Thursday, December 18, 2008

Raku Fantasy Ship 1

Raku Fantasy Ship 1
Originally uploaded by sheilasthings
After raku last Saturday I came away with a nice fantasy boat/ship, today I dressed her up and took her outside to photograph her. I haven't named her yet, hmmm.
I also don't have a place to hang her. I am working on that and expect to come up with a perfect display area soon.
I like the way the pearls go with the raku and the boat...water...oysters...pearls and all that.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Raku Viking Ship

Raku Viking Ship
Originally uploaded by sheilasthings
The thing about art is that I never know where it will take me, it must be true of all artists if it's true for me. The ritual vessels incorporated boats because I loved the myriad of possible symbolisms.
Then along came this Viking ship, it's not finished, its still a work in progress. I need to make some shields, then it will be done. After that I think I'll make a really big one, a friend named Joan wants me to put her in it when she dies and push her out to sea aflame like a Viking (or in her case Celtic goddess). What a way to go, huh?
If I ever learn to weave I can weave a Viking sail and really go native, my grandfather, Peter Halstensen would be proud I'm sure! Wish I could have known him but my father was the last son, actually the 7th son and I am the last daughter of the 7th son. Anyway he died before I was born but the stories are that he liked to make everything himself....kind of like me!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crab Season Opens

Crab season opened on Saturday I understand. Saturday night there were 17 boats to be counted out on the ocean with their lights so bright.
Sunday just as the sun went down my husband saw one loner; I nearly tripped over my feet to find the camera so I could capture the image and remember it.
What a sunset we had, I tried to not enjoy it too much since I knew that often a spectacular sunset is the result of wildfires and people are hurting. All the same, it was pretty...

Happy fishing or crabbing or whatever it is to all the boats, bring us some crab!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Shino Glazed Vessel

Today was a kiln opening and this is one of my favorite pots right now. I used a Shino glaze, the inside is all Shino-ey, the glaze developed a real alligator surface but pleasant. Tiffany says, "Shino first or pay the curse". So the first layer is Shino and I don't remember what the other glaze is that I put on over top, since I rarely have my notebook with me to record anything. In this case I am very sad that I didn't record it but Shino went on first....
I had a horrid week; bad deck (termites), someone swiped the side of my car as I drove south on 101 toward Redwood City (60+ mph), bad hair cut, so-so color, the dryer plug is wonky (won't run hot all the time), I was supposed to get the key for a meeting for a group of people and I forgot the key, it was the kind of week that I kept thinking that it can't get any worse BUT IT DID. Oh, yes, there was more. Muttering to myself, "This too shall pass"...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pottery with Boats?

Let me take you to a new place!
Ceremonial vessels.

Ceramic, high fired, lidded jars, urns, pots, vessels, containers, like that...

Those boats floated their way to the top of my lids, just when I think I'm tired of this or that, a new something comes along, THANK GOD! I can't think about politics and banks, I can go to a refuge of ritual wares, my own ceremonial pieces. I like it Dick, I give it a 10.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Don't Want To Talk About It Right Now

The sweet Sabina Loom that is. She is so patient, waiting for me, I am so unsure where to start, I can't find anyone to give lessons. City College offers classes...on Haight Street; not going there!

There is always pottery, how about a nice cutlery drainer? I saw one of them on a British website gallery and thought, hey, that looks neat, I'll try one. I don't need one, I need a new colander so what am I doing making cutlery drainers? Because I want to try something different.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yes, Sir That's My Baby!

Sweet Sabina Folding Floor Loom.

We don't know each other yet, I suppose you could say it is an arranged marriage. I think I will love her and I can only hope the same applies back to me.

I have cleaned her up; still more to do, she needs a little bit of care but she's not a fixer-upper at all. She doesn't weigh much but she HATES being moved. It was very surprising how she bucked and swayed to get away while coming up the stairs, thought I might lose her a couple of times!

So I told my friend to warn me if I started to get crazy with the "pretty-on-sale" yarn. She asked what were the parameters for buying yarn? Well, I guess I should know what I'm going to make with it when I buy it, not just buy it because it's so pretty and the price is very good and it will cost double that next week and all of that kind of nutty thinking. Is forewarned forearmed like they say? We'll see...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not Another Hobby!

