Ouch!

Man, as if my week wasn’t exciting enough, I had to go and slip on an icy sidewalk this weekend! I landed smack on the corner of a frozen planter box – right between the ribs! I was gasping for breath as D. rushed to my rescue and helped me up.

I managed a day at the studio, then a full day at the newspaper, while the bruise crept up on me. By the end of work today, I was almost doubled over with a stabbing pain shooting between my ribs and my back muscles. It would be hard to explain the feeling without using the kind of words that would probably get me on a WordPress “bad blog” list somewhere.

Suffice to say, I’ve made an appointment with the doctor. Although I’m not looking forward to a Tuesday spent on my back, getting x-rays. Still, it’s better than a rib through a lung, or any of the other doomsday scenarios my coworkers enjoyed describing to me today!

While you are wishing me luck, check out this adorably morbid ceramic magnet from L’esperance Tile (above).  Love it!

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Published in: on February 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm  Comments (3)  

New glaze – London Fog

Remember back (waaaaay back) when I was testing glazes? Well, I went ahead and mixed up a big batch of the glaze that got the best response, and I’m back with the results! A modern “London Fog” white on my porcelain clay, and an earthy eggshell tone on dark stoneware clay. (Yes, it’s the same glaze mixture and same temperature. That’s just what clay will do to you!)

I really like the results of this glaze, but unfortunately, it’s unreliable. One firing, it looks good. Another day….eh. So I’ll probably keep searching for my new look.

But in the meantime, consider this a limited edition of Amy Esther work – not to be seen again!

Oh, and did I mention you can order by Sunday and they will still arrive in time for Christmas?

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm  Comments (5)  

I have a stalker

An Etsy Stalker, that is!

Yes, I got a friendly (not at all creepy) message from the lovely ladies over at Etsy Stalker that my Hefty Beer Stein was featured today on their post: Beer + Etsy  = Great Gifts for Guys. And who doesn’t agree to that?

Actually I really love all the pieces they picked out… But I’ve already got a little something something in the works for D. (shhhh!)  Maybe next year, honey!

Stalked!

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 12:12 am  Comments (2)  

Front Page

Woot! My little heart teacups made it on the front page of Etsy this afternoon! Thanks to Kristin, over at Freeforged, who sent me the lovely screenshot!

Published in: on December 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm  Comments (4)  

Sneak Peek

Think I’ve haven’t got some new wares to introduce this holiday season? Think again!

Yes, I’ve got my plate over-full many areas this time ’round, but I have been finding a little time to sneak into the studio. Luckily, some things are just coming out in time to feed the shopping rush! Look out this week for some brand-spankin’-new beer steins over in my Etsy shop, like the sexy red mug, above.

I think around the holidays, many women face the question: What the heck kind of handmade gift can you really buy a man? Problem solved!

 

Published in: on November 25, 2009 at 12:40 am  Comments (1)  

Got attitude?

damn soap fs

Well, this soap dish does. I don’t really know why I wrote that particular message on there – maybe tired of someone using my expensive bath products in the shower?

Either way, I rather like it. A soap dish for those of us who are righteous and grumpy in the morning…

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 10:37 pm  Comments (4)  

Captured Moments

dennis throwing2

Even D. has not escaped my prying lens. I captured a few shots as he was working on the wheel a couple weeks ago, and I think they look gorgeous in black and white. I love the smooth look of the clay against the rough textures of towel and brick wall.

dennis throwing5

I also loved working with the editing tools in photoshop to pull out the deep blacks and bump up highlights – it brings every photo into this magical graphic world, where everything looks a little more sharp and dramatic. I could easily spend all afternoon on this!

dennis throwing4

Published in: on October 15, 2009 at 10:38 am  Comments (2)  

It all comes together

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend – I know I did! We kicked it off Friday with D.’s art opening, which was awesome. Besides spending all summer making the pieces, it took him over 10 hours just to install the birds. And almost all of that was on a ladder with his arms above his head! But I think it was well worth it. Tons of people stopped by to check out his work, gape and ask lots of questions. Almost everyone who saw it thought it was beautiful, especially at night when the lights reflected hundreds of swirling birds on the walls around the space.

The weather was perfect and the crowds were huge. And on top of all that, he got a write-up on the Philadelphia CityPaper blog (our biggest local arts and entertainment paper) and his university is contacting him today to write a news story for their paper. (Publicity was my contribution – I made the postcards, laminated signs, took photos and sent out half a dozen press releases!)

It took me quite a bit of experimenting to figure out how to take some nighttime photos of the installation, but I think I got some decent shots. You can check out the entire album on flickr, but here’s some highlights:

The full installation!

The full installation!

Visitors take a look

Visitors take a look

A different view

A different view

D. talks to the public about his work

D. talks to the public about his work

Night birds

Night birds

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 7:11 am  Comments (6)  

Exciting Build-up

IMG_0111

Thanks for all the great comments on my glaze tests! I’m glad everyone likes the 3% rutile glaze. Now it’s time to whip up a big batch, plus test a couple other glazes that will complement it on the insides of bowls and cups.

In the meantime, I’m watching with excitement as D. prepares for his first big exhibition. He is just in the process of installing a major ceramic installation in a small city park. Hundreds of white porcelain birds will be spiraling down out of the sky, suspended from trees, into the center of the space, where earthy ceramic blooms will be growing out of the ground. The title of the exhibit is “Emergence,” and the official opening will be Friday, Sept. 4 (although he is racing to get most of it up and ready this week). You can see a couple of the birds he made in these pictures my photographer friend took.

I hope to have lots more photos as it is going up and the finished show! If anyone is in Philly that weekend, please let me know, we’re going to be having a party to celebrate, for sure!

IMG_0124

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 7:46 am  Comments (4)  

Opinions needed!

porcelain test

Okay folks, here are the results of my glaze testing! Now, you may be interested to know that all of these samples are the exact same glaze recipe. Yes, it’s gram for gram the same, except for tiny adjustments to the amounts of two colorants – Rutile and Iron. Some of these have a little more of one, or a little more of the other, or a balance between the two.

Above, you can see the results on test tiles made of porcelain clay (most of my current work is in porcelain). Below, you can see the dramatically different results these glazes give you on dark stoneware clay:

stoneware test

Personally, I’m leaning towards the recipe with 3% rutile and no iron at all. It looks good on porcelain AND stoneware, and I think the soft porcelain look would contrast nicely in a bowl or cup containing a bright glassy blue on the inside. It also has a beautiful almost “snowflake” crystallization going on:

duo2

It would look equally good on stoneware, albeit a much earthier, natural effect:

duo1

Some other close contenders include this iron heavy, reddish/black version:

iron test

And a matte, earthy green with a lovely texture:

green test

What I pick may wind up being my dominate glaze for a new holiday line of work. What do you think? Which are your favorites? Can’t stand one? Inquiring minds want to know!!

Published in: on August 23, 2009 at 10:00 pm  Comments (9)