Etsy Shop

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Another Etsy Sale and the Start of Cycling Season

The last glaze firing was an effort in patience. I patiently waxed each piece and made sure there were no drips or unwaxed spots. I also glazed very slowly and then took the time to wipe each bottom dry and took care not to touch anything until the glaze was dry. actually paid off!!!!!

Most of what came out of the kiln found itself directly onto Etsy! A mug sold hours after posting. I now know what glaze everyone is after, many of my friends really like the same thing. Luckily, I have a lot of it left! Here is the mug that sold:

Sadly, the kitchen utensil holder has a crack in it, but I decided to list my first seconds piece and put it on Etsy anyway since it doesn't change or hurt its function, or its beauty. I wish I knew where the quote was from so I could credit them, but an artist said they like imperfection because you can tell a human made it. So. True.

A few goblets also came out well. Some cracked where the foot is attached but I believe this is a function of adding the foot when the top part is too dry. Timing is everything. Learning this slowly, but learning it nonetheless.

Ahhh, and my other non work related love, CYCLING. I race bicycles and at many points in my life I have daydreamed about going pro. Now its one of those things where I want to train and put my all into it, but if I never make it to the pros I won't feel like a failure. My cycling buddy blames it on being too content with life. Trying to decide if being content with life is a compliment when settling in life is such an insult. I imagine if I stopped ceramics and put more effort into being rested for training and training, I would be a much better cyclist. I also imagine that if I stopped cycling and put all my effort into art, I would be a much better artist. Is it better to be content with both or really successful at one or the other? I could also try harder to win the lottery because I suspect if I did not have to work, I probably could do both. I keep playing but my numbers just never seem to come up......!

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. " -Henry David Thoreau

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wow, this is the longest and most drawn out post ever!

Whew! Another rough week, looking forward to the end of the semester and GRADUATING!

Several really awesome things happened this week in the world of MFS Ceramics. The first being selling 3 vases to a TOTAL STRANGER on Etsy. I know this is what happens on Etsy but my other two sales were to people I know and well, when its someone you don't know, they really are just buying it because they like it. And  if you can't get excited about things then what is the point???!!!!! So I did some serious packaging and off they went!

I also learned that if I make mugs in smaller groups, I can really spend some time on the handles and not try to rush through. Here are two pictures of some mugs I am a fan of. (I know I am SUPPOSED to like my work but any artist knows that usually you are your own worst critic.) So check these puppies out!

I am still enjoying carving on pieces. I was pretty happy with these two handles as well. Ceramics is so much about timing. Trimming the piece at the right time, letting pulled handles dry for the right amount of time before attaching, just letting things dry out in general......!

I started making some wide low vases as well. Its a fun form to make and I am a big fan of cooking and storing cooking utensils in pretty things in the kitchen. Other than my Aunt Sally's work, my only handmade ceramic piece is by Tom Hoffman. He left a really awesome vase in my school's studio and my professor told me I could have it. Now it sits on the counter holding every cooking utensil you could ever imagine. So maybe other people like this practice too? Guess we will find out.

Here is my second attempt at making a pretty kitchen utensil holder. The first one is what I would put in the group of "looks like a 4th grade art project." This one is more like 7th or 8th grade.

And in the reclaim battle update, I am totally winning! I am down to about 25 lbs of reclaim in the bin and have used almost all of my wedged reclaim. Trying to get all the clay used and first before I move. Look how great the weather was here this week! And my great studio work table!

I did two glaze firings this week. I know I only have a handful of readers but I wonder if they ever look and wonder what happens to all those great pieces. I post pictures of greenware only to never be seen again. You know what happens to them...GLAZING. Glazing and I don't get along very well and I tend to mess up a lot of pieces. Like handles though, I will probably get tired of messing my pieces up and eventually decide to slow down and let my perfectionism rage before the pieces go into the kiln and not after when I end up refusing to let anyone see them. Here is my desk of pieces acceptable for selling! Etsy should get an update tomorrow!

Notice that chip and dip platter back there?! First successful one! In celebration, I leave you with a picture of the best studio mascot ever!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Jars, and Updated Etsy!

 Oh the Spring time! Thank goodness! No longer freezing in my garagio!  In celebration of pushing myself to become a better potter, I have delved into the world of things other than mugs and bowls. I can tell I have grown as a potter because when I first made lidded jars 3 years ago, they looked nothing like this. Imagine the most unappealing blob shape you can and then imagine some sort of strange flat saucer orbiting around the top somewhere.As you can see, these certainly have ample room for improvement, but the lids fit for the most part. I'd like to work on some new decorating techniques to add some "umph" so that is coming. Sometime in the next 5 weeks before I move my entire life to Boulder.

 Here is one my attempts at decoration. I'm hoping the glaze will kind of smooth it over, without eliminating it. I've actually started thinking about different glazes while I make the piece rather than as an afterthought. Slow, thoughtful contemplation will create beautiful pieces. Must.....Work....On....This! I'm also working on getting a lip that really holds that lid in place. The one on the left is what I'm really going for. Ever been walking with something and the top slides off and shatters to the floor? Its always a bummer!

And here is one of the 6 vases I made in my class at Fat Cat. It was so nice to have so many glaze choices! It seems to make sense to become a member to have access to glazes. Oh if only money grew on trees!

Also updated the Etsy site this morning! 

Time to go hit the studio! And then the beach with friends! I feel so very very blessed to have the great friends that I do! :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Real Sized Goblets, Jars, and a Spider!

 Check out this little guy hiding in my studio. Wonder what kind he is, hopefully not poisonous!

Working has been tough this week, school has picked up and that fire that makes me want to win every single bike race ever has started burning. This basically means on days that I have tough workouts, I am practically useless afterwards. Yesterday I was lucky to get 3 jars trimmed and 6 goblets completed!

I am liking the jars. I can tell my throwing ability has improved because the lids match the bottoms and I only threw one for each. I used to throw about 5 lids for every bottom and simply hope that one might fit. Heres to hoping for no warpage in the firings!

 Those balls are the start of the bottom part of the Goblet. A classmate at school told me he wanted one. I honestly thought these would be beyond my ability. You have to throw in two pieces and both pieces have to absolutely be centered. So you start with the cup part, trim off the excess, and attach the little ball.
 Center the ball on the bottom of the cup, and tada! You can now create your pedastool!

This is my favorite one. Of the 6, I only like about 3. But 50% is pretty good for the first time around. Next set I might work on some more uniformity. Which is always a challenge!

Work is building up, I have been trying to get a variety of shapes and sizes to really pack a full kiln. Looks like I might be able to fill up two once all this work dries. Also considering getting some new glazes still...contemplation, contemplation, contemplation!

In other news, I found a place to live in Boulder! I will have a downstairs bedroom and living room with my own bathroom! That is crazy! Also, my dog will have other dogs to play with and a huuuuuge yard. And the people there seem pretty nice too! :)