Well, after much angst I have decided to accept the offer of a loom and learn once again to weave. My hobbies are such space-eaters. I am going to start doing some very serious make room for yarn, uh, I didn't say that.
My Tibetan beads don't take up much room so I can keep them, and paper, well, how big is paper, really? I'll toss out old repetitive genealogy papers that I've stored on the computer. Hmmm, books, yes, I'll need instruction books for weaving again but I can get rid of my small collection of collectible books. Besides, they aren't really all that collectible.

I've requested these books at Paper Back Swap; Warp and Weave by Robert Leclerc and Weavers Book by Harriet Tidball.

I'm not much interested in formulating my own glazes so I may donate my raw materials to Skyline Community College if they want them.

Who needs the out-dated old glass top coffee table anyway?

Ugh, that horrid lamp; out it goes!

Scrap material will go to Judy for her quilt creations.

The misc. dishes, yes, I have lots of those that someone must want.

My pottery this-and-that; no one even wants cool hummingbird feeders anyway....

Probably no one wants cool handmade shaving mugs either but I simply must make a few more before I'm done. Before I'm done....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Las Vegas is Hot..What Else is New?

Gripe, gripe, gripe, too cold here, too hot there! Now it's hot here too, back home at the beach...September and October are the best times of the year here in case anyone is interested.

I made a jade green matte glaze, hmmm, it isn't so matte, it's kind of shiny. Never mind, it's not an ugly color and I kind of like it.

Green, Irish, frogs, they just seem to go together so nice so I put them all together. This is one jar...urn...container...lidded vessel that I'm very happy with. The lid fits like a dream and it's just a good size and everything. Can't resist playing with it, hence the frog, beach glass and Irish pendant!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Have I Said It Has Been a Damp Summer?

Well, it has and I'm leaving, I am going "over the hill" to the Bay side of the Peninsula for the weekend. Nice retreat with friends...then off to Vegas, baby.

Here is the view I had this morning, nice, huh? It was like this all day, haven't had fog like this for quite a few years now.
I threw 2 fairly good sized pots this week, kinda heavy but they look real *purdy*. Then I poked them around a little bit...trying to loosen up my work. So hard to do, I struggled to learn my perfection and it's hard to give it up...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Learning to Throw and All That Clay Talk

I learned how to throw pots on the wheel in Illinois at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey; just a great big jump from the Mississippi River, near Alton which is across the Mississippi from St. Louis. OK, geography lesson done.

Don Scott was a graduate student at SIUE and he was also teaching at above named college.

We mixed our own clay in an old clay mixer and what a pain it was to clean. All I wanted was to learn to throw on the wheel and I think I was the last one that learned. People just taking the class for credit to graduate learned and went on and I'd look at them and wonder what was wrong with me. So, in order to get anything fired we first had to prove we could center, pull a cylinder, and make it 6" tall. Ugh. Anything else was a waste of clay according to our student instructor! Oh, I learned to make things neat and tidy around the base so that very little trimming was necessary too. I learned so many good solid skills, things I use today; he was a clay drill marshall all right. And I'm still a clay geek after all these years, I wonder if he is too...I don't know.

Don would sit down at the wheel, plunk down a 5 or 10+ pound ball of clay and make absolutely enormous, thin, beautiful vessels. This all with a cigarette dangling from his class no less. Ha, we smoked and joked and it was all great and then we became grandparents and it is even better, minus the smoking, you know! This is one of his pots I've had for so long I can't even remember back that far. I broke it during one of our many moves and that's why it look a little tired, because it is! I won't move it again, it has been a good and loyal pot to sit on my shelf so long.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Three on a Match

I keep making these embarrassing mistakes, 3 in a row now so maybe I'm done. I offered someone one of my prize red fish and then realized that I showed the wrong picture, the other one is similar but not the same and they didn't want the other one. Is there a hole somewhere I can crawl into?
I blew up a piece in my kiln that another person was waiting for, it will take forever to get another one made and dry, it is so lousy cold and damp here. I should be in Summerlin at the pool, can't wait until Labor Day.
Oh, then I am a free-cycler too, and had some trellises I'll never use and offered them to a lady but didn't give her my address. DUH...what is going on?
One month a few years back I spent about a full day waiting for someone to come unlock my car on various days. I locked my keys in my car 3 times that month! I haven't locked my keys in my car previously for over 20 years and then, BAM, BAM, BAM.
I know I'll get over this I am just beating myself up for being so un-mindful and it's kind of scary too. Get it together, Sheila!

