Sunday, March 29, 2009

Photoshop Fun

I spent the morning playing around with my mushroom photos in photoshop and this interesting image is what I came up with. I'm trying to come up with images for laser transfers to put on some of my sculptures. I've never done this before. I think this image might be too dark for the transfer process. I haven't played with photoshop for so long that I'm having to remember some stuff. It's coming back pretty quick so I am happy. I'll probably do some line drawings or use some images out of my sketchbooks for the transfers since I think I need something that is not so busy. I think less detail in the image is supposed to transfer better. We'll see. Wish me luck. I'm usually at church at this time but the hubby and I decided to go at 1:00 instead of 9:00am. I better go get ready.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009


Last Monday we were supposed to be done with one of our projects and were supposed to have "crits" which is basically a critique of everyone's projects by everyone else in the class and the instructor. We ended up having a last minute guest artist which was great for me because I was not ready. I wasn't really thinking about when the make-up crit would be. Towards the end of the week I decided to glaze up these pieces that were sitting in my locker. The tech loaded the kiln the very next day, lucky me. Even luckier, I found out we are having the crit in two days. I stopped by the university to see if the kiln was cool and pulled these out. I'm definately feeling good.

I love this piece! I loved it when I was making it but then I was having technical problems with the test piece. I was firing the test piece at a lower temperature and the glaze and the red cracked and popped right off the pot. My instructor suggested I put another test piece in with a high fire clear glaze and fire it at cone 10, almost 2400 degrees. This is the range that I am used to but I wasn't sure what the red underglaze would do as it is meant to be fired at about 1850 degrees. I thought I would completely lose the color. Impulsive as I am, I couldn't wait for the test and glazed it up anyways. Goody for me!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tapioca Pudding

I made this super yummy tapioca pudding at the end of January. I'm thinking of when I'll have time to make some more. It was the first time I had ever used a fresh vanilla bean for anything. There are a lot of teeny tiny seeds in those pods. But it was delicious and worth the extra work.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fresh From the Oven

Or rather, hot out of the kiln. I opened up the kiln this morning and this is what I found. I couldn't even remember what I had glazed up two months plus ago. It was a pretty good load and a pretty good firing. The only thing I lost were four porcelain pieces that I glazed too heavily and they ran and adhered themselves to the kiln shelf. Yeah, I might actually get excited about getting back into this. But I really need to rebuild the kiln. It's made of fiber and starting to fall apart. That is going to be a huge job. I'm not sure I want to tackle it. But at least now I have a few pots to sell at the farmer's market.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Frosted Fruit

I was up until 11:40 last night firing the kiln. I don't fire the kiln very often and it took a couple of hours longer than usual but I'm learning. Towards the end the kiln needs to be checked often and it is pretty hot. On top of it we had a warm day and the house was still hot. To cool off I rested my aching head on an ice pack and that felt great. I had a headache all day. Chico in the spring is beautiful and it smells great with all the blossoms but along with that comes all the pollen. The ice pack wasn't quite enough so I had to fill up this bowl with frozen fruit from last summers garden. I dusted it with some sugar and poured in some soy milk. It turned into a thick, delicious fruit slushy that did just the trick. Soon after finishing it I was able to turn off the kiln and go to bed. Tomorrow I get to open the kiln and see how it turned out.

I had to include this gorgeous picture of some of the first almond blossoms. The orchard is two doors down so I go there often to take pictures.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beauty in the small details

It is so amazing the beauty we can find in the seemingly most ordinary things. I saw all these mushrooms while taking a walk in the orchard next door.