Something new afoot

Remember this bowl? You may not, because I made it all the way back in June 2008. But it’s a favorite of mine, and when I was pondering some new design ideas, it immediately popped into my head. I love the way the soft, earthy brown texture contrasts against the tropical glossy center.

The problem is, these glazes were fired in a special kiln, where compounds of salt and soda are sprayed inside during the hottest point in the process. I did it at a special workshop, but our normal kiln is not equipped for it (or rather, if we did it once, the chemicals would permenantly contaminate every future firing. So you need a kiln dedicated entirely to salt or soda).

So what to do? I consulted my studio’s glazing guru, an old hand with years of pottery experience. With her help, I came up with half a dozen possible glaze recipes. She also suggested spraying the pieces with a water/table salt solution to mimic the type of firing I like.

I finally had a chance to mix up all the glaze tests I need, and I should be able to see the finished products Friday afternoon. I’m super excited, because if I like the results I may be able to serve up a whole new line of work just in time for the holidays…

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Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 11:35 pm  Comments (3)  

Aha!

stein_canonshot

I got the new Canon Rebel working tonight and even had a friend come over to help show me how all the buttons work! I’m still a little confused, I admit. But the good news is that, without a single adjustment needed, it already takes some beautiful shots!

I was fooling around with the flash setting and this is one random snap I took (auto mode, no flash). I love how crisp it is and how true to life the colors are! I feel like I will finally be able to give my Etsy customers a really good view of this glaze’s depth – the dark valleys as well as the honey-colored highlights.

This camera is literally going to save me hours of repeat shots and post-processing (this photo has none). Sooooo excited!

Published in: on August 13, 2009 at 12:11 am  Comments (4)  

Ideas in Progress

flashmockup

Okay, I’m going to need y’all to use your imaginations here.

Above is a quick (very rough) sketch of opening to the Flash website I’m building. But you need to imagine that it is really a photograph of a rolled out slab of clay, decorated with my stamps and with clickable navigation tools in the center.

Is that a stretch? It gets better.

My idea is that the site will open with a ball of raw clay, quickly rolled out into a slab and then decorated with the designs and what will become clickable links. The whole Flash movie will take maybe 3 seconds, so visitors don’t get bored, but I want the whole effect to feel playful, fun and earthy. Of course, each of the nav buttons will link to other pages with browsable images, news updates and links here and to Etsy.

It’s definitely, definitely a big challange. Especially since I have just under five weeks to finish it before the end of class! A lot of the work from here on out is taking photos, actually designing the site in Flash and learning how to program in actionScript and XTML. The process might not make for blog-friendly visuals, but I’ll try to post some updates as I go!

Published in: on August 11, 2009 at 11:29 pm  Comments (5)  

Gone Fishin’

Hi everybody, I’m going to the Jersey Shore for a week with my family. I’ll be on the beach, and my computer will be at the Apple store getting some much needed tune-ups (“It’ll only be $400,” the Apple guy said, like that was supposed to make me happy!).

So enjoy a pic of a new square casserole dish I posted recently (yes, I threw it on the wheel and then altered it…) and I’ll see you all next week!

Published in: on July 17, 2009 at 9:58 am  Comments (3)  

Starry Starry Night…

Ooo, the new work just doesn’t stop around here!

Here’s a new riff on my little dip bowl sets  –  a set of five, joined into a star! This was a real pain in the a$& to make, so you can bet you’ll only being seeing one. It was inspired by my popular photo for the original little dip bowls, which I had arranged in a star formation. I think this would make a really fun earring organizer for the top of a dresser.

Hmmm, you know what else just occurred to me? A really hot jewelry craft show arrangement using different formations of these little bowls. Plus a porcelain necklace tree? Maybe I gotta get together with a jewelry artist in the Philly area and make that happen….

Published in: on July 11, 2009 at 11:06 pm  Comments (4)  

New work

I know it’s been a while since I listed new work on Etsy, but things are finally starting to grind back into gear.

Here are a couple of new teabowls I made recently – I especially like the shape and the distinct “throwing lines” left by my fingers as I pull up on the clay!

Published in: on July 7, 2009 at 10:56 pm  Comments (5)  

Coming Along

mess

Well, things are begining to take shape at the new (old) apartment. We sort of got an unusual opportunity, since I had already packed a lot of my stuff, to “move in” again to the apartment I already occuppied. I mean, we changed the layout a bit, moved furniture around and made it a little nicer for two people.

Even better, D. is going to help me design part of our back room to better store my ceramics, packaging and photo setup! It’ll hopefully help me keep organized and streamline my process. I pretty excited to get it set up!

The place still looks a bit strewn with boxes, but at least we finally got the kitchen put away and were able to start cooking! For our first dinner really “living together,” I made a Medditerean-style salad of sauteed summer squash, zucchini, peppers and red onions tossed in a mix of olives, feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes. Served with fillets of seared salmon and couscous. Super easy and perfect on a hot Philly day!  Yummm!

Published in: on July 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm  Comments (3)  

All the cheese I can eat

There’s profit, and then there’s profit.

For example, I have my work on display at a local cheese shop in Philadelphia. The owner uses one of my cups as a little tip jar, uses vases and other pieces in his front window display and includes mugs in his holiday gift baskets.

He doesn’t sell many, but they make the shop a little nicer. And when he does sell a piece, I don’t get cash.

I get cheese.

He recently sold a vase for around $40, and now I am up to my elbows in delicious brie, creamy goat cheese and savory cheddar. His shop is around the corner from the studio, so whenever I get hungry I can go over and he cuts me a hunk of whatever is freshest and fills up a bag with baguette slices. I couldn’t ask for better!

Published in: on June 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm  Comments (4)  

Pot Sale!

We had our massive pottery sale funderaiser for my studio today. We had hundreds, upon hundreds, of donated pots for sale filling every available surface, nook and cranny. It was a great success, not to mention a ton of work, and D. and I are both whooped.

But, as usual, we managed to score a few goodies for unbelievably cheap (being a volunteer has it’s advantages: First dibs!). This year I was determined not to spend any money, but I just couldn’t help grabbing a beautiful Naomi Cleary platter that I spotted. (The one pictured above is not the same one I nabbed – I left that at the studio for now.)

I know it’s going to look fabulous in our new apartment!

Published in: on June 5, 2009 at 11:49 pm  Comments (2)  

Feature

How cool – one of my mugs appeared on Realisation Creations, by Natalia!

Go check it out for some very handy tips about using Etsy Hacks to make listing easier…

Published in: on May 19, 2009 at 11:55 pm  Comments (1)