Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blue jay and walleye

Here's this week's bird dinner plate... Next up is a mockingbird. Possibly with a snake, or is that too derivative of Audubon? I'll have four large plates total. They're about 10 inches in diameter.

Here's another tile. I'm branching out to include rectangles (and predators). This one's around 14 inches long. I'm not sure Walleye will survive firing... its head and tail are terribly fragile.

And here's fish lantern number 3. Making these has been really fun and interesting. I like how its tail resembles a pancake spatula.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Break time

Hey all,
A portrait commission, a bout of flu, and an upcoming freelance gig means I haven't and won't be posting for a while. see you when I'm done!


Here's the first birdbath. It looks great, but sad news:

The bottom's cracked. Rats. Now I'm of course worried about the other three. And everything else I've been working on. Gotta stay positive.

Here's the snake tile I started last week. (Hey Mr. Snake, don't crack in the glaze firing, okay?)

And here's a second fish lantern. It's a little bigger than the first.

I couldn't resist trying it out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fish lantern... hooray!

I think I have the lantern issues mostly solved. This first one is soaking wet, but that won't stop me from trying it out...

Cool! I'm feeling encouraged. Time to make another one. A little larger this time. I'd like to have a whole school of glowing fish.

Here's a six-inch tile. Mostly, it's an excuse to use that "Brilliant Sunburn" glaze.

And here's a snake tile in progress.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bird plate! Snake pitcher!

At first I was hesitant to paint birds on my dinner plates... I didn't want to show Erin up.
Hahahahahahahhahahahahaha.... Whooo! I crack myself up.

Anyway: this gal is supposed to be a yellow shafted flicker. I see them in my neighborhood from time to time. They're blue jay-sized and spectacular when they fly: the underside of their wings and tail is brilliant yellow. My bird book says they like to forage for ants on the ground, so that's what this little lady is doing among the strawberry plants. (The males have a black shmear on their face).

Snake pitcher came out great! I couldn't be happier. It's pretty good-sized: it will hold a couple of quarts.

The new pink underglaze fired perfectly.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Viva la small square stuff!

Remember how I said I was going to make fish lanterns? Well, those aren't going very well. They're not going at all, actually. So I've been working on some more tile/plates while I mull over the lantern problem. They're basically 3D versions of the motifs I've been painting. Plus, you can put cookies on them.

Here's the bluegill tile I was working on last week. The plants have not flaked off. Yay! It's 10 inches square.

Here's a small 6-incher I've dubbed "Night Fliers." Those will be fireflies and a luna moth.

This frog tile is 8 inches. If you look closely, you'll see a stinkbug on the lower right. I'm looking forward to using many different green glazes on it!

And this turtle tile is 10 inches. I'll clean up the plant stems once the slip dries a little. I plan to use a fabulous pink glaze on the flowers. It's called "Brilliant Sunburn."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wax Works

2 new pieces this weekend:

Charcoal on paper glued to board, colored pencil, pickle paint, acrylic paint, gold leaf, encaustic, and the kitchen sink
Sunprint Paper, Charcoal, Pastel, Gold Leaf, and Encaustic - Whew!

The butterfly and the fish are fused on with beeswax! Neat technique.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Painting a pitcher

It took several tries before I had the snake where I wanted it...

...he needed to curve over the handle and around to the other side.

Here's the finished pitcher, almost ready for the glaze firing.

A toad has been living in the pottery studio for the last couple of weeks. I tried to catch him last weekend, but he was having none of that! A pottery studio is no place for an amphibian. Be safe, little toad.

Look: I have a new underglaze color. Light pink! I hope it doesn't burn out... I probably should have tested it first.

Here's the finished big fish bowl. I'm really happy with the outside, but I applied the glaze too thickly on the inside. It got a little cloudy and pin-holey. Thhhbbbpppt! Stupid pottery.

Looks great in the photo, though.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Oh. My. Gold leaf is such an incredible thing. Why have I never tried this before? Impossibly thin metal that magically goes only where you tell it to go . . . amazing! Thank goodness it's bedtime or half the studio would be gilded by now.

I have to say, I am pretty darn pleased with these two:


Glazing the birdbaths

Yes, that's my kitchen table. It was a messy job... that red iron oxide likes to get on EVERYTHING.

Now I just have to drive them safely back to BayArts for the glaze firing. I can't wait to see how they turn out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dark Wings, Dark Words

Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk?

Poe wrote on both! hee hee hee

This bird requires a bit of an explanation...  Lately I've become engrossed in the "a Song of Ice and Fire" Series by George R. R. Martin and am halfway through the third book now. I LOVE these books. Like all of my past obsessions, I will do all I can to absorb the subject until I burn myself out on it. (I often do this with artwork, that's why I use so many different mediums!)  On the fictional continent of Westeros where most of the story takes place, Ravens are used as a sort of postal service for the noble houses.  Since the book is on my mind a lot, so its no big surprise that the black bird would end up here. Besides, they are fun to draw!!

Here is another black(ish) bird:

Stay tuned to see where these drawings will end up!

Exactly what I wanted

So I added clear glaze to one of the white plates as an experiment and fired it again... What a difference! It's the plate on the right. Now that's how the Snowflake glaze is supposed to look!

Here's the cream and sugar. Love it!

And some more box turtles. They can do a trick: look!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I wanna make small sqaure pieces too!

I love love love the small multi-media paintings Erin has been working on! I want to make some little square pieces too! Plus, I really enjoyed making those tiles for BayArts' fundraiser earlier this summer...

Can you guess what it'll be?


I've been dying to try this... An artist at the Cain Park Art Fair said she used cake decorating tips and bags to apply slip.

I used a writing tip to lay down stems and leaves...

Then I kind of flattened them down with my finger to help them "stick" and make them look leafy.

Hmm... Needs more fish. I hope the slip doesn't flake off as the piece dries. I have it covered really tightly, so hopefully moisture content will even out between the plate and the slip.

So is it a tile or is it a plate? Yes.

Adventures in glazing

I'm glazing in my kitchen again... Here's the latest cream and sugar

The dot placement is based on a knitting pattern... This is a "three color fabric pattern" (and a detail of a placemat I made a few years ago). The pattern can be found in Barbara Walker's "Treasury of Knitting Patterns vol 1," if anyone's interested.

Gotta wax the turtles' little feet!

Here's the big fish bowl, ready to go! Clear glaze overlaps Turkish Amber about halfway down. I'm hoping to get a nice gradient (and not wicked glaze drips!)