Reneged on My Pottery Goal

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This September I set a goal to only wheel throw pots as opposed to hand/slab-building them.

I lasted about 4 months. However, I am giving myself permission to ditch this crazy committment!

My thought was, if I only wheel-threw pots, my skills would get stronger on the wheel (which is true ;) But here’s the catch, I might get stronger on the wheel but I simply do not like the finished product.

I LOVE texture and color.

Wheel thrown pots, to me, are just missing that – what’s the word –spunk.  Don’t get me wrong, I tried.  I invested in sgraffito (carving tools), I tried wax resist to get some cool glaze techniques. I swear I tried to go the traditional route.

I’m kind of excited that I felt so strongly about this.  It means I actually know what I want.  I tend to float like a snowflake in and out of everything. Not liking something is great.  It gets me just a little bit closer to being a bit more focused.   Maybe by the time I’m 80 years old I’ll lock into mastering one thing… HA! right ;) 

With my new permission to renege on my goal, I did exactly what I wanted to do which felt great.  This brought passion and excitement back into creating.  I think that’s my intuition saying I’m on the right track. Now don’t get me wrong, I AM NOT A QUITTER.  I am the crazy that created a work of art every single day for 365 days.  I didn’t quit on that and there were so many days I wanted to.  That goal felt extremely right.  This one – not so much.  I can tell the difference.

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So, back to the best of both worlds.  Which is very much like me.  Why choose wheel-throwing over hand-building?  Why not do – BOTH?  That makes perfect sense – FOR ME.  Here, I threw the bottom part of the vessel on the wheel and then rolled a slab to attach to the top.  The texture came from my hand-crafted stamps which really makes the vessel feel unique and personal.

That’s it.  Unique and personal.  Maybe add in some happy and fun.  This is what I am committing to and I’m finally feeling like I’m back on the right track :)

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Alphabet Soup

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The Peace Dale Neighborhood Guild Pottery Studio is preparing for our “SOUP’S ON” event this Friday at 6pm. Bowls are going in and out of the kiln like mad!

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I asked some students from The Compass School to help me make about 20 bowls as my contribution.  I just love the messages they include in their designs.  These are all glaze firing as we speak.

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My Step Mom said she’s so excited to come and take home one of my alphabet bowls.

Sorry Meme. I made those for your  grandkidsThey are already eating soup out of them!

I’ll have to make more in the future, but for now, I have contributed some other bowls to the event ;)

Next, I need to make a giant pot of soup.  I’ve selected my father’s famous Rosemary Chickpea Soup.  It is vegetarian, although you’d never know it.  Somehow my dad has figured out how to squeeze every morsel of flavor out of the simplest of ingredients.  I’m happy to share one of my family’s favorites.

…. I Can’t wait!

Alphabet Eww…

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For some time now, I have wanted to create “alphabet soup” bowls.  You take alphabet pasta and push it into the clay.  After firing in the kiln, the pasta incinerates leaving its imprint behind.

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I didn’t have time to paint these the other day, so I spritzed them with water and covered them in plastic to prevent them from over-drying.  Well…. let’s just say they were the opposite of over dry ;)  I was bummed.  The pasta absorbed the water, swelled up and molded.   YUCK!!!  Would it still work?  Were they ruined?

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Apparently, the answer is NO.  They worked out just fine …whew!  I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out.

Other than that, I have been on a BOWL-BONANZA.  In March my pottery studio will be hosting “SOUP’S ON” to benefit refugees just settling into Rhode Island.  Last year we raised money for a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. This year we are focusing local. It’s pretty cool when you dig in and find ways to actual help the causes you believe in.

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These came out a while ago.  Half-wheel thrown/half slab.  My teacher is calling my style thrown and altered.  That seems about right :)

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Remember my experiment with kid foam?  I made my own stamp and wanted to see how it would look in clay?

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Well, it worked.  It needs some tweaking.  When I try making a stamp again,  I will need to really think about positive vs. negative space.  You know, what areas do I want raised and what  areas recessed?   hmmm…this definitely entails thinking.

Yesterday I threw the largest bowls I have ever thrown – EVER!!! (like family popcorn size!)  Did I take a picture?  Of course not!  But trust me, they were YUUUUGE!  Throwing so many bowls at once has really improved my game.  Something clicked yesterday like it hasn’t clicked in 2 years.  You may start to see some improvements on my technical side – Oh, one can hope!  I’m going to keep at it. I’m still addicted to this muddy stuff –mold and all!

