THE Update

Yes, it has been…. half a year since I last posted? So if anyone of you are still listening, or occasionally check here to see how I’m doing, I want to confirm that no, no I’m not dead.

BUT I have a reason why I haven’t been posting, and why I’m unlikely to be posting in the near future. And it’s actually a happy reason! I finally quit a job that had been making me miserable, and I got accepted to grad school! As a matter of fact, NYU! And so, I’ve been working several odd jobs, freelancing, traveling, making pottery, doing craft shows and getting ready to move to New York City in the very not too distant future. In fact, I’m probably busier now than I ever was when I had a “real job.”

I will be keeping my Etsy shop open through the next holiday season, or until I run out of stock. But I will not be able to take custom orders, as I probably won’t be able to afford studio space in New York for the next two years on my grad student budget.

Anyways, that’s the update. I’ve had a lot of fun keeping this blog, and maybe I’ll return to it sometime. In the meantime, love you all and looking forward to the future!

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Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 7:23 pm  Comments (5)  

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)  

OMG

Whoa, do you know what that is? It’s my little dip bowls as the front and center feature for a Storque article about last minute holiday gifts on Etsy! Wheee!

When you click on the actual article, they get extra huge! Thanks to Etsy for the shoutout – I’m thrilled!

Published in: on December 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm  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)  

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)  

Chocolate and sparkles

cupcakes

Ack! I know I’ve been totally negligent in my blogging duties! I’ve been caught up in all kinds of dubious activities (like work, classes, relationships and baking tasty pastries!). I’ve also been taking a cool photography class and I hope to show off my mad skillz soon.

For now, check out this tasty shot of cupcakes from my studio’s bake sale last week (no, I didn’t bake these. The walnut-fudge-chocolate-ganache-topped brownies I made sold out too fast for pictures!) Everything was delicious, and we made some nice $$$ to help teach art to kids in underserved schools.

Published in: on October 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm  Comments (4)  

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)  

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)  

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…

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