Monday, August 18, 2008


I bought her, isn't she great? A friend, Linda Fahey makes these mermaid-ens. She can't give them up easily but she was ready to let this one find its way into my world. Her hand was broken when I brought her home. I did such a terrible job fixing it, I seem have this glue problem.

I think she intimidates my husband, he kind of shies away from where ever I place her. Well, she does have some atitude and how brazen to hang around my house topless too!

I begin class tomorrow.

I plan to make some ceremonial vessels.
Oh, and back to teapots too!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let The Journey Begin

More boats of course. Because who can make just one? I have this armada in mind. How many is an armada? One more thing to look up. We have to pick out the boat for our journey, which one fits us best? And off we go, no oars or rudder, just shove off into the deep water and let our boat take us where it will. The little turquoise one has a heart glued into it. Now I can't get it off; E6000 is a better glue when I don't want it to be...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Love Affair With Gillian Welch!!

I have fallen in love with Gillian Welch. It's kind of a secret, some people just wouldn't understand and who needs to explain anymore? I don't know anything about her except her music from Hell Among the Yearlings and so of course, I think I know her. It's never that simple though is it? Her song on this album, My Morphine reminds me how anything can become my morphine....

One other thing, I have become a terrible snoop, I read other peoples blogs. There is a woman in my town that has a blog on Blogger also. I started to read her blog and she seems like me, that you forget that other people can read your blog and see into your private feelings and life. I wonder what I might say if I ever met her face to face...

I have made more little boats.

I am busy on the computer too much.

My husband doesn't know how to do birthdays; other peoples birthdays that is...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Big Little Boat

Big Little Boat
Originally uploaded by sheilasthings
Well, I sanded this big little boat to make it distressed and old looking. There is a SKULL under the prow. It doesn't look like a pirate boat at all but I couldn't resist the skull. The little white beads just make it So Special!
I'm not sure if the fish is protecting the boat or if it's like the whale in the story of Jonah and the Whale....about to swallow it up.

Friday, August 1, 2008

New Pitcher Style

I made this different kind of pitcher. Fun.

Boat update; boats fresh from the kiln, bisque fired. How to finish them now? Glaze, paint, embellish?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let's Fire Up Our Mazda's

I had this book/magazine once. Once is the operative word. Wish I could see that photo again. Filled with pots this group of wild?, crazy?, fun?, dangerous?, subversive?, drunk?, stoned?, sober?, pyromaniac? potters lit fire to a Mazda. Ya, ya, you heard me, used it like a kiln, fired the pots right inside the Mazda. It was a sight to behold.
I kind of like the idea of doing things like that, me, a grandma and everything.
I looked for the event recorded someplace on the Internet but found only this photo of a burnt Mazda, I don't think it's the same one but I wonder if that's what it looked like after the firing was complete.
This wasn't a Ceramics Monthly story, no, they don't look kindly upon that kind of behavior in Ceramics Monthly. You must have a studio and be serious about your "work".

Monday, July 28, 2008

How About a Nice Boat Ride?

I found a boat in my hand the other day. How did this happen? So I made a few more. Then after they were glazed I took one and played with it. My husband asked, "Does it float?" Filled the sink and yes, it floats, "It floats a little heavy," I said.

The symbolism of a boat is quite open to interpretation. Following is a list of interpretations; mainly from Internet information.
The boat:
Transition from the material world to the spiritual world.
Holy Island
(Ocean being the unconscious)
Ship of the soul
A life saving shelter
Beatus (bateau): word meaning happy? Boat derived from beatus?
A divine being
Christian symbol of the church
Instrument for the souls exploration
Safe passage
Transition from one phase to another phase
Leaving safety of the known into the mystery of water
preceptors who help us to cross the ocean of Knowledge and to achieve our targets.
Hope…life of Pi; the boat being hope.

