Friday, 29 January 2010

Wall flowers...

The journey to making my poppy bowls in porcelain has been a long one. I mean really long!! It just doesn't like the way I work!!! Or at least it didn't until I got my hands on a new type last year that seems more suited to my methods. So I have been experimenting for a while, and considering where I was going with this. I did make a couple of poppy bowls, largely to prove to myself that it were possible, and then I developed the idea into something slightly different. Wall flowers. Here is the first one out of the kiln...

I made a batch of these, and the rest of them came out this evening... They look great as a group - as soon as there is good light I will take some shots of them.
They are pinch pots, and I have always been a little obsessive about making my pinch pots as thin as possible. I was told a long time ago that thin pinch pots wouldn't work... that was like a red rag to a bull - I have made hundreds that worked fine since I was told that! Making pinch pots this thin from porcelain has been a challenge I have to say, but I got there in the end... I won't tell you how many casualties there were along the way. The effect of making them so thin out of porcelain, and firing it pretty hot is that it vitrifies, and becomes translucent. The next image shows what happens when you hold it up to the light.

This was daylight from inside through a north facing window on a bright-ish day. I think it is amazing, the way you can see through the thinner parts more. It reminds me of real petals! You can even see in the centre the indent in the back where I created a recess for a pin in the wall to hold it up.
The only drawback has been how to present them. I experimented with a few different backdrops, and have had to deviate from my rule. Up until now everything I put on my shop had to be photographed with a white background. The trouble with these was that it was like looking for a polar bear in a snowstorm - you just couldn't make out clearly where the flower ended and the backdrop began. I tried pink...

And whilst I liked it in a way, I didn't think it really emphasized their subtlety. But then maybe it shows their versatility. I just can't help but think of these as whisperers not shouters! So I have chosen grey - I think it works a lot better. The only downside is that I can feel the OCD part of me twitching in panic about the fact that now not every single piece in my shop has a white background...
Opinions on the colour, and anything else of course, are as always appreciated!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Interview two is now live...

Check it out here at Sassy Glass Designs' lovely blog.
You can also check out her jewellery at her etsy shop - lovely stuff!
A big big thank you for featuring me Sass!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

My bird obsession continues...

I thought it was about time I made some thing other than ceramics, so last week I finally made new scatter cushion covers for my lounge. Do I have time to do this? Not really but I was obsessed with this fabric so I had no choice... Besides it only took a few hours to make four so it was worth it! It is apparently an urban outfitters fabric, and I ordered it online. When it arrived it was a lighter weight linen than I had expected, so it had to have another similar colour fabric behind it which made them slightly more laborious. I backed them in a plain black for contrast, and recessed black zips into the bottom edge so that they can be easily removed for cleaning but are tidy in shape. My sofa is a charcoal grey L-shape, and it REALLY needed cheering up! The entire room was just too well coordinated and a little masculine; it needed a few bits of colour clash in there to cheer it up. These are just the job :) I love the fifties feel of the print, and all the happy looking birds.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Two interviews in a week?! What's going on?!!

Over the last week I have been approached by two different bloggers and sent interview questions regarding my work. I am hugely flattered and thankful of course for the publicity! The first one to go live is here on Kara Annis's blog. She's a talented jewellery maker as well as a great blogger, and you can see her etsy shop here.

After quickly overcoming my initial nervousness about it, I realised that to be interviewed is a nice thing, to be able to show the person behind the work, sort of like I do here, but with some outside input in the questions. Of course there is the benefit of reaching a different audience, but there were unexpected benefits that arose; for example, describing my creative process made me stop and actually think about and analyse my creative process, rather than just doing it. So a big thank you to Kara for the opportunity, for making me think, for the thoughtful questions she asked, and for being so lovely to deal with!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

1245 degrees C!!!

Saved from a career in baked bean retail by my kiln maintenance... Yes, kiln element change number 2 worked, and new products are out of the kiln at last! See them here in my etsy shop :)
In fact, here's a preview of one of them...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy new year!

It seems I am one of the few back to work around here as where I am we have had heavy snow. There has been pretty much no gritting going on from what I can tell, and the snow just keeps on falling... Luckily I can do some work from home, but a couple of orders will be sent out later than usual.
Having had a wonderful Christmas and new year, I finally packed away the Christmas decorations today, and thought I would share a couple of images of these lovely seasonal flowers that Santa brought this year...
A photo could never do them justice, but what can I say... Amarylis, red roses and hot pink gerberas... I must have been a very good girl last year.
So having cleared the decks it is time to make a plan and get my head back into some serious work. I've been busy glazing the remaining bisque that was done before the Christmas rush took over my life completely, and am looking forward to starting building with a clear head once that lot is out of the kiln. My etsy shop is looking somewhat depleated, so I can't wait to get the new pots out and get them on there. One or two are already spoken for, and it's not a huge batch, so I had better get some new pieces made pronto! I'm also running a January sale now to clear a few items out and start the year afresh. If you'd like to see the discounted items, you can view my sale section here. There are no seconds I promise, every item is absolutely perfect, I just want to start the new year with a clear mind and some new ranges.
So 2010.... what will you have in store? I can't wait to get my teeth into this year and find out!