Though I’ve been abysmal at making time for pottery (yes, it’s a New Year’s Resolution) there were a few more goodies to be pulled from the kiln last week.
These 2 yarn bowls are both done up in delicious shades of turquoise, chocolate and minty green and they’re only available at the Purple Purl here in Toronto.
Next year I’m making a point of setting aside more time for pottery – because there’s making beautiful things… and then there’s being able to be up to one’s elbows in mud and still be making beautiful things :)
Lately my mind has been focused on time lapse photography and there’s been no shortage of inspiration. I have this composition, of three photos that I took over the year that I really like:
I’ve decided to take it a step further this year. I’m going to take one photo, every day, of the trees on Toronto island which are visible from my window. I’ll use my phone, which will make it easy to ensure that all the photos are taken from exactly the same spot every time. In 365 days I’ll put up a (hopefully) very cool time lapse!
Published September 24, 2012
Tags: pottery, yarn bowls
Every summer I take time away from the potters wheel, and last Saturday was my first day back.
Oh, the beautiful little freshly-wedged balls of potential…
I confess, this is the stage where I find my pottery most beautiful.
You guessed it – some of those are destined to be yarn bowls!
A few months ago the Yarn Harlot featured my yarn bowls as being great Christmas gifts for knitters – which was very lovely of her. Unfortunately it resulted in me being inundated with requests I couldn’t fill – because I don’t ship pottery.
There are lots of good reasons to not ship pottery – it’s expensive and risky and generally, when I explain this to folks, they say ‘Oh, that makes sense, thanks anyways’ and that is that.
Then I got this email:
Dear Shireen, Thank you so much for writing and for explaining the costs – I would still love to go ahead with the order – our mother superior saw your bowls and totally fell in love with them! :) So – it’s worth it! And I thank you so much for accepting the order! The wait is fine!
Well, how could I say no? So I decided to fill just one order – hers. Over the following weeks we e-mailed each other back and forth a few times while I was preparing the bowl. By the time it was ready I realized that all I wanted was to give it to her. I had enough travel points for a short-haul flight and was feeling the need for a few solo days out of Toronto, so I wrote to her again:
“Hey, is it weird if I just come to Boston and give you your bowl?”
She replied “No, a visit to Boston doesn’t sound strange at all ! :)”
And that’s why I’m going to Boston this Friday. I’m looking forward to meeting her for dinner at the convent. I’ve already scoped out where all the yarn stores are located and I’ve booked myself into a snazzy hotel right in the middle of downtown :) I’ve heard Boston is lovely – can’t wait!
I’ve been too busy to blog, and that’s saying something. I also had a major resin disaster that took out my entire store of carefully preserved gerber daisies and silver plated bezels. We won’t talk about that anymore – on to things that actual worked out.
Speaking of things that worked out – my first surprise was this weekend when I went to the studio. The bowl-o-saurus lives! I thought for sure those walls had give way, but no. I even trimmed it. I covered it in slip and left it to dry; it’s so big it doesn’t fit in a glaze bucket so I’ll likely just glaze it clear, assuming it continues to survive it’s bisque firing.
More goodies out of the kiln – a froggie bowl! Dibs on this bowl belong to a nun in Boston – if she still wants it. I took forever to get it done due to studio/life complications. It’s cute though, and I was willing to break my decision not to ship things just because she was so sweet.
More things included an experiment with ceradye and the clear glaze treatment. The result seems to be that the ceradye disappears. Most unsatisfactory. I now have a pitcher I don’t know what to do with.
Pre-conception is the enemy of my art. I had an idea in my head of how it would look and now, though other folks might find it lovely, its hard to get past the picture in my head that I was going for.
This little mug also did not turn out the way I expected. It’s ceradye, clear and turquoise, with shellac relief treatment. I decided to just shoot the angles I liked.
And… sneak preview of tomorrow’s post: I used it to hold up one of the first things I’ve made with my own lampwork beads. I’m so happy! Can’t wait for studio time tonight :)
Published April 11, 2012
I’ve got this sink, you can see it in this shot from before I actually owned my condo – it’s a big round porcelain bowl and I thought ‘a thrown piece would be awesome there’. Ambitious, and totally unfeasible in the first round, but worth a try.
I have never ever thrown more that 7lbs in one go. Now, you might think 7lbs isn’t much, but between wedging and centring it’s quote a handful (see what I did there?). For this sink I decided on a whopping 13.5 lbs of clay.
I centred and threw using the same techniques I use for 7lbs. So, as you might imagine, the piece didn’t do too well. The walls flare too much and were losing structural integrity in a big way. It was also lopsided. I was very proud that I managed to get even this far though, centred perfectly to start and finishing at an impressive 16″ diameter, and I’ll be trying again.
I could hear my teacher’s voice in my head telling me everything I was doing wrong, but I honestly needed to just do this as a horrible, necessary exercise. I’ll be taking time off clay to focus on glass for the summer and be back in the studio this autumn.
There’s always an important lesson to be learned in pushing your limits, and I certainly did here!