Monday, October 29, 2012

Another way to make me crazy

In an attempt to apply what I learned at the Potters Council Workshops last weekend, I went to the studio on Saturday after work to see what I could do. I had thrown and trimmed a vase before I left and it was bone dry, just waiting for me to do something with it. I thickened up my terra sig, it was just too thin. After decanting off the excess water, it went on really well, and really black. Then I began marking out my design for a little sgrafitto action. When in Karen's class, she did a lot of this. She completed one large pasta bowl with a relatively intricate design in a fairly short time. The workshop was 3 hours and she managed to fit a lot of stuff into it. I would say the bowl probably took her 1.5 hours to complete from start to finish, probably less, even with all the talking and answering of questions. So I figured it shouldn't take me very long to get the vase done. Wrong. I probably spent 2 hours on Saturday and then another 2 hours on Sunday finishing it off. It looks pretty good, and is in the bisque kiln right now. But afterwards, my neck was throbbing, my hand was a little cramped and I could feel the start of a headache by the time I left for the day. I don't think I will be making my fortune this way. After finishing my OCD sgrafitto pot I did a little trimming and throwing. I was quite happy with my output. I got 1 large bowl done. This one was thrown without a bottom and then a slab bottom applied after it stiffened up a bit (with the help of a fan). I am also attempting a casserole thrown in the same manner as the bowl, but with a slab lid. I have attempted this before, but with limited success as my square bowls always comes out slightly rhomboid, so the lid never really works out as the edge of the lid is a mirror image of the rim of the pot. But I am ever the masochist and will see if I can get it to work this time around (or square in this case). Finally, I threw a more standard casserole to work on in tuesday night's class for lug demonstrations if they are interested. I picked up a nifty paddle while in Lexington. It has a grid texture on one side and a linear texture on the other. I found that if I roll the lug blanks on the linear side, I can make some pretty nice handles. Of course I did not take any pictures of my weekend accomplishments, but will endeavour to do so tomorrow. I may even swing by after work and take some pictures if the kiln has cooled enough to unload.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dinner in Kentucky

Being from Alberta, I know good beef. This was pretty darned tasty. Just look at all that asparagus too! I ordered a Sirloin Oscar. Now I am used to the oscar style the way we do it up here, and probably everywhere else, but not this. To me, andoscar uses a béarnaise sauce (think hollandaise with tarragon), and seafood. This had some sort of creamy cheesy sauce and seafood (crab in this case). Other than that, it was pretty tasty. It should have been too, it took upwards of 70 minutes to be seated. We went to several restaurants that evening looking for food, any food, and they were all packed to the rafters. I guess there was some 2 week long event in town that was culminating that weekend and everyone in Lexington had gone out for dinner on Saturday night.

Fairview Studios 2012 Christmas Sale

Now that I am back from my quick trip to Kentucky, I should let you all know that Fairview Studios will once again have their annual Christmas Sale on Saturday November 24th from 9am to Noon. There will be early bird draws to get you in earlier than the rest and door prizes as usual. I highly recommend this sale. It has been running non stop since before the dawn of time, well, probably the late 70's, but you would need to ask Dave about that. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm Back!

I have not had a chance to really process what I saw/learned over the weekend at the “Ceramic Voice” conference in Lexington. Nor have I even downloaded the last batch of photos that I took on the trip back. But these are the presenters whose workshops I chose to attend and in the order in which I saw them.

First there was Kevin Snipes

After lunch there was Karen Newgard

Sunday morning was Ron Meyers (fantastic!)

And lastly, Kurt Weiser. I was not sure about this one, as china painting, let alone painting, is not something in my vocabulary, but his talk was very informative and gave me some places I may travel to in my ceramic explorations.

All in all, a very cool trip, and I will post a few more pictures as I begin to process all of the “data”

Friday, October 19, 2012

We're here and registered, and I spent a mitt full...

We got in at 4:30, checked into the hotel, went for dinner and then went off to the reception to sign up for our classes. This is where they get you. They have all of their supplies on sale for 20% off as well as good deals on all their books, so of course I had to spend some money :)

Off to sleep now and up early for day one tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Flying away today

My plane is supposed to be leaving at 12:50, but it just rolled up to the gate, so we might be a bit late. Taking off.
Not sure what my wifi connections will be like, but will attempt to post as I find time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I wish...

That there was a way to make money from procrastination. If there was, I would be soooo rich.
I have put off the inevitable, and now I am down to 1 night (the night before I go away) to clean my house (do all my dishes, throw out all the crud that has accumulated over the last little while, do laundry etc and pack for my trip. I can't do it tonight as I am tomorrow it is. At least my flight does not leave until Noon, that should give my laundry time to fully dry before I pack it. Did I mention that my dryer is still toast? Yes, It died a while ago and as the subject of this post may suggest, I have put off getting it fixed. I seem to be doing ok without it though, less energy waste anyway.

