Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Results from Adjustable Molds

Remember the wooden adjustable molds I showed you? I finished a few pieces I made with them, and here is one I photographed this morning and posted in my Etsy shop. All the pieces turned out so well. The photos don't capture the creamy smoothness of the glaze.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Fossil Vitra" Fused Glass

Today I'm firing my gas kiln outside to cone 10. It's going to be a LONG day. The firing takes anywhere from 10 to 13 hours, depending on when cone 10 at the bottom of the kiln bends over. The kiln needs constant monitoring, recording temperature, increasing the gas flow, adjusting the damper. Plus I need to monitor MY anxiety and worry as to the outcome of the firing. The way I do that is to work on another project and try to forget what's happening to the 40-50 pieces in the kiln!

Today I am working on fused glass pieces from a project called "Fossil Vitra Tutorial" which was published on the FusedGlass.org website. Here is the link:

I have applied glass powder directly on leaves and these leaves are fired under glass. The leaves burn away and the glass powder is fused to the sheet of glass. It is all explained very simply in the tutorial. I've done it before and the results were excellent. I was asked to make a couple 6" x 8" plates similar to one in my Etsy shop, so today was the perfect day to do it. I also made two 5" x 5" plates, all shown in the photos below.

Here is the leaf on a paper towel with a 6" x 8" drawn pattern.

I've sprayed the leaf with hair spray, added brown glass powder to the
stems and started applying green powder to the leaves.

Here's what it looks like. I added a second green powder and the yellow for highlights. After it dries, I carefully lift it onto a piece of fiber paper and place it on the kiln shelf.

I carefully place my glass (two layers) over the leaf while holding my breath. 
I don't want any of the glass powder to come off.

Here are the four pieces ready to be fired. 
I'll show you the results in a couple of days!

Friday, November 25, 2011

More Copper Etching

I spent Thanksgiving Day at my daughter's house. Remember that's where I took the French Apple Pie for my son-in-law. (By the way, he said he liked it -- it was served to him with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, so maybe it tasted better than mine!)

My daughter was doing a bisque firing in her electric kiln. She will eventually use the low fire glazes she has on hand to do her first glaze firing in a week or so. I (we) can't wait to see the results. She perfected a ceramic taco holder that holds two or three shells (I can't remember which) upright so you can fill the shells, heat them and serve the tacos in the holder. They are made with white clay and she will use transparent glaze on them. Maybe I'll add a taco holder to my wish list?!

We like to share projects with each other when we have time, so I took my etching supplies and cut squares and rounds of copper to show her how to etch copper. This was the D battery and salt water etching method that I posted a while back. It was definitely a success! I will show you her finished earrings when she comes over and I can take photos. My son-in-law was impressed with our "science project" -- the salt water was bubbling and it turned orange after 15 minutes or so.

I finished another pair of earrings today using the same method. So much fun!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rustic Yuletide Treasury; French Apple Pie?

I don't post all the Etsy treasuries that include my pieces, only the ones that have items that I really like.  I liked this treasury:

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day and weekend. I can't wait for the turkey and dressing! Then the French Apple Pie that my son-in-law requested I make. Little did he know I have never made one before! I have three recipes from various cooking sites and I'll just wing it. It'll be good .... it'll be good ....

My friend and I are cooking and will have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday. Then later in the weekend I'll cook my own turkey and wonderful stuffing for another group. Next week sounds like time for soup and saltines.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adjustable Wood Slump Molds

I ordered three adjustable slump molds from www.bambootools.com recently and was so excited to see the quality and ease of use! Finally on Sunday I devoted the afternoon to using them. The molds are square/rectangular; hexagon; octagon. They can be stretched to your choice -- A square or a rectangular, any size; a perfect hexagon or a long, thinner hexagon. You can see what I mean by the photos below. The size depends on the kiln shelves you are using. These pieces will go into my gas kiln which has 12" x 24" shelves and you have to allow for three posts. My electric kiln has roundish shelves 23" across, so that will be a new adventure in creating larger pieces. What fun!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Soooo Busy!

It was a very busy week helping my women's golf club prepare for a golf tournament we hosted on Friday. The weather forecast kept us in suspense all week, 60% chance of rain, then 30% and finally 10%. Well, it sprinkled in the early morning before the players checked in so some of our preprinted score cards were smeared, and our check-in sheets were damp and hard to write on. But everyone had a good time, we had good food, lots of raffle prizes and the weather cooperated with sunshine later in the morning! Perfect cool weather for golf.

I was able to photograph and post some of the items that came out of my last glaze firing. Remember the four square handbuilt bowls that Fine Cooking Magazine bought for a photo shoot? No, I have not heard or seen anything of the bowls, but I did make a few more. They are so cute and perfect for a single serving of something wonderful.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crazy Squirrels!

The squirrels love my yard and my neighbors' yards because we have year-round fruit and vegetables. But this is crazy. They have started dropping lemons from my tree and eating the peel only! What's with that?

I have several dwarf citrus trees and noticed today that my little red grapefruit tree has gigantic fruit! These grapefruit are so sweet when they ripen. I hope the squirrels don't notice them. Fortunately my lemon tree is loaded, so the squirrels should be occupied for months.

Beautiful Bowls of Soup Treasury

It's been raining all day and I made the most wonderful chili!  I just saw this treasury on Etsy and wanted to share it. These bowls are so great -- calling for homemade soup or stew!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bijoux Etsy Treasury

My Etched Copper Earrings were included in this great treasury today:

New Clay and Glass Items

I glazed and fired my clay pieces this week and unloaded the kiln yesterday. It was a great firing, and I've been sanding mug bottoms (the clay has a lot of grog), photographing, and posting pieces one by one to my Etsy shop. Here are a couple mugs I made using the new texture tools I showed you a while back.

Here's an apple baker:

I also added some fused glass holiday tree ornaments and this stained glass train. Cute!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Blooming Succulents

You've probably tired of my succulents by this time. I promise this will be the last post showing THIS particular plant and its buds and blooms. You saw the buds developing into balloon-like buds a few days ago. Well, the next day there were blooms, and those blooms lasted for only one day. So lucky for you I had my camera. Sorry to have my wrinkly hand in these shots, but the other option was to get down on my back and shoot up.

Here are the blooms. And the flies. Did I forget to mention there is also a smell?

And here is another perfect bloom on the other side of the plant:

A Few New Etsy Treasuries

I love looking through the Etsy treasuries, and I hope you do too.  Not only am I posting them to show my pieces, but each treasury has 16 shops to look through. Who knows what you'll find, especially with the holidays around the corner. And the shopping is so easy. You press the "Add to Cart" button and then you pay using a credit card or PayPal.

My Rust Matt handbuilt mug is in this one:

I love all the variety of whistles!  I did an all-whistle treasury a few months ago too.

And look at all the boxes!