Well, isn't that nice, I think I'm going to like boat building.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Eating Flowers

After the labyrinth walk yesterday I felt pretty darned good. There were some enormous hydrangeas in bloom, (in the meditation garden) blue and beyond purple and as weird as it sounds I just walked over and stuck my head in the middle of them. Well, not really but, yeah, kind of. Maybe they were eating ME, then a huge fern reached out and kissed me. Help, I can't type, I'm laughing so hard. Honestly, that's what it seemed like. I thought I knew what my walk would reveal but I was wrong; imagine that. I always think I know where I'm going and how to get out but walking the labyrinth showed me, just keep on the path and eventually; there I go....too strange to explain. That's the problem, I don't have the words I need. That's always been a problem.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Doing The Labyrinth

Today is a special day for a friend of mine. We are going to meet soon and travel over to Burlingame and walk the labyrinth to commemorate a year of traveling out of the wilderness into the light!

Yesterday I spent the day spraying 4 pieces of pottery for the cone 10 firing. I wore a mask; it could have been a better one. Lots of copper and cobalt flying around. Yes, there was an exhaust fan and it works great....just being a drama queen.

This necklace has a bead I just adore. It's another handmade old bead. The turquoise is inland and there is also some inlaid lapis. I went to a bead show Saturday with a buddy, she loves the sparkly stuff, I like the old stuff. Different strokes for different folks, huh?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In Your Face Red Necklace!!!

I had fun making this, it is so RED, so, so, brave! Gotta have guts to wear it, but I got 'em.

Today my minigama went into the kiln for bisque firing; doing a ramp firing just to be sure it survives although I doubt I could destroy it if I tried. Like it has it's own life or will or ??? It surely has it's own space. On Monday it'll be unloaded and I'll go off to buy my charcoal and get an old hair dryer or two, tinfoil, hmmm, what am I forgetting? Well, I need to make a couple of small pots to fire, eh?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Slowly I Build

Slowly I Build
Originally uploaded by sheilasthings
I just can't do it anymore, I am letting the peepholes (whiskers) dry and will bisque fire my baby soon. I am trying to come up with a name for it. I am leaning to The Alchemist but I don't know yet if it is up to the task...
Devil Dog, no...
Flaming Bitch, no, no, no....
It is a girl or boy, hmmm, could it be a hermaphrodite?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Minigama firing

Somehow I deleted this from my original post about the minigama group earlier today.
Ah, another opportunity to whine....or not!

Minigama firing

A handful of people have started a Yahoo group for anyone interested in the building and/or firing of a minigama. This video is from a member across the pond from me, he posted a short utube video of his minigama spouting flames. His is so nicely constructed...I won't whine about mine drying 3/4 of the way through completion anymore, BUT it wouldn't have been as nice anyway.
OK, my goal is to finish what I can on my mini and get it bisque fired next Wednesday, July 9th. I still need to get a flue...I was reading "The Potters Handbook", I think it was published about 1934. It's by Bernard Leach and he said that the flue needs to be a certain length longer than the body of the kiln or something. Note to self: get that book again and stop quoting stuff all wrong!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Shop Local Pacifica

Whenever I can I shop local which is not always easy unless I need a new shower door or a new sliding glass door or even a new greenhouse window. They might think I tricked them into coming to look at my requested repair but I was really upfront about asking for a greenhouse window to be fixed. I am so grateful for Dial Glass in Pacifica; when there was some spare time they fixed it for me. I had asked various other people and the consensus was to put plywood or plastic over it , but no, I wanted it fixed right (nearly right anyway). It doesn't open any more but that's ok since it doesn't leak either.
I am working on some small pottery items, small feels good right now. Big, small, big, small, small, small, big.

Since I have all of this Greek leather I made myself a surfer dude bracelet.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Home Depot - No!

The minigama dried before finished. I had to use a drill on it to cut into the sides for the peepholes and into the top to cut a feed-chamber opening. It is so ugly. Maybe I should just start over...what a whiner I am! I'll try chimney pipe for the flue. I hope Orchard Supply Hardware has some chimney pipe the size I want because the thought of Home Depot scares me. I seem to get so out of whack when I go in there. Once I even got so out of whack that I stood in the aisle playing chicken with the big beep-beep vehicle so I could ask him where to find something, I suppose I'm lucky he stopped, or he is...either way it's a dangerous place.

