Hello!

I haven’t blogged for a while as I’ve been under the weather with a virus. I was trying to rest up but boredom steppd in, so I decided to play with my websites and update them and make a new banner for my blog, Etsy shop and KilnFiredArt.co.uk

This should have been a simple task but it took 3 days in the end, I won’t bore you with the details.

So here’s the new look Kiln Fired Art website, I do like the simplicity of it
kilnfiredartThe Etsy shop banner is the same but thinner, and while I was working over there I added some more items to my shop, here’s some screen shots. I’m really tempted to make some earrings for myself with those agateware jewellery components.
ceramic buttons and beads on etsy
ceramic jewellery components on etsy
kiln fired art on etsySo my shop is mostly ceramic jewellery components, ceramic buttons and melted bottles just now as the hand painted porcelain is in such demand that it’s selling as fast as I can paint it. I got a tweet yesterday one lady at the art fair bought 3 vases and some jewellery, how cool is that, and 2 more days to go!

I have plans to make some handpainted beads with miniature birdies on them so watch this space, hopefully I’ll be firing on all cylinders soon.

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Tile commission – the painting process

I’m now able to share the kitchen tile project that I was working on last week, my client said she was “beyond thrilled” with them which made me a very happy bunny.

My client sent me her tiles, and, after test firing first I set to work painting garden birds. Remember my last post, well this is what I was working on.

Here they are after the first fire, I’ve really just established things.
first fireI had to mix more paint so I decided it was time to clean my palette, it’s still not as ordered and pristine as most overglaze artists, but it’s going to get very messy shortly as I mix my colours.
overglaze enamels
Second fire, strengthening colour and form
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Third fire, just refining.
P1200274I really enjoy painting custom tiles, but it is more stressful than just painting what I want to. I was so pleased that my client loved them.

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Tools of the trade

I have been working on a kitchen tile commission these past few days, it’s always a bit scary getting ready to paint them but I really enjoy the process once I start painting. Think white paper syndrome only worse as they are the client’s tiles not a bit of paper.

I can’t show you the tiles but I can show you my palettes and some of my favourite tools and brushes for painting wildlife.

Most porcelain artists keep a very neat and ordered palette, not me, I like to mix my paints as one would oils and this means my palette gets quite messy, however I do try to keep it dust and lint free , and I do wipe it off from time to time and put the enamels onto a fresh tile.

I have 2 ways of working, water based and oil based and so I have seperate palettes and brushes for each. I think I have a bit of a brush fetish actually when I think how many brushes I have.

These are the water based palettes
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And my oil based palette as it looks today
P1200254I’m sure china painters are recoiling in disgust at the sight but this works for me.
I have a lot of tools for creating texture and mark making including a selection of sharpened twigs, the mapping pen and various sponges, pan scrubs and a loofah are used the most.
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Generally when I’m using oil based china paint I want smooth coverage so I use soft hair brushes, a fan brush for blending, an acrylic hair brush and a cropped off hog hair brush for stippling. The pointed quill brush is one of my favourite brushes it’s a traditional brush which were known as a ‘pencil’ in the factories in Stoke on Trent.
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I can’t finish without showing you my garden visitors who have distracted me quite a bit this week, a couple of little voles.
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I hope to show you the tiles soon, have a great weekend whatever you are doing.

 

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WOYWW week 18

Hello deskers, today I have handmade ceramic buttons on my desk which means I can finally get my cushions finished.
P1200234I have a bit of a thing about buttons, and I do like making my own ceramic ones but they are a bit time consuming to make, it’s not just rolling, stamping, cutting, hole making, drying, cleaning, firing. Then glazing, cleaning, stacking, and firing, there’s a bit more to the process than that, these ones will have the holes cleaned then they will be matched up, and sewn onto cards that I print and cut on my Cameo, and then they will finally be photographed and listed in my Etsy shop.

So here are my finished cushion covers, and if you would like to read how easy they are to make I’ve posted my easy envelope cushion method here.
P1200233I hope everyone had a good weekend, the weather has been rubbish here so at least I will have time to read what everyone is up to over on Stamping Ground.

Happy hopping,

Jill

 

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Easy envelope cushions

These cushions are the easiest to make, no zips to worry about. Basically you cut a strip of fabric the width of your cushion pad plus 3cm for seams. The length of the fabric strip is twice the size of the cushion pad plus and overlap of 8cm, plus a hem of 6 cm, and a hem of 3cm.

Firslty zig zag the long edges of the fabric, then  hem the short edges by turning under a cm, then turning over the remaining hem allowance, the wide hem will be the one on show and where you stitch your buttons.

