Thursday, September 29, 2011

On My Worktable Today...

.....Pendant Racks.

I want to be able to get the most out of the space inside my kiln without blocking air flow so I came up with a few ideas and settled on this one.  I took the concept of the Bead Tree (as seen below)

And changed it to meet my needs with pendants.  So, I made them so they laid on their sides and designed it so that I will use three per row, making 2 rows of pendants per level.

Then I'll stack three more on top going the other direction and the three more, etc until I have filled the kiln.  I made sure to make the notches deep enough so that the next stack wouldn't touch the top of the pendants.  I'm pretty happy with the design so far.  These are still drying.  I have to fire them before I can test them but I'm pretty confident they'll work as I planned.  Using this design in my Medium kiln, I should be able to get 7 pendants on each row and have 14 rows per level.  This will allow me to do 98 pendants per level.

I don't know how many levels I'll have yet, haven't figured that part out yet.  However, I'm thinking I should be able to do between 500 and 700 pendants per load this way.  That will be a huge help getting ready for all of these shows coming up!  I ran out of the clay body I was using to make these.  I need to run to St. Petersburg to get some more soon.  I like using this one because it has a ton of chunky grog in it which will make them really strong and stable.  I can't use the clay I use for pendants because that clay is super smooth and fine.  Thank goodness we have a great ceramic supply store in the area.  I;d hate to have to pay shipping on 25lbs of clay!

ANYWAY.....  that's what I'm up to today, what are you doing?


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lots of Art and Doll Supplies Listed

I spent HOURS today listing more supplies on eBay.  Lots of doll eyes and watercolor pencils and watercolor paints and miniatures and and and.... LOTS of stuff.  I'm going to take a break from listing tomorrow I think.  I need it.  More will come soon.  Please take a moment to check out my listings to see if there's anything you just can't live without.  Thanks so much for helping me regain my sanity in the studio!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Always A Surprise

When you work with glazes, you don't really have any control over the outcome.  That's something that's hard for me to explain to people who don't have any experience with ceramics.  I had a lady ask me to make a pendant like another I had made and I explained that I couldn't guarantee that it would turn out the same.  She didn't understand.  I explained that even when I do things the exact same way and fire them the exact same way, sometimes they come out differently.  So I showed her these:

This first one was done in a white stoneware clay.  I put burgundy underglaze in the recesses of the stamped design and then added 2 coats of the olive glaze over top.  I then fired it to cone 5.

I used the same exact clay for this pendant.  I added the burgundy underglaze the same way and added 2 coats of the olive glaze just as I did on the other.  I fired it to cone 5 and LOOK!  See all of that blue in there?  See the ghost like mist around the stamped image?  None of that is present in the first one.

The only time I can say I will get the exact same result is when I use underglazes under clear glaze.  That has always been reliable and boring... lol  I quite like the mystery of opening the kiln lid when I use colored glazes instead.  However, when someone wants a commissioned pendant to be exactly like another, that can be both frustrating and impossible.

The second pendant is available in my Etsy Shop along with two others like it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let The Listing Begin!

Okay everyone, I have taken pictures of the first 40 something items and am now starting to list them on ebay.  I will be listing a little here and there all week so check back often.  The first round has a lot of buttons, beads, vintage laces and trims, molds, thread, teddy bear eyes and noses, Dotee Doll Blanks, etc etc.  Here's the link to my ebay ID:

Happy shopping!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Playing With Glazes is FUNNN

I experimented with different colors of underglaze under the olive glaze I'm so in love with at the moment and got some really great results.  I also made a few more of the bright colored pendants on white.  I just added all of these to my ETSY SHOP.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Studio Has Changed A Lot!

This studio has changed and been rearranged and furniture swapped out for different furniture so many times that my head is spinning just thinking about it.  This is what it looked like shortly after moving into this house in 2008:

The little notations were what I wanted to do with it then.

Then in 2009 I got some new to me furniture and swapped the older for the newer and the studio looked like this:

It stayed pretty much like this for awhile.  I moved stuff around a bit here and there but for the most part it kinds stayed this way.  Then this winter I acquired new desks and added shelving to the wall and more furniture and more stuff and more supplies and more, more, more until I felt like the walls were closing in on me and I couldn't stand it anymore.  

I was no longer happy being in this room.  I was overwhelmed.  I couldn't have used all of the supplies I had acquired in 3 lifetimes and the guilt of having it all, spending money on it and not using it was driving me insane.  So, I decided it had to stop.  Something had to give.  So started going through EVERY SINGLE THING I had in this room and decided if I really needed it or not and how likely it was that I would actually use it anytime soon.  Then I started bagging up everything to sell on ebay and my studio looked like a tornado had blasted right through it!

I swear... I didn't think it would take as long as it did to go through everything and take out the unwanted furniture.  I really believed I could knock it out in a weekend.  Boy was I wrong!  Four days later.... I finally finished.  Well, as much as I can finish until I get everything sold and shipped out on ebay.  But, it's so much better in here!  I'm happy to be in here again and my creative flow is at raging river status!  Can you believe that disaster above now looks like this?????::

The shelves under the breakfast bar are holding ebay stuff at the moment and so is the cabinet with 2 doors.  Once I get everything shipped out, the cabinet will go to the garage and the shelves will house some of the stuff you see sitting on the floor by the glass doors and stuff on the file cabinet.  BUT, It won't be too much longer until it's all out of here so I can deal for a little while.

Thank goodness that mess is over!  Now it's time to kick back and enjoy the space.  :)  Oh, wait, that's right.... no time to rest.  I have to start taking a million photos and writing a million descriptions for ebay.  Sigh..... a woman's work is never done.  :)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Huge Studio Purge!!!!

I have decided to purge the truck load of stuff that I keep holding onto for no good reason and lighten my load.  It's been a 4 day process so far and I'm still not done but I thought I'd do a little video and show you what's going on here and give you a sneak peek of all of the awesome art and doll supplies that I'll be listing on ebay over the next week or so.  I forgot to mention doll eyes in the video and I'm sure I forgot several other things but trust me, it's a ton of stuff!

I can't tell you how much better I feel in this space already!  It's so freeing to rid yourself of stuff.  I spent 4 years collecting as many supplies as I could get my hands on.  Why?  I have no clue.  Everything I bought was at rock bottom prices and I think I loved the thrill of it.  There was no way I could ever use up all of the stuff I had in here.  Even if I created dolls, miniatures, paintings and ceramics every day, 18 hours a day, I wouldn't even put a dent in it.  So, enough is enough!  I have kept what I believe I will actually use and only the things I absolutely love working with.  So much more manageable!

Anyway... enough of my rambling... check out the video!  If the video below doesn't show up on your end, here's the link: