First New Work of 2019

I made more piggy banks!

7 new piggy banks made it through the firing process for me this time. I have sold 4 of them already, but these 3 are up for grabs still ๐Ÿ™‚

They are up for sale here if you’re interested. There are new mugs for sale too! I’m really digging this handle style.

It has been nice getting back into the swing of things after the holidays. I’m excited to see my work improving as well. I always end up keeping a few pieces for myself after a firing. Usually the ones that don’t turn out the best, but are still nice and usable. It gives me a chance to test out how they feel and quality check a bit. Also a nice little treat for myself, not going to lie ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m currently drinking some berry cinnamon tea from this lovey mug.

I’m happy to say it’s a very nice weight and the handle is quite comfortable to hold. All my new mugs for sale are similar to this one. I might be bias, but I’d recommend them ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m planning a big trip to my local pottery store soon to replenish my supplies. After that I’m sure to be making more piggy banks, mugs, and more. If you’d like to follow what I’m up to I post pretty regularly on my instagram and facebook pages. Thanks, and much love to you all <3

Beer, Wine, and Pigs

As soon as I got home from the Cheeseburger in Caseville Festival, in late August, my garden was ready to harvest. A lot of my focus over the last few months has been harvesting and tending to our, very large, garden. I have been busy canning lots of tomatoes, as well as pumpkin, pickles, salsa and relish with the fruits and veggies from our garden. On top of that, my parents brought me bunches of pears from their tree. I was lucky enough to be able to preserve the pears in syrup, make jam, and a delicious crisp ๐Ÿ™‚

Now that all the hustle of harvest season has past, I’ve been able to start focusing on my work again. My latest glaze firing went well and I have lots of wine cups, a few mugs (wonderful for beer), and 6 little piggy banks to show for it.

The pigs were almost all sold before they could even cool down.

The only one not sold is the little, drippy, yellow guy. It is for sale in the shop. Although, I’ve had interest shown in it and don’t expect to hold onto it for long.ย  Sold.

These two are my favorite pigs from this bunch. I’m really digging these new glazes.

I fired a bunch of wine cups this time around too. I have 5 pairs of cups, and 2 single cups for sale in the shop now.ย ย 

I’ve also been working on some new mugs. I wanted to play around with more of a beer mug look, and I’m pleased with this new handle style. I think these mugs would be great for a cold beer, or a warm coffee.

I’m looking forward to exploring these beer and wine vessels more, and making more piggy banks. I have plans for making garlic keepers, and whatever else sparks my creativity with the clay really. I have ideas floating around my head for some new paintings as well ๐Ÿ™‚ As always, thanks for all the love and support. <3

Improvement

Hello ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks like it’s time to write an update!ย  Ever since Cheeseburger in Caseville I have been hard at work in the studio.ย  I’ve been focusing on functional ware and have been seeing vast improvement all around with my work. Everything is lighter, my forms and decoration are progressing, and most importantly I am getting a much better grasp on what it takes to run a good cone 6 oxidation firing in an electric kiln. My two most recent firings produced a lot of good results. I have new cups, mugs and bowls up for sale here. All my older stuff is on sale 30% off for the holidays too!

One of my favorite new pieces is this beautiful mug.

The purple on the inside is just stunning and the drippy glaze is even more gorgeous in person than I could capture in the picture. Porcelain is really starting to grow on me. I may be making the switch to using it for all, or at least most of, my functional ware in the future.

Another lovey piece I recently finished is this wide mug. If you can’t tell I’m a fan of drippy glazes ๐Ÿ™‚

One thing I’ve been working on is adjusting the size of my work. Previous pieces I have made seemed to be a little too big. I think I’ve hit on just the right sizes now though. These wide mugs would be wonderful for a rich hot cocoa or a hot bowl of soup.

Most of my new work consists of cups, mugs and bowls, but I did have one larger piece work out. This serving dish was a bit of an experiment for me that turned out so nice ๐Ÿ™‚

While I’m sharing pieces I have to show off the garlic keeper I made for myself. I really just love it <3 It turned out exactly like I wanted it to.ย I will be making more like it in the future to sell for sure.

I currently have aย  handful of pieces set aside that I will be making more candles out of in the next week or two. I have plans to try a low fire soon as well (fingers crossed on that one). I am hoping to low fire some vases and planters I started a while back. I’ll post about these projects as they happen. I’m often most up to date on my instagram (there’s a link to it on the side of this page if you’re interested). Again, don’t forget about the 30% off sale. This striking pit fired pot is only $21.00!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season <3 Much Love <3 and thanks for the support!

 

 

 

 

New Work and Annoying Pottery Problems

I ran a glaze firing in my electric kiln last week. I’d say I got mixed results, but ended up with some nice pieces and lots of information. The new functional ware is up in the shop here. This bowl mug is by far my favorite this time ๐Ÿ™‚

I would say I got mixed results because I’m dealing with some common potter problems. When you run a glaze firing there are a number of things that can go wrong. Two of the most common glaze defects are pinholes and blisters. I have been seeing both on my work and it’s super frustrating. I put in a lot of time and effort creating my pieces and carefully glazing them. When I open up a freshly fired kiln only to see glaze defects it’s disheartening.

For example, I created two pitchers for this last firing.

They both ended up having gorgeous glaze combinations, but they have too many defects for me to feel comfortable selling them due to major blistering on the inside and out.

