Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Hobby?.... Knitting

It has been a busy year and it continues to be busy and it is at times like this that I feel I need another hobby.... really? The way I see it, when I worked full time as a software engg, I had pottery as my hobby to make me switch my brain.
Now since I have been doing pottery 3 years full time, I felt the need to exercise that side of my brain which wants to learn something new. Not that I have a lot of time, but I think it will be good for me.
But then the question came as to what new hobby. Sewing and Painting came to mind, but I just felt it was too much of a setup and room I would need to dedicate for it. Then it just occurred to me to try knitting. I knew I always wanted to try it, but always thought it was super hard to do.
I didn't have any needles or yarn. I then just took a pair of chopsticks and a chord and looked up some youtube videos and I got the hang of it. To learn better I went to my friend Ann Meersman and Ginger Steele to teach me some more and point out to things that I might be doing wrong.
So far it has been fun and I am enjoying the process of gradually creating fabrics with patterns... and you all know how much I love pattern... You never know how these patterns will make their way into my pottery work.
Here is the first scarf I knit for my niece and I am now working on another scarf and a shawl.
I am curious to know how many other artists have a hobby? Are you one of them?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Studio organized... progress

It has been a busy week and half, reorganizing the studio space. As you can see in my previous post the studio was getting really cluttered and I was completely out of horizontal space. Things always had to be constantly moved around and a shelf could be used for just one thing, storing handbuilt pieces in progress, decorating or glazing.

One significant change was moving the kiln in the garage. With the garage in my working studio space, I often lost a day or two of work during a week because it got too hot in the studio. Plus it takes up so much room. Now with the kiln gone I was not only able to put another set of shelves, but also add another working table. Now with more that one shelf I don't have to move things around that much.

The garage space also got a uplift. The thing that bothered me most about it was the packing peanut dispenser which hung in the middle of the garage. Cannot live without it but at the same time it shrunk my space in half. I modified the shape of it and fortunately it fit snugly in the dead corner between the garage door rail and the wall and could also go higher up. And those Ikea shelves work great for me to sort out wholesale orders.

To move the kiln in the garage, I did have to have electric work done. Got two outlets in the garage for another kiln in the future and added other power outlets too. Of course, got a lot of light added as well. Now with the kiln in the garage, I don't have to worry about my studio working schedule. I can make things when I want to rather than waiting for my studio to cool down.

And cleaning out the garage and the studio, did generate stuff that was taken to the Goodwill, distributed to other artist friends. But there was significant trash which was taken to the dump. Any guesses on how much the trash weighed?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Studio needs to be cleaned and reorganized

To have a good functioning pottery studio, one needs space. That would be true for almost any artist. The more space we have the better.
But what do you do when you don't have the space? Well, you learn to efficiently use every inch of space that you have. And it is very essential, to clean out the studio and get rid of stuff more often.
I know of some artist who have huge spaces. I am not going to name any names, but I am jealous. Some of them have their space organized well, but most of them can get away with just spreading around which also results in collection of stuff that never sees the light of day.
So sometimes I feel that just having the big space might not be the perfect solution, though I will take it if I got it.
For some of you who have been to my studio know that I work in a fairly small space for he amount of work that I make. My studio is the family room at the ground level of our home and it is ~350 sq ft and also houses the kiln in it. Recently with constant firing and struggling with covering things because they would dry sooner than I want and with the increased production, some serious changes need to be made. In addition to this space I do use a one-car garage as well to store inventory, packing orders, and all the other misc stuff.
Here are some pictures and you can see it is pretty tight and always a challenge for more horizontal space. Well, I am making some changes and will post pictures of what happens later. The kiln will be moving to the garage and more shelving added to the studio. Garage space will be organized a lot better.... hopefully.

How big is your studio space???

Monday, July 8, 2013

Another Bust Blouse Sculpture

In the month of May, I had posted about my new bust sculpture that I was working on. I did sell that one at the Edmonds show to a wonderful couple.
Ever since then my mind has been buzzing with the possibility of making more designs, more elaborate patterns on them. And since the area is large, I get all the more area to decorate. hehehe...
Here are some pictures of my latest sculpture. I love the red and honey gold combination on this one and like the way it stands out. Feel free to share and comment.
Decorating bust sculpture
Bust blouse sculpture
Bust sculpture detail
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Show Schedule

Summer is here and it is time to step out, get some sun and visit your local art shows. I look forward to this time, meeting my previous customers and new ones.

You will find me at these shows in May-June and July. I will send a reminder for shows after that. You can always keep in touch with my show schedule here.

May 31st - June2nd: ArtFest Coeur d"Alene Park, Spokane, WA (Booth N33) Spokane folks check out the Inlander for my work featured for the show.

Thrilled to get the CLAY MERIT AWARD at this show this year!

June 14th - 16th: Edmonds Art Festival at Edmonds (Booth 20)

June 21st - 23rd: Lake Oswego Art Festival First time doing this show

July 20th - 21st: Gig Harbor Art Festival

July 26th - 28th: Bellevue Festival of Arts (Booth 195)


New sculpture. First time making a bust and I am thrilled with the way it came out


Casseroles in a different style.


