(Some of) What I Made (Last) Year

Made in the pottery studio, that is.  I experimented with hand-built forms, screen printing and  textures, and made glazed ceramic beads for the first time.

 

 

 

But now it’s next year and I am off in new directions.  I think I’m finally finding my way. I will post pictures of my newer work soon.

 

Boris Discovers the Workshop

I have to admit that I was very sad when I wrote last week’s post.    But Boris is is coming out of his shell and worming his way into my heart.  There is nothing like a kitten to beat the blues.

Plumpton used to hang out in my workshop and Boris seems interested in doing the same. It will be nice to have company s long as Boris behaves himself.  But what are the chances of that?

 

He was fascinated with the pieces of baked polymer that I am playing around with for a wall piece I am making for a fund raiser for the Fleisher Art  Memorial.  Just the thing for a kitten to bat around.

Playing with the colors, shapes and textures inspired me to try a new earring design.

So it looks like Boris might be inspiring me! That’s good. I could use some inspiration right about now.

Let’s Get Dirty (In the Pottery Studio)

Pottery is my first love.  It comes before polymer, before metal smithing, before lamp working, before everything. From the time I was a little kid, I knew that as soon as I tried it I would love it.

 

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I didn’t have pottery classes of any kind in school.  Well, I did get to go to a paint your own pottery shop with my Girl Scout troop and paint a candle holder for my mother and a fish dish that could be an ash tray or hold change for my father.  Except my mother didn’t burn candles and my father kept his coins in a change purse.  But I had fun.  I still have the candle holder somewhere.

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In fact, I didn’t get to take a pottery class until I had graduated from college.  I was working for the summer in Atlantic City managing some rooming houses who had a rather exotic clientele.   I found out that there was a class at the local Community College.  I convinced a friend that “he really wanted to take a pottery class.”   I didn’t have wheels and needed a way to get there.  Surprisingly,  he acquiesced. 

The first time I sat down at a wheel, I smacked a ball of clay on the wheel head, turned the wheel on and watched in horror as the ball of clay shot across the room and bounced off a table.  Everyone froze.    After that, I was more careful.  Much more careful.

And you would think that now that I am retired and have all the time in the world to write blog posts, that I would not leave them until the last minute. “But no,” she said.  Because I am spending most of my time in the pottery studio.  I have not made any pottery in 25 years and I have a whole new group of victims  friends upon whom to bestow my clay creations.

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I am trying some new things; I have never made glazed beads before or used a bead tree and I am having fun with that.

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I am throwing pots and then altering the forms.  And I am trying different surface treatments including screen printing using underglazes.

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Making a decent print and transferring it to the clay is challenging and there are several methods of doing it.  If I get interesting results, I will post them.

 

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And I do tend to get grimy in the studio.   Not as grimy as the guy in the scraps bucket, but pretty close!

 

 

 

Screen Printing on Polymer Clay

You can achieve beautiful effects by screen printing on polymer clay.  I was introduced to this technique several years ago when Ellen Marshall, who literally wrote the book on polymer clay surface design, Polymer Clay Surface Design Recipes encouraged me to take a  class with Gwen Gibson,    S.L. Savarick, is another polymer clay artist who uses screen printing with breathtaking results.

They all inspired me to create my own designs and see how far I could take this process.  You can find my article, Surface Techniques: Silk Screening Polymer Clay, in the Fall 2007 issue of Polymer Cafe Magazine.

In the meantime, please enjoy my slideshow.  It includes some things I have come up with while playing with screen printing and polymer clay.   This is a journey and I am just getting started!