I got around to updating my musical selections for the trip, but in the process, I managed to delete almost my entire iTunes library and had to redo it all. So while doing that, I got rid of all my duplicate songs and there seemed to be a lot of them for some reason. While I was at it, I updated my ipad software as well (that was long overdue, iOS6 has been out for a while). I was up a little bit past my bed time, that's for sure. I never really took a look at how much music I really have and was amazed, especially considering that I only listen to a fraction of it. Next, I need to update my phone and get that all sorted out. Other than that, I am ready to go (HA). I'm not sure where I got my procrastination genes from (probably my Dad, it sure wasn't from either set of Grandparents. The moss never grew under their feet, that's for sure.  My mum is one of those people that is ready to go at least a week or two before leaving, so I can't blame her either. I am an always on time and somewhat annoyingly early person (I don't do fashionably late), but I'm never really ready to go until the last minute.

Anyway, tonight I will be teaching, and at least I know what I am demonstrating well in advance of the class (not normal). I will make one of those altered serving dishes I posted about yesterday. I will scale it down so that it is not so overwhelming for the students. It can be tricky to manoeuvre the bottomless walls onto the slab bottom for both the marking and attaching phases, so we will start small (small for me that is).

Monday, October 15, 2012

My weekend results

Here are some of the things I was up to on the weekend. I made 3 of these altered serving dishes and a couple of these slipped spherical pots.

These altered forms are a pain in the butt to make, but I do like the finished result. I just hate hand building. I guess I just need to practice. I did notice that by the 3rd one I was getting more confident in my decisions and actions. Ooh I just had a thought. They would look good with a big pulled handle running from end to end. Maybe tomorrow....

I love the freshness of the wet slip on these round pots. If only I could keep the feel of that look right through to the fired piece. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

6 More Sleeps

That was how I was able to count down the time to an event when I was a child. Time seemed to drag on when I was a kid, especially when a holiday or some other exciting event was coming up. By counting down the number of sleeps required, it seemed to bring it just a little bit closer to reality.

So right now, I am counting down the number of sleeps until I fly away to attend a workshop in Lexington, Kentucky next weekend. It is not even the workshop that I am anxious for, just the time off and away from everything. I have not had a real holiday in a very long time, and although this is only a 6 day trip, with most of it travelling, I am still eager to get away. My friend Susan and I will be flying out to Ontario on Thursday to meet up with her friend Jan who will also be attending the workshop. We will spend the night at her house and then we will all pile in her car on Friday morning and drive the 8+ hours to Lexington. The workshop will be held over the Saturday and Sunday, and then we will drive back to Ontario on Monday and fly home on Tuesday. So I probably will be absolutely knackered when I get back, but a different/good kind of knackered. I am looking forward to some real fall colour, not just the yellow and brown we get here in Calgary, taking lots of pictures of the scenery on the drive, learning and absorbing a bunch of new techniques that hopefully I will be able to then impart to my students when I get back as well as totally geeking out with other clay minded people for 2 whole days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a couple pots from the kiln

Here is a before and after shot of the tall bottle with the tree motirf. I was playing around with different coloured terra sig slips on this one. I started with a mason black stain, graduated into a pale bluish green and finally into a golden rutile. I was not sure how it was going to look as I was just dumping a little of this, and a little of that into the sig.

Here is a really drippy jar. A really thick slip was slathered on all over and then "combed" through with a rippled vegetable cutter (gotta love the dollar stores). The glaze is one I have been testing, hoping for a satin matt surface with hints of pale grey/lavender and copper green, but alas, it just runs all over the darn place.

Monday, October 1, 2012

All the little plates

These are all the little square plates I have been making and experimenting with the shellac resist and terra sig. There were a few fuggly ones in there, but a few really nice ones too.
Here are 6 that I really like:

Has a Tim Burton vibe I think
Love it
Love it
The octopus plate was sold pretty much the second it came out of the kiln, so this is probably the only pic I will have of it. I will have to do more mollusks....
Here are a few other things that I have had on the go for a while and are now ready for the bisque:
I was going a bit dotty by the end of this one
same with this one...
I was working on this bowl while listening to a CBC show that was talking about Glen Gould. While I was shellacking the pattern, they were playing one of his quicker pieces and I think I was flying along with Gould at the same time. The person doing the show said he thought that Gould had "left the stratosphere".