Angels Among Us

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These are a little weird right?

I think it’s the faces…

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I made a mold from an “Infant Child of Prague” Christian icon statue…

Believe it or not, they looked better today after they dried out.  The shiny clay did them no justice.

This was the last of the ornaments.  So far, I made 12 of each style.  However, these angels are only 8.  They were taking forever, combined with being well over the 50th ornament to pass through my hands!  I burned-out.  I started wheel-throwing mugs today…maybe I’ll go back and make those extra 4… maybe when I burn out from throwing!

 

Produce! Produce!

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I already never want to see another Christmas ornament ever again ;)

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My plan is to tie the tops of these to driftwood.  All of the sayings are made with over-sized alphabet pasta we found.  It burns off after firing leaving your sayings engraved in the clay.  What will be good, is if someone doesn’t want a heart for their Christmas tree, I’m pretty sure I could sell them at Valentines Day.  Better yet, if they didn’t sell then, I could give my husband all of them as a gift.  Wouldn’t he think I was so thoughtful… (Don’t tell him – in case it comes to that!)

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I found this pretty feather which inspired me…

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These are about 7 inches long… I plan on dipping them in a white glaze and adding silver wrapped wire to the tops…

So many little things…I dread the day I have to glaze them!

One more ornament idea to conquer…then I’ll be on to something else.

For sure!

Anxiously Awaiting More Pottery

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I’m so excited!

I’ve been eagerly sketching ideas for pottery creations for this up coming fall.

I start up again Tuesday after Labor Day.

A friend of mine Karen Stackow from Signs O’ Fire, has a booth for the next three days at The Rhythm and Roots Festival here in Rhode Island.  She is graciously selling some of my pottery in her booth. For doing so, I filled all my larger vessels with flowers from my gardens.  She sells my wares, I help decorate her booth.  Win-Win!

It reminded me, I never posted the finished outcome of the first pitchers I ever made.

I especially like the heart one.  It’s soft and smooth. Plus the colors look old like they’re from a country cottage.  I shall have to remember the glaze combination for future endeavors…

Even better  containing nature’s bounty!

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Of course in digging everything up, I found these little sugar bowls I never posted about either…

Yes, tearing  through all the boxes has left me most definitely overly excited…

Now I just have to patiently sit through a three-day-holiday weekend…dag nabbit!

 

 

 

 

Skeleton Mugs

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Just dropped these to the kiln today.

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I wheel threw the heads and hand-built the bases. Then, I painted them with underglazes.

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The first time I made these I didn’t add handles and everyone at my holiday shows said “can you make these with handles?”  Yep. Handles it is!

When they come out of the kiln I will rub them with black underglaze and then apply some regular glazes.  It’s the part I am most nervous about. At this point I am in for many many hours and I can very easily ruin them by choosing or applying the glazes wrong.

I shall hold my breath ;)

Bird Totems

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Wow, dust this off.  I just looked up when I started these ceramic birds and it was July 2nd, 2015!  Here were the beginning stages:  https://becreativemary.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/birds-taking-formation/

You see, this is what happens when a month or two pass and you never got around to finishing that thing you were working on.  You walk back into the studio a month later and you look at this strange idea you had and you think to yourself  “What was I thinking?  These bird totems are absolutely ridiculous and non-functional???”  Those were my exact thoughts and so every time I walked past them I’d think “I should really finish these and get them out of here” but in my next breath I’d think “why bother what in the heck am I going to do with 6 strange bird totems???”  Obviously this battle in my head played out for quite some time, since 6 months went by!!!

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But alas, I finished them off.

I still have 50 walking sticks I collected off a beach in Block Island and forced my husband to attach to the car and take home with us.  I insisted I would be attaching these birds to them….and it was going to be great….and of course highly functional!!!!

Oh my dear husband :)

This spring I will have to attach the birds to sticks if only so I can slightly wipe the grin off my husbands face for thinking I am a total freak!!!

But let’s face it.  He knows, you know and secretly I know, that either way I will still be a freak that took six months to finish some strange ceramic bird totems!!!

Got Pottery?

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My first local holiday show is this upcoming Saturday and my second is this coming Sunday!

I’ve got quite a bit finished and now I am at the stage of pricing and boxing and prepping for the big day (or days!)

Here are some photos of my finished pottery pieces.  I do still have more coming out of the kiln daily!

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I’ll post some jewelry photos this week too!

Back to work!