Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How I Made My Etsy NASA Space Craft

First I threw 1 large low bowl/platter shape using ? 4 pounds ? of clay. I used calipers and measured it and proceeded to throw another similar shape. Put aside, let dry slow. At the correct time they were trimmed; one at the foot creating a foot ring and the other was made smooth and flat. Then they were scored around the rim and slip was applied and they were joined rim to rim. Let dry a little more. I made designs by carving and I also made the holes so the space craft beings can see outside sometimes even though their navigation equipment takes care of them they must like to see out, huh? Then I added some clay around the windows to make them "pretty".

This form was covered and kept "leather hard". I made the leg; well, I really made 3 of them but they were waaaaay too huge so I used one only, the biggest one. The joined-together bowl/platter shapes were then joined to the big leg of the space craft. I continued to let it dry slowly and before the ship was completely dry I used blue underglaze and put it all over the craft, I mean everywhere I could reach, I put it on repeatedly to make a blue, blue, blue. And blue it was!

It dried slowly for a week or more before firing in the kiln. I placed it upside down to fire it which worked just great!

Next comes a layer of black underglaze applied all over. I wiped off the excess leaving the black in the crevices. Next a thin coat of clear glaze was applied everywhere except at the foot and it was fired again. Viola; my first space craft, I call her mama because she is the Mother Ship but her real name is Titan Trout I. I also made Big Daddy and Little Brat Space craft...they live outside so they can be free to roam as needed...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Space "Craft" Lift-Off

Pacifica Ground Control to Etsy NASA Space Craft, "We have you cleared for lift-off".

Just one more photo I took on that "Day" the sun came out on the coast!

Friday, October 29, 2010

To The Moon and Beyond Halloween 2006

Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars! Looks like this kid is ready to launch. Wouldn't that be fun? Still having a blast with the NASA ideas!
I like this entry also but I can't afford it...
I stopped in a yarn shop in Princeton, CA. today. There is nothing like looking at, touching and examining yarn in person. I couldn't resist making a small purchase...it's not like yarn, it's more like ribbon but it is extremely pretty and it called my name....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Time Out of the Etsy NASA Contest....Time for the Giants

I'm giving myself the day off from blabbing about the NASA Etsy contest and my entry to say "Go Giants!" Help, I'm catching that crazy fever that's going around town...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Boring NASA Etsy Photo

nasacraft 022
Originally uploaded by sheilasthings
I'll probably do this until people cross the street so they don't have to hear about it anymore. Mwoaaaah! Just another fun shot of my spacecraft for the contest!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Entry NASA and Etsy

Who likes funky clothes? I do. This one is pretty darned cute. (click on this one)! She has also entered it in the NASA/Etsy space contest.

Here is another view of my entry. I'm going to be posting a lot about my entry in the coming weeks...boring, huh? LOL.

Friday, October 15, 2010

NASA and Etsy

My spacecraft is on the Discover Magazine Blog. OMG and all that other wow stuff!
It would be beyond hope to win the Etsy NASA contest but I'd take my grandson to Florida if I did...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Need Gift = New Warp

This weekend will find me trying to sell pottery at my "Pottery Garage Sale"...right next to the Fog Fest in Pacifica. We'll see what happens. That is Saturday, Sunday I'll be doing a throwing demo down at Clay Creations 2-3 p.m. People do love to watch mud whirl on the wheel and vessels emerge! I do too, it looks like magic when I watch others. But then I'm a sucker for clay.

It seems I still can't thread a warp without error - gah, what it wrong with me??? BUT, onward I go. I got some cotolin (50/50 cotton and linen) to make some dish towels for a thank you gift . Making a pattern is fun but I do like to have happy colors mostly...

Sorry I didn't go to the RAKU event in Richmond but that's across the bay and entails crossing the Bay Bridge doesn't it? haha.

Searching on Craigslist?

Public service announcement Number Two.

Searching for clown supplies or used valve stems? Try Craiglook!

Remember, it's a jungle out there....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Searching for Bloggers?

My public service announcement!
Are you searching for people that blog about certain topics?

Start here my friend: http://blogsearch.com/

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Professional Throwing Demo - Large Open Pot

You can turn off the sound, it's better that way.

What, no apron? LOL. This is about 12 pounds of clay being centered and thrown. I wish the camera would have visited the right hand as he was pulling though.

