Wednesday – Work in Progress

Just a quick update – what is actually happening this week? Some people blog a Wordless Wednesday – here is a Work-in-progress Wednesday. I try to be in the ceramics studio on Mondays and Wednesdays. I work at home the other days – on everything from mixed media, glazing, jewelry…

So here is the clay in progress: 

Celtic flora tiles

Here are the initial sculpted pieces – a set of tiles depicting the four Celtic plants. (Scottish thistle, Irish shamrock, Tudor rose, and Welsh daffodil.) They are rough at this stage, and obviously one tile short. When the clay is a bit dryer and firmer, I will carve in details and neaten everything up in general. The shamrock is tough, it is such a simple plant, I may take out the four leaf and enlarge it even more. They are 5″ square, and will be ready for fall shows. 

Yesterday was a glazing day. I moved things up to a temporary spot in the dining room; it was too lovely a day to be in the basement for hours. (Now when it gets hot – I love the basement!)

goddess pendants

From an Indian goddess icon, these are half way there. The color to bring out the details and a transparent glaze will be applied over that. 

Plate-o-pendants

I wish I could say I got all these done! – but they are also awaiting their clear transparent coat of glaze…

Milagro pendant WIP

These milagro eyes are my current favorite. I have a finished one I wear almost every day… 😉

But there is more to be done:  the chipmunks for Robert, the buttons for Noelle, and the molds for Cooky… and that glazing to finish. Back to work. Maybe I will load the kiln before dinner…

 

A to Z: bevel

(A note: When I started the A to Z series at the beginning of the year, I planned to do these themed entries every Friday. Long story short, I missed a Friday out sick, and threw out that schedule. There will be an alphabet entry each week. But that looser schedule makes me feel freer to write as I am inspired, and when I am inspired – I write a better entry! So stay tuned. I am excited about my A to Z list!) 

B is for BEVEL.  

a : the angle that one surface or line makes with another when they are not at right angles b : the slant of such a surface or line

Please allow me to introduce you to an all-star tool, a favorite in the tool box – the treasured bevel tool!

bevel tool 

These are hand made by Bob Carver – yes, that is his real name… It’s made of exotic hardwoods, from managed growth forests. I think mine is made of Bubinga. He made the first ones for Lana Wilson – ceramic artist and shrine builder, and an idol of mine… I had the good fortune of studying with her at Penland a couple of years ago. An amazing experience, like no other…

I used to make my slab constructed shrines with regular corners, slab meeting edge; a butt joint. Then the corners would have to be smoothed or pared down after the fact. The beveled corners are smooth, sleek and clean. Since Penland I have been incorporating more texture on the surfaces of my shrines. The beveled corner means the textures arent altered or distorted when I put the sides together. So wonderful, and its a gorgeous tool, to boot. A pleasure to use. 

Here is the process simplified: 

slabs cut

Slabs are cut from leather hard clay. 

cutting bevel

Cutting the bevel edge on a side wall. 

score and slip

With the pin end of the tool – scoring and slipping. Scoring the surface – roughing it up. Slip – a clay and water paste, which acts as a “glue”. 

interior construction

The trimmings from the edge are the perfect size and shape to fill in and reinforce interior seams!

interior complete

The piece – assembled. From here there is carving and/or distressing the surface, drying, firing… Many steps still to go. Dont worry – I will show you more along the way. 

 

I heart…

Just a simple post today…

latte heart

A gorgeous latte, a worn wooden table, a seat in the sun at the local coffee shop, friends…

hearts glaze

an afternoon in the studio, colorful underglaze, unlimited potential…

 

And one more shot – sans Instragram filters… I do heart the Instagram app as well – 

many hearts

Big focal hearts, milagro hearts, small hearts… Missing from the pix are the paired earring hearts. Into the kiln today. Firing either today or tomorrow. More pix soon!