There are fires in Northern California and lastnight the sun was all blurry before it sank into the Pacific; I liked the way it looked.
The photo is one of those Tibetan beads that beckon me...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer To-Do List 2008

I love to make list for this summer includes the following:

1. Make a tile mural for the wall behind the stove.

2. Make a set of squat vases for someones wedding party - using Shino glaze, yum!

3. Make some 3-D fish for multi media display...twisted roots, rocks and the like.

4. Handbuilt ice cream dishes in happy primary colors.

5. A tray with this image I have in my head that involves a Jacob's Ladder with stars, eyes, etc.

6. Some of those heat/cold therapy neck wraps (I will offer them for sale at the Johnston Holiday House in the fall and they are nice little last minute gifts too.)

7. I had it in my head once and now I lost it but I think it involved making a tray using a sort of patchwork in the patches, various colors with a pitcher and some tumblers too.

Can a person look at one more dragonfly on a piece of pottery? This little guy is such a nice size, maybe some mints or nuts would be good in it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Long Time Recovery

This Whipple procedure was a real ordeal and the recovery process is so slow...sometimes the days just drag by for me and I'm sure they do for him as well. It feels like years since life has been normal - normal, hmmm, not sure what that is really! It all started 10 February and hasn't stopped, normal is now different for us. I am gaining weight while he lost nearly 25 pounds in the hospital for a month....the nursery rhyme about Jack Spratt keeps surfacing.

I do, however, have high points and the gas kiln firing was one of them - although it occurs to me to make something more than dragonflies....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Coleman Red Serving Bowl

The last firing was a good one for me, not only did I get the nice Groeger dragonfly serving dish but the Coleman red glaze on this bowl also turned out great. It isn't a deep, dark red and a few people were disappointed (did the reduction take place too early or too late or wasn't it a heavy enough reduction?), I don't know and don't really care because this is the red I like. I've seen the Coleman Red become almost maroon and that's not the color I'm after.
The rim on this bowl was very, very thin and I like to have a heavier rim for a variety of reasons. I ended up manipulating it and I'm happy with the graceful curves I got. Guess I like it, huh??? Well, yes, I do even though it's just a serving bowl with one glaze.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dragonfly Serving Dish

Just wanted to post the photo of my dragonfly bowl! It turned out just the way I hoped it would. Cone 10, reduction firing.
I made this for Dr. Eugene Groeger and when the kiln was opened - ta-daaa...I was so happy that it turned out! This summer I'll attempt to make another one or two....and if they turn out like this one - well, I'll be one happy potter!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our Prestigious Degrees Grant You the Legal Right to be called Doctor

So, I was wondering about the nature of faith and what not having faith must be like. I know that I am always going to be OK no matter what happens in life, that feels right and good to me, I rest in that faith. Then there are others I know that see life as a big fat struggle that they have to "soldier" through, just keep pulling themselves up by those bootstraps, they just hang in there and advise others to hang in there too. Not that I am against hanging in there!
Hmmm, so, if people without faith in anything beyond themselves think that life is great and this world is so great....worldworld, not that world within, if it's all just one big accident, then what makes it so great and why should anyone care about it? If it blows up tomorrow, oh, well, there will be another accident someday, won't there? If there isn't, who cares, it's all just random anyway. I'm just trying to wrap my mind around some things.
If you thought your child was going to die soon (even if that wasn't true) what kinds of things might you do? Would you call them and say I love you, I am praying for your peace, happiness and well being or would you advise them to hang in there?? Both?
I just finished reading the Mitch Ablom book, For One More Day. He writes a lot about death and what it's about for him. I guess it gives a person different ways of looking at it....I wonder was he a good son/father/person in his personal life? Are his books penance? I like reading them, well, I have just read 2 so I'm no expert...
Another thing I am wondering about is the term "Reverend". Who is a Reverend? Are they supposed to be Ph D's, or graduates of theological school? Or can it be just someone that is real holy and revered...
I started reading 3 Cups of Tea today and it's hard to not rush through it, I had to put it away for a while and wonder about "stuff".