After visiting Pottery West and seeing some of the enormous (to me) pots made by Tom Coleman and some nearly-as-large pots made by Amy Kline, I've been thinking....which is always dangerous. Upon learning to throw pots it was impressed upon me that bigger doesn't mean better. Now it is time. Goal: honest pots but larger honest pots if possible. And why not? A season of growth I hope.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Book Addict

New small blue pitcher and tumblers fresh from the kiln! Cobalt blue makes me happy :)
I added 2 widgets to my sidebar and I am so proud of myself for being able to do that. Aside from that...when I'm not making something I'm usually reading about how to make something or enjoying some fiction. I trade books on both Bookmooch or Paperback Swap.
Life is good today, I'm going to enjoy breakfast this morning in Millbrae at the Millbrae Pancake House; see you soon Trey! Buckwheat pancakes; Swedish pancakes, OMG, they are all so good!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ceramic Slip Ware

It's always fun to find a new direction or revisit a forgotten/abandoned/neglected one. Sandstone buff clay body, layer of white slip and glazed with a celadon; I am happy. The one on top is the same but with a glaze called Archies Base and it is best combined with other glazes I think. The pink cast sort of "gets" me, in a less than happy way. So, I'll carry on with my Honest Functional Ware Quest.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wood Firing

Just a quick note, Pottery West and their wood stack. I wonder how often they fire up the wood kiln? I haven't done a wood firing since about 1982....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AS mUCh aS i KNoW aBOuT poTTeRY iN LAs vegAs

I visited Pottery West and fell in lust with it. I am ready to move, well, not right away. It WAS 112 deg. F for several days in a row while I was there...

The facilities look like a place I could grow to actually love. Amy Kline is the pretty young owner and when I called I think it was her mother that told me that, "No, there was no sign on the property due to zoning", which was why I couldn't find it the first time. She gave me excellent driving instructions and I just drove right in and wandered around. I met Tom, a fellow potter, blogger. He was loading the train kiln (see photo)! There are more kilns than I could shake a stick at! I photographed one of the kiln gods that was mounted up high; what a scary guy, huh?
My husband is amazed at the change of attitude I suddenly have toward Vegas life! Well, I compared it to him finding a golf course when he didn't think there were any and wouldn't he be just all giggly and smiling too?

There are lots of wheels, lots of kilns, lots of fun I think! I plan to use the pottery for a week next time I'm in town. It would be ideal to be able to go to one of the workshops there but that doesn't look like it will happen. :( In the meantime; in my head; I'm already there!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Making basic cream lather in three different ways

Making basic cream lather in three different ways

I am finding out more than I ever wanted to know about how men shave their faces since I started to make shaving mugs. I first added little ridges to the bottom of my mugs so that the soap would sit up out of the water...did I know that there was some cool lather in a tube? Noooo.
I joined this website the straight razor place wanting to know what constituted a good shaving mug. I feel like I've wandered into the men's locker room by accident. Well, I'm looking around before I leave to see what I can learn.
Hmmm, didn't I just say I was going back to basics? Just as soon as I'm finished here I am.

Back to Basics

Way back when...I first fell for clay it was the late 70's and the attitude that I learned (for lack of non pun word) was "Earthy". My clay is returning to that attitude I hope. I have played around with form and finish for a looooong time it feels like and I am turning around at the end of the lane and heading home. It feels good and right.

I have a friend who calls himself Stan the Drunk, an old sober hippie that had a loft in Berkely in the 60's and 70's. He lived in his loft and made his living selling his pots. Christmas time was when he made the money he lived off of the rest of the year. So I asked him to help me get back on track and if he would "mentor" me for a while and he said he would.

I checked out Pioneer Pottery from the library and read it like a text, uh, I did have to skip the part about soil analysis and making my own clay body as well as finding the proper earth elements to make glazes. I do need to support my local clay shop, don't ya think? Building the kiln was interesting since I secretly would love to build an anagama in my back yard....I do have a hill behind me!

I have made some slips to decorate my pots, one red and one white. Next a cream color I think. Not only will slips bring me back to honest simplicity (I hope) but I will also work on strong, simple shapes with strong, honest decorations. That's a lot of strong and honest, huh? With some simple thrown in for good measure.

Pioneer Pottery was written by Michael Cardew after spending 20 years making pots in Britain and I can't remember how many years (30?) making more pots in Africa. Of course the first years had to have been spent finding the clay and all of that. I included the hyperlink but haven't yet read it....there it is for us though! The bowl at the top is his.

yak, yak, yak, it feels so good to talk the honest clay talk I just can't stop.

