Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween, and more

I should post this on Facebook for a "Throwback Thursday picture", because it's a painting I did back in 1969. The brown canvas was left by some movers, and I just used white acrylic. It's life size- too bad it wasn't a longer piece- she would have had complete legs!

These ghosts are about 10-11 inches tall...scary, eh? 

A few of these are at the Cypress Gallery in Lompoc. In actuality the cutouts appear dark, but the camera flash lit up the insides.

This is a 19" stoneware platter, on display this month at the Cypress Gallery. I called it "Spinning"

Monday, July 07, 2014


This is the figure I was commissioned to make copies of. It is a family heirloom, and the owner wanted duplicates (or close) to give to his children. It is a luminary (no top to the hat) about 8" tall.

Here are the ones I made, of thrown and altered spheres. It's really harder to copy something than just start with your own design. Of course, if you're making multiples of your own design, that's copying too. I don't often do that, unless it's dinnerware, etc.

I'm including the side view photo to show the shaping of the body, indicating their big butts-adds to their cuteness. They all have scarfs hanging down the back, too.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Tall vase

Since the wormtower (see below) was going to require me to use a stack of only half shelves in the kiln, I decided to make another tall thing to fill the space available next to the worm tower. I made a form using a heavy cardboard cylinder, with short kiln posts duct taped to one end to form corners, and after a layer of linoleum and paper, wrapped and joined the clay slab. I then added a thrown top and handles. To make the carving on both sides, I inverted the design of the handles. I got a printed pattern from taking a picture of the vase, enlarging it and cutting out the pattern.
My thought in adding the white slip coating before firing was that any glaze would appear brighter over the white areas. As it happened, it would have with some glazes but not the one I chose! wasn't transparent enough. Oh well!
After the glaze firing, a line became visible where the thrown top was added, so I added the cord. I actually think it's a good touch anyway.

...a few things

These are paperweights, The far left one has Mt St.Helen's ash sifted on it while wet, the 2 middle ones have sifted volcanic ash from Alturas CA, the 4th one, long story,  larger particles that didn't stick, so I added sifted Gerstley Borate, which made blotches, not much improved by refiring with added glaze. They are the size of an orange.

Serving bowl, about 9-10 inches across

A covered box, about 6" in diameter.

Worm tower.

This is about 22 inches tall; it is a worm tower I made at the request of a customer...never had heard of such a thing before! It will be buried in her garden to a point past the holes, (it has no bottom), then she will keep adding kitchen scraps. As they compost, the worms come to the holes, feed and digest, etc, improving the soil.  She had seen them made of PVC pipes, but wanted something more organic looking, also somewhat absorbent. I don't have earthenware on hand at the moment, so used a buff stoneware, textured with a press mold I have, added a stain and fired it to bisque temp. only 

For any interested potters, this illustrates what I used to make the worm tower: I wrapped linoleum around my coffee can form, then several layers of paper to allow room for the clay to shrink. I made a big slab, wrapped and joined it, then applied texture. My little bark press mold was made from a jacaranda tree.  The lid was the last thing. It exactly fit into my Skutt 1027 after it was dry.


This is a stoneware piece I think of as a 3-D Yin/Yang It is made of 2 discs, cut to the middle and joined.
This piece, about the same diameter as the ceramic one above, is made of soft copper tubing.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I made 10 of these last fall, still have a few left. I had bought the wooden trays for almost nothing at a thrift shop, and thought they would be perfect for adding tiles....trying different textures.

A long time customer ordered this; it's about 9" in diameter

These are bowls I made for the local "Empty bowls project", plus some experimental eggs.

I made these nests in March, to be used as candy dishes at our granddaughter's wedding reception. The decorations were bird-themed: mini birdhouses on the tables, etc. These nests are about 8" in diameter. I bisque-fired a lot of little sticks first, then shaped the nests of stoneware clay, and after they were partly firm, poked the "twigs" into the clay. The colors are not all glaze; I had to enhance with acrylics.