I’m lame and forgot to mention a while back that I had updated the etsy shop with a few new things. There are some pots and some buttons and this little jellyfish wall tile. Most of the buttons are white; I need to restock on brightly colored ones. Anyway, check it out!
I disappeared there for a bit. Where did I go? I went into the iphone black hole. I got my first smartphone.
Actually, I’ve been around, just not here. I don’t really like sitting at the laptop now that I have this handy from-the-future toy. I bought a used phone and am using a value service, so if we get rid of our land line, I’m on track to actually save us money every month! I didn’t think that would be possible with an iphone, but there you go.
I’ve signed up for instagram and vine, and I’ve been having fun taking little photos and videos. If you would like to follow me, I’m ameliastudio on instagram, and I’m Amy Harding on vine. I suppose I should have made those the same, and actually I thought I did, but I don’t know — I’m new at this.
I’m already starting to get a case of texting thumb, which is apparently possible even if you don’t really text and can only type about two words per minute.
Here’s what I have been working on this week. I made a couple plywood molds with a jigsaw. Working with power tools is always a little bit exhilarating. (You know, with the threat of cutting off your fingers and all …)
I made an asymmetrical mold because after all the wheel-thrown pots, my brain needs a little asymmetry. I also wanted to start making some tray forms because that’s really the easiest way to play with some new surface designs.
My goal with this one was to reproduce the look of bokeh. I tried to use a paper stencil method I learned in a Meredith Host workshop, but I had some problems. First, I was too impatient to let layers of underglaze fully dry before peeling off the paper stencils. (When you have limited studio time, you get impatient. Well, I do.) Also, I think my paper was weird. It was just copy paper, but it seemed to have some sort of coating, and the water turned blue when I soaked my stencils. Then the stencils stuck and shredded and tore, even when I broke down and let them fully dry, and it was not fun.
I need to figure out a better way to deal with the stencils, because I do still like the basic idea of this. The white areas may burn out more than I’d like, but this is an experiment. Next time I also want some of the bokeh blobs to go up the sides, too. I’ll show you how this turns out. Soon. I have a whole lot of making to do before the kiln is full.
These are the first couple pots of 2013. It took me a while to get back to work! I guess I have been working — it has just been the boring stuff: listing things in the etsy shop, setting up bank accounts, paying state sales tax. I suppose it all needed to be done, but now I’m out of throwing practice. My arms were a little sore after wedging up only four balls of clay. I don’t know if I’m not used to it anymore, or it’s because my studio is very, very cold and the clay was pretty stiff. (probably a little of both)
While my sister was visiting for Christmas, we decided that I should make a tiki mug version of my inverse mug. So the tall cup up there is my first attempt at this. I don’t have the best handle on shrinkage rates, so we’ll see if this is the right size. It seems a little wide to me. I can calculate the shrinkage — I just can’t visualize it very well. Anyway, I hope to make a bunch of these cups. They’ll be great for tiki drinks or any tall cocktail.
My work last night was accompanied by Kate‘s best of 2012 mix on Spotify. Since I’ve had kids, I don’t have as much time to seek out new music, so I have become a big fan of end-of-the-year music wrap-ups. They help me do all my new music scavenging all at once. I haven’t had a chance to check out my usual go-to yearly lists from Pitchfork and The Onion. So I’ll link to them here for your sake and mine:
I listed some pots on etsy! This is the first batch of pots I’ve listed since around the time Charlotte was born. So, over five years! I just took Charlotte and Margot with me to pick up some shipping boxes down in a warehouse near downtown, and they were completely bewildered by how dirty and warehouse-y it was. Sheltered children.
Anyway, I have a few more pots and some buttons that I still need to photograph and list. So this will be it for round one. Check my shop out here. Thanks!
I finished my first sale! That was my main ceramics goal for the year, so I’m glad I managed to make it happen. I know yearly goals are arbitrary, but they give me a framework for progress, which is important when time seems to be slipping by more and more quickly now that I have kids.
The sale went well. I came home with many fewer pots and also acquired a chest cold that has slowed me down this week. (Hence the lack of an etsy update. I don’t think it’s going to happen before the end of the year, and that is OK. Making Christmas happen for my kids is important, too.)
What I learned:
- To my surprise, people like buttons! If they don’t do so themselves, everyone knows someone who sews or knits or collects buttons. The problem: these are a low-price item. So, they are nice, but by no means am I going into an all-button business.
- People are not freaked out by handle-less mugs! I sold all my cups, and not as many mugs. Huh.
- If people are confused by something, they won’t buy it. That was the fate of my button bows. Fambly: expect button bows on your Christmas packages this year.
- I could use more shelves/vertical elements in my display.
- The people at the Clay Guild couldn’t be nicer. It was a pleasure to hang out with them all weekend. I was one of the only first-timers, and everyone was very helpful and encouraging.
So, all good things. I’m relieved. And tired. And ready to do it all over again next year.
Today is the big day! I’ll be at the Kansas City Clay Guild’s holiday sale, tonight 6-10, Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5. I’ll have mugs, bowls, cups, wall tiles, ornaments, buttons, and button bows. I’ll be putting the shop on vacation until Monday. I’ll report back next week — I’m sure I’ll learn so much! Like, uh, nobody wants to buy buttons at a ceramics sale, or $30 for a mug???, or five thousand ornaments are too. many. ornaments. You know, useful stuff like that.
My first sale is one week from today! And I have the sleepy eyes to prove it. I think I’ll send one more partial load into the kiln, and call it good.
We’re starting to get into the holiday season here, and my kids are begging me to put out more Christmas decorations. The decorations are coming out of the boxes at a very slow trickle. I’ll be done just in time for them to go back in the basement!
I did manage to get our advent calendar filled and on the shelf before bed last night (at uh, 2 a.m.?). I call it advent, but it’s really just a countdown calendar. The boxes are filled with either slips of paper suggesting various activities or little wooden letters that spell out *CHEERS* on top of the box. We do the same sorts of activities every year: wearing PJs to drive around and see lights, having a picnic under the Christmas tree, doing a craft project, buying gifts for children in need, giving red & green manicures, etc.
Good times, but tired mama.
My etsy shop has been re-opened for business! I’ll keep it up through December 5, and then I’ll put it on vacation for the KC Clay Guild holiday sale. Right now I only have ornaments, but I’ll post pots after the holiday sale. Thanks for looking!
Mere hours before we set off for Thanksgiving in Virginia, I was able to peek into the kiln and see my ornaments. I’m happy to report that my kiln is functioning as usual once again. I added some gold detail to the ornaments when we got back.
We had a busy, somewhat worrisome (some health issues for my niece), but also wonderful Thanksgiving. How was yours?
I’ll be listing these ornaments on etsy later this week. Catch me on facebook or twitter if you want to get a special friendly discount code. I’ll let you all know as soon as they are listed. Until then, here are a few more photos.