I am soon off to Vegas where I plan to drop in to check out Pottery West and decide whether or not to hook up my kiln there - bring $$ if I do!!!! I tried to find Pottery West once before but failed to find it...I'll have to get out of my car this time I guess!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Magazines...Out They Go

Freecycle again...Coastal Living - out
Threads - out
Metalsmith - out (wah-wah).
National Geographic Traveler Magazine - out.

Did I mention I nearly chased the Freecycler down the street screaming, "Wait, I want those back?" LOL!
Actually, I ran up my stairs and didn't look back as she drove off in her pick up truck.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing

I won't go on and on about how stressful certain things are...not too much I won't.
National Geographic is just the best magazine ever! Who can argue with that? I have too much of a good thing then I suppose.

Thanks to Freecycle I am 30 years lighter. The photo I took shows the collection that someone is coming to get today at 4 p.m. It took a while, I kept wanting to look at the pictures again and tuck just one aside to re-read later (I did keep 5)!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Recology Revolt

My community is having conniption fits over our new waste management company. As much as I hate to admit it, I am too.

The cans are HUGE and tipsy and I have a terrible time controlling them when they are full and I have to wheel them down our driveway. If I get in front I fear it will mow me down and when I hold on from the back it pulls me making my terminally sprained ankle scream. Ours is a community of hills and I'm in fairly decent shape and not THAT old! How are our real seniors doing this I wonder?

The size of them is crazy, they look awful out there in front of the house so I'm hiding them in some bushes and behind one fence (there are 2 monsters the recycle one and the green waste one). Don't forget the usual garbage can either!
The man in the photo makes it look so clean and easy doesn't he?

Help! I just had to gripe a little.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Maddi Needs A Friend

This person seems to need friends so I'll post this on my blog. She's moving to your area .

Hey you..I got your reply in my other inbox.. from craigslist.. ur the only onewho replied.. anyways im Maddi:) I'll be living in your area in abouta week and would love to get to know ya as I wont know anyone else.I'm recently single. 5'3 blonde, 25, cute, in shape etc.. dont worry..anyways if u dont mind can you add me on AIM? I prefer IM chat insteadof email.. my info is below. I am on now so add me.. XOX MadisonA.I.M - RollerHugzyD

Uh, yeah Maddi, good luck to Ya.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Craigslist Weirdos and Heros

It's supposed to kind of rhyme; weirdos, heros...
I posted something recently and here come the weirdos...blah.
I responded to a listing...in Colorado (beware of scams, do not etc., etc.).


These are so fun, they're textile blocks used for printing on fabric usually, but, wait, they work on clay too and I have been lurking and searching around for them (I don't do that Bay website) so it was not easy to find them. Just as a lark I tried craigslist, I didn't really hold out much hope.

BUT, there they were! The woman I purchased them from was super patient with me as I made decisions and she was generous too, anyway, I am now the proud owner of a nice selection of textile blocks. I bought them their own container so they won't get lost.

I plan to send her one of my first experiments; I do like the one in the photo, I hope she will too!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Because I Want Some Good News

Sometimes I just feel like it's time for one of those sweet, tear-jerk moments. Why this particular story would do that, hmmm, well, it did!

What is kind of funny is that I did a Google search for good news and I found some REALLY bizarre stuff, I wouldn't call it good news, weird news perhaps but not very good weird.

Pictured is some sappy happy pottery. Because sometimes only sappy will do, it's yellow, ok? So what?! LOL.

Besides that sappy happy 60's stuff is back, right? Am I becoming a closet-weeping-happy-yellow-loving grandma?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

California Advancement for the Ceramic Arts

Well, the show is over folks...actually it was over a few weeks back! Here are some pictures I took of things that caught my attention. The colorful upright vessel is one made by Anna in my class. The others...I didn't catch their names.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Help is Here

I don't think I've posted a photo of this jar I recently made...

I'd rather not be boring about the meaning so; it is what it is.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The California Tour

Driving along Oceana Blvd. in Pacifica I saw people lining the overpass and remembered that the California Tour was speeding through town. I jumped out and grabbed my camera but not my glasses...