And of course my obsession with shoes continues.....

Do drop by and say Hi! and share with your family and friends

And if you can't make it to any of the shows my online shop is always open.

With a typo in my last newsletter many couldn't open the video of my slip decoration in action. Here is the link again. Enjoy!

Best wishes
Charan Sachar
Creative with Clay
Federal Way, WA
Tel: 253 241 2245
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Your favorite Bowls

Handmade bowls
I introduced these bowls last year and have gotten a great response from customers. Handbuilt and slip decorated with different washes and color accents, each lands up being distinctive and unique. A very similar process goes for my mugs too.
On doing shows last year, I noticed that there were some people who liked the intricate patterns, some liked more negative spaces in the pattern, some liked the color accents, some just preferred the wash etc. I just got super curious to get all this data and see what I would find.
That is when I decoded to get this data from my fans on facebook. I posted the following picture and asked everyone to vote for their favorite in each row. So, there were three votes from everyone, a favorite from the honey gold glaze, a favorite from the Soft Green Glaze and a favorite from the Blue glaze.
boat bowls Color choose copy
I had an overwhelming response. Approx 180 votes. It was great to get this input and I thank you all for voting. And here are the results.
Pretty much even across the board, except for one of the blue bowls that got significantly low votes.
And looking closely you can see that the bowls with the color accents and the wash combination and negative spaces did get more votes in each case. (HG3, S2, B1)
Thank you all for your input. This gives me a good idea to what to send to galleries that carry my workas well.

Do you agree with the favorites? Do you have your own favorite? Do tell.

Boat Bowl Votes
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Making a bust for the first time

As several of you reading my blog know that my work is very influenced by fabrics. I do tend to make something functional and have done my sculptural dancing divas too. Also did some shoes last year.
This time I thought why not make a torso or bust featuring some beautiful indian prints just as they are meant to be on fabric. This is a larger scale of sculpture that I am used to but thoroughly enjoyed the process.
sculpture bust torso indian fabrics paisley charan sachar
Here it is handbuilt and slip decorated with buttons. Had to dry it really slowly and went a little crazy supporting the insides and keeping the form.
And here it is all decorated with layers of underglazes which really enhance the texture and pattern. It is approximately 18"x 18" and goes up on the wall.
I will be taking it to the summer shows and hope to make more pieces in this series.
It was a great experience to get out of my comfort zone and try something new.

What have you wanted to create pushing your limits? Do share.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The friends of Asian Art Association

Mother's Day Special

Spring is in the air... Fresh blooms, new leaves on trees, sun shinning with color popping everywhere. This is always my favorite time of the year.

And I am very glad that this year my parents were visiting and we could enjoy this colorful season together.

Tulip festival

With my mom at the Tulip Festival in Washington State.

A great way to celebrate a Pre-Mother's Day

Talking about mom, don't forget "Mother's Day" is right around the corner. Check out my new mugs and other Mom favorites in my Etsy shop

Mother's Day Special

Get a FREE sample of Jaipur Avenue Chai with every purchase till supplies last. If you have wondered of what true Indian Masala Chai Tea tastes like then you have got to try this.

Tea cup green handmade Paisley
Coffee mug handmade intricate

Pictured here are some of my new variations in my mugs photographed and staged by a very talented photographer Archana Srinivas.

She is passionate about interior design, travel, rustic food photography, her cups of 'chai' & capturing the beauty of everyday life... Check out her facebook page and you will be amazed.

Handmade mug Blue
Green Handmade mug

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Moravian Pottery and Tile works

When I went to Philadelphia for the Buyers Market Show in February I made it a point to have an additional day to visit the Moravian Pottery and Tile works in Doylestown, PA. It is a 1.5 hour train ride with 1/2 hour walk from the train station to the studio, but worth every minute and much more.
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (6)
Seeing the video of the history of how these tiles acme about was great with so much great insight to some simple processes that still in use there.
Check out the number of tiles a worker had to produce in a day. That is a lot of freaking tiles!!!
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (4)
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (3)
It was great to get an in depth look into process with one of the artists there (Eric, don't recall his last name). He was grateful to answer all my questions and also gave me a ride back to the train station in the freezing rain. I was amazed to see that the tiles were all physically pressed by hand with simple tools till date and he mentioned that the tile press was used for mostly open faced tiles. A very basic tile press and plans of making one are in Frank Giorgini's book "Handmade Tiles"
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (2)
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (1)
The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (7)
This I think was one of the most genius things I saw there. Their boards for storing tiles during making, decorating and glazing was so simple. Just a board with small 1x2s attached at the end that just stack and make a cool inbuilt shelving system. They have been using this system for years and some of those boards are really old. Some of the simplest ideas are the greatest.
Of course going there has me inspired t do some tile work. I have had it at the back of my mind for years, but going to this place has really got me thinking again. I have already started working on some prototypes, so hopefully I will have new products during the summer shows.

What places or workplaces have you visited that have inspired you?

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