Having a monthly review now I feel that I should save up all my makes for the end of the month, so maybe it’s time to review having the review 🙂
The first thing I do when I get out of bed is head up the garden path, usually in my dressing gown and slippers ( sound familiar?) to open my kilns. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, it feels like Christmas every morning when you have a kiln.
So today I have one to load up and switch on, and one to open up, so I thought I’d share this moment with my readers.
This is what’s going in the one I’ve just switched on, the brown stuff will be coloured and shiny once fired. The black pen lines fire away and leave no trace. This is the first stage of one of my handpainted lustre bowls.
This is what’s on the top batt (shelf) of the kiln I’ve just opened up. The kiln fairies have played nicely.
I told you it was exciting ( or is that just me?), this is what’s on the second batt.
And the bottom batt.
I will give you some better photo’s of my pots at the end of the month once they have some lustre on, I know I’m being a tease 🙂
I bought some flowers yesterday so I have been photographing some ikebana bowls. I set up on the table in the garden room, the light is great in there unless the sun comes out, which it did, but the blinds do a great job of filtering the light.
I bought an inexpensive mixed bouquet and picked a few bits from the garden , including some sorbus berries, I think this one is called Kashmiriana.
I just ad libbed and didn’t bother with my ikebana book, I soon realised less is more so I started removing some bits and pieces. It’s much better when you can see the bowl don’t you think? And the container and floral arrangement should harmonise, I chose these flowers to compliment the copper lustre on the pot.
Also these chrysanthemums echo the design on this pot. Small pom pom dahlias would work well too. I also had a play with my small pot which is intended to be a succulent planter . I’m not sure if it follows the tradition of ikebana but I thought it worked well as a container. It’s surprising how effective a couple of flowers and some foliage from the garden can be.
I’m really enjoying learning about ikebana, so much so I think I might have to get a dedicated console table for the hall, to place a Zen greeting when you come indoors.
I have 2 kiln loads of bisque waiting to be glazed, and while I was unstacking the kiln I was thinking it would be great if things could happen more quickly, but good things are worth waiting for so I came up with this slogan……
It’s true because I have some pots that came out the kiln yesterday that I love, they were fired a third time to add copper and platinum lustre. Thinking about all the time involved from rolling out a ball of clay, and forming the pots. Then the wait of a week or so until they are dry, with some time spent cleaning them between. Next they are fired, slowly, I usually get up early to put the kiln on so it’s finished before I go to bed. Then the wait until the kiln is cool enough to open and unstack. Then time spent adding 3 or 4 coats of glaze, and drying time before firing and cooling again.
Usually this is the end product but if I want to add overglazes or lustres there’s more time painting and firing and cooling and waiting. Overglaze painting could be another 3 firings at least.
So you see why I need to learn patience but good things are worth waiting for don’t you think?
There are problems with BT internet just now so everything is taking forever to upload, I did get some succulent planters and this ikebana bowl listed in my Etsy shop. The great thing is my pots can be used for both, or even for cacti. I got a lovely bunch of arum lilies for only £2 at Aldi today so I got my photo shoot done. Don’t they look great with the dark glazed pot?
Some of these have gone off to the gallery along with some of my handpainted porcelain lustreware, that was stuck in the kiln when the electric went off.
Here are my new handbuilt ceramic succulent planters , a new range from Kiln Fired Art . I love the way the texture reflects the form of the succulent plants. Once planted they take very little looking after, I have had mine planted up for 3 months and it’s only been watered 2 or 3 times. I think this must be because they are covered so there is little evaporation. My succulent is an Echevera, and it’s so happy it has even flowered.
I put a layer of gravel in the base of the pot, then planted in cacti compost and topped it off with some more gravel.
I think the key to growing succulent plants is to not over water, I have a moisture meter that I can easily poke into the soil , but if you just feel the compost with your finger you can feel if it is damp.
It’s been pointed out to me that these are the perfect bowl for Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, so I have ordered a pin to try it out.
I haven’t blogged much lately as I have been so busy with my new work. Something in my stars must have been in alignment lately as I have been quite prolific and produced 3 new lines of work, I will show you more in the next few days.