Friday, May 30, 2008

Fresh from the kiln . . .


After a couple of tweaks, I got the raku kiln firing up great. I made a few pendants and many new pieces that will be going up for sale in my etsy shop in the next few days...These are mostly done with a Rainbow Copper glaze that I mixed up...I will be testing a white crackle, hopefully a turquoise crackle as well, and a nice new cobalt recipe next firing...which may not be for a couple of days with the weather forecast...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spring Raku Evenings . . .


Well, I fired up my re-lined raku kiln for the first time this weekend and I am happy to say that I am back in business...I am looking forward to getting my growing stockpile of wares fired and to get some more raku jewelry underway as well...It was a beautiful day to raku...as I was getting all of my raku gear out of my shed, I ran into the culprit of last year's shredded raku kiln living in my shed again...he was very brazen and even waited while I went to grab my camera...


below is a picture of my platform for the raku kiln made up of cinder block and then fire brick...

That's me placing the red hot 1700 degree pottery into the can of combustibles . . .Fun Fun!


And the prize shot of the evening . . . "Hot Pants" . . . a lot of hazardous gas expulsion around Raku jokes and headlines were tossed around with this shot...but thankfully I am not really on fire or emitting fire...just a cool accidental double exposure shot of me while I was running around ;-)

Raku vessels waiting for glazing . . .


One of the finished bowls below . . . this one just got listed in my etsy store!

To learn more about the Raku process and philosophy, you can check out my Raku web page...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Stormy Weather


I just love storm clouds . . . you can't beat the lighting for anything. I just took these shots a few weeks ago while driving home. The weather has been anything but predictable . . . but I did get in about an hour of yard-sale shopping in yesterday before it let go and everyone quickly put away the good stuff . . . I did manage to get one awesome find though . . . A huge box of thousands of gorgeous sea shell that were hand-picked by some local scuba divers for only $3! Yard sales are the best! Now I am thinking about what to do with them . . . okay, done with my coffee, time to get some work done . . .


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ready to Raku (again...)

We had a beautiful day here yesterday for our Art Yard Sale and I mananged to get rid of quite a few glaze testers and seconds...just in time for the next influx. I made the careless mistake of storing my hand-built raku kiln on the floor in my storage shed. It never even occurred to me that mice would find the fiberglass heat blanket that lines the kiln as luxury bedding. I hate even touching the stuff. But I was left with a shed of shredded fiberglass and no raku kiln. Live and learn I guess...But finally I have relined the kiln and we are ready to go! Below is a pic of some bisque-fired pots waiting to be glazed . . .

Friday, May 16, 2008

Busy Spring Days . . .

I don't know if I am coming or going lately . . . it has been busy all around . . . I am working on a few bookcovers that I need to wrap up as quickly as possible. This saturday, oops that's tomorrow isn't it, I will be participating in the Allentown Art Guild's Art Yard Sale, which is basically an informal show to clear out our studios. I have been trying to get somewhat of a vegetable garden in, which I am happy to say I just managed to finish yesterday in time for the rain. It will be a small one this year, as I am in the process of killing a lot of grass to make room for lots of new plantings and walking paths through the garden. I am currently waiting on 1 ton of mulch to be delivered to create the beds. It is like having a nice blank canvas to work with and I am very exciting to start laying it out. Here is a little garden pic from yesterday . . . seems we are all busy right now ;-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tiger Lily Dream . . .

Finally springtime is here! I have been very busy in the garden and cleaning up the wetlands ... The purple loosestrife is really taking over and I am trying to pull them out by hand now. It is such a shame that it is such an invasive species as it is so beautiful in bloom in august...It has gotten so out of control over the last 5 years, we can hardly see the creek at all now in the winter, all you see is the dead loosestrife plants. We have seen a lot of frogs this year so far as well as small fish and newts. The other day, we actually saw a common brown watersnake ambush an unsuspecting frog that had been sunning on the side of the creek....fortunately for the frog, he was too large a meal for the snake to put down and after 20 minutes, the snake finally let him go...


On the art front, I have been working more on my wetland series of paintings . . . I have finally posted this ceramic/art piece up for sale in my etsy shop, sometimes it takes me awhile to part with them . . . it is a large slab formed hand-painted tile inspired by the tiger lillies...the back is constructed so that the piece can be hung directly on a wall, or of course it can be displayed on an easle or actually installed as a tile...