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Monday, May 31, 2010

Qumran Inspired Jar In Progress


I am fascinated by the Qumran Jars in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The original jars are huge - roughly a foot in diameter and two feet tall. Originally, I thought the jars were coil built, but after seeing a number of google images, I think they were thrown. I can't throw for beans, so I'm coil building my jars. 


This is the fifth jar, and I've got it about halfway built. As you can see, I'm getting better at making the inside smooth. 

The Two Jars I Finished




This is the third and fourth jars. I'm getting better at making the inside smooth, although I still have work to do on that skill. 

Just Before It Went Into Reclaim




This was the second jar I made. I liked the shape. Unfortunately, I made the bottom too thin and it cracked. The more I tried to fix it, the worse things got. Finally, I decided rather than waste time and clay on a piece that will never be right, I'd take photos and put the piece out of its misery. It's now reclaim. 

The Clay Monster's Little Plates

Originally, Jim made little dishes like these to go under extruded test tiles. That way, if the glaze we were testing ran, the little dish would catch the glaze and we wouldn't have to scrape the shelves. 


Next, Jim started using the little dishes for test tiles. He played with different glazes and different combinations of glazes. 


Then, Jim discovered people like to buy these little dishes. He's working hard to fill an order for 100 of these. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Made some jewelry for me


These are some fun jewelry pieces I made for myself. I thought the pendant on a ribbon would be a better choice than attaching it to a beaded necklace.  Can't wait to wear them. 

Learning New Clay Stuff



The Qumran jars, in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were stored for nearly 2000 years, fascinate me. They are huge jars - about 2.5' tall, and the opening in the top is larger than the bottom circumference. I originally thought they were coil built, but after looking at several more photographs, I think I can see throwing marks on the jars. 


I can't throw for beans, so I'm making a series of jars inspired by the Qumran jars using coils. This is the not completed jar. I need to add a neck and then a lid that fits tightly over the neck. Think petrie jar for the lid. 


The first jar I made is not good - but it's the first one and I'm keeping it. This is the second. I'd like to make several of them. I'm thinking about leaving the outside unglazed and glazing the inside. I'm using a clay called Anasasi and it's for ^6. I like the color of the clay in reduction. This will be my summer clay class project. 

Some of my latest work just posted in etsy

And if you go to the top of the page and click on  the I (heart) etsy logo, you will find yourself in my etsy shop. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Soap For Living In The Desert



It's so dry here that if I use commercial soap, my skin shrinks two sizes. I've been buying hand made soap for more than 10 years. Finally, I decided to take a stab at making my own. I bought the melt and pour soap base, added some almond oil for scent, and used large silicone muffin cups for the molds. The soaps are now unmolded and wrapped in plastic wrap. I want to let them cure for a couple weeks before I use them. This soap base has shea butter in it. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Design Happens When You Run Out Of Fabric

I cut the dress pieces out, and then realized I had not cut two side pieces out. Oops. Worse, there wasn't a long enough piece of fabric for the side pieces. So I pieced bits together and made enough to cut out the side pieces. I added godets to the dress so I'd have more walking room. I tried taking photos of the pieced together side pieces and the godets, but the pattern on the fabric makes it hard to show those details. 


This is a Park Bench pattern that I had to do a little altering on in order to make it fit right. I added a tie that goes from the center front panel to the back and I added the godets. I used a fancy thread that coordinates well with the fabric for subtle fancy stitches on the seams. I used my serger to assemble the dress, and I like to sew down the serged seams. Fortunately, I have lots of fancy threads and lots of fancy stitches. 

The Wedging Table In Use


It's hard to see wire that's attached to the white post, but Jim's slicing a lump oc reclaim on that wire. 
Now you can see the wire. You can also see the handy bag holder which doubles as the hose holder. We've got sand. There's no way anyone could make the sand we've got any more useless for plant growth than it already is. The hose makes for easy clean up. Perhaps after a couple hundred years of wedging clay and washing the remains onto the ground, we might have a tiny patch of real soil. 

Jim's working on wedging ^04 reclaim. We take all the ^04, white, red, assorted, and toss it into one bucket. The result is pretty great clay even if we can't specifically duplicate the clay. Jim likes using reclaim for his extrusions. 

One of Jim's Masks

Here's one of Jim's masks. He's been having fun making faces from a mold. 

Jewelry Pieces

These are some of the jewelry pieces I'll be loading onto my etsy site during the day. If you click on the I (heart) etsy logo at the top of this page, it will take you to my etsy store. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Finally Finished

The wedging table is all set to turn reclaim into nice clay. Jim says he can't wait to use it. It's a little hard to see, but that post on the far side of the table has wire running from the post to the end of the table so we can slice clay on the wire. 

Jim Has Been Busy Again

Jim has been making assorted ribs. They will eventually go into his etsy store. Details and directions to his shop once they are posted. 

Small Mezuzah Cover

I listed one of my small mezuzah covers in my etsy store. The headline of this post should take you to the link.