Saturday, October 1, 2011

Earth Dragons

A new clutch of baby dragons has just come out of the kiln:
Of course - they all come with their very own little dragonfly friends:

The count - with his long wings that look like a cape. Count stands about 6" tall.
I broke the end of his tail - and fixed it - but it's still cracked. Thus - he will sell for $35

Checking out the hitchhiker.
This wee guy stands about 4" tall - and he's really wondering - "What is that on my tail"

This little fella is about 6" long - but only about
2 1/2" high. He has a new friend sitting on his tail. $40

Sigh - too tired to play.
This wee baby is probably about 7" long and
wears a dragonfly on her horn. Alas - I broke
her tail during firing. It's been mended - but the break line still shows. $35

Let's get a closer look. A real crowd pleaser.
All scrunched up to check out the dragonfly on his foot - this little tiny fella is about 4" long.

A new friend to play with. This little guy is about
6" long and 3" in height. Resting on his wings while he gets a good look at the little dragonfly resting on his tail. $40

Up close and personal. What do you do when a dragonfly lands on your nose? You cross your eyes to get a good look at him.
This little fella is about 5" long and 3" high.

Then there are these two girls - jewellry guardians:

I'll hold all my treasure in my belly for safe keeping for you.
She's about 10" long and 4" in height.

If you peak under my wings - you might
find a surprise. This girl is about 8" long and 2" high. The wings remove to reveal her secret hiding place.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Matter of Clay III

Yeesh - can you believe it's been 4 months since I last posted? I've done 9 shows since then and it's been a crazy year so far.

So - I did my last show on the weekend of July 8-9 for Art in the Park in Petrolia. It was a scorching 2 days sitting under a tent in a beautiful park in the lovely Victorian Oil Town of Petrolia.

And since then - our weather has been scorching hot - in the 90's many days - and with the humidex - many days over 100 degrees farenheit. Too hot for my blood.

I've had plans to get into the studio - but it's just been way too hot. I open the door - walk in, walk out and close the door - just too hot.

Last week - my DH bought me an air conditioner - so - I now have a cool studio. So - I figure I should be able to get out there and start throwing - just as soon as I clean the place up a bit.

This weekend - I gave myself a treat. I attended 3 workshops with the London Potters Guild - "A Matter of Clay III". It was a great weekend with 3 of Canada's great Potters: John Chalke,
Gordon Hutchens and Valerie Metcalfe. It was capped off with a visit to Jonathons in London, which is a ceramics gallery, and Johnathon Bancroft-Snell carries pottery from many wonderful Canadian Artists (well worth a visit if you are ever in London).

My Only regrets - I didn't take more pictures and
video. I didn't get my video camera out today until my regular camera died.

This first picture here - shows some of John Chalke's Test Plates. He works with a lot of slips and glazes that crawl, giving very interesting textures on the surface. John is originally from England, and currently resides in Calgary.

This second picture is of Gordon Hutchens, who presented on Saturday. Man - this guy has energy. Give him a coffee and he actually bounces. I REALLY, REALLY wish that I had taken more photos of his property in Beautiful British Columbia.
Gordon works with crystalline glazes and also does a lot of wood firing.

This last picture is actually a picture taken during
a slide show. I was kind of off to the side - so
my picture looks a bit funny. It's of a teapot
by Valerie Metcalfe of Winnipeg.

Today - Valerie demonstrated her throwing techniques, and then we all spent some time at the wheel practicing our own throwing.

It was - without a doubt - a fabulous weekend.
Very tiring - but fabulous.

I can't wait to get back to the wheel.

But first........... A trip to Newfoundland.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peeking in the Kiln

Well - I have my first sale of this year coming up this Saturday. So, it's been a flurry of activity in the studio lately, because after this sale, there are 6 more sales booked in the next 2 months.

Lots of late nights - throwing, trimming, glazing.

And, it's always a little exciting - and sometimes scary opening the kiln.

This past year has been horrible for glaze flops. I had major problems with several glazes - all due to one ingredient - rutile. I spend months and months testing new glaze batches - every one of them coming out a yucky yellow green, until I finally happened upon a website, and the answer to my problem. I replaced my rutile - and voila - vibrant blues and greens once again.

So - here's what I found in the kiln.

On the top shelf - I had a load of bird feeders.

Great colour for the most part - LOVE that
turquoise that you see in the very back (I'll be doing more in that glaze for sure).
Lots of bright blues - and greens.
Bit bummed with the black you see in the middle.
Although it was a test. Those feeders were actually already glazed - and I overdipped the tops in the bright blue to try to brighten them up a bit. Unfortunately - the black ate the blue glaze. Still loving that turquoise.

