This is a design I used before on a long, oval tile and on one side of one of the square boxes.
Making the tiles "the slow way" was not as time-consuming as I expected. In many ways I enjoyed the process more, was happier with the final product, and didn't have the difficulty of squaring the tile up and making all the sides even that I had with the other approach. Plus, the separate pieces make fitting the patterns on the slab easier than with one big pattern. Looks like the way to go.
Winter, as much as I may complain (especially if it's icy) can be enjoyable and a productive time for new ideas. Shown above are the second batch of mugs I threw on the wheel to fit the travel mug lids ordered off the internet. This group - sigh - is probably too large for the lids, but great for experimenting with new ideas, especially with all this extra indoor studio time. Shown are: iris, poppy, daylily and English primrose. Except for the iris, each one took more than an hour to decorate. That's a bit long for a mug, so these ideas may work better on other pieces. After the glaze firing, the colors will deepen and the surface will be glossy.
Here's the 12 x 12 x 2 tile I started the last post with. It has been fired once, dipped in the white glaze, and decorated with ceramic stains, needs one more firing to vitrify the glaze. (Yes, I see it's not even.) The final step will be to epoxy a nest in the alcove.
This is a design I used before on a long, oval tile and on one side of one of the square boxes.
Idea: to make square tiles that are about 2" deep, hang by a wire in the back, and may or may not have an inset. After drawing and cutting out the pattern for a 12" square, like the one above, I decided to make them smaller and made a pattern for an 8". These first ones I formed by folding the corners on a slab that was not allowed to stiffen, and the difficulty was the sides wanted to get all wavy and bow out; so the struggle was to keep them straight and also at right angles to the top surface.
I decided the solution might be to make wooden boxes for support. But I came across a couple of pieces at the local Goodwill that were the right size and might work.
However, it didn't work as smoothly as I anticipated. Tomorrow I'll work with them some more and see if the idea is feasible.
Meanwhile, I cut out three 8" squares and the four sides for each and will do it the slow way: let them set up to leather hard (the clay is stiff but not dry) and join the pieces together with score and slip.
In the past, for the arch tiles and birdhouse tiles, I've always thrown the sides on the wheel as a ring without a bottom, let it dry slightly, then altered the shape, put it onto a slab and joined the two together. I never got the sharp right angles on the corners that I'm trying to get with this new method, and it was difficult to throw each ring on the wheel exactly the same size for a set of tiles.
I have another idea. Do it like I did the first one at the top, but support them with 8" x 2" pieces of wood or something stiff, then tape around the corners of the supports to hold the piece while it dries, checking it occasionally to make sure the sides are staying straight. I'm trying to avoid doing it the slow way but still get the tile I want.
Well, I'll kill the suspense. Gearing up for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival over the July 4th weekend became the focus of the challenge, rather than experimenting with painting, and I produced tile landscapes daily that were posted on instagram. But then I hit an unexpected slump and never resumed the challenge. And several shows were coming up, three in August, three in October, more after that. It was easier to fall back into the old rhythm of production.
Even though I didn't finish the 100 days of painting, a shift in my work occurred: more diversity in the landscapes I'm doing on tiles. Now I'm considering whether to resume painting or to do a challenge in another area such as drawing - closely related and good practice; or for 100 days writing about my art. It may not be evident, but writing is part of having an art business (think emails, for one); and it not only improves with practice, but helps me be more articulate about my work because I have to think about a process that is intuitive and not part of the brain connected to words. It helps others see, appreciate and understand my work... and, unexpectedly, me too. Hmm, why did I make that?
Another idea for a challenge is to come up with 10 new ideas every day. (I wrote about this in the 1/13/2016 entry.) It stretches the creative muscle and is a discipline I would hope to carry beyond 100 days to become a daily habit. Even if it's not 10 ideas, some time set aside for that purpose.
For the record, here are a few of the fired results from the original challenge. Each one below is approximately 9 x 12 x 2 and hangs by a wire in the back. $249.
Bird in Apples, 5.5 x 21. Sold.
A few pieces done in this period were variations on this theme.
Garden Tea with Poppies, 14 x 21, hangs by a wire in the back. $450
For a while I have wanted to make a good travel mug like one a friend gave me (that broke when I was rushing around in a state and accidentally knocked it onto a tile floor). It has been missed ever since. It held 16+ ounces and was great for a two-teabag cup. I found some beautiful and sturdy travel mug lids on the internet and have been throwing mugs to fit them. They have to fit exactly if the piece is going to work as a travel mug. The first batch was too small for the lid, so I've just thrown a second batch slightly larger.
The other experiment, lotion/soap dispensers, I have done before but then didn't pursue the idea. It has a wider lidded top to make it easier to refill. I don't know about you, but I always found that standard small opening on refillable dispensers tedious and difficult to refill. I'll see what the reaction is to these at the upcoming shows in February. It may not be the best test market for them because on the East coast, where there's humidity, lotion pumps are not the big seller they are in Colorado. Decorated simply, each is $40.
Sharyn Blond Linens in the Kansas City area has carried my work for a few years and placed a new order that was delivered in October. She's at 2718 W. 53rd St. in Fairway, KS. Check out her site to see what else she carries at sharynblondlinens.com.
Also, the Foothills Art Center's Holiday Art Market in Golden, CO, is still open until the end of the year. I dropped off a lot of new inventory there on Dec. 18th.
