Thursday, 22 April 2010

A Break from the Wheel

For the past few days I needed a break from the wheel. In an effort to diversify what I'm making, I turned to some wall sculptures. In college I started making this cocoon form. I have made a few successful pieces with it. They are fun to make, little coil built, textured pod like things. The difference this time is that I made a wall piece for them to hang from. So, when they are all glazed and done, I will attach the cocoons to a found stick. Then, I will attach the stick to the back sculpture (that is what the holes are for). I am pretty happy with them so far. They are on the small side. I am interested to see what would happen if they became larger. I am hoping to woodfire them. They are pretty cool little items. We will see if there is a market for them!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


For the past few days I have been working on jars. While making the bowls, I got inspired to make some jars with a similar form. Look at pictures from the bowls and jars; do you see the connection? Again, I made handbuilt, textured lids. The texture is what takes so long. However, I feel it is worth the time it takes. I have always had a special fondness for jars. I'm not sure what it is....Perhaps it it the idea of hidden containment, of storing things away in an attractive vessel. I don't really know. I really prefer the handbuilt lids. I used to always make little thrown lids. However, it is much harder to get the right fit. Also, I like the rounded effect I made with the handbuilt ones. They will look great in groups for photos.

On Monday it was my 25th birthday. Wow, I'm getting old, 1/4 of a century! Definately a milestone. For one of my gifts, Joey brought me to Exeter Fine Crafts, a beautiful craft store in Exeter's downtown area. He gave me a dollar amount and said I could buy anything I wanted. I picked out a Jane Kaufman orb with water lilies etched all over it. It is a little piece of inspiration, reminding me to keep it fun and light. Jane is quite the character. You can check out her website at We also went into this totally bizarre antique shop. I found some great little furniture pieces for displaying work. We also found this old shallow crock that is now Moki's water dish. It was such a nice day for strolling throught the town. Next up, I think I am going to make miniatures. They usually sell well at fairs. I'm thinking little jars and vases. Keep checking the blog; there will be more to come! Moki stole my seat today...little rascal!

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Yesterday I made bowls. I made 12 in all. It is hard because since I have such limited space, I can't make lots of one thing. I will probably fire these, pack them away somewhere and free up shelf space for more. Anyway, I liked they way they came out for the most part. Some have stronger forms than others. These bowls are kind of tall. I like a tall bowl for eating a big salad. That way, none of the stuff falls out like it sometimes does in lower bowls. I suppose I will make lower bowls next. The wierd thing about working from home is the hours. Somehow, I have gotten myself into a very bad schedule. I will work until 2 or 3 in the morning, crash out, then sleep in later than I'd like to admit. I really don't like doing this and am trying to get back to a regular pattern but it is not easy. I feel like I am in college again, staying up all night to do projects. I have some time today to throw. Yesterday while working on altering these bowls, I got some ideas for making covered jars in a similar shape. I think I will tackle that next. I could even make small casseroles. Argh! The possibilites are endless!!!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Teapots are FINALLY done!

Today, I finally finished my teapots. There are 7 total; two more got squished up after I messed up altering them. I really like these teapots alot! I did some texture on the lids and the dimples. I won't be making any more for a while....they take so long to complete! Moki has taken to sitting in my lap while I work. He's such a snugglebug!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

New Studio Dog

What an exciting week! I'm using my wheel daily and am loving it! On Tuesday, Joey and I drove to Saco, ME to pick up a new friend. He is a 2 year old, 16 lb mini australian shepherd. We got him from a rescue organizaion called Canine Guardians for Life. Apparently, his previous owner dumped him in a parking lot because she did not want him anymore. He was in a high kill shelter in West Virgina when Canine Guardians got him. He had been in a foster home for a month when we came across him online. He is a wonderful companion. He never barks, loves to cuddle, does not chew things up. He follows us everywhere; its as if he is afraid of being abandoned again and can't let us out of his sight! He would sleep in my arms at night if he could (we draw the line there- no dog in the bed). We had a time trying to pick a name. He came with one that did not seem to suit him. After trying on several dozen names I thought of his forever name. There is a famous black Japanese glaze called Tenmoku. So, that is it: his name is Tenmoku- Moki for short! He likes it and responds to it. It feels good to call him something other than buddy or puppy. When I am working, he either lies under the table or at my feet. Yesterday I made 9 teapots. I have to finish them today- add handles and lids. They take a long time but it is to be expected. They are such complex forms- they have it all: lids, spouts, handles. Hopefully I will finish those up today and can move onto something else.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Today I worked on pitchers. I made 8 but only 7 made it to the end. I used my new wheel for the first itme and it worked very well. I went through one 25 lb bag of clay today. At that rate, I am going to need to get more very soon. 400 lbs won't last too long!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

I Have A Wheel!!!!

Today I went to visit an old friend from college. He gave me a little pep talk and helped me focus on some good places to go and goals to have. He made some great suggestions and I am truly greatful for his council! Thanks friend, you know who you are! The best part came when he gave me an old wheel. It is pretty basic with only two speeds on it. But, it will work! I can't hardly wait to give it a try. Trouble is, I don't have any clay left! Anyway, just had to share the good news!

Friday, 9 April 2010

So, I now own a kiln. It is pretty old and I need shelves and posts for it but it will go all the way to cone 10. I've decided to wait until we are in a better apartment to wire it in. So, it won't be useable until we move in October. But, at least for now, I have it and it will be ready when I need it. I am hoping to get a wheel tomorrow. In the meantime, I have been continuing to make small slab boxes and bottles. Today I finished up three small bud vases and about 8 or 9 boxes. I did crazy textures on them. It took about 1/2 hour to texturize each box. I used a sewing needle pushed into a cork to do the patterning. Also, I used the pointy end of a knitting needle for some of the textures. These boxes are larger with no handles on the lid. I am a little stumped on how to glaze these highly textured boxes. I don't want to lose all the detail in them. I might dip them then wipe the glaze off so it stays in the recesses. Hopefully they'll be all done in a few weeks.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Bud Vases

Today I made nine small bud vases. They sprung out of all the little boxes I've been doing. I made the texture with a needle. It takes quite a while to make the texture. I think when they are finished, these vases will look lovely with a small blossom in them. What do you think?

Monday, 5 April 2010

Small boxes

So, I am having a great time just working at my own pace. I feel like I have been so productive. I was concerned that working from home would pose too many distractions but so far, I've been neglecting all the housework, cooking, etc. to work in the studio. For the past few days I have been making these small boxes. They have unique textures. They are small, 1"- 3" or so. When they are fired, they'll be even smaller. I'm not sure how I will glaze them. I think it would be awesome to woodfire some eventually. I may get a kiln this week in CT. I'm still trying to locate a wheel which has proved to be much harder than expected. They are all so expensive. I'll probably just save up and buy one in a few months. In the meantime, there are handbuilding skills to be honed and shows to apply to. Oh yeah, I should probably do some of that housework too...