Fold the fabric right sides together, overlapping the ends as shown in the photo, the small hem should be on the top. Sew down the sides. Now turn right sides out and add your buttons. I’m making my own ceramic buttons so I will have to show you the finished cushions later.
easy cushion coversUpdated this post to show you the finished cushions with my ceramic buttons. I stitched press studs on the inside behind the buttons just to finish them off properly but if you have enough of an overlap you don’t really need to do this.
P1200233

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Silhouette challenge #25

Here’s my offering for the latest Silhouette challenge #25 

P1200176I cut the little wrens for these fused glass light catchers from ceramic decal paper.

The Cameo is great for cutting decals, this one is my own design but there are loads to purchase on the Silhouette website.

There are so many uses for the Cameo, I cut the little tags too.

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WOYWW week 17

Hi, it’s Wednesday again deskers , ( if you don’t know what I’m talking about pop over to Stamping Ground to find out).This is what greeted me when I opened up my kilns
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More earring cabs, some will be matching but a lot need grinding and refiring, typical when I’m in a hurry for them.
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This is a large bowl painted with lustres and outlined with platinum. I wish you could see the shimmer and iridescence but lustres don’t photograph all that well.
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The third kiln was full of glass pieces including lots of light catchers that are hot hot hot at the gardens just now.

I thought I’d try and show you some better pictures.
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hand painted lustre bowl

And here’s my little poser, just outside the studio door, I’m looking forward to painting him soon.
greattit Collage

I’ve had some other garden visitors, a bunny with sore looking eyes, poor thing. The other bunny wasn’t a bunny it was a young hare, I know by the black tail and ear tips. Fancy having a hare visit you and not have a camera at the ready, I do hope it comes to visit again.

Enjoy your day whatever you are doing.

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Cushion covers with zips, the easy way

I managed to find an hour to make some new cushion covers, they have zips but they are very easy to make the way my mother taught me.
cushion covers with zips, easyThe photo’s read left to right, top to bottm.

  • Cut 2 squares of fabric the size of your cushion, plus seam allowance. Overlock or zigzag stitch around the edges of each single square to neaten edges.
  • Place the squares together right sides facing , lay on your zip and put a pin in at each end of the zip where the teeth and pull end are. You probably have about 2.5 cm or so at each end of the zip to sew together.
  • Then open out the fabric and fold down the seam allowance and press. This makes putting in the zip much easier.
  • Pin each end of the zip in place.
  • Turn the fabric over to the right side and pin in the zip, check you have caught the tape and fabric by looking at the back of the fabric to see where the pins have caught, then tack if you wish, I was in a hurry so I didn’t bother.
  • Sew in the zip, I like to do both sides in the same direction. Use a zipper foot if you like but I didn’t bother, I used the foot and the edge of the fabric as a guide to keep the sewing straight. ( Sorry the finished zip photo is in the wrong order here)
  • Open the zip, then fold the fabric with right sides together, pin and stitch the other 3 sides.
  • Turn the cushion cover out and poke out the corners using a pin or a knitting needle from the inside.
  • There you have it, finished cushion covers!

Tip: If you want very plump cushions cut the fabric the same size as your cushion pad, (no seam allowance), or put 2 cushions in one cover.

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WOYWW week 16

I can’t believe a week has gone by since my last WOYWW post. I am so busy just now, as you can see by my worktable today. These WIP pieces are almost ready for their first firing.
P1200121The weather has been fabulous over the past few days, we had a walking break with frends in Swaledale. There are some things I really love about Yorkshire, the landscape, especially the barns and stone walls, the buttercup meadows, and the sound of the curlew. The Dales are one of my most favourite places in the world.

Here are some barn photo’s which I’d love to paint one of these days.
This one especially really cries out to me ‘get the watercolours out and paint me’
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Happy WOYWW, I’m off to Stamping Ground to see wat everyone else is up to.

Hop back next week to see the finished vases and bowls before they go to the gallery.

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WOYWW week 15

Hi deskers, not much on my worktable today, but you might have noticed my table has grown. Finally OH cut some mdf to extend the top when I need more space, well I don’t know about you but I always need more space!
P1200017Today I’m thinking about summer, I have beach huts on my work table. These are for a seaside themed event in a couple of months.
P1200016I’ve been a bit distracted by my latest garden visitor.
P1200014It’s a greater spotted woodpecker, you can tell the greater from the lesser by the red under it’s tail.
P1200015I’m doing some spring cleaning this week so not many makes, although I did make a new headboard from recycled materials, it’s all in the post below if you would like to read more.

I’m heading over to Stamping Ground now to see WOYWW

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