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Whipple Procedure Recovery Day 34

My patient is recovering like crazy. After 27 days in the hospital he finally came home! We go for walks at the beach now, eat real food and everything. The only scary part for me is changing the dressing around the drain tube. My patient gets nervous about it and then I do too! Actually it is easier than I thought it would be but I will need more paper tape soon . Today was a Dr. G. day, and he scheduled a CT scan for May 12th; hope the drain will come out then! Then another follow up with Dr. G. on May 15th.

Apetite is very good even though the stomach can't handle all that he wants to eat. Grazing is now a legitimate way of dining! Antibiotics continue as well the the pain medication; to ease the stomach somewhat Trader Joe's has come in handy - I purchased some Triple Ginger Cookies and Ginger Chewies. So, he eats a cookie when he takes a pill.

I look forward to hearing what all that Dr. T. has to say (in June) about the pathology of the tumor and how often CT scans should be performed. Dr. T. is a digestive disease specialist and I trust his opinion over others. One dr. said that he didn't need a scan for 5 years but judging from the speed at which this one grew I have concerns that I'd like addressed.

Today our daughter sent a couple of boxes of goodies, crosswords, other games and a cruel 2,128 piece puzzle. We will have a good time working on it! I set up the mahjong table and we started working on it right away! Thanks kiddo!

So, I think I'm nearly done with making tiles but I DO have about 50 blank tiles so I may finish them up and move on. I have a couple of new interests right now. Lazy susans and hand built ice cream dishes...

Pictured is one of those bird tiles I like so much!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Day 18

Dr. T. said that it wasn't the type of pancreatic tumor they believed it was. He studied the pathology it was a cystic type that would have become cancerous had it not been detected and removed. I feel an undercurrent that some think it didn't need to be removed, perhaps Dr. S. because I get that feeling from him. I wonder if there is something unhappy between the two.

Day 18 in the hospital is hard. Day 17 was hard too. Must be getting better, please get better..

I spent most of the day on Day 17 working on clay. Raku day, trimming day, not a throwing day. A day to eat and get centered again.

I am thinking about my minigama that I didn't complete in a timely manner for various reasons. So by now it has dried sufficiently to make it impossible to build upon. After talking to Tiffany I will create a lid using nichrome wire and firebrick or Kaowool. The flue area could be the same. Other little things to make it useable...

Life got in the way of fun. That's ok too.
The photo is my husbands grandmother and her parents. Sudie Alice Stephens and Alva Ward. We have a gorgeous wedding ring quilt made by Sudie; it hangs in the loft and I see it every day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Psychological Terrorism

I think I can breathe at last. When I can't see the way out I feel like I'll be there forever. And if I feel this way, then so do other people and they understand. The odd thing is that I forget how it was and see others suffering with it and wonder why are they doing that?

Recording this will help me to recall I hope.

I just finished reading The Reader by Bernhard Schlink; it helped take me out of myself for a while when I was alone and gave me something to think about in a philosophical way which felt good for a change.

I am in love with the word benign right now.

Benign non-active neuroendocrine pancreatic tumors the size of golf balls are miracles.

Kidney stones that require a trip to the emergency room are to be thanked and looked at in philosophical ways too.

The Whipple procedure is a beautiful miracle. Someone took the time to work it all to get to the pancreas, etc., etc.

Day 6 and life is looking so much easier already than just a few days ago.

Morphine epidurals. Hallucinations. Psychological terrorism is what he called them. Dose is lower now being 5ml hour with 5ml extra he can deliver to himself 15 minutes apart if needed. I am happy to see he is using less and learning to manage the pain effectively. But most of all that he needs less.

So I have decided to now read something totally out of left field. It's called "a Short History of Tractors in UKRANIAN". Written by Marina Lewycka. It is touted as 'Mad and hilarious'. Just what the doctor ordered!

I see someone else has blogged about this book, think it's fun to bouce around to see what others are doing and thinking so I highlighted the blog rather than a dry description of the book!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Fat Little Celadon Teapot

This guy is my favorite so far, so round, so, so, so... what I cannot figure out however what happens inside the kiln that my glaze seems to get blown off - just certain glazes. This one has a brown spot nearly devoid of glaze. Personally, that doesn't bother me, well, except to know why it happens. It pours just great, all of them pour except one; it's banished to the porch, on its way to the smash pile.

