Raku Art Tiles

Just a quick post from me today to show you my raku art tiles. I made these when I made the clocks but I forgot about them until now.

These art tiles are inspired by my sketchbook work that I did on Dionne Swift’s Drawing for Textiles course, which for me wasn’t just about textiles.
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I love the colours and textures, here are some closeup pictures

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Working with the seasons- new foliage.

I have been waiting eagerly for the leaves to come on the trees so I can do some printing.

We have been out walking most days during this amazing fine spell, the river is very low.

River walk

River walkIt’s lovely to see all the wildflowers coming into bloom, but I don’t pick those.

Primroses.

River walkBlackthorn.River walk

English bluebells.River walk

Cowslips.
UntitledCommon violets.River walkRed campion.River walk

There were swans, ducks, geese and herons nesting on the pond. Also frog spawn and lots of small fish as well as an eel in the burn.

River walkThe lambs are growing fast
River walkDo you ever get the feeling you are being watched?  🙂

River walkI noticed the field maple and sycamore trees had small leaves and flowers so I picked a few to eco print.

UntitledThey worked quite well but I should have used heavier paper as I tore some of the sheets when they were wet so I will have to cut them down a bit.
UntitledI have blue bells in my garden so I tried the hammering technique to transfer the print but it just transferred a mushy mess, for now I will stick to boiling and steaming .

I am really enjoying working with the seasons but I think Spring is a time where it’s hard to keep up with all that’s bursting into life around me.

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Happy Easter!

What glorious weather we have had the past few days, I  hope it lasts a little longer.  I’ve had quite a busy spell getting gallery stock made, but now it’s family time. It’s not often that both grown up kids are home at the same time so we are just chilling out, enjoying each other’s company and catching up over good food and long walks.

I’m determined to have some knitting time though, I  fitted some in while sitting in the garden, the aran jumper is nearly finished now.

It was hazy today but very warm, the photos aren’t so good so here are some pictures from our walk along the river a couple of days ago. I love the abstract marks, colours and texture in these photos.

Along the river

Along the river

The light was beautiful.

Along the river

The water was incredibly clear.

Along the river

Along the riverIt was such a calming walk, we didn’t see anyone once we got out of town. I love this little vignette under the bridge, it’s hard to think of this gentle river as the raging torrent that has flooded the area several times.

Along the river

I hope you are enjoying your easter weekend whatever you are doing.

Jill

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Raku clocks

I finally got my raku clocks fired during the week, I was so excited about finishing these.

Some are textured and have metallic flashes; on the wall they catch the light beautifully.

Raku clocksYou can see how the flames have licked the glaze surface.

Raku clocks

Raku clocks

Raku clocks

Others are painted with designs inspired by my sketchbooks, they have crackle glaze, colour(including some copper) and smoke stained lines.

Raku clocks

Raku clocksSome clocks are flat and some are slightly curved, each one is unique.

Raku clocks

Raku clocksThe nature of raku glazes and firing means you get some cracking and crazing, this is part of the process,  it’s ok so long as it doesn’t go right through the piece but unfortunately I had a couple of rejects including this one below,  I really like it so I finished it and will now have to find somewhere to hang it.

Raku clocksThe pointers are very fragile so I had to find a way of protecting them, I got some clear plastic pointer covers off the internet, then I tried different packaging inside the boxes to keep everything in place, rolled up cardboard and a little bubble wrap seemed to do the job best. Problem solved!

I fired some raku art tiles as well, I will show you those soon.

Have a great Sunday!

 

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A drive through The Lakes and tea at The Ryebeck

We mostly go walking when we are in the Lakes but there are certain times of the year when I like to drive through taking in as much scenery as I can. Friday was lovely,  the higher fells still had a dusting of snow. The colours were gorgeous with the chartreuse green of new leaves, as well as some trees taking on a red tone from buds yet to open, also the sculptural form of the bare trees, and white birches glistening in the light.

Moody skies, sunshine, blossom and hosts of golden daffodils makes this my favourite time of year to drive through the Lakes.

Not in any particular order we saw Thirlmere, Windermere, Bassenthwaite, Derwent Water, Rydal Water, and Grasmere.

Afternoon tea in The Lakes

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Afternoon tea in The Lakes

The fells with their dusting of snow.

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This fell is commonly known as The Lion and the Lamb, think you can see why
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Afternoon tea at the Ryebeck was a real treat,  we had a beautiful view of  the gardens and Windermere.
Afternoon tea in The Lakes

On the work front it’s been rather cold so we postponed the raku firing all week, Saturday was much better so we got a lot fired, they still need finishing so I will show you later.

Enjoy your day 😊

 

 

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Happy Mother’s Day And Signs Of Spring

It’s been a strange week with a celebration night out and a funeral all in one week, which means I’ve not gotten much work done.

I find Mother’s Day a bit strange too, as I can’t spend it with my kids, they live too far away.

I thought about my Mam on my run this morning, I found it tough going today due to a little too much wine last night, but thoughts of my Mam kept me on track when it got tough. She would never have dreamt I’d take up running, but I never thought I would either.  Last month I met up with a friend doing Couch to 5K and I decided to give it a go. It’s on the NHS website, it’s such a gentle build up I found I could meet the goals each week, and now I can run 5K, which is a surprise to myself and my family. If I can do it anyone can,  I will have to keep it up now I have started so I plan a run at least once a week.
It’s not easy taking photos whilst out jogging.
UntitledToday was a proper Spring day, the birds were singing, there were lots of lambs in the fields so I had to pause briefly to get a picture.
UntitledThe blackthorn bushes are in flower, hopefully there will be lots of sloe gin made later in the year.

