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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Latest Little Quilt

This started out as a sketch for a tile. Next, it got turned into a mold for a tile. Then, because I liked the design, I turned it into a little quilt. I used holographic threads on the blues. It doesn't photograph that well, but I wanted to at least suggest sun shining on moving water even if I couldn't reproduce it. 

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This week's pinch pots

I'm starting to get better shape with the pinch pots and the rim is better. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm doing better than I was. 

Putting the molds together

If you need molds for clay, it's best to be married to a wood pattern maker. Jim's a pattern maker by trade. He made me great molds and helped me "attach" the clay to the bottom of the mold. I tried using his pattern maker tools, but the best tools turn out to be my thumbs and a wooden tool. 

Taking apart the molds

This one came out better than I had hoped. There was a lot of detail in this tile and it transfered to the plaster better than I had hoped. 

Parked Cloud

Thursday morning started out like this. Then it rained. Then it hailed. Then it snowed. Instead of warming up, it got colder. Very strange. Still.... I think there's a quilt in these photos somewhere. 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Tiles

Last semester, I made some stamps to press into tiles. I used these three to make three more kinds of tiles. I wanted two of each design. I know the two won't be absolutely identical, and I'm trying to avoid a cookie cutter look to my work. 

Plaster to be poured later this week. 

Cleaning The Cruddies Off The Tiles

I cleaned the cruddies off the tiles I made last week. I'll be pouring plaster on these later this week. Note to self: incised lines make for lots of cruddies. 

Little Pinch Pots

I started making small pinch pot bowls last semester.  I like the bowls, but I'm not happy with the quality of my work. I had some time today, so I made some pinch pots paying attention to craft. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm improving. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

Little Quilt In Progress

I used my new fancy threads to stitch down the pieces. Now, I get to look at it for a while and think about how I want to quilt it and if I want any beads or any other goodies on the quilt. 

Great Art it Isn't. Great Bread Pan it Is.

^10, B-Mix, Pete's Copper Red. Yes, those are the cat paw appliques on the ends of the pan. Jim held Escobedo's foot in the clay so I could make a cat paw stamp. 

I had to add a coil of clay to the inside of each of the corners to keep the pan from cracking when being fired. I use this pan in a pre-heated oven. Never had a problem. Butter the pan well, and the very best bread comes out. Great crust, great color. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Tile Is Born

I took my sketch book on the cruise with me and did some sketching almost every day. I started by sketching what I saw, then playing with the lines. The end of two week's sketching is above. I originally planned to use black stain for the incised parts in the curve of the swirl and the swirls on the two stripes on the edges. I was planning on using underglaze for the rest and glazing with a clear glossy. 

After I made the tile out of clay, I realized that wasn't a practical idea. So.... now I'm asking all my clay friends for any ^6 glaze that's the blue/green of the sea near Cozumel (photo below). 

This design will go on the wall above the end of my whirlpool tub. There's no water hitting this wall, so I don't have to worry about waterproofing. 

The tiles made by pressing my thumbs into the clay (see photo below) will go on the wall behind the stove. I want something that's easy to clean and will be decorative in that little space. I'm thinking along the lines of something iridescent for a glaze. 

My Scale Drawing

I used a quilting ruler to make the 6" square and the 1" strips on the top and bottom. Then I drew on the rest of the design. 

Getting All The Tools Out

Jim made me a 6" square tile mold. He put draft on the edges so I'd be able to get the clay out easily. I line the mold with plastic wrap, drop in the 6" slab of clay, put the block on top, and hammer on it with a rubber mallet. 

In Progress

Because I was going to "applique" clay onto the tile, I rolled out a very thin slab. I cut out two 6" squares and used my tile mold to make squares. Jim made the mold with draft on the edges so the clay would release from the mold easily. I smooshed down clay around the appliques, smoothed, smoothed, and then smoothed some more, and finally drew the lines in the swirl and on the two end pieces. 

Ready to put away for the moment

I have to clean the cruddies off of them and make sure there are no clay crumbs in the incised areas; but for the moment, they are on my shelf, nicely wrapped in plastic waiting for me to come back and finish them. After that, I will be using them to make the plaster molds for the tiles. 

I had planned on making four of each tile. The two on the bottom are made by pressing my thumbs into the clay. These will be the tiles for behind the stove. I'll make two more to make four molds. 

The two with the design are a happy accident. I was going to make all the tiles go in the same direction. But I wasn't watching what I was doing when I made the second tile and made a right and a left. I like how the tiles work together. I'll make another right and left so I can make four molds. I thought by using four molds, I could make a number of tiles all at once plus the tiles would have subtle differences in them. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I had fun talking clay with the woman in the pottery shop.