Yarn Bowls and Bells

Kiln Goodies

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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.

Yarn Bowl ©Shireen Nadir 2012

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.

Yarn Bowl ©Shireen Nadir 2012

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 :)

 

 

Frogged….

Yarn Bowl ©Shireen Nadir 2012

Oh pottery, why must you be so time intensive? This froggie bowl was ordered from me a very long time ago…. like last summer long ago (luckily the person making the request was very patient). Her bowl just came out of the kiln and I am in love with it :) Hope she feels the same! 

IMG_0415Yarn Bowl ©Shireen Nadir 2012IMG_0411IMG_0413

Why I’m going to Boston (AKA the Convent Story)

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!
Happy holidays!
With gratitude,
Sister P_

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!

Kiln goodies and the dangers of pre-conception.

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 :)

Better late than never?

Remember this guy?

Someone ordered a yarn bell from me, oh, last summer ish. I literally just got it out of the kiln. Murphy ruled this yarn bell; every iteration of it either broke, was damaged in the kiln or had it’s handles fall off. I have never encountered such an ill-fated yarn bell.

Well, guess what fate, it’s done, she likes it, and I’m delivering it soon. Except that she likes it so much she wants a matching bowl…. and for no rational reason this makes me cringe. Of course I’m making it, after all, the bowls have already been thrown and if I can get red glaze I should be a month from completion. Besides, she’s been lovely and demonstrated godlike patience, how could I say no? What could go wrong ? (Crosses fingers).

I also got other goodies from the kiln, which have been delivered to the Purple Purl:

I love this angle, the blue-greens are so delicious!

I’m definitely in fail mode on other fronts, a bunch of tiger lilies, carnations and chrysanthemums that I had preserved for jewellery went bust. It reminds me what a delicate process this is. I’m trying again of course, stay tuned for (what I hope will be) brilliant gerber daisy jewellery!

Speaking of Fail, tonight I’m taking another crack at lampworking, wish me luck, and thanks for all the positive and encouraging comments from folks who saw my broken bead post :)

New Yarn Wranglers!

yarn bowls

Fresh out of the kiln – 3 new yarn wranglers, including a new design; a double sided bowl for colourwork.

yarn bowls

I have tried knitting fair isle with this one and yes, it does work. Makes handling the different strands much easier.

yarn bowls

I love the saturation of the glazing in this round – the studio is letting the kiln ‘soak’ longer – this means the colours have more time to deepen and intensify.

yarn bowls

These babies are only available at the Purple Purl here in Toronto. I know many of you have made inquires, or checked out my Etsy shop, but it really is very difficult to ship pottery. It’s expensive, and risky because the pieces are so fragile and I generally feel that it’s not worth it, however if you do live in Toronto, visit occasionally or just really really want one and are willing to look at the shipping costs then feel free to drop me an email :) hello@thebluebrick.ca.

yarn bowls

Back on the wheel – new yarn bowls at last!

I’ve been experimenting with new glaze combinations and I think this one is the winner for me – so earthy and relaxing. The texture of the top glaze is my favourite part.

The textured finish on this one is achieved by filling my hands with ‘slip’. The slip is a combination of clay, water and in some cases, pigment. In this case I used only water and clay because I wanted to add texture but not colour. You smooth the mixture over the pot body until you’re happy with it, but not too thick because it can break off during the bisque firing.

These bowls were shot in my awesome new lightbox set up :) Here it is being used to shoot Tito’s paper maché sculpture. I love how it isolates the pots, evens out the light and allows me to control the reflections. I definitely recommend one for anyone who documents their own crafts.

Lastly, I had to show a close up of the glaze – the texture created in the kiln as the copper component separates is a work of art unto itself.

These bowls are only available at the Purple Purl here in Toronto – check them out not just for the bowls but for an awesome selection of Canadian yarn artists!

 

 

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