Snowdrop Ceramic Art Tiles Finally Finished.

The weather hasn’t improved yet so still no raku firing, so I’ve had to adapt, it’s rained every day so I have contented myself working indoors staining up the snowdrop tiles and these ceramic hearts.

staining ceramic snowdrop heartsI love how rustic these look, I think that’s down to the choice of clay and the colour. I like how adding the colour reveals the delicacy of the snowdrop flowers.

Ceramic snowdrop art tiles

I took a slightly different approach with these pulmonaria wall plaques, leaving the speckled stoneware as it is then using a very small brush I painted in the pinks blues and greens of the flowers and foliage. The process reminded me of my china painting days. These pulmonaria  flowers are dear to my heart, they remind me of my Grandpa’s garden, as a child I was in awe of these pink and blue flowers on a single stem, how could that be?

Rustic ceramic flower tiles

Here’s a closer picture of one of the tiles, you can see the tiny details in each flower petal. They still make me smile today. I think pulmonaria, or lungwort as it’s also known are one of my favourite plants in the spring border.

plant ceramic art tiles

The light hasn’t been so good for photographs this week so I will leave the ceramic hearts and ring dishes for another post. To see more photos of these ceramic tiles click to go to my shop.

Now I’m off to glaze some soap dishes, what are your plans for today?

Enjoy your Sunday.

The Slow Art Of Ceramics

This week I’ve haven’t been able to get much done because of the weather but I did manage to get some bisque firing done, the pieces that I made before my holidays. Snowdrop tiles, little ring dishes and hanging hearts, you can find them here in my last post. Just as well I got them made before I left as the snowdrops had gone over before I got home. I have just opened the kiln in this photo and they are hot, hot, hot.

Bisque fired ceramics
I love working with the seasons, however it’s not always “slow living” when you have to get something done before the flowering season ends.

You may not have given much thought to it but making ceramics is a slow process, there’s a lot of waiting, you have to wait until the clay is at the right stage of dryness to do what you want to do. After rolling I have to wait until the clay firms up a bit before rolling in the plants, then once you have made your pieces you have to wait to do the fettling, I like to do this at leather hard stage. Then you have to wait until the pieces are dry enough for bisque firing. These snowdrop pieces sat for almost 2 weeks before they were fired as it’s been so cold and damp, but slow drying is a good thing.
Once dry the ceramic leaves and fish are bisque fired, that’s another 24 hour ( or longer) wait before I can open the kiln.

Fish to hang on the wall

Seasonal (and weather) influenced work certainly teaches patience, I just hope my customers are understanding.

The bisque pieces now need to be glazed, the ceramic fish and leaf wall art have an application of raku glazes which have to be fired outside, this is where the looooong wait has come in. I can only raku fire when the weather is right, it needs to be dry and not very windy. We have to stand around all day putting pieces in and out of the kiln so it helps if it’s not too cold.

Ceramic leaves to hang on the wallSo that’s where I’m at, waiting and watching the weather, it’s not looking good for the coming week, I just hope my customers are understanding. These  pieces will be making their way into my Kiln Fired Art shop as soon as they are glazed and fired. Patience is definitely a virtue where the slow art of ceramics is concerned. Fingers crossed for better weather soon.

More handmade ceramics

It’s been a busy week, making new stock each day and now I am running out of drying space.

So what have I made besides the snowdrop ceramics featured in my last post?

There are raku fish, including the ever popular mackerel and sprats, also some tropical fish including clown fish. There’s raku hanging leaves and ceramic soap dishes and trinket dishes made from stoneware clay.

Ceramics for the home wip from Kiln Fired Art

These all need to be left to dry before bisque firing, then they will be glazed and fired again so it will be a few weeks before they make it into my shops. I’ve no space left to make anything more so I can have a little rest and plan some new work.

Snowdrop ceramics

It’s time to get back to work after a much needed break this month, however the snowdrops are out and they won’t last long so I’ve got a production line going making snowdrop themed ceramic hearts, ceramic ring dishes, and snowdrop tiles to hang on the wall. These items would be lovely gifts for Mother’s Day, or birthday’s or little thank you gifts.

