Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Glazes, frangipani and a forgotten bunny

So finally I have new pottery to display here and I realise I have neglected to show this bunny bowl from a while ago. At least I think I forgot. I can't find it anyway.
I was inspired by the bunny stamp I bought some time back.
Meanwhile more recently out of the kiln are a few bowls I used as glaze experiments, reason being that the bowls themselves were so ugly and I couldn't believe I even let them go in the kiln.
Firstly, copper rust glaze in two thicknesses:

I prefer the darker shade.
Next up, as seen on Jayne's blog, tenmoku/satin white and tenmoku/hyacinth blue/satin white:
Really interesting effects.
I love the variations you can get with the tenmoku/hyacinth combination. Here is an older bowl and a newer bowl with the same glazes but quite different results:

I have always liked to make a hollowed out base but I thought I would try a flat finish for a change. In the process Jayne has helped me improve my turning so that the shape continues on rather than stopping abruptly. You might see the difference here:
Off topic, I have always loved frangipani flowers and recently we planted some cuttings which look like they will be successful. I am fascinated by the development of the growth and decided to document it.
1. Tips of branches turn green and pointy things appear. (excuse lack of technical language)

2. Pointy things turn out to be leaves!

3. Something unusual starts to appear amongst the leaves.

4. It gets taller.

5. Look closely as it grows and I'm fairly confident that each of these twirly things is a flower bud!!!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Practical pottery

Hasn't been much to report. It's been a bit cold to head into the studio. Did pop in and pick up a sugar bowl fresh out of the kiln. I love the beauty of pottery but it's great when it becomes functional. I noticed a stem of orchids hanging down in one of my pot plants and it was in a spot where it hardly gets noticed or appreciated. So I cut the stem and brought it inside. It now has pride of place in my Gary Rith vase.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Gary Rith Pottery

I got to open my Gary Rith Pottery! Check it out...
So beautiful. The first thing I noticed was the weight. As I picked up the packages I thought "This can't be pottery." I am so used to handling my own amateur pieces which still have quite thick sides because I am too scared to go any thinner. I love the little flecks/grains in the clay. I've seen Jayne get this effect and I've always admired it. Can't wait to get some flowers into the vase. What to put in the bowl? Hmm.
Here is a shot of the pottery in place in front of my white timber shutters. Amazing the difference in the photo with different lighting.
Oh and I got a bonus Godzilla fridge magnet! :) (Have neglected to take a photograph.)

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Bigger bowl and the latest pendants

Away from the studio lately but have managed to get a larger (for me) bowl out of the kiln and a couple of new pendants. The bowl opens out to 15cm or 6inches to give you an idea of the size. It's not enormous, but it is a step up from my little bowls. I am finding that I am not needing to cut the tops off these days to level out my bowls. This in itself is an achievement!
Not sure about the tree pendant. I think the colour on the leaves needs to be darker to stand out more.

In other news, I get to open my Gary Rith pottery soon! Yay!!!
And here's a photo of one of my crimson rosellas...

Sunday, 7 June 2015

More pendants

Haven't created much lately, lots of other things going on. But I have managed to get two pendants out of the kiln. I made the images using my handmade polymer stamps from Giselle No5 on etsy. Painting the images with underglaze (three times each of course!) was an effort with my shaky hands but well worth it once I saw the finished items.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Muscle building

It appears that I have not been taking this whole wheel throwing thing seriously at all for the last eighteen months. I attempted (successfully I might add) a Larger Piece Of Clay yesterday. Twice actually. My arms are sore today. I even used my stomach muscles which can't be a bad thing. These bowls/pots I have been making all this time now look like they belong in a doll's house. (Ok, I'm exaggerating now.) The two bowls I threw yesterday are certainly not fruit bowl size, but they are bigger than a breakfast bowl. I might glaze them in my new favourite combination of double dipped tenmoku/hyacinth blue just like these two smaller affairs that just came out of the kiln...
Don't you just love spectacular glaze effects?
In other news, the pottery club now has Running Water in the studio. Running Water! I was so excited I took a photo.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

