Monday, June 28, 2010


Long time no post! The last week or two has been pretty time consuming, between car issues, making my hubs' anniversary presents, doing MOUNTAINS of laundry, and firing new ceramics. With the exception of car problems and laundry, it's been a pretty awesome week. Even the car problem wasn't so bad, because I fixed it myself! I am childishly proud of that.

One thing I'm working on that I just fired last night (fingers crossed!) is this red clay deer head, inspired by a foamcore project idea my friend Laura was planning to try.

My husband saw it and said "Wouldn't it be cool if we could make that, but cover it in moss instead of patterned paper?" And I said, "If we made it out of terracotta or red clay, we probably could".

We've made three of these, and we're waiting to see if they fired flat, whether the pieces will fit together, and how heavy it will actually be. Today we're going to gather moss to make our moss paint. I've wanted to try moss graffiti for ages! I hope hope hope! this project works out, and looks as cool as it does in my head. We made one bigger one, and two mini ones. Wish us luck!

The other big thing that consumed my time this week is making things for Nich for our one year anniversary. I've been a big squeally, mushy mess all week long just thinking about how we met, our wedding day (we are weirdos, and the photos are proof, but it was such a good day), and well, even I found myself a bit obnoxious.

But I made cute stuff!

Nich has been obsessed with this 2D game lately called Cave Story (which you can and should download for free). It's one of the most adorable things I've ever seen - the music gets stuck in my head, and I haven't even played the damn thing.

I'm obviously a complete amateur when it comes to plushie making, but hell, I drafted the damn things myself with no tutorial, out of left over fleece and old felted sweaters. It took me two days to make these guys, and every time I finished one, I wanted to make another. I could make an army of these. I'm very tempted. We could rule the world.

I also got him a ring from Once Lost Jewelry that is one of the most severely cool things I've ever seen.
I met the maker, Michelle, in person at the Indieana Handicraft Exchange this year, and Nich and I have ogled her stuff every year she's attended. You should check out her work.

On our anniversary, we went to eat Moroccan food at Saffron Cafe, and I got all giddy at how incredibly good everything was. Also, I got to eat stew out of a beautiful decorated ceramic Tajine pot. It's like they handcrafted the perfect presentation for a potter! I was in heaven.

Afterward, we found 3 buildings covered in awe-inspiring graffiti. I don't know who is doing this stuff, but I've never seen anything like it in Indy. It's masterfully done, and some of the pieces are MASSIVE. Here's a few of my favorite shots.
All in all, a very exciting week! I could say more, but then this post would be TLDR, and it may already be at that point.

Alright, back to making things!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bird Bottle

Got this idea from colonial Williamsburg bird bottles - settlers would hang bottles on the side of their houses to attract pest eating birds to nest. This is my first attempt at making one. Since I have not a single wood surface outside my house, I hung it in Nich's parents backyard.

It was supposed to be copper turquiose glaze with red accent, but the copper must not have been well mixed in. It's real spotty and mostly clear.

It has a little hole for a twig perch. I hope some little sparrows see it and think "What a fashionable apartment!" and move right in.

It took me ages to find a picture of one of the Williamsburg bottles that actually showed how it was hung. The shape of the hole in the back lets it hang securely on a nail, but is big enough to fit your hand through when you need to clean the inside.

Previous blog entries mentioning my obsession with old timey functional ceramics:

I'd like to make more of these, but improve upon the design somehow. I'd certainly like it to be lighter and less clunky looking. I also need to put drain holes in the bottom in the future, so rain water doesn't collect inside. It looks a little too granny for my taste as far as the decoration. Maybe next time I can make something that looks a little more modern, but functions the same.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bad days

I started a 30 hour long training class this week in which my instructor is, lets just say, less than pleasant (I can feel veins popping in my head whenever she speaks to me). After several dragging, frustrating, infuriating hours of class Tuesday night, followed by my regular night shift (in which I made lots of mistakes and got even more frustrated), I got off from work 10 hours later to find that my car wouldn't start. I didn't get home to bed until 7am. Later that same day, my husband's car went out as well. I went the next day with very little sleep, and mounting bad news about the state of our cars, to finally go back into work for another day of training from hell followed by another shift. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty burnt out during class, so instead of paying attention, I did what I always did during boring lectures in college: I doodled on my workbook. Given my frustration with pretty much the entire week, this is one of the things I drew:

This elicited several chuckles from my classmates sitting near me, so I pulled out my sketchbook and did another version, followed by a second drawing. I decided they'd make good plate designs for my next project.

I'm glad class is proving somewhat productive in this respect.

Did I mention that it's been storming torrentially all week? And I keep getting caught in it? Like, drenched in 15 seconds kind of storming? This week has been rife with inspiration.
If I can think of more to draw today, I'm hoping to make this into a series, maybe for display at Oranje in September.

Which reminds me! I got accepted to Oranje 2010! So if you're in town September 18th, come visit my booth. It's $20 to get in, there are about 75 bands and maybe 150-200 artists. I'll probably get to start building my booth/installation in August. Wish me luck.

Wish me luck on these stupid cars, too. And this incredibly patient and pleasant instructor of mine. I CANNOT wait for this week to end. I see a lot of cocktails in my future.

Friday, June 4, 2010

If only I could barter ceramics for rent.

My hubs and I went over to my friend eef's house last weekend to hang out, smoke hookah, and make s'mores around a bonfire. I brought over a mug I had drawn her portrait on, which she was going to buy from me, but I decided to trade her instead (I'm on a big bartering kick these days). This is what I got in exchange:
This is one of her coptic stitch bound journals. I love it so much! It's full of really nice vellum paper, too. I've started using it for daily drawing, since I've been slacking hardcore on that for, oh, about 2 months now. The nice thing about these coptic stitch journals is that they lay open flat - perfect for writing without cracking the spine, and also perfect for scanning or making copies. They're ideal for an art journal!

I don't think she's making these for sale currently, but she is making all kinds of other adorable and crafty stuff. Check out her craft and photography blog, and say hi for me;)
 Speaking of art journals, I've decided not to post my daily drawings any more. Yeah, I know, awww, booo:( Thing is, I got so wrapped up in having something cool or interesting to post everyday, I stopped wanting to draw because I was worried about what to draw, and whether it was worth sharing. From now on, I'm going to try to draw everyday to remember ideas that I have, or to work out visual things for my ceramics, and also to keep my drawing skills limber. If I have a page that I think is worth posting, I'll go ahead and put it up, but I'll spare you all the crappy stuff in between.

What I will try to post on a regular basis is my work in progress and finished ceramics. I mean, am I a ceramic artist or what? I've been moving more in that direction anyway on this blog, in case you haven't noticed. Speaking of which, here's a little cup I painted yesterday, inspired by a song written by a friend of mine.

I plan to finish it with brightly colored glazes in all the white spots. What do you think?