Today was a raku day, they are so tiring, thank goodness Tiffany is young and capable!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Copper Green Stoneware Teapot

Who can make just one teapot? I had to do a series. Actually, I planned to make 10 or 20 before I found one acceptable. These aren't so bad but that decision may change in a few months. I really liked the first things I ever threw on the wheel and considered them worthy and looking at them now I cringe that I put my name on the bottom. What if they end up at Goodwill as they surely will and everyone in the world will think what a shame it is that clay should be so wasted on junk like this...until then I am happy with my efforts.
This is the third teapot I have ever made. The second one I assembled is being experimented on, it will have things glued onto it, THAT scares me and I'm the one doing it! Unfortunately there is no one to stop me now.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Stoneware Teapot

The teapot was fired in a gas reduction kiln to cone 10 and I am so happy that it pours just great. The glaze looks so boring, it is a celeadon. Maybe I will refire it with a different glaze at a lower cone (temperature). Several other teapots came out of the same firing, only one doesn't pour good.
As I took the photo this helicopter came zooming by making this picture look somewhat surreal to me!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Here is a word I had to look up - steampunk. I have found that the steampunk kind of art and jewelry is fascinating and I didn't have a name for it, but now I do. When doing a search I found some books to order or to download from the Internet at Steampunk magazine which I am looking forward to receiving. What got me going on it was when I saw this piece of amazing jewlery made by Steve Innes; his Internet shop is called History Repeats Itself. You won't find anything like it at the Mall...

My minigama is waiting to be finished, I am nearly there and cannot seem to find a time to complete it. It's been so long I am afraid it might have dried to the point that I can't make additions to it....

While it rained and rained over the last couple of months I have done some quiet tile painting to keep my brain and hands busy.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I Can Shop Here All Day

Buying handmade things or finding retro vintage kind of things on line can become addicting to me. Etsy is one of my favorite sites and I recently saw this fun dress; it appeals to the road trip side of my personality! And I found this hat to go with it. Would it be too much to wear these red cowgirl boots too? It would for sure but I couldn't find the perfect shoes to pair with the dress and hat.

On a more serious side I have to say how much I am drawn to this art. Her name is Caren and her shop name is Caren Loebel-Fried. On my wishlist is one of her hand painted tree of life linocuts as I have uploaded to my blog today. I need more wall space!
Ok, one more I must mention is Ferrarioriginalbeads and her Saturday nite specials or she sometimes calls them Sunday specials are really special. Her beads are even prettier in person that the camera can capture. I don't need as many pretty beads as I have but I simply can't resist! This group she has called Zen makes my heart pound! Imakefish says, "Check them out".
The work I did yesterday on my minigama should be ready to build upon so if all is right I may even almost finish it up today. Well, not all of the way, I still need to make peepholes, etc.
I was thinking about my Barbie manifesto which is how I started my blog; who knew I was so wordy and that I would still be blogging about stuff I do? I surprise myself sometimes.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Minigama is Getting There

After being away from working on my minigama for a couple of weeks I wasn't sure what I would find when I finally got around to it again. Well, it was just fine, waiting there for me. I feel like I may actually build this little guy after all. At first it seemed like a dream and I built on it but never really expected to have this puppy here! Of course I still have a way to go but I am feeling hopeful.
Hopeful. That's a good thing, and it's fairly easy on a day like today with the sun shining and warm weather in January!!!
It's a bbq kind of day so we got some charcoal at the store - some nice ahi tuna thanks to a friend that was very generous and shared some of her "catch" with me!!
Thank you my friend~

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Slowly I Build My Minigama

I revised the back area where the flue is. I had it so large, and why? So I cut away a lot and made it smaller. I need the clay for other areas anyway. Going to Berekely for more clay isn't on my list of favorite things to do. And who will be the strong men that will tote the minigama around for me when it becomes too heavy for me? Also, in the front I took a wooden spoon and started to beat the clay into shape, making it obey me. I saw that it was too wide so I am doing what I can to correct it. I did beat it pretty hard, this clay is amazing and stubborn, it is NOT dry or even leatherhard but it already has a mind of its own.
In the meantime I decorated a little rattle; they are much fun to make and embellish!