sponges. Still trying to find the perfect one and it is just never satisfactory. Here are the pictures of some that I use and some that were rejected at first use. Would love to hear your insights.

Firstly, the standard yellow sponge. They come round, but are too big and hold a lot of water. So I cut them. Inexpensive but especially after cutting them I need to watch out for the yellow bits in my clay while throwing. Though this does make a good cleaning sponge for wiping off glaze from the bottom of pots while galzing.

The elephant ear sponge. These I like. Can hold a lot or little water depending on how much you squeeze out. They are on the expensive side. They do last longer though. But $5 for sponge.. I don't think so...

This is some sort of elephant sponge which I used once and never used again. It is flat and doesn't absorb any water. Nothing good to say about this one other than its shape and size.

Then there is the mudtools sponge. It is cut in half and has been used quite a bit. Holds decent amount of water but I find it very textured. Pricey too.. $6 I think.

One of my favorites... from the Dollar store. I get four big rectangle sponges for a Dollar. And I make 5 sponges from each of them. So that is 20 sponges for a dollar. They don't feel great on first use, but after that they become flat (picture on the right) and hold just the right amount of water. Surprisingly they last longer too.

This is my recent find. Cosmetic sponges. They are cut to the perfect size and shape that I need. Hold perfect amount of water. I think I paid $3 for 20 sponges in a bag. They are great for cleaning up glazes in tight corners too like lid galleries. Let's see how long this affair lasts.

I would love to hear about your tools and what works for you. Post away!


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