Other places around the country to find my work are on my site (www.ohappyclay.com) under About the Artist. Or, go to Upcoming Events to see what shows I'm participating in.
In addition, I just added more work to my site, and a new category: Under $50. When you click on Current Work on the banner on the top, it will open to a page with a list on the left. Under $50 is under Sub-Category and so far has 13 items.
Jane Hamilton, from Jane Hamilton Fine Art, a gallery in Tucson, happened to be in Denver during the Cherry Creek Art Festival and stopped into my booth. She was enthusiastic about my work and placed an order for her gallery. Here are some of the pieces you can find there if you are perchance in Tucson, AZ.
Her web address is JaneHamiltonFineArt.com. Her address is 2890 E. Skyline Dr., Suite 180. If you stop in, let me know what you think.
This was not something I expected when beginning, and it took some time before I acknowledged it as a fact. Talking to other artists, they had the same story - at least one day of recovery is needed after a show. I've tried to "hit the ground running" after a show, but inevitably, at some point that very week, fatigue sets in and I need a day off.
It doesn't seem like the hard work of setting up or taking down is the cause. I enjoy that mostly. There's something about the relative physical inactivity that is draining, especially if much travel is involved. Others of you might be able to relate to that.
It could also be that switching gears takes some mental time. Cleaning the studio and the house is a good way for me to transition back into the work routine, or pulling weeds. But there's still that day of sleep and rest.
After the French Revolution, out of rebellion against how the church had so been part of the system of oppression, a new week was established of 10 days instead of 7. It didn't last long. Animals used for plowing began to get sick or die from overwork. Our chickens, each one, will lay an egg 6 days out of the week, not every day.
After first starting to do pottery, any time away from it at all felt like a forced vacation, like when Mom used to make us take a nap. Boring, couldn't wait to get back into the studio. Now, however, it's become a refreshing break to hike, nap, read, etc. I even look forward to it.
New work from this summer - about 10 of these Garden Gate tiles, many inspired by French impressionist paintings. In this one, my poppy tea set is part of the garden scene. Approximately 10" x 14" x 2" deep $250 Hangs from a wire in the back.
COMMUNITYHow 260 artists are chosen to be part of the Cherry Creek Arts FestivalOnly 260 of the 2,138 artists who applied to the 2018 Cherry Creek Arts Festival were chosen to be a part of one of the most competitive juried art shows in the US.
Author: Amanda Kesting
Published: 4:34 PM MDT July 2, 2018
Updated: 5:33 PM MDT July 2, 2018DENVER - The Cherry Creek Arts Festival, coming up this weekend, is one of the most competitive juried art shows in the country.
But what does that mean? And how are the artists who do get to exhibit at the festival chosen?
A juried show means each artist who wants to exhibit his or her work has to first submit an application to a jury.
This year, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival received 2,138 applications from artists who wanted to be a part of the festival.
A panel of five artists, consultants and curators then have the job of choosing the exhibitors. They don't know who submitted each piece and are asked to "select work based solely on artistic excellence of original, handcrafted work."
Eventually, the jurors select 260 artists to participate in the festival. Only about 12 percent of those who apply make it through.
Learn more about some of the chosen artists on our Instagram page!
In the 2018 Cherry Creek Arts Festival, those artists will represent 13 different media categories and 62 of them are first-time exhibitors at the event. Thirty-six are from Colorado.
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival takes place July 6 - July 8 in the Cherry Creek North Shopping District in Denver. Booths will be set up between 2nd and 3rd Avenues from Clayton to Steele Streets.
MORE | Cherry Creek Arts Festival...A World-Class Tradition In Denver
Along with the juried art show, the festival includes food booths, a community mural, an interactive children's area, live music and other performances.
Admission to the festival is free. Learn more here: http://cherrycreekartsfestival.org/.
Editor's note: 9NEWS is a sponsor of the Cherry Creek Arts Festiva
© 2018 KUSA-TV
For a long time I have been trying to do California poppies on my pieces but was dissatisfied with the results. I just looked for photos to show you the earlier pieces, but it's a sign of how dissatisfied I was that I must not have bothered to take any pictures of them. They began by being too pale, so next I blended orange stain with the yellow on the brush, but the orange I had was a burnt orange that surprisingly made the flower more dull.
Then I found a couple of new ceramic stains from Mason - a brighter, more intense yellow and an orange. The yellow was an improvement, but the orange, although it looked like it might work before it was fired, came out neon. Garish. I let the endeavor go for a while - until the CA poppies came up again in the garden this spring.
This time I mixed the garish orange with the brighter yellow, maybe a touch of the older marigold yellow and a tiny bit of burnt orange. Will I be able to duplicate it? Hope so. I was very pleased with the results.
I made these vases in response to a surprise request from my husband who wanted to try doing classic designs on classical forms. Why it was a surprise: he, although generally supportive, has never shown any interest in doing painting or drawing, hates art shows, only peripherally has an idea of my work, and will often ask, Is that new? No, I've been making it for two or three years.
A confession: I liked the piece on the right so much that I appropriated it and figured I can make him another one after he practices on the other two. Here's how it turned out -
Greek Vase with Pink Poppies 14" height $295
When Don decorates the other two, I'll post them so you can see the results. He has spent time researching and making patterns for the vases. But right now he's doing demolition on the upstairs bathroom, taking out crumbling plaster and tile and an ancient bathtub.