Oops - I forgot to take a picture of the second shelf.
Doesn't matter anyway - it was just a lot of blue and green bowls. Very nice - although - the glaze on 3 of them crawled really wierd - so - I'm thinking I can't use the titanium blue over top of the licorice black - it just doesn't work. Bummer.

The bottom shelf though - really excites me.

Now - you might find it a bit bland. However,
I am just starting to do a bit of chinese brush painting and sumi-e on my pottery for a taste of something different.

This is my very first test of this style - and I've have absolutely no training in it - but I am quite delighted with the overall results. I think once I get a bit better at the actual brush painting - it could be a nice change from the ordinary dipped
pottery. I also find the brush painting to be very
therapeutic (except when I screw up).
Sounds kind of corny - but almost Zen like.

Now - the large bowl to the right - and the two white tea bowls beside it are interesting as well.
This is a new clay for me. It's by Laguna - called Frost. It's very translucent and white. Very
interesting to work with. I'd like to do more with it - but it's very expensive, so it will be for special pieces.

Look for these pieces at the sale on Saturday - hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back to the Wheel

Yes - I know I haven't posted for a bit. It's been rather hectic. And everyone's been sick (tis the season) - and, excuses, excuses, excuses.

I have been busy though.

Earlier this month - I had the opportunity to go to a weekend workshop at the Kawartha Potters Guild in Peterborough. The workshop presenter was Simon Leach, youngest grandson of
well known potter Bernard Leach.

Simon was very informative - and entertaining.

In this picture - he's entertaining us by throwing 2 bowls at the same time. It was a good ice breaker.

This second picture shows a bowl that he just
finished "fluting" for us.

It was really a nice weekend getaway.

The drive home was a bit terrible though - as the roads had gotten quite icy in our area - making
for a slow drive the last hour or so.

So - now I have to get back to the wheel - and get ready for upcoming shows for the year.

I have been working - but the last 15 bowls went out for empty bowls and several pieces were made for commissions. I have most of them out of the way right now - I have some planters and birdfeeders to hand build for commission yet.

I have also been playing with glass a lot. Right now - I'm playing with fusing glass to the top of pottery pendants to get some interesting effects.

In this picture - I'm showing some test pieces where I fused the glass frit to the surface of several little pendants. It gives an interesting
crackly effect because the glass shrinks at a different rate than the clay.
I'm really quite pleased and excited by the possibilities - and I have some different ideas swirling around in my head.

Now - it's just a matter of putting it onto the wheel.................... gotta get back to the wheel.

I'll post again soon - I promise!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Finally - a new Post

Yes - I know....... I promised to try to keep up more up to date with the blog.
But well - you know.......... Life gets busy - and the blog is sometimes the last thing on my mind.

Since September, I had 12 shows/sales, some of the sales were 2 - 3 days long. It was a rather busy - tiring few months. Long hours in the studio -and many late nights firing kilns.

In there - I did manage to remember to snap a few pictures of some of my work. I must remember in the future to take pictures of all of my work for future reference.

They seem to be a huge part of my work these days.
They are time consuming to make - but lots of fun. I make "Welsh" or Medievel dragons.
Each of them has their own personality - and they become just like pets. Sometimes it's very
hard to put them up for adoption because I do get attached.

This little fella was a gift to my friend Barb for Christmas.
"Dragonfly and Friend"

The look on the dragons face says it all. (if you click on the picture - you can see a larger version).

This next little feller does double duty. Not only is he cute - but he's also the "Keeper of the Jewels".
His tail is a ring holder - and his hands will hold a necklace (in this case he's holding one of my daughter's "Tree of Life" pendants). You could also use his horns to hold your earrings.
Standing just 5" tall - he's a real cutie. I plan to make a few more of these in the future - and make the wings removable to put your stuff inside the body like a box.

This picture is just a shelf of different dragons that I had at a show in London, Ontario recently.
Not the best picture really - but it does show 4 of the different styles of dragons that I make.

Of course - I also do other types of pottery. Here are a couple of Handbuilt planters/serving dishes.
I had some real problem with the glaze bubbling - and I had to refire them - 3 times. Each time - the blue glaze ran more to the bottom of the pot - leaving greens and browns behind.
I was rather pleased with the overall effect in the end.

The top picture is of the inside of the shorter pot. They have a barnyard scene around the outside - and the barn scenes on the bottom as well.

This Picture shows the "Pebble" planter and the outside of the barnyard dish. Personally - I love the colours on these pieces - almost like a watercolour wash.
That's all for tonight. I also have a new line of handbuilt "Bark" pieces. I'll take some pictures of them, and post them in my next blog (hopefully soon).