On the one hand, cool I get a couple of pretty pitchers to use personally. On the other hand, I want to smash them in my frustration! Unfortunately it was more than just these two pitchers that came out of the kiln blistered. Fortunately, a lot of the other work is usable in one way or another. I don’t like to sell work with lots of glaze defects if it’s going to be used for food or drink. It isn’t a big deal if the work is more decorative though, like vases and the candles I am working on.

So, after the initial disappointment of things not turning out the way I had hoped I went into research mode. I don’t need to go into all the details here. Glaze firing is more complected than one might think, even in an electric kiln. Suffice it to say, I now have a plan for the next glaze firing that I think will reduce/eliminate the pinholes and blisters. I will probably always be learning more in this craft, but ultimately the mistakes only push me to improve.

Looking forward I have plans for another pit firing in a week or so. I think the candles that are in the works will be pretty neat. I’m also thinking of making more mugs, bowls, cups, vases, pitchers and the like. I’m just going to keep moving forward!

Thanks for the support <3

 

Bowls, Mugs and a Vase

We had another firing of my electric kiln and there was definite improvement ๐Ÿ™‚ I did have a casualty involving 2 mugs, and a few minor glaze issues. Over all things went well though. I now have some nice new work up for sale.ย 7 Bowls, 5 mugs and 1 vase.

You can shop all my work by clicking on the Shop tab on the main menu above (or click here).

I also have some cool news to share. I have started working on ceramics full time! I’m excited to be devoting myself to my craft and to continue in the direction I’m heading.

There will be more bowls, mugs and vases being made soon. I also think we will be doing a pit firing in the near future. I’ve been waiting all winter for that! Planters, cups, pitchers and candles are some things I’m thinking of exploring next.

Thanks for the support <3

The Process

This isn’t easy for me. I happen to be a quite a perfectionist. I enjoy sharing my triumphs and my steps towards my goals. I don’t feel comfortable sharing the set backs and bumps along the way. I have come to realize that it’s healthy for me to share the good and the bad though, because it’s all part of the process.

Yesterday I put a lot of my work and effort into a glaze firing. For me this is a big deal. I haven’t been in a position where I’ve been able to fire my kiln, especially glaze fire (cone 5/6), until quite recently. This is the first time we’ve fired it for a glaze firing since moving it to our garage too. I have a good amount of time and experience in the throwing and creating part of ceramics, but I have a bit less experience when it comes to glazing and firing.

After two days of glazing work that I had made over the past few months I gave it a go. One thing about ceramics is you never quite know what is going to happen in the kiln. Once it’s loaded and you start firing all you can do is hope for the best. This time was not the best.

The planter pictured above is the same one that is in the middle of all the mugs in the picture of the loaded kiln. The clay body that I used to make the hanging planters apparently isn’t made to be fired to cone 5. When a clay body is over fired it starts to slump and melt. Unfortunately this planter slumped right onto half of my mugs. When glazes melt together there isn’t much you can do about it. My husband was able to clean up some of the mugs that were only messed up on the handles for us to keep and use personally, but they look a little rough. Some were justย not salvageable.

I fired 4 hanging planters and they all melted and slumped. Just for the record I had fired this clay body in the previous glaze firing we had done when the kiln was at my sister in laws house. It made it through fine, but the kiln fired much differently over there and might not have quite hit the cone 5 temperature. I have learned my lesson.

Bubbled, melted and messed up hanging planter.

Hanging planter that melted to the kiln shelf. Good thing I had a nice layer of kiln wash on the shelf.

I was pretty bummed when we opened the kiln today. It’s always exciting to see what happened in the firing process, but you hope to see more good results than bad ones. That is the process though. The creative process doesn’t move in a straight line forward. It’s often a winding path and you might need to backtrack sometimes to move forward.

So, I pick myself up and move forward. What did I learn? Actually, I got a lot of information from this firing. Obviously I learned that the clay body I used for the hanging planters needs to be low fired. I also learned that with the new set up in our garage the kiln can easily hit temperature. I got good results from my glazes because of this. My mugs ended up being a nice big size in the end too ย (clay shrinks as it drys so a piece will get smaller though out the firing process). I obtained good information to work with in the future and it wasn’t a total loss. I did end up with 6 mugs that turned out nice. That included one I was asked to make by a family member. I’m happy about that.

The mugs that turned out ๐Ÿ™‚

I am currently working on some nice soup bowls and will be making more mugs soon as well. I’m still learning as I go. Thanks for the support <3

Studio and Shop are Up!

I think everything in life seems to take longer than I expect it to. Perhaps I should be used the the fact that I move at a turtle’s pace by now ๐Ÿ˜› I think I will embrace the motto “slow and steady”. ย In any case I have good news to share!

I have had my garage studio up and running for a little while now and things are getting into a rhythm.

I do not have the kiln moved in and set up yet, but I have been producing pottery. I am currently working on stockpiling decorative pots to be pit fired when the weather gets warm.

I have also started working on some large mugs, and pulling handles for the first time since college.

I have plans for more pots and mugs as well as working on different types of planters again. Ceramics had taken a strong hold on me and I have spent all of my creative time as of late focusing on that. I will surly be painting again in the future, but for the time being I have nothing in the works there.

The second bit of good news I have to share is that my online shop up and running now! I was able to make a light box and take nice photographs of the work I have for sale.

Getting the whole system up and running has been a bit of a task, but I believe it is working correctly. PLEASE message me, via the contact form on the sidebar, ย and let me know if you have any problems trying to purchase something. I will gladly work to resolve any problems that might occur. You can shop directly from this website by clicking here or by clicking on the Shop button on the main menu. So, go check it out! Thanks for the support <3