A side note: The recipe for these sesame noodles came from this book, which I love so much. I do add a ton more vegetables to the recipe though. This time: cucumbers, red pepper, green onions, mushrooms, bok choy and carrots.
I’ve been working on Christmas ornaments to sell, uh, soon. (Too soon! I’m running out of time!) Creating the templates for these geometric designs really stretched my dormant spatial reasoning skills. I also dusted off what little Illustrator skill I have. I swear, every time I start a new Illustrator project it is like starting from square one. Use it or lose it, I guess.
I’ve been calling these Gem Ornaments, but really they are a mix of cut gem designs and crystal formations. These are in the greenware stage, so the colors will be more jewel-toned after firing. I considered making them neon, but I hate to make Christmas decorations overly trendy, color-wise. In my mind, Christmas colors fall into one of these categories: traditional red/green/jewel tones, candy colors (turquoise, pink, red, etc.), metallics, white/neutral, and crystal/sparkle/glass. I think those groupings have stood the test of time, and I don’t want to make one-year ornaments! But neon would indeed have looked pretty cool.
Now that I’ve done a practice round of these, I’ll be working assembly-line style, one color per batch. In my factory of one.
This weekend we took advantage of a rainy day and set up a much-needed bunk bed. My youngest has been climbing out of the crib for at least a month, and my middle child barely fit in the toddler bed anymore. So it was time for the big switch. I was a little sad to see the crib go after more than seven years. No more babies. Which is fine. And good. And best. But still.
The children are thrilled with the bunk bed. They were out-of-control monkeys in the mattress store. Thankfully we were the only customers in there, so we got out of there in record time. Then Chris assembled the bed with what he calls his “twice-as-long crew” of three girls, a dog and three American Girl dolls. They were so helpful.
So far, the bunk bed excitement has not necessitated any trips to the emergency room. Yet. Knock on wood. The rule is: you horse around, you sleep on the floor.
The rain cleared out for Sunday so we could take our annual trip to the Louisburg Cider Mill. I got my yearly watchin’-the-doughnuts photo of the kids. I think next year we need to start buying 1.5 dozen cider doughnuts. One dozen doesn’t do it for this family anymore. We need to be able to eat until we’re sick, you see. That’s what cider day is for: too many doughnuts.
Actually, this is my first attempt at mold-making! I have never worked with plaster before, so I decided to start with something small, like this little sprig mold. With the help of this page, it was a pretty easy process. I don’t have cottle boards, so I just used this chopped up Cool Whip container instead, and it worked just fine.
There is some wasted space on the mold. More jewels! But I didn’t have any others to stick in there. Also, the lumpiness of the top of the mold is bothering me. I can’t think of a reason why the mold needs to be smooth around the depressions. But I can’t control my crazy sometimes. Must. leave. it. alone.
Now I can make lots of little jewels to encrust my pots with fanciness. Jewels, JEWELS!
Here’s what I was doing with those giant buttons: button bows! I attached the buttons to elastic cord to make a polished, simple, reusable gift wrap. I would love to set myself up with a roll of white paper, a row of pretty washi tapes and a bin of these button bows, and get rid of the giant pile of disorganized papers and tangled ribbons I currently have going on in my hall closet.
I’ll be selling these at the Kansas City Clay Guild Holiday Sale, and probably on Etsy, too. I’ll keep you posted about the Etsy shop.
I finally have my studio back! That was quite the mess for a while there.
This is probably the cleanest this studio will ever look. I’m hoping that by moving the wheel farther into the studio, I can allow messes to hang out a little longer since the kids and dog won’t be walking through them as much. I have always been an oddly neat potter. All my ceramics instructors have pointed this out, to their amusement.
I managed to clear off some shelves for drying my work, but I imagine I’ll need to add another set of shelves at some point. Maybe they will go where that “Lost in Translation” poster is. That will really close me in though, so I’ll work with what I have for now.
I’m mainly glad that my wheel is no longer in the bay window. It sounded so nice at first: I’ll throw pots and look out at the leafy green trees! No, I’ll be throwing at night, startling at my own reflection and flinging clay all over the woodwork. A plain old wall is much easier to clean.
Because I must clean, for I am the OCD Potter.
I’ve been taking photos here and there of some of the things that came out of the last kilnload. As you can tell by the lighting changes in these photos, I probably need to pick a location and stick with it!
Some of these pots are a warmer white than others. The warm ones were made with Aardvark Bee Mix 5 (Yes, they spell it “bee.”) It was nice to throw with, but I did have some trouble with handles falling off. That could probably be solved with a better joining slip mixture. I’m not sure how I feel about the warm white. Some days I love it, some days I don’t. I am going to test one more clay, and then I’ll decide. I just want to stick with one clay for a while!
I’ve been playing with making the underglazes behave like watercolor, and the buttons came out the way I wanted them to. I’ll have to try some other colors. I am partial to teal, obviously.
I am just about done with my studio shuffling. It feels so much better in here already! I’ll post pics soon.