A few new things

So here is an addition to the "collection" of clear glazed bowls. I'm quite pleased with it. I really like the colour combination of the orange and green. And my throwing is getting better! Thinking of attempting larger pieces soon.
Also, I made a much improved Cat 2.0 for a cat loving friend. The tail actually broke off during the first firing due to another potter's creation exploding. But I added lots of clear glaze over the underglaze and it seems to have done the trick.
Finally, the saga of the Christmas decorations. These take much more time than you would think. There is the sanding and the painstaking process of colouring the letters. The star on the left is clear glazed which I prefer. The one on the right is white underglaze which is a fail. Dipping in white glaze rather than painting with underglaze may give a better result but I don't know how to approach the colouring of the letters. I like the natural effect of the clear glaze anyway.

Saturday, 25 April 2015


While waiting for my Birthday in July when I get to open my Gary Rith pottery, I have been working on a new collection...pendants! Check out the fake leather necklaces, 15 cents each from Hong Kong! No I didn't hand sculpt each flower. I used cake decorating tools.

I'm really happy with them. Expect more.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Clay cat 2.0

I really don't know what makes me think I can make small fiddly things with my shaky hands. But I continue to put myself through it. Maybe it's the end results. Hmm. Anyway, think back to the cat I made for a friend (and I'm not a cat person) or rather let's not think back to it. Because I really wasn't all that happy with it. I was trying to make it look like an animated character and it just didn't translate. So it has been on my mind to get back into the clay and make a better one even though a cat isn't the sort of thing I would normally make. Well here we go, a result I think I may actually be happy with...
This project got bumped up in the schedule as I was unable to paint the letters on my stars (in the background of the photo) due to my underglaze order taking so long to get here that it must be arriving by camel train.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Handmade stamps

I am a sucker for etsy. Always doing searches, being inspired by others and ultimately...buying stuff! But I have never been disappointed when my parcel arrives in the mail. Yesterday I received four handmade polymer clay stamps to use on my clay creations. All the way from the US, lovingly packaged and proving to be high quality workmanship. I am laid up with a cold at the moment and not motivated to be creating anything just now with a stuffed up nose. But I can't wait to be all better and trying these stamps out on some clay. I'm seeing pendants and I'm seeing embellishments on my pots. And I can't help but think there are other stamps I should have ordered as well. There's always next time. Credit where it is due, the creator of these beauties is Giselle and her etsy shop is Giselle No.5, store link here...GiselleNo5

Friday, 20 March 2015


I have recently been told about precious metal clay. Wow. The concept amazes me. The possibilities are endless. Then I found out the price. *sob* $65 for 18grams. I imagine that is one, maybe two pendants. Still, I have a big Birthday coming up. So I spent a week searching for information and watching tutorials only to end up discovering that large ceramic kilns are not recommended as the temperature varies throughout them. *bigger sob* Ah well, back to reality. Here is the latest out of the kiln...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Some finished things

So here we have the completed owl for one friend and elephant for another friend. I am quite pleased with the results. I decided to go with the natural colouring to highlight the shape rather than being distracted by colours. Hmm, I'm really loving the effect of lighting I got in the owl photo.

When I think back to my first owl, I realise my aunty was ripped off. This one is a vast improvement. I'd better think about making her another one.
And just for something different here is a bowl finished with tomato red glaze, a colour I have never used as it's just not me. But I'm quite enjoying the change. I like the flecks of green showing through.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Scotty dog

An addition to the group of animals for friends. I did attempt a Japanese flying squirrel but was trying to be realistic and it failed. I realised I do much better when producing the essence of something rather than a realistic representation.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Best bowl ever

I used my new custom tools this week and wow, what a difference. As one of the others in the club said, sometimes it is how a good quality piece of equipment makes you feel that makes the difference. And I certainly got a lot of enjoyment out of the look and touch of the tools. I wasn't really sure what the surfboard was for and thought it was for making a "rim" at the base of the bowl, but I got the idea to try it on the rim at the top instead of using my fingers. This was brilliant! Check out the results...

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Chook bowl!

So out of the kiln this week came a cat, a hand pressed bowl and finally the chook bowl I have been wanting to make.

Apologies to cat lovers, as the cat looks slightly pig-like. I was copying a cartoon cat and it sort of failed in the translation. Very happy with the chooks though.