It’s been a very busy week of glazing and firing.
Also, I started out doing the last week of Dionne’s Drawing for Textiles course but I broke all my felting needles, the textile techniques came to a halt so I went back to drawing. I really enjoyed the course and I have so many ideas to explore when I have time.
I’ve also glazed some of those beads from last week for my Etsy shop.
Seeing the weather forecast was going to be good for a few days I thought it was time to get some raku work fired. It’s been frosty but once the sun came up it was reasonably warm, which is good when you are standing around in the garden all day for 3 days.
Raku has a will of it’s own and can be fickle, some pots had to be refired but that’s ok, some cracked, but I get to keep those, and some blistered very badly so they went in the bin.
I love this one, but it’s cracked in the base so it’s mine.
This pot is a bit rough but I love it’s textures and colour so I get to keep it.
These raku bowls will be going off to the gallery, the first two are quite large, they have some lovely colours and textures
There are a lot more raku bowls heading off to the gallery for a spring event but I’ve packed them up before getting photos.
And there are raku pendants too
So as you can see it’s been a very busy week, I’m now feeling shattered, that’s why my post is later than usual.
I could do with a rest today so I’m taking it easy reviewing my drawings, the more I look I find more interesting things to inspire me.
Enjoy your Sunday whatever you are doing.
I started the week off throwing some pots with a new speckled stoneware clay and I loved it. Some clays just seem to handle better than others and this clay felt wonderful squeezing between my fingertips. Somehow I’ve forgotten to take a photo, but the pots have been covered with polythene to dry slowly. They are now ready for trimming so I will have to down tools and leave my textiles and bead glazing and get them trimmed today.
I have a lot of beads waiting to be glazed ready for my Etsy shop, 4 bowls full.
I’m really enjoying the second part of the Drawing for Textiles course; the first thing I do in a morning is make coffee then go back to bed to watch Dionne’s daily video, then my head is full of ideas for the rest of the day.
Remember those line drawings from last week?
This past week I’ve been interpreting them with textile techniques on practice pieces and next week ( the last week of the course) I will do more exploration, maybe introduce some colour and maybe make some finished textile art.
I do want to try some of my ideas in glass, ceramics and enamel as well as textiles, along with stocking up my shop so it looks like another very busy week ahead.
Enjoy your day, I’d love to hear about your creative plans for this week.
I have spent most of my week raku firing leaves, beads and pendants to stock up my shop . I now have over 200 listings. All these leaves are now in my Etsy shop, they are going fast. They look great hanging on the wall, my own collection is growing, I’ve kept a copper one for myself.
I love the unpredictability of raku firing, sometimes the results are amazing, like this leaf dish below. If something comes out awful you can fire them again with the possibility of something better ( or worse) in the end.
I have had some pretty disappointing stoneware glaze results this week, and those firings take over 24 hours before you find out if you have something amazing or mediocre. At least raku gives almost instant gratification, even if it does mean smelling like a bonfire and standing around outside on a cold damp day.
One of my regular customers asked me for raku beads of a certain colour, but with the unpredictability of the process they weren’t quite the colour she asked for, although they were still very lovely, and she liked them.
Refiring can really change the look of a raku glaze, and I’ve found firing in the large gas kiln, or my small Paragon SC3 kiln gives different results. So does the size of the combustion bin, and what’s inside it.
I made a little video of the leaf plate to show the colours off to their best, it looks amazing don’t you think?
That’s another month gone, where is this year going? It’s flying by, which wouldn’t matter if felt I’d achieved a lot but this month, I know I’ve been busy but I can’t think what I’ve done apart from making beads and jewellery components and playing with the wheel.
I bought some new low fire glazes to try out, I think you can achieve brighter colours with low fire glazes.
I love these jewel colour glazes
But I also like the soft pastel ones too, which are your favourite?
I bought some underglazes and after a lot of procrastination I finally bit the bullet and painted a seascape on one of my pots. I think the colours will come out darker than I intended but I will only know when it’s fired. I’d like this pot to be matt but I have a feeling it will become shiny if I fire to stoneware temperatures, so I have glazed the inside with a low fire glaze and I will see how it comes out at a lower firing temperature. The clay I’m using can be fired to earthenware or stoneware temperatures.
It was inspired by a visit to Bosta beach on Lewis last summer.
