Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Earth Lovers

I made it into a lovely treasury today!  Yay, and finals are almost over.  Better hurry and get out of here for my last critique!  Plus I just put some fresh pieces in my Etsy store.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My first YouTube Pottery Video

I finally figured our how to upload a video from my dslr.  Then I had to drop it into a few different programs before I could do some editing. Still can't figure out most of the program but here it is so far.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jason Briggs Inspired Sculpture

I went to Horseshoe lake recently to capture some sunset images.  Before the sun went down I saw this great dead tree with great textures and holes.  It instantly reminded me of Jason Briggs and the workshop I had with him at Fresno state last summer.  That was so much fun and he gave us some great demos and the most ridiculously entertaining lecture I have seen! Thanks, Jason! These pictures are for you.

Here is one of the sculptures I have been working on that was inspired by the workshop.  I haven't decided how I am going to finish it yet.  Hmmm...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tis The Season...

...to be in another wonderful Etsy Treasury!  That's my Winter Evergreen Eco Mug down there.  Yay!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tiles Inspired by Jenny Mendes

Last spring ceramic artist, Jenny Mendes, came and spent a month at Chico State to prepare a body of work.  She graciously shared her knowledge and let me sneak (hehe) into her work space to pester her.  Just kidding.  I really enjoyed getting to talk with Jenny and getting to know about her and her work.  These tiles were inspired by Jenny's work.  I started them just before she left in April and I just now got around to taking pictures of them.

I'm thinking of trying some more things out with this terra sig work.  I made these tiles on some recycled clay which was NOT a good idea.  It seems like the sig wants to jump right of the edges if I even look at the tiles.  I did throw some platters out of some earthenware and have started applying some imagery to those.  I am quite interested in making some more tiles.  The problem is just to figure out how, when or if it can even fit into my schedule.

Trying out different configurations.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poladroid Pictures

So last night I stayed up way too late.  I got sucked into dropping my photos into this polaroid simulator called Poladroid.  I like the way my images look with this treatment.  The way they turn out is completely random, much like old polaroids.  I might try making my own polaroids so that I have more control and predictability.  Yeah, like I have the time for that.  At least there is no school today so I can either catch up on housework, work on my papers or completely enjoy the day doing neither!  Have a great Veteran's day.  Here is some more eye candy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Satin Mint Organic Sculpture

I recently donated this piece to an auction fundraiser for the University Art Gallery at Chico State.  This was a new glaze that I had been testing out and I absolutely love it.  It is called Chung's Satin Mint and I got the recipe out of The Complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes: Glazing & Firing at Cone 10 by John Britt. 

What is amazing to me is how much this glaze changes depending on thickness and atmosphere in the kiln.  I got a lot more reds and pinks than I expected.  I had a couple of pieces come out completely pink from a heavy reduction and a few pieces that didn't get as much reduction had more greens and yellows.  

This piece was thrown with recycled clay and then given a coat of white slip and porcelain slip trailed dots before bisque firing.  Lush!  I can't wait to do some more work with this glaze.  If I have time, I want to take the base and try some other color variations.  Fun, fun, fun.  I love glazes and glazing!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Still here, part two...

Yes, I have been pitifully absent from my blog as of late.  What have I been up to?  Not much, really.  I made it through our BFA open studios event and coinciding BFA exhibit in our student gallery.  I got tons of positive feedback.  I still need to get some images of the work I showed for that.  I have two term papers to write that are due after Thanksgiving.  Yuck!  I have lots of sculpture that I have been working on and I am gearing up for my culminating exhibition next spring.  I have my show six weeks into the new semester so I am trying to make some preliminary headway on that.  Making work is the fun part.  Writing and the business side?  Well, necessary.  

And then there is Etsy.  I was spending way too much time on my store and it was proving to be too much of a distraction from my studies.  I decided to leave it alone for awhile, but recent sales and the holidays coming up have tempted me back to it.  Here is my most recent listing for this gorgeous chili bowl.  I love how this rutile glaze turned out.  Delish!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vintage Backdrop

I have been thinking about ways to spice up my Etsy shop lately.  I like my graduated backdrop, especially for gallery shots but I was getting a little bored with it.  I decided to grab this vintage table with a distressed mirror top out of the dining room and take it outside.  What a refreshing change!  No lights to deal with and I love the way you can see the bottom of the piece reflected back from the mirror.

Throw in a fall leaf and get a little bokeh going and I had it made.  I like this image so much I want to frame it and hang it on my wall!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Etsy Treasury

I have been getting into a lot of Etsy treasuries lately.  This is a really nice fall themed one by Caitlin Sainio.  Besides playing around working with my Etsy shop I have been busy getting ready for BFA open studios the end of October.  I have about 4 or 5 different projects underway.  I have slip cast pieces, platters for decoration with terra sigillata and mishima, and thrown forms to assemble into sculptures.  Right now I am working on how to get them all to look like a cohesive body of work which I think I will do using the biomorphic imagery that I am so interested in.  Keep your fingers crossed that i will remember to take my camera so I can get picks for everyone:)  Have a great hump day!
P.S.  My piece is the Tomato Red Vase,  just in case you were wondering.  Peace.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

Fall Chestnuts

Well, you know fall is here when the chestnuts start popping out of these ridiculously menacing seed pods.  I dare you to pick one of them up!  Ah, the squirrels are so happy.  All the nuts, pecan, almond, walnuts are ripening and the critters are harvesting for the winter.

