Monday, June 04, 2012

Cat Sgraffito

I started to tackle the back of the candy dish outside but it was too cold and windy and lying on the bedroom floor with stacks of squishy pillows and a cat sounded more appealing.  And this was before I set my laptop next too me and put on the headphones.  I felt pretty smart.  I'm sure it was quite a sight.  I should have had someone snap a pic of me.  I do a lot of art work on my bedroom floor.  It is often my studio of choice.

Tiger says, "You gonna do some scratchin' on that thing?  I think I haz sharper tools.  You want some help?  Mebe I just supervise."

I rather like the way the back turned out.  Maybe I will make it the front next time.  I can't wait to see how it fires out.  I'm not sure if I want to put a gloss or satin glaze on.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Out of Round

I love the water towers around town and I have taken quite a few photos of them.  I had turned one of the images into a stamp so that I could make decals or photo litho transfers.  This image, however, was made using an EZ Screen.  This image was burned onto the screen and then I used a red Mudtool rib to squeegee some underglaze through.  I made the screen while I was in North Carolina and I have wanted to try it out again since I got back home.  I found a jar of underglaze that had conveniently dehydrated itself for me so that it was a good and gloppy thickness to print.  I've been needing a coaster so that is where I started.  This image came out great on the wet clay.

I tried it again on this leather hard piece and had a more difficult time. This is on the interior of a long, oval dish so there was a slight curvature and I was trying to figure out how to get the squeegee to get the whole thing at once.  I missed a few spots but I also think the print didn't work as well because of the dryer clay.

I've been trying to get out of the round mode of thinking that I get stuck in as a wheel throwing potter so I made this fun little cloud candy dish.  It looks flat in this picture but I actually draped the shape over a small oval plaster mold.  Super fun!

Shall we have a bit of sgraffito?  I free-handed my design with a pencil before I got started with the scritchy scratchin'.

I'm feeling like it is a bit too busy.  Next time I think I will have more contrast without quite so much pattern going on but I am enjoying it.  Uh, but I painted the back black also so I still have to do something with that side.  Hmmm...

Friday, June 01, 2012

Test Tile Madness!

First off, I don't feel like superwoman today.  Bummer, I know.  It's almost ten thirty in the morning and I am laying on an ice pack.  But hey, it gives me an excuse to update my blog.  No, I didn't get hurt, so to speak.  I keep forgetting that I have a tendency towards hyper mobile joints.  I have been doing a lot of stretching in the mornings to loosen up my back and my calfs. I also have been doing a lot of bike riding.  Well the stretching was working so well for a while that I think I have been over stretching without doing enough muscle strengthening exercises to compensate.  Combine that with my bicycle seat which I don't seem to be able to get the right shape, size, or comfort but I ride anyways and BAMB!  Yep, muscle spasms.

The upside?

Test Tiles!  Wait, did I say yesterday that I LOVE test tiles?  Oh yeah, but every time I make them I forget how LONG they take.  Of course, sometimes I do have a tendency to go overboard. Thank goodness I already had some color tests mixed up from about a year ago that I had never made tiles for.  So in between sessions of icing my back I kept myself pretty busy. This is Molly Hatch's vitreous engobe recipe that I got off Ceramic Arts Daily.  It is for use at cone 04-6 and I  have a bunch of different stains mixed in . I have used these to silkscreen directly onto leather hard clay and then fired to cone 04 and they looked great.  Now I will have test tiles of the engobe applied to leather hard and I will make some with the engobe applied as washes to bisque tiles.  I will fire them all in the cone 5-6 range.  

After finishing these tiles in the front I took some of the dry ones and applied terra sig which is normally used only in the low-fire range.  However, since I put it on my bowls and I decided I didn't want to sacrifice them as tests, tiles would be a good idea.  It will be interesting to see how they fire out at Cone 5-6.

And what post would be complete without out the kitty pics?  This girl is twelve years old and starting to slow down a little.  I've had her since she was three weeks old and I had to bottle feed her.  To say she is spoiled would be an understatement. She thinks the bed is hers and how can I blame her?  I spend maybe eight hours in it while she spends about twenty hours nested in blissful comfort, that is, when the light isn't too bright.  Yesterday, while I was laying on the ice, she kept kicking me with her back feet because there wasn't enough room for her to stretch out across the bed with me in her way.  Poor thing! Do you think I should upgrade to a queen or king size from the apparently tiny full size?

Having the bed right under the window does make for a perfect environment for a kitty.  All she needs to do is chill and watch the world go by.  Ah, sometimes that is a good philosophy to remind myself of from time to time.  So, peace be with you this weekend and remember to chill out. I know I certainly am, literally!