I wonder if maybe the effect I want would be better achieved using terra siligata, or I could use matt overglazes on an already fired pot. I feel a bit precious about firing 3 or 4 times when I’ve put so much into making the pot. I know it’s silly really. I will have to try out all the various ways of decorating a pot with a matt finish seascape and compare the results.
I think my horizon line should have been a little higher but there was so much to think about when doing something I’ve never done before I forgot to pay attention.I threw my largest pot to date yesterday, it was going to be a yarn bowl but OH thought it would be a better size for his porridge in the morning. Ah well I will have another attempt at a yarn bowl. I need to try using one as I’m not convinced that they will actually work, maybe a yarn vase would be a better idea. If you use a yarn bowl I’d love to know if they work.
This week I have mainly been working on new listings for handmade ceramic earring charms, also some new pendants too. There will be more pendants and beads to follow.
Etsy launched the new shop manager this week, so far I like it but just when I think I know where something is, it has moved . They are launching Etsy Studio next month, which is for craft supplies, so this is the perfect time to be listing ceramic jewellery making supplies. I have lots more jewellery pieces to glaze, all I need is more time to do it.
I have also had a few days painting tiles, and a couple of days hand building pots. I love the hand building process and the thought that some of me has gone into each piece, but I am thinking I need to get a wheel so I can find out how I feel about throwing, but it’s a big decision.
I’m in the process of updating my Etsy shop with handmade ceramic beads, pendants and cabochons. They are all one offs so they take ages to photograph and list, especially the shiny lustre ones.
The addition of lustre means an additional firing, some have copper or platinum lustre as well , which means 4 firings all together.
Lustre is very shiny and acts like a mirror, so if anyone has tips for getting good photos I would love to hear from you.
I still don’t have everything listed but I will continue next week. I’m also adding dichroic glass pendants, melted bottles and Christmas decorations, yes it’s that time of year again:)
Just a quick post from me today, I’m still painting the tile mural so I’m busy busy. I thought I’d share a great tutorial by Marsha Hendrick on Ceramic Bead Artist website, it’s for making a mould from jelly pots to use as a mould for making ceramic lentil beads. I found some little pots of fruit in jelly at Aldi that work great.
I have made quite a few plain beads then I decided to add some cut outs done with a Silhouette Cameo. It also works if you line the mould with lace. These are solid beads, not hollow ones.
Here are my beads once they are glazed.
I hope you are having a creative weekend, if you are joining in with Creative Sunday’s link up click below to add your website. Please link back to Creative Sundays in your blog post so folks can visit the other participants.
If you need further information about the link up click here
You know that pile of beads and buttons I showed you yesterday, I’ve sorted them out and I’m in the process of listing them, I had to show you my gorgeous new glazes for Autumn / Fall 2015.
I can’t decide if I prefer the grey green or the olive speckle, both work beautifully on these ceramic beads,leaf pendants, earring charms and buttons, they are perfect for Autumn jewellery making projects.
I have a lot more beads and buttons to show you soon. Which colour do you prefer?
Have you ever opened the kiln and not liked what you see? I suppose we all have pieces where the glaze disappoints, or just looks plain boring. Here are a few fixes, they may not improve everything but you can salvage quite a lot of fugly beads with these methods.
The obvious thing to do is to re-glaze and fire again which is what I did with these ceramic beads and buttons below.
Sometimes when I’m glazing beads one bead might touch on another bead and contaminate it, it’s so annoying when this happens. A great fix for these beads is to re-glaze using a crystal glaze, preferably with crystals that tone in with the splash of rogue glaze.Some beads come out just plain boring, sometimes it seems a lot of ceramic beads come out brown regardless of what colour the glaze was. A great fix for these beads is Arroya glaze which crackles in the kiln giving lovely textures.
I know a lot more about overglaze techniques than I do about glazing, and as china paints and lustres fire at a lower temperature of around 800C they are a great choice for fixing. Here I’ve used satin metallic enamels on black porcelain to pick out the textures. I liked the black bisque but the texture was lost.
China paints were used to highlight these pieces too.
Metal lustres are great for adding a bit of sparkle or picking up texture, I’ve used copper lustre on these beads and pendants, some were pretty boring but now they are more interesting.
Lustres are really hard to photograph so here’s another angle, they aren’t as brown in real life, they are copper coloured, the tear drop pendant on the right has been transformed and looks a bit like raku thanks to copper lustre it now looks lovely.