Here are my slip castings in progress.  Right now I am making a bunch of forms and storing them damp so that I can decide how I want to put them all together.

Here are some of the forms that I did bisque before I decided to wait on that.  I have been moving them around in different configurations to see how I like them.  These have wholes in the back so that I can mount them to the gallery wall.  I will be using these for my BFA culminating exhibition in the Spring.  I'm a little anxious and a little excited all at the same time.  Wait, make that a lot anxious and a lot excited!  Phew.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Laser Toner Transfer Decals

Here are some more experiments with the laser decals.  I used a black and white photo that I took to make the decal.  I increased the contrast a bit before printing it out.  I love the way this works.  These are water slide decals.  The toner in the in the laser printer has to contain iron and it has to be a black and white only printer.  At Chico State we get our transfer paper from Bel Decal.  Here is some info on the process from Ceramic Arts Daily.

I actually layered this transfer over another image making technique.  This drippy, black, organic shape was created with a photo lithography technique similar to the one I was using last semester.  This technique is done on leather hard clay while the decals go on top of the glaze. This time, instead of using xerox copies, I used Pronto Plates and drew the image directly onto the plate with a sharpie marker and then inked it up with the linseed oil/mason stain ink.  Pronto Plates are are made of polyester and the technique is referred to as polyester plate lithography.  It is well adapted to use with clay but I would suggest trying it out on a flat tile instead of a round cylinder.  The plate is like thin plastic and likes to spring back when trying to wrap it around something.  This image is nice and crisp with the right glaze.  I did about six tumblers with the image and this is the only one that ran.  Glaze matters.  This is the only one I used a different glaze on.  But I can't remember which one!  I kind of like this drippy, ethereal thing going on.

This test is interesting, not because the tumbler is so wonky, but because I layered a celadon over mamo and it crazed a lot at the bottom where they overlap.  The crazing caused the decal to split apart along the craze lines.  This could be used to create some way cool effects. 

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  I took the day off to be domestic.  Lol, like running around town shopping and then cooking is taking the day off.  But I had a good time and that's all that matters.  Oh, I did sneak over to the studio and unloaded some kilns, but that only took an hour so it doesn't really count.  Can you blame me?  I had to see how my stuff came out.  Delish!

Too Much Fun

I have been having way too much fun in the ceramics studio lately.  Of course we had a critique for class that was coming up so that kept me pretty busy.  I think I have had the most fun with the laser decals I have been designing.

Here are the results of two different deer images I have been working with.  I'm loving this process.  These two pieces are going to go on Etsy tomorrow for a test run. Our instructor got a laser printer for the class since the print shop changed the ink.  I'll have to write more about this process later and put in some links to resources but I've been going full steam ahead today.  Fired the kiln, helped mix 600 pounds of recycled clay, mixed a batch of casting slip, had a ceramics photo shoot.  And, oh yeah, got my NCECA student exhibition entry in an hour and a half from the deadline! Have an excellent weekend.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shameless self promotion.

In the interest of clearing way for more work coming out of the kilns I have been adding more sale items to my Etsy store.  Just wanted to let y'all know in case you were already working on Holiday gift shopping. 

Oh, and I can't wait to see what comes out of the kiln tomorrow.  I did some photo litho transfers onto some tumblers and bowls.  I also did shellac resist on others.  These are all Coleman porcelain with some celadon glazes and some micro-crystallines.  Plus the experiments that I couldn't help myself with.  I LOVE glazing!  Did I say, I love glazing.  Yeah, well go check out my shop then get a good nights sleep.  Wait!  What am I talking about?  It's already tomorrow here in Cali. Oh, well.  Night all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Laser Toner Decals

It is 12:30 am and I'm up late working on some laser toner decals that I am going to print out tomorrow.  Just remembered I've got to be to class by 8 am.  Yikes!  Zzzzzz....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm still here, really!

Ummm, how does a whole month go by before I realize I haven't posted in a really long time. Oh yeah.  School started.  Well, I can at least try to blame it on something.  I really have been busily working away at stuff, just not remembering to take my camera to school with me.

I got up early and headed of to school today to do some plaster mold making.  This was the piece I had been working on down in Fresno.  After the semester started, I tried to make another drop out mold and I must have undercut the sides after I got it stuck in the last mold and had to rework it.  So I decided to go ahead and practice 5 part mold making.  I know, ambitious aren't I?

