Thursday, 26 December 2013

December creations

Such a long time since I posted. But I have a lot of creations to share. I collected them last week after spending five days in hospital with pneumonia. Prior to that I had seven days of illness including back pain, fever and hallucinations. Fun. Anyway I am on the mend now and hoping the tests do not reveal the cause to be birds or ceramic dust.
First up, I love the variations that copper rust glaze can produce depending how long you hold the piece in the glaze. Personally I prefer the deeper colour but I like playing with the different shades. Excuse the poorly made larger vessel. Not one of my greater moments on the wheel.
Behold my first ever mug! I was so excited that this turned out. I have used turquoise underglaze, my favourite colour. Also here you can see a project that I have had on my mind for some time, I scratched the lower part of the vase to create a rough texture (I did this during the turning process) and left that part unglazed. I'm really happy with the effect although it's probably difficult to see the texture properly in the photo.
I was ready to go back to basics when I made these three little pots. I needed a rest from the challenge of mugs and vases and wanted to improve my general skills. I had fun colouring them, using turquoise underglaze on the first one and dripping jade underglaze with an eyedropper, apricot underglaze on the second one with turquoise patterns and matt denim glaze on the third one.
Next up, a couple of hand sculpted characters, one based loosely on the anime character Totoro.
And of course yet another bird...
Then there is my attempt at a nativity scene which has been fired without any glaze as I wanted a raw look.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

More little birds

My hand sculpting almost always ends up involving birds. So nothing has changed in that department. Out of the kiln came these creations last week.
We are getting a hand raised major Mitchell cockatoo. We got to visit the babies on the weekend. I took photos of course.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Something to blog about

It's been very quiet in here while the kiln has been broken. Thanks to Jayne for fixing the kiln - yay! This is where I would insert a picture of Jayne headfirst in the kiln if a)I had thought to take a photo at the time or b)I could actually draw. So now I have something to blog about.

These two bowls thrown on the wheel are only noteworthy for their mistakes learning possibilities. Bowl 1 teaches me that the glaze must not be too thick and when sanding I must make sure the item is dustfree before glazing. Bowl 2 teaches me that the use of wax resist to create a speckled bowl has potential but requires further attempts (maybe the outer glaze was not thick enough.)
Last month Jayne suggested everyone in the Mildura Pottery Club give her one of their pieces of pottery to enter in the local Show. I was amazed to hear that I had won first prize until I went to the Show to see for myself. In actual fact everyone had won a first, second or third in various sections, thus lowering my sense of excitement. All the same, I shall be displaying my card next to my pottery.
Zone out now if you are not interested in random bird photos I have taken recently with my new digital SLR.
Baby plumhead parrot bred in our aviary.
Topnotch/crested pigeons in our back yard. Thanks to my son for editing out the garden hose in the foreground. (Something I need to learn all about in the next holidays.)
Close up of "Tom" using my macro lens, focusing on his eye. Tom is a kakariki bred in our aviary.
"Missy" having a bath. Missy is a young crimson rosella. She will lose her green and gain more red and blue as she becomes an adult. This photo was taken from outside the cage so the wire has caused the slight foggy look. I will learn to edit that in time.
Teenage magpies hanging out in our yard. They actually had a sort of "play wrestle" on the ground at one point.
A willy wagtail having a bath in our yard. If you see the photo in a larger frame, the drops of water are visible.
"Jasper" having some downtime in a hollow log. He is my young male crimson rosella.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Colourful pots

Very happy with the shape of this pot. My third session on the wheel. Also very pleased with the royal blue gloss glaze.
Smaller pot, matt lavender glaze...
Handbuilt pot with jade green underglaze...
I bought two pots while on holiday in South Australia. I like the colour combination of my newest pots sitting alongside them.
Improved photo quality due to the purchase of a digital SLR.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

New creations

It took me six months but I finally got the courage to attempt hand sculpting a dragon. It's taking quite a while to dry. I'm really glad I hollowed out the underside at the start and not afterwards or it would never have survived.

Then there was another bird, a cockatoo this time.
I was very excited to get my first thrown bowls out of the kiln after glazing. Bowl one was glazed with tenmoku, bowl two with hyacinth blue and bowl three double dipped tenmoku then hyacinth blue. Bowl three is my favourite for shape and colour.

My second session of throwing produced two shallow bowls with straight sides due to my first collapsing sides requiring them to be cut down. I experimented with some different colours of glaze (lavender and royal blue) but using a brush has taught me not to use a brush. I used a brush simply because I had bought them myself in smaller quantities than the colours I can use at the pottery group. Jayne has suggested I try pouring the glaze over next time. I'm willing to give that a go as I would like to have more colours to choose from.

This week my third session of throwing produced two new shapes that I am loving, especially the larger one which is exactly what I was aiming for. Next goal is to go LARGER!

Monday, 29 July 2013

I know it's Winter but... Sturt Desert Pea is flowering already with a good month left until Spring arrives. It's the first year I've had one of these and I'm super impressed. It has been grafted to give it more chance of success.
In other un-pottery related news, we did a flying visit to the Melbourne Zoo on Friday filling in time before the wwe Raw event (I'm a woman of many interests). We literally ran through the zoo to get to the flight aviary being huge bird enthusiasts. I have a female eclectus parrot
so I was very excited to see a male eclectus parrot! He was looking inside a hollow in a tree and we said "Look, he thinks there might be a girl in there."
And we sure were surprised when we realised he was right.
He ended up flying over and landing right next to us.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The joy!

I threw a pot!
This week Jayne taught me to throw and turn. I made three bowls. This is the my favourite out of the three. I am still in shock that I made it. No doubt a trained eye and hand could find faults with it but to me it is perfect.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Thursday, 4 July 2013

New glazes and a novel for potters

I found a glaze to suit the chickens I wanted to make. Chrysanthos brand, mid brown underglaze. These chickens represent our backyard chickens so one is slightly bigger than the other as in real life.
I also tried out Cesco royal blue full glaze...
Photo doesn't really do the colour justice.
And Cesco lavendar full glaze...
And I have just finished reading a novel that I would like to recommend to you all called A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. It is about a boy working for a potter in Korea in the twelfth century. Not only did I become totally absorbed in the story and the characters but the references to pottery techniques added extra interest.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Panda love

If you google images of tare panda you will see what inspired this latest creation. I am yet to decide if I have the energy to make a whole bunch of them (according to one website, the collective noun is "sleuth") and stack them up. For those who don't feel like googling, the pandas are a Japanese creation and are often seen forming a tower. Tare panda means lazy panda, hence the flat appearance of my clay creation.
Believe it or not, this small fish started out as the head of an evil bunny...

Friday, 3 May 2013

Animal characters

Very excited for these to come out of the kiln. The emu is inspired by Peter Browne paintings. The chameleon is because they fascinate me. And the sheep is because I love the sheep with the black faces. (quick google...Suffolk?)

Very happy with the results.