Today was Moving Day!

This is an annual move from the basement to the back porch.  Luckily, this year I didn’t have too many loads to lug up the stairs (12 steps).  My pottery wheel stayed under wraps on the back porch over the winter.  I was happy to unwrap it, clean it off and set it up!

The Before Photo: Every thing unwrapped and unpacked.

The After Photo: Everything cleaned off, put away and ready for production!

After I set up my studio, I set to work on wedging recycled clay to complete my nesting bowl mold collection. (I’m making bisque molds of a set of nesting bowls in which I plan to make nesting bowls sets to sell

Wedged recycled clay.

After wedging the clay, I shaped the clay into a ball. Next step . . .to make a slab.

The ball of clay is now a slab.

I draped the slab over a metal bowl, cut off the excess and let the clay slowly harden. This will become a bisque mold for “mass” producing bowls.

So happy warmer weather is here!  Our garden is finally planted.  Weeds are under control, somewhat.  And my Back Porch Studio is set up and ready for playing in the mud!

Save

In My Back Yard

Blackberries blooming already!

Purple Columbine swaying in the wind. The picture is a little blurry. It was windy that day but I love the color composition in this photo. I increased the contrast just a tad to bring out the details.

Unfired bowls (greenware). The two large bowls will become molds for large serving bowls.

The first bisque firing of the year! The two large bowls will serve as molds for large bowls I plan to make this summer. The smaller bowls are now ready to for glaze.

Planting sunflowers!

DIY Mother’s Day Gifts

It is pouring rain and I’m on Pinterest.  A friend and I have been brainstorming about unique handmade Mother’s Day Gifts for our grandchildren’s mothers.  Both of us are looking into a textile gift of some sort.

In my search for  DIY Mother’s Day gifts, I thought of something that might be special and fun.  Long ago, my mother-in-law made bean bags from pieces of scrap material from clothing she made the kids when they were little.  Not only did our children play with these handmade bean bags,  our grandson and I now play with these very bean bags!  So,  if you have fabric/old children’s clothing,  make some bean bags for the kids/grand-kids. Tossing a bean bag is great fun and it helps with eye hand coordination.

What child doesn’t like to pound with a hammer?  This is an awesome idea via Pinterest: Pounded Flower Tote  where your you make flower prints on fabric with flowers and a hammer!  We did something similar last summer but we made flower prints on paper rather than on fabric ~ flower prints on fabric is a possibility this year!

Children.  Paint. Feet.  Yes, there is a craft for that!  Check out “6 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Kids to Make“. My favorite craft listed is the “Walk All Over Me” t-shirt!  Our grandson has had practice with paint on his feet but on pieces of 12 x 12 white scrap book pages to use in a scrap book:

Back to Pinerest because it is STILL raining.

 

Save

New Ideas New Possibilities

Over the winter, my thoughts turn to solving pottery problems, learning about new ideas and techniques.  One reoccurring problem I have had was making large pet dishes (8 inches or larger in diameter).  In almost every single instance, I would ruin the pet dish when taking it off the bat.

I hate it when the wire tool comes up through the bottom of the dish.  Very frustrating!

It wasn’t until I had some extra time over the winter to research alternative ways of taking large pots and dishes off of the bat when I came across a discussion thread on potters.org: “How to get it off the bat?” . In short, the brilliant solution was to use a piece of canvas or heavy denim on the bat.  Throw the pot on top of the canvas then simply use the wire tool to cut under the canvas thus preventing the wire cutting through the bottom of the pot.

I used my wooden bat as a template to cut out several heavy canvas mats to place on top of the bats.

I’m looking forward to trying this so I can make larger pet dishes with success such as the one pictured above!

Last winter, I took a stab at making a mold from plaster to produce unique organic shaped bowls.  These became one of my favorites to make when the weather on the back porch kept me inside.

 I can roll out a slab of clay, slump it over a plaster mold, walk away to do something else! Within 20 to 30 minutes, the clay has dried out just enough to take off the plaster mold and make another. These bowls have many uses.    One has become my “go-to” bowl in the kitchen. I’ve used it for almost every meal: breakfast omelet, quick small salad for lunch, serve up sliced tomatoes and onions for burgers.  Through the day, lemon and lime slices for my water are kept handy in my organic bowl.  I sell these small bowls in sets of two in my shop on Etsy: Back Porch Studio

Making the small plaster  mold, led me to think about making larger molds! So, in my quest of how to make larger slab molds, I came across this You Tube video:  Ceramic Arts Daily: 3 Smart and Simple Bisque Clay Hump Mold Techniques by Kari Radasch.

I was so thrilled to learn that I could use CLAY rather plaster because I certainly have a lot of clay handy!  And so, my newest creation this winter is making bisque clay hump molds of various sizes!

I used a set of metal mixing bowls to create a set of bisque clay hump molds.

With spring only nine days way, I’m looking forward to playing in the mud with these new ideas and techniques I learned over the winter!

Save

Save

Save

Signs of Spring 2017

We have had a terrible cold and flu season.  So much coughing and so much mucus (TMI, I know but still . . . so much!).  This past week has been fairly mild so we went on a walk to look for signs of spring.

img_0226i

Picture taken by our grandson while on a walk around the yard looking for signs of spring. (A little blurry but still so cute. Our grandson got his feet too!) The yellow flowers are called Winter Aconites. These are always the first to bloom and such cheery sight to see on cold gray February days.

img_1534i

Dino toddler broke out his garden tools this week and headed to the garden.  He dug and sifted through the rich garden soil.  (Look how green the grass is already. We will be mowing by Saint Patrick’s Day!)

IMG_9881 color splash web

Soon, it will be time to plant peas.

Looking forward to planting our peas around Saint Patrick’s Day and planning our vegetable garden.  This year we will need to move and consolidate some raised beds due to some white pines that are encroaching into our sunny  garden spot which is okay because that means less is more.

I want to use the space more efficiently.  Instead of planting two, three or four of each kind of vegetable, simply plant one of each such as one cherry tomato, one regular size tomato (haven’t decided which kind yet), one squash, one zucchini and cucumber.  Every year I plant WAY more than we can handle and by July we are overwhelmed!  That is my  gardening plan and I’m sticking to it!

As for pottery, I have plans!  I am eager to try some new ideas I read about this year.

If this mild weather continues and colds and flu stay at bay, I will have my hands in mud one way or another!  Yeah, spring!

Save

Save