Tag Archives: kiln fired art

Ceramic Wall Art – Leaves And Fishes

Just a short post today; I have been taking things more slowly this past week, having said that I have a lot of clay work drying, I have a box of finished items that need listing in my Etsy shop, I’ve been sewing, and cooking for the freezer. So I haven’t been unproductive but I feel less frantic about getting everything done having given myself permission to slow down.

I have a bit of a plan, part of which is to get the raku stock made now rather than wait until people start Christmas shopping. It’s not much fun braving a dull cold and even rainy day to raku fire under the porch. I have a few more firing days planned in the next couple of weeks before the weather cools down.

So for now I’m listing leaves and fishes in my shop, Kiln Fired Art

Here’s some of my favourite leaves in my shop now.
ceramic leaf wall art

ceramic decorationsThere are ceramic fish too, including mackerel and sprats.

bathroom wall art ceramic fish

shoal of fish ceramic wall art bathroom decoration

I had a stoneware glaze firing yesterday so lots more to come including earring charms and succulent pots as well as some new items, I will show you what came out of the kiln shortly.

Dyeing my Japanese crossover apron

While the sun was shining last weekend I started to prune my apple trees, the leaves were stripped off and put in my large catering pot to make some dye. According to my books they should yield a nice bright yellow green dye with an alum mordant.

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The pot simmered away, giving an apple / cabbage smell to the house which wasn’t  unpleasant. The liquid turned a golden yellow colour.
UntitledAfter straining out the leaves the mordanted apron went into the pot and was boiled for over an hour. It was rinsed and hung out to dry.
UntitledThe colour was a nice golden yellow, not green at all, sorry I forgot to get a photo.

The next day I dyed the other apron with a turquoise dye, then I gathered my printing leaves choosing ones I know print well, geranium and cotinus, rose and wild strawberry. I used an iron dip on the leaves and some vinegar on the fabric. The fabric was just damp, as I have been told this helps in achieving clear prints.

I thought the best way to position the leaves would be to turn the apron inside out, lift the flaps, place the leaves then fold over the flap, then repeat on the other side. I added some onion skins too.
UntitledThe apron was folded and folded again, bundled and tied ready for steaming in the fish kettle. (Sorry no photo)
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UntitledOnce my bundles were cold  they were untied and unrolled.
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UntitledThe leaves were picked off , the aprons were washed. Sadly the turquoise dye washed out as it doesn’t work on cellulose fibres, but I had forgotten that as I’m used to working with silk. I have to say I was slightly underwhelmed by the leaf prints, and I may have gone overboard on the onion skins. One of the things you have to accept with eco printing is the serendipitous nature of the process, but I like surprises. Cotton is supposed to be the hardest fabric to eco print on, but I have had some great results on cotton blankets used when dyeing silk scarves so I had hoped for better results, more well defined leaf prints.
Once ironed I think I like them more.
Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronThe apricot colour is stronger than it’s showing on my monitor, it is a pretty colour.

Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronI had planned to hang them on the apple trees to photograph them, but the weather is so bad I had to photograph them indoors.

Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronWhat constantly amazes me with eco printing are the variations, these two had the same fabric, mordant, leaves, onion skins, and steamed together and yet some onion skins have printed green on this apron but not on the other one.
Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronThere are some areas that I really like on both aprons, and I love the apricot colour from the apple leaf dye, I think the onion skins modified the colour slightly.
Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronMy daughter loves them and thinks they would make great tops for festival going.

I dyed a couple of pieces of fabric that could be used for pockets, I was undecided whether to add a front pocket but I think it would be very useful on an apron, don’t you ?

Working with the seasons – trying to keep up

A lot of the work that I enjoy doing involves working with the seasons, using the leaves and foliage available at certain times of the year. Last year I only got a couple of hosta pots made before the leaves fell victim to the frosts. So this year I patiently waited for them to come into leaf. But then we had a couple of trips away so it’s only now that I have had the time to make some more pots. I made some small incense stick holders and tea light holders, or they could even be used as a ring tray.
UntitledI made some ‘fossil’ tiles too, but I missed the buttercups and late spring flowers that I wanted to use so I tried some new ideas like clematis and lavender as well as seed heads.

Working with the seasons

Working with the seasons
UntitledAnother thing about working with the seasons is the weather, it’s been quite hot so I’ve worked in the garden, playing mud pies and recycling some clay.
Working with the seasonsIt’s firming up nicely now.

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I took some time in the shade to make some fish, hares, and soap dishes for my handmade soap. I think I need to make a few more for the shop. I had to work quickly in the heat and keep everything damp while I was working. Handling the clay kept me feeling cool, I love playing with mud on a hot day.
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I’ve been out collecting leaves for eco printing too, more on that later.

 

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!

 

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.

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  🙂

New ceramics in the making

It’s  been a busy week, I’ve made quite a lot, thankfully my mojo has returned and I think seeing signs that Spring is not far off has given me an energy boost. It’s  come at the right time as I need stock for my Etsy shop and a Spring event.

I made some of the old favourite ‘Ella’s Doily’ ikebana bowls as well as some that are a little different with plant impressions. I am waiting eagerly for the hosta leaves to appear; this working with the seasons takes patience.

Ceramics in the making

Ceramics in the making

Ceramics in the makingThere are hearts too
Ceramics in the makingAnd wrens

Ceramics in the making

Hares
Ceramics in the makingAlso a custom order for pendants

Ceramics in the makingThere are clocks and tiles needing cleaning this morning.
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UntitledThe tiles are going to have glaze effects.

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Also some fish
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The snowdrop pieces and little dishes are bisque fired now, I need to consider what glazes to use, more on that later.

Enjoy your day 🙂