Monthly Archives: August 2011

.time tracking

Does anyone track time on what they work on? I’m wondering if I’m just being anal. I don’t know but I started to time myself especially when i start to carve my designs out. It’s kinda neat to see how fast or slow I am working. One of the pieces I finished on Sunday took me a total of 1.5 hours. The clay I used to threw with was harder than usual so it took me a bit longer. Usually take anywhere from 5-10 minutes for a small to medium sized piece (3 – 12″). Also I trimmed at a wetter stage than I should have adding more time. Normally I don’t trim at all unless I REALLY need too. I detest trimming.
Hopefully I will be able to shave 15 – 30 minutes off my time. I did a really simple design so we will see how long something more elaborate would take me. Overall I just want to be able to work faster.
On another note, I picked up 2 new pieces Sunday. One I absolutely love. I’m so far happy with the firings at Echo but they seemed to be more oxidized than reduced. Oh well. What can you do? Turn out is still good. I haven’t gotten anything back that I think is butt ugly so yeah… I guess I’ll just keep on glazing.

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.large bowl

After my failed attempt to throw a large bowl last Thursday, I went into the studio with a mission to throw a large bowl. It’s quite large and it’s taller than I wanted but I was able to throw VERY thin. I spent a long time waiting for it to set up with the aid of the heating gun so I could achieve this goal. Harry did help me a bit but in the end most of the work was done by me. Towards the end a spot in the rim started to have little cracks. I tried to fill them and hope they won’t give me problems in the future.

I focused on learning to work with a rib and actually have fun. The key is letting things set up. I’ll be using the rib more in the future a lot of my work. Overall I’m happy with the results. Next bowl I would like it to be shallower. I have a small bowl somewhere where I carved into the rim. I’d like a larger one similar. I don’t know how many of these large bowls I will be making. They are fun but I’m not really a functional ware person. I might just make a few available for the holiday sale in Nov. I would like to make a nice large bowl for my mom though. One of her really beautiful large fruit bowls was broken by one of my parents cats. I think she’d like something in that general size that can replace the broken one.


.improvement

I’ve been under this whole thing of improvement. From self (physical, mental & emotional) to organization and declutter (home and work) to learning new techniques from cooking to crafting and artwork. All seems to go well except for my throwing skills. Ive been open to suggestion in improvement so I’ve been showing up to Robert Miller’s class and now taking a class from Jim. However, just these past two days I seem to have my head up my ass or something. In Jim’s class my head wasn’t in the right space. Last night I attempted to throw a bowl. My attempt was a serious fail. I don’t know why I even bother to try to make functional ware. Throwing a large bowl is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I will try again tomorrow. Maybe my head will be clearer. I also need to rest my back tonight. I’m in serious pain and having having fibromyalgia makes it worse.


.xiem & backpain

XIEM STUDIO
iHeart Xiem studio for it’s big open space, cleanliness and efficiency. Looking to become a member but on a wait list. In the meantime I’ll just take classes. In the end it somewhat evens out with the Berman studio because firing is included with class. I know it cost to run a kiln etc, but seriously sometimes I feel that I’m getting ripped a new one at Berman’s. I think I benefit the most from Echo just for firing but it’s just too far for me. I guess each studio has it’s perks and drawbacks. Just trying to figure out what’s the best and cost effective direction to go in.
So last nights first class was fun. The instructors name is Jim. He’s quite laid back. I thought there might be as many as 10 students but there was just 3. Our goal for the night was to throw off the hump or as Jim calls it the “mound”. I’m not big on this unless I know I am throwing repeat shapes. In all it does save time. He was teaching us how to properly take them off the mound. I couldn’t get a hang out it because I think my head was elsewhere too. I threw a few small pieces and at the end of the night I really should have just re wedged the clay. I really didn’t have any plans for the shapes etc so yeah, TOTALLY wasted there. I might go over there tonight just to wedge the clay. By the way their wheels ROCK and their wedging table is nice and clean and stable too.

BACK PAIN
All I gotta say is that I’m stoopid for not stretching enough or getting up often when I throw. Last week it was the inner back part of my legs that were super sore. I didn’t know how to massage the pain away but eventually it went away. Last night I sat too long hunches over and this morning I woke up barely able to walk. Been trying to stretch the pain our all day. Think I’ll lay on the rolling pin for a bit when I get home. Did that last night, holy moley was I in pain. Pain shot down right to my leg. Yes I have sciatica. Hasn’t been this bad in 4 years.


.ceramic mode & glazing

CERAMIC MODE
I’ve been in a sort of slump in the recent past. I feel creative but lack the energy because there is too many thoughts in my mind and I literally just sit there not knowing where or what to start on. I “think” I might have gotten out this little fog for now. I hadn’t been throwing because I wasn’t suppose to with the new tattoo. It’s been roughly 2 1/2 weeks so I think it’s okay now.

Since last sat I’ve been itching to get on the wheel and finally last night got my butt in gear and started up. Only threw 3 pieces in a 3 hour time frame. my clay has been sitting in the corner for sometime and gotten a bit stiff so it was kinda hard to work with. But due to the stiffness I was able to throw quite thin last night without pulling out my beloved heating gun. Just used my regular hair dryer which is currently encrusted with clay. I know I need to throw more and work faster. I want to participate in the holiday sale again so I need to get cracking at making some new Geo Orbs, teapots, maybe some bowls and more vases. Trying to throw larger pieces out of less clay (paper thing pieces).

GLAZING
I want to make glazes. Actually I need to make glazes. I’m bored with the ones at Berman and I’m sort of getting bored with the ones at the other studio because I’m kinda limited in what I need for my work.
Harry is letting me experiment a bit. I need translucent glazes. I’m taking the easy way for now to see results etc so I’m usingĀ  a premade clear base and adding oxides and colorants. Hey if it’s cheaper and faster, then WHY NOT. I do want to make other glazes though. Have a sh*t load of them in my glaze book and also still searching on the web. I have visions of smokey grays with bright to rust hues of oranges and I’m really into yellow. I found a glaze that is for porcelain and suppose to be this pretty translucent yellow. Oh and I want to test of the shiny gold I have. I’ve had good results with that in the past. Also wish I had the formula for Orange Shino but haven’t found it yet.
PS – this is just a side quirk but I can’t stand it when people say Glaze Recipe, don’t know why it erks me so much.


.ha ha yeah right & new piece

HA HA YEAH RIGHT
” I will be blogging at least weekly” um sure… I should have rephrased “I will be trying to blog weekly”. I seriously try to but at the end of the night really don’t have to energy or lack the proper thought process to get this achieved. I want to reach this goal though. Any ideas how to get my but in gear?

NEW PIECE
Just a peak at something new. The start of yet another series. Have pics of other stuff to post. They just need editing.

Clay body: Coleman Porcelain
Glaze: Sapphire Blue

I’m in love with this glaze. It’s a beautiful blue grey and it’s got great translucency. I know I will be using more of this glaze. I fired it at the other studio I work at. Only problem there is that there is no spray booth so I will have to do test runs at Berman’s before using it there. Oh well


.branded

on 7/29/11 I tatted myself with my little insignia I use for my ceramic pieces. It’s on my inner let wrist and iHeart it.
I might incorporate it into my signature for paintings whenever I actually finish one.


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