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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My New Sourdough Starter Holder

I wanted a sourdough starter jar that wasn't plastic, so here it is. It's made from Manzano Red ^04. This type of lid will be good with sourdough. Once the starter gets going, it creates a lot of gas and will explode a glass jar with  a lid screwed on. This lid is tight enough to keep the starter moist, but loose enough for the gas to escpe. 

Manzano Red ^04. It needs a bit more drying before it can be bisque fired. 

The Third Personal Casserole Dish

This is the bottom of the third personal casserole dish I made. I used butter molds to make the shells. I did clean the slip off - but not until AFTER I took the photo. I made a lid for it tonight. 

The First Two Casseroles Ready to Bisque

Monzano Red ^04. Personal casserole dish ready to be bisque fired. I need to work on my lids more. 

Laguna Calico ^6 ready to be bisque fired. I put white terra sig on the bottom so that the grog in the clay won't mar the counter or table. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Working on Personal Casserole Sets

I used an applicator from tooth whitener to put the slip "spikes" on the bottom of the casserole. I'm hoping this is enough texture to help the pot holders hold the pot. Next, I made a lid for the dish. Alas, no lid photos yet. 

I was going to make this taller.... but the clay had hardened enough that adding to it was not going to be a good experience. So I decided it was done and made a lid. 

I'm now using the Monzano Red ^04 to make a large version of the personal casserole. I want something that isn't tupperware for my sourdough starter. I'm going to be using the kind of lid that's on a petrie dish. For sourdough starter, the lid has to be able to release built up gas - or the container will break. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ocean Jasper Beaded Cabochon

I loved this bead the first time I saw it. I've got some ocean jasper beads for the necklace. 

Spiny Oyster Beaded Cabochon

I've got some spiny oyster beads for the necklace. I just need to figure out how I want the bead oriented and then do a bail. 

Personal Casserole Dish

Here is the base for the first personal casserole dish. I want to make a series of personal casserole dishes so that I've got something other than tupperware to use when reheating small portions or making small portions. I'm using a ^6 clay called Calico (Laguna). It's basically white with grey/black spots. I like how the clay works with glazes and I like how it looks when it's unglazed. 

I will be coil building these personal casserole dishes and making lids. I want a lid that won't slip when I'm taking the dish from the oven. I want a lid that stays put until I remove it. I am going to be using a petri dish model for the lid. I also want the sides of the dish to have some texture so that when I grab the dish with pot holders, the dish won't slip out of my hands. I made some slip from the Calico clay and I'll use a slip trailing method to put some texture on the dish. 

I have in mind a size I want for the dish and I have to take into account shrinkage. I started with a 5.5" bottom. 

I coil build the dish, smoothing as I went and being very careful to have a smooth inside. The dish is 3" high and now 6" in diameter. I haven't done the lid yet, nor have I done the slip trailing. 

The inside of the dish. The smoothness and the uniformity in thickness isn't as good as I want it to be, but I think I've improved an enormous amount from my first coiled pot. 

I plan on making a shallow bowl/plate to go under the personal casserole. I want a little lip on the plate. I figured the plate would be good to protect the table when eating from the personal casserole. 

This particular clay is a bit on the sandy side. After the piece dries and the bottom is smoothed, I'll coat the bottom in terra sig to make a really smooth bottom. 

I like using glazes that break over texture so I'm thinking the slip trailing will make for interesting glazing. 

I also made the start of another personal casserole using a low fire red clay with some mica in it. I failed to take photos of it. 

I should be back in the clay studio on Tuesday finishing these up. There will be more photos. 


I've been working on beaded cabochons and wanted to make cabochons from clay. So... I decided to make a positive from which to make a mold. I thought about making plaster molds, but that involves mixing plaster. Hmmm...... Got it! I'll make positives, bisque them, and use them to make the negative press mold from clay and then bisque the press mold. I was going to put texture on these, but decided that wasn't a great ides. I'd have to make way more press molds. Why not make plain cabochons, make a plain mold and then add whatever texture I felt like adding to the clay cabochon. Much better idea. I made three positives to use to make the negative press mold. I wanted different sizes so I wouldn't always have the same size cabochon. After using these to make the negative press molds, I'll glaze them and have an additional three cabochons to play with. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Latest Beaded Cabochons

Jim has been making some wood cabochons - this one is made from paduke. The one below is made from walnut and the last one is a piece of picture jaspur. I had a hard time figuring out how to bead around the last one. I like the shape and the stone, and I was determined to get beads around it. 

Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

Here are a few pages from my Sketchbook Project.  My theme is: Your Name Here. 

What fascinates me about this project is that this is the first time I've created a sketchbook with the intent that it would be viewed by many people and the first time the entire sketchbook had one theme. I haven't finished the book so I don't know what else is going in there. 

Usually, my sketchbook is to play with design ideas, sketch whatever is in front of me (a great exercise when the brain isn't being as creative as I'd like), and to play with color. Many times, I've found that an idea in my head turns to dreck when it's on paper. The sketchbook saves me from wasting time on a design that just isn't going to work. 

Desert Blooms

We've had some rain here in the desert. Okay, we've had lots of rain here in the desert. Rain is a serious thing here. When it rains, it rains very hard, we get an inch or so of rain at a time, and the desert floods. The next day, the desert blooms. 

This is a cactus that's in our front yard.