Here they are as works in progress, they have to dry out before they are bisqued, then coloured and fired again before they are ready.
I’m making ceramic snowdrop hearts today in time for Mother’s Day

There are a few cow parsley ceramic tiles and some pulmonaria ones too. Working with the seasons means I have to work with what’s available.

Ceramic plant tilesCeramic snowdrops heart WIP

I do love how these delicate snowdrop flowers transfer to the clay, like a fossil, they will last for ever.

P. S. How do you like my new blog layout?

 

Making Beeswax Wraps

I really can’t get going this January. It’s always a difficult month as I only work in the daylight hours. Also I intend to adopt a slower pace of work this year, I need more time to do other things. I’m taking this ‘slow living’ to heart and really enjoying feeling calm and relaxed.

I’ve been reading, knitting and cooking healthy food, exercising and following my diet plan. I even made a Facebook group called  ‘Motivation and Support for Healthy Eating and Exercise’ click here if you want to join us.

This week I decided to make some beeswax wraps.

I cut some squares of cotton fabric, having washed it first to remove the finish. Then added some beeswax pellets and another square of fabric on top.
Making beeswax wraps

Making beeswax wraps

This was sandwiched between 2 pieces of baking parchment. I decided to do this on an old towel rather than the ironing board.

Making beeswax wraps

When you iron you can see the wax melting and coming through the fabric.
It looked patchy so more beeswax was added then more ironing.

Making beeswax wraps

Making beeswax wraps

I had too much wax this time, it leaked out onto the towel.

Making beeswax wraps

Because there was too much wax I layered up one waxed piece with a new piece of fabric and ironed to transfer the wax. I kept doing this until they looked evenly coated.

Making beeswax wraps

They were laid flat until the wax set.

Making beeswax wraps

I have to say I’m  not totally convinced they will work but I’m certainly going to try them out.

They work as bowl covers.Untitled

Lets try wrapping an apple.

Making beeswax wraps

Success.

Making beeswax wraps

I wouldn’t use them for things like meat but they will have their uses and they will save on some waste.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I hope you have had a happy and peaceful Christmas, and now maybe like me you are taking it easy and reflecting on 2019.

I’m going through my blog posts picking out some highlights ( click on the images if you want to know more). The most amazing thing that happened last year was seeing otters in the wild when we spent 3 weeks on a little known Scottish island. There was so much wildlife to encounter, seals, dolphins, sea eagles, deer and hares. But the otter sightings were truly very special as they have eluded me my whole life. Seeing them was like winning the lottery.
Otters
Otters
OttersIt terms of makes, I love my boiled wool jacket which I wear a lot, it gets comments whenever I wear it and it goes with just about any outfit, I can dress it up or look casual.

A jacket in a day

I really got back into sewing last year, I combined my sewing skills with eco printing and made a top which turned out not quite as I had expected but I still love it. I like the surprises that I get when I eco print.

Upcycled ecoprinted top
I made myself a couple of fine wool scarves, I love the prints on these, it’s a pity the wool fabric is so expensive.

Ceramic leaves home decor

I am  still  wowed by every raku firing, I don’t think I will ever tire of the process, smelling like a bonfire is not so good though. Lots of items went off to new homes and I thought of all those folks receiving some of my work for Christmas. It makes me very happy to think I might have made someone smile.

Untitled
Ceramic wall art
Ceramic fish bathroom wall art

Moons and hares
Looking to the future and plans for the year to come I have started a notebook with ideas, including all those things I never got around to trying out last year. I have books and new techniques to try out, I must have a go at printmaking in various forms. I want to paint more too, I find it so relaxing.
Something new for 2020I have made the decision that it’s time to slow down a little so I will no longer sell my work through shops and galleries, the end of an era. But I will still sell through my Etsy shop and my Facebook page, so if you don’t already follow me then you might want to start as Facebook  is where I will be showing new work and selling off ends of lines.

One of my first tasks for the end of January will be to make some more snowdrop ceramics.
Snowdrops ceramicsAlso watch out for those otters because they will be featuring in some new pieces later in the year if all goes to plan.

Here’s wishing you good health and a peaceful year to come.

Love

Jill x