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Back in my garden the rosemary bush is providing food for the bumble bees, and the ladybirds seem to be happy there too. I don’t think it should be flowering this early though, but every cloud etc……..

UntitledEnjoy your Mother’s Day whatever you are doing, I think I will pick up my knitting, and maybe have some ice cream, well I have earned it 🙂

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Work In Progress

Just a quickie today, it’s  been a busy week, lots going on at the moment, but I got quite a lot made despite everything.

Lots of little fish drying.

Raku ceramics in the makingRaku art tiles and jewellery.
Raku ceramics in the making
Raku ceramics in the making

Clocks.

Raku ceramics in the makingAnd lots of leaves too.

Raku ceramics in the makingI threw a few raku bowls, once they are bisque fired we will be having a few days raku firing so let’s hope for good weather to come.

Raku ceramics in the making

 

 

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No Time For Procrastination When Working With The Seasons

I have come to realise there is no time to procrastinate when working with the seasons.

Remember the snowdrop ceramic pieces? Well it’s taken me a bit of time thinking about the right finish, and now I know what I want (through testing different finishes), however the snowdrops have gone over so no more until next year, at least I will be ready, it’s only taken me 3 years  🙂
Here’s what I have ready to go in my Etsy shop today. I have listed different finishes because we don’t all like the same thing, and I want to know which one is your favourite.

Snowdrops ceramics

Snowdrops ceramics

Snowdrops ceramicsThe finish on these tiles is the one I like best, I like the simplicity. I love how each tile will be unique, both in the layout of the flowers and the hand painted matt colour which picks up the plant impressions really well. Real snowdrops might not last long but these will hang on your wall for ever.

Snowdrops ceramicsI only made one snowdrop ring dish, I wish I had made more, it’s so pretty. This has a blue glaze on the outside. Due to the matt colour on the inside these dishes cannot be used for food, they are for trinkets, keys, loose change, soap or just to look at. I think it’s quite lovely, it will be hard to part with it.

Snowdrops ceramics
I finished the Pulmonaria hearts quickly while they are still flowering, I think these will go down well so I’m off to make some more while they are still in flower 🙂

Snowdrops ceramics
I should have these all listed in my Etsy shop so if you want to see what’s available that’s the place to head for.

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New Raku Work In My Etsy Shop

Finally I have found the time to list some new stock in my Etsy shop.

There’s more to follow but I have made a start listing raku pieces. Click on the images to go to my shop.

Lots of raku leaves listed in various sizes.
Raku ceramics

Raku ceramicsThe shoal of small fish are back in stock, as are the mackerel. The fat fish will be coming soon but I need to fire them still.
Raku ceramics

Raku ceramicsI made some abstract art tiles, these have a hanger on the back, a lot have sold already. I will be making more of these, I have always loved painting abstracts, they make me feel I’ve injected some energy into my work. Also I have a plan for this year to make art tiles using various decorative techniques in order to push my boundaries.
Raku ceramics

Raku ceramics

Raku ceramics

Raku ceramics

There are raku wall clocks to follow, and some butterflies, they need to be fired.

I have some stoneware and porcelain pieces to follow, as well as lots and lots of jewellery components sitting here waiting to be glazed. All I need is more hours in my day and some warm dry weather.

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Liquid Soap and Hair Thickening Shampoo Bars

I’ve made liquid soap concentrate this week, using potassium hydroxide. This one is castile soap made from olive oil, it started out very thin, I had to keep stopping the hand blender as I thought it was overheating. Eventually it got quite thick
Liquid soapI watered some down and put in some patchouli oil which I wanted to use up as I don’t like scent , it makes my nose tickle. I put it in a soap dispenser,  it’s thinner than a bought liquid soap, and it doesn’t lather up much but that can be a good thing. I used some for washing the floor and it worked really well, I also washed a woollen throw by hand and it was fine for that too, two jobs where less suds is a good thing.
Liquid soap

Next I made a liquid soap using coconut oil, this was so thick in no time I couldn’t stir it.
Liquid soap

It went into a takeaway container as I thought if it set solid I could always cut it up into bars. This lathers really well, I  washed some leather chairs with this and the leather remained nice and supple. The instructions I’m following say to combine the two soaps. I watered down some of the coconut soap to look at clarity, as you can see it’s very clear, it lathers much more than the olive oil version so I can see why combining the two would be a good idea.
Liquid soapI found a website with oil based concoctions for thinning hair, I have wanted to try them but don’t want the mess on my pillow so the next task was to make a shampoo bar with rosemary, lavender and castor oil with the hope of adding volume to my thinning hair, anything is worth a try.

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As well as being on a mission to use less plastics I’m trying to live more by my Gran’s philosophy of ‘make do and mend’ which was born out of necessity during the war years but I feel it’s so necessary now, personally I hate being caught up in the consumerism trap. So I have taken some old towels and given them a revamp with a washing machine dye, they have been transformed from a shabby looking pink to a nice grey which goes with my bathroom. I might get a couple more years out of them before they become utility towels and window cleaning cloths.
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Enjoy your weekend, I’m hoping to fire some raku pieces, hopefully I will have something to show you soon  🙂

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