So, I took pictures and they stink but I'm going to post them anyway. I tried to put the camera on "action" setting, hmmm, seems I missed the mark, plus I got a nice bit of chain link fence!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Girly Shaving Mugs

shavemug 504
Originally uploaded by sheilasthings
Earthenware, fun! I think these may have a home already but I'm not sure. I had lots of fun with them anyway. Earthenware can be so bright and happy...too happy? Hmmm, I don't know.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tenmoku Glazed Jar

I got this urn back from the college, I nearly forgot about it. I was exploring the idea of making a creamatory urns when this one was born. I don't know who it would be for but I saw some on line and thought that they were quite dreadful, no pun intended of course. I'll hang on to this until I decide if I'll be cremated or not. I'm sort of liking the idea, well, not "liking" it but liking it in comparison to other choices. Being of good Scandinavian stock (thanks dad) a dramatic ship burning would be quite an ending too! Meanwhile back at the pottery, I'll keep this one as an ideal!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Saori Bridges of Elm Park

I've started my banner. If it's truly a zen banner it won't matter too much if the width is off by about 1/2" will it? I hope not. Warping this yarn was a dream, I never knew it could be so quick and painless. I am supposed to use about 6 threads per inch so I put on my 8 dent reed and threaded it 0111, 0111; that should do the trick.

Trying to be so free and clever is backfiring on me, I don't like my experiments, but that's good to know...I won't be so cute on other projects since it looks....hmmm,....let's just say "bad". Then I hit upon this real happy, homey Swedish or at least Scandinavian color thing that appealed to me. Modern and hip? No. Feel good? Yes! I'm putting nubbies on it and all sorts of crazy stuff, and its all good! Well, fun anyway!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Saori Weaving

Saori weaving is weaving without mistakes, I have also seen it described as zen art weaving dedicated to self expression. This caught my eye quite a while back when I was first learning to warp my loom and stumble along with my weaving; I failed to see the errors as shameful. Saori is: do what you want, make your own rules kind of weaving. Right up my alley.

Next project - nothing but exploration by making a large banner to hang in Worcester, Massachusetts as part of a public art project late this summer.

I copied this excerpt from the Facebook page of Saori Bridges of Elm Park:

This is a "project to hang the 2 beautiful historic bridges of Worcester. MA's Elm Park August 25-29, 2010, with 64 Saori banners hand-woven by people from everywhere! We are promoting this recipe for peace in our community: Creativity, Cooperation, Contribution! Won't you please encourage the volunteer weavers and others who are Contributing their Creativity to this Cooperative art installation?"

This will be fun and liberating, I'm going primary with yellow, blue and red, that's as far as I've planned. I'll use synthetic yarn so that it will hold up to the elements and be colorfast.

The other thing that caught my attention was the fact that Worcester, MA., was the birthplace of my 5th gr. grandfather. Well...he was born in; Brookfield, Worcester County, MA. Makes it more funner to participate knowing that! Yes, Lt. Benjamin Gilbert and his wife, Esther Perkins are both buried there, I wonder if they are still there. Buried there I mean, it was a long time ago of course; the late 1700's. San Francisco dug up all their graves and dumped those dead people and coffins and tombstones out near me, there aren't any graveyards in San Francisco. Only the living are allowed there I guess. Anyhoo, is it really pronounced wuster? I've heard of wuster, MA but never knew it might be Worcester....unless I start thinking about Worcestershire sauce and how I pronounce that.

P.S. I got the image of the hands weaving from this website:http://www.stfrancishouse.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Rehab_ExpTher_Saori

Happy creating.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Big Daddy Spacecraft

Big Daddy has the coordinates for Area 51 stamped into his leg, he has 3 eyes, from one direction 2 eyes look happy and then turn him a bit and the middle and right eye look mean....later you'll see what I mean. Funny but mamma spacecraft has eyes all around her, how appropriate!

Friday, April 2, 2010

They Come In Peace

It's a spacecraft people, no need to panic. First I threw 2 bowl shapes, let 'em dry a bit, smacked 'em together rim to rim and viola a space ship. Very crazy and fun. This is the mother ship, she'll be blue--ish.
I was encouraged to explore throwing large forms and combining them for even larger forms. I didn't know this would happen but it did.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Twenty Year Mosaic

I've been wanting to make a mosaic for...hmmm, let's see maybe 20 years. I have the mosaic book, sure, I read it and it just never happened. Lately someone has to light a fire under me to help me accomplish my goals. Hence the 20 year mosaic is complete.

Linda is teaching a class at Clay Creations and what a great class and fun, creative people in the class. soooooooooooooooooo, tonight we grouted This dragonfly will find a place in the house to live. It will be a prominent spot I think, it's not every year that a 20 year mosaic is completed. The little frog on the left is a tiny round tile I made a while back and I glazed it green and fired it just before the class started a few weeks ago. When it all came together; happy, yay. Love the process, must do more, must do more...
Meanwhile back on the loom I have a full width warp on for the first time. (Just to experience the thrill of it). Nothing fancy but I hope I will have enough to make a vest or skirt or something when I'm done.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

JoAnn Fabric Prom Dress Contest

This is such a great contest I just want to put it out there for any creative teen that might come across this blog. Make your prom dress, win money, keep those teen hands busy, busy, busy!

This image is from the web, I found here: http://www.electrical-res.com/EX/10-18-01/white-lace-wedding-gown-av.jpg it says it is a wedding gown but what the heck..

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lower Lewis River Falls

Lower Lewis River Falls
Originally uploaded by sweber4507
Another beauty! This is outside of Woodland, Washington on the Lewis River. The photographer has told me that my friend can copy it as a painting. I will be sure to show it to him when it is finished. The other one of the tug tugs at my heart strings and so does this one; in a different kind of way.
As a kid in the 4th grade (I think it was) we visited Merwin Dam, not too far from here. And we learned how electricity was generated. It was exciting and I drew pictures of turbines and everything showing how it worked; I actually got it!
My camera is in the car and I keep meaning to take photos of the ocean since the waves are incredible but...I don't. And part of Pacifica is falling into the ocean, that is pretty sad for the people living in the apartments that will eventually go.
I looked for an old photo of the Toutle River but couldn't find one, I wanted pre-Mt. St. Helens eruption. The Toutle River was so cold it would cramp your toes right up like crazy but that never stopped me from spending hours going up and down that slick rocked river, skinning my knees and shins and all that.
Enough, I don't know why I feel so nostalgic lately...need more sunlight maybe.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sause Bros. Tugboat

Oh how I love this photo! I have contacted the photographer to ask if my friend can paint a picture of the photo. She has told me many times I just have to select the image I want and she will do it. No telling if the owner will allow it or not though.

I just want to put it on my blog so I can come look at it whenever I like.
Too many words spoil the feeling and they can't convey it anyway.

Grandparents, cousins, early morning, rain, riding in the backseat, my parents, home....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mahjong Madness

It's someone elses fault...

Mahjong on line that is...it's their fault that they told me about it and encouraged me to play. It is way too much fun. Well, fun and occasionally infuriating. There is work to do on the website, it has what I consider some glitches but it is a super fun place to pick up a quick game or play all day. New Years day I spent some time there; at www.Mahjongtime.com/

Since I had this very nice hand I took a pic of it. I coulda been a contender; it was very nice but not a "limit" type of hand. Limit being the very best you can have.

There are 5 different type of mahjong played there, Hong Kong (my favorite), Chinese Official, Riichi (Japanese), Taiwan, EC (European Classical) and American. I was playing Taiwan when I had this hand. The different mahjong games with the exception of American all have a basic format similar to gin rummy...it is runs of 3 or 3 matching and a pair to declare mahjong. They all score different and it's a mystery how that works but I did get my 8 for a pair and declared mahjong winning 30 points.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Non Resolutions

No resolutions here, accountability is not my middle name. Ok, "if" I made resolutions I wouldn't tell anyone because then I might have to keep them. I prefer lists; just writing down what is bouncing around in my head helps.

So, I've already planned next years Christmas cards. I try to write in each one so the recipeints get an inkling about me, ie., I'm still alive, etc. Next years cards will just say, Dear _____, You know how it is. Merry Christmas.

I started my new year off feeling rather defeated by my old Sabina loom. Determined to teach myself how to read and warp a pattern by using my book, I put a warp of linen on, threaded it: 1,3,1,3,1,2,4,2,4,2. A pattern called huck. OK, I did it. After crawling around the floor and re-hooking my treadles so that the proper harnesses are raised and lowered as they should - gah, something went horribly wrong. I don't know what it is, I'm so sad. I can't get a good shed when just one of the harnesses is up and the others are down. I think has to do with the archaic mechanisms that operate my loom. My teacher looked at it and shook his head so I guess I won't call him. The upper shed is all limp, it's really sad. I said that already didn't I? Well, I'll struggle along and finish up and not use a pattern that commands too much of me or my loom next time, it's supposed to be fun.
Yay for getting it almost right though!!!
2010 List 1
1. Take mosaic class?
2. Throw 100 shaving mugs
3. Plan plants for now naked yard
4. Study how to make ceramic wall pieces
5. Break ugly pottery for mosaics
6. Clean craft closet this month