Friday, April 29, 2011

The Gallery Me

Candee Lewis, who has been at Vision Gallery for umpteen million years, is retiring today.  Her party is at noon, and I can't be there, because I'm babysitting the studio for Neal while he's on vacation.

So here's my thank you for all the gracious help Candee's given me, and sharing this fun picture of me and some of my more colorful bowls.  

Have a wonderful new career, Candee, and lots of success and happiness. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Photo answers the question

Sometimes I just can't believe what a great tool photos have become in my work.  As I was painting the underglaze on this new bowl, I was puzzling as to how to treat the inside.

Now that I've taken a photo, the answer is right there!  

It has to be black.  That is what is going to make the piece the most dramatic, and that is what I am going for.  It will be orange and brown on the outside, with little white dots, of course.  And shiny black on the inside.  

Any contrasting opinions out there?

I'll show you a picture when it's fired.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sweet little birds

Have underglazed four more of my little hummingbirds.

I'm trying a different approach to the background, something a little more painterly, and softer, I hope.

I'll take a picture when they come out of the kiln.

Some others that I tried this week didn't turn out, I hear.  I'm heading over there this afternoon to check it out.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

My Easter bunnies

No work this weekend!  Here's a picture of my youngest son and my oldest grandsons yesterday just before Easter dinner.  Aren't they handsome boys?

We had a great Easter, and ate way too much good stuff.  

So, back to work today!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I saw it on Ceramics Daily

I saw a post about 2 weeks ago on Ceramic Arts Daily, and decided to try it out.  

When I rolled the slab out I laid out a piece of batten burg lace on top of the clay to give it a little more interest.

One of the guys in my class suggested that since it looked like the flowers I do on other stuff, I should paint some underglaze on it before it's fired.  

I made two of them, and so here's the second one with the underglaze.  I'll post a picture after they're fired..  

I hope that when they're done they can hold a 4" pot, so you can just plop something in.  If that works I'm going to make some bigger ones for the Christmas amaryllis that I put in my entry way every year.  Wouldn't that look cool? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A work in progress

I showed you these little tiles I was doing as a sample for a possible upcoming tile project.  (More benches!)  If these work in with the design I'll have to do anywhere between 20 - 30 of these hummingbird tiles to use as accents in my design.  

These are the tiles, before firing.  Below are the tiles after firing.  What I learned:  the yellow I have doesn't translate.  I actually like the painterly look of the background.  I may keep it.  
 Why does this do this when I import it?  It looks fine in the file, then when I bring it over it flips on me.  Grrrrrr!  So aggravating.  

Anyway, you can see what I was talking about.  
To keep:  the painterly look of the background.  But be more aware when applying it!
To find:  a good, high-fire yellow.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

So Pretty

There is this cactus in my garden that I just love.  The flowers only bloom for one day, but they are spectacular!!!!  

  I just wanted to share this with you.  I have ten blooming right now.

I've painted them before and you can see the watercolors on my website:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Great news!

I try to submit my stuff to different galleries and/or shows from time to time, just to get my name out there.  (And maybe sell a piece or two).

I recently submitted this to the Herberger in downtown Phoenix for their summer show, and just got notice yesterday that it was accepted! 

My ceramic buddies may recognize this guy.  He did a workshop in Mesa back a few months ago.

So, today I'm feeling pretty good about myself.  The sound you're hearing is me, patting myself on the back.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Back to tile

I was thinking of the composition for another bench I may be doing, and wanted to use a combination of the tiles that came out of the kiln this week.  And I was trying to think of a neat accent that would be painted instead of the textural feel that the other tiles have.

So I think I might use hummingbirds.  Aren't these little guys cute?  

They haven't been fired yet, so we'll see how my paint job turns out after firing, but I just might be on to something, here. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A satisfactory conclusion

I've been working on a watercolor for a client who wanted to incorporate three white roses from her garden into a painting.

She wanted other flowers and leaves in it, as if they were still growing on the bush.  She didn't want the black background like I did in my last set of flowers.  

So the challenge was to create a composition with these elements.

I finished last night.  I see a few spots here and there that need a little touching up, but for the most part, I think we're done here.

What do you think?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Well, not all good, actually

This was a piece that Ted let me have to embellish.  I did several colors of underglaze that blended into each other, with black shapes painted over the color.  

I expected bright and beautiful.  What I got was dark and muddy.  

My guess is that the clear glaze was the factor.  Evidently in using a clear glaze in a high-fire, it should be one without zinc in it, because that can affect the colors in the final outcome.  It did.  Oh well, back to the drawing board.  
Lesson learned.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Good kiln results

Last time I glazed these particular tiles, I was very unhappy with the plain, muddy results.  Well, I made some more tiles to try with different glazes.  I not only wanted to have more interesting colors, I wanted to simplify the process.  So, I chose three glazes:  temmoku, celadon, and California red, then blew a little Oribe on them with my mouth sprayer.  The results were much, much better.  What do you think?
 I also had some success with another test:  I put some rutile wash over temmoku.  I was attempting to get a gold pattern over the temmoku.  All of the pieces turned out well, but ran a lot.  So I could only save two.  