What I thought was only going to take a few hours took me all day, literally.  I went in at 8 and didn't leave until 7.  I still have to go back and clean up my mess.  Plaster everywhere, but a girl's gotta take a break sometime.

I have lots more pics of the molds.  That's right.  I made not one, but two.  And the last bit of number two is waiting for me to go finish it.  Oh yeah, and clean.  Ugh.  I better go before I completely collapse.  Have a great remainder of the weekend!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I was just going through some old photos that I have scanned on my hard drive.  These sure do remind me of why I love photography so much.  Being able to capture images like these are priceless.  They remind me of time, love, emotions, pure joy.  I don't know if I would have remembered these moments without these images.  I know there are so many moments that I miss capturing because I haven't had my camera with me.  These photos were taken in 1998 and 1999 for photography classed that I took at the local junior college.  I took these with an old Ricoh SLR that my mother gave me for my 16th birthday.  By this time I had probably had the camera for about 15 years and still absolutely loved it.  I hand developed these photographs for the class and then scanned the 5x7's into the computer a couple of years ago.  Sadly, I no longer have the camera or the images, casualties of my last move.

This creek runs right through the campus of Chico State University.  We were enjoying a warm spring day after a long, wet winter.  I actually love the way this image picked up dust from the scanner.  I'm thinking of reworking it in photoshop to give it an even more vintage look.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cat Portraits

I went to church today and then I got a good nap.  Not like I haven't been getting a good nap everyday for the last two weeks or anything.  Oh boy, school is going to be rough this semester.  Do you think anyone will notice if I fall asleep on the ceramics worktables every afternoon?  After the nap I unburied the picnic table from the painting supplies and realized there were cute furry things roaming around in the yard.  It's amazing how one can be minding one's own business outside and then realize that one is being watched by furry things.

Betty, keeping a close eye on tiger.  She belongs to the next door neighbor and comes into the yard in the late afternoon to watch the squirrels in the persimmon tree.  At night she comes to look in the back window and proceeds to hurl herself at the opposing cat on the other side of the window.

Tiny, cross -eyed after getting one eye punctured.  His name is Tiny because I caught him when he was feral at about six weeks.  He had a bad cold and he was super cute and tiny.  He has the absolute, softest fur I have ever felt on a cat.  It is so soft and silky, you almost can't feel it.  By day he is a sweet, submissive, scaredy cat.  By night he becomes the king of the yard and tries to chase Betty around.

Tiger, keeping a close eye on Betty.  AKA, cat with a 'tude.  She is almost as attitudinal as Betty.  I blame it on catching her when she was three weeks old and bottle feeding her.  She thinks she is boss.  Don't pet her unless she wants it or she'll bite.  We have a strange relationship.  I think I should pet her whenever I want.  I get bit a lot, but not bad.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tie Dye Madness

Soooo, before the painting madness there was the tie dye madness.  Of course you wouldn't know any of that because I haven't posted for so long.


I just finished painting the second coat of paint on the bedroom.  This has taken me about a week to work on.  And I still have all the trim.  I flippantly thought I could just "paint" the bedroom.  This room and the one I am in now have been a pretty robin's egg blue for the past 13 years since my mother bought the house and who knows how many years before that.  They were both way overdue for a paint job.  I am moving into this room and I couldn't bear the thought of winter in a cool blue room.   This is what I finally came up with after four hardware stores worth of paint chips and samples and testing all over the wall.  I call it Buttercream Frosting.  It is my own custom mix.  I couldn't find quite the shade I was looking for.  I could find one darker and one lighter.  I bought one gallon of each and mix them together.  I am pretty pleased with myself.  And exhausted!

It has been a mad dash of playing around the last week.  It isn't like I have a list of about thirty things I HAVE to do before school starts again in a week.  I should give myself a break.  It's not like it has all been play.  Last week there were the three out of town doctors appointments (not for me, I'm the driver) and then all the grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning to do since my mother has been laid up.  You know, all the normal, domestic stuff.

Anyhoo, this tie dye madness began a week ago on a lazy Sunday afternoon when I remembered I had shirts that had been sitting in the tie dye box for about, ahem, four years?  I thought it would be pretty simple and easy to do those up in a jiffy.  Ha ha ha!  Ya right.  Now, drumroll please, here for your viewing pleasure are my tie dyes. Ta dah!

It took me a few days to get through the process.  I only tied up the shirts on Sunday and then it got too dark to mix up the dyes.  Then Monday I thought it would be a great idea to barbeque AND tie dye.  Oh, I kill myself!  What was I thinking?  Just when I thought I was finally done with the madness, my son and his girlfriend wanted to tie dye.  After all, there was extra dye and the mess hadn't been put away yet.  Therefore, the madness began again.

Then to top it off, and just because there was a little dye left, I made this little wall piece.  And we wont even talk about the rest of the leftover dye that is in the refrigerator.  Next week, reality.  Moving the bedroom and trying to complete the to do list.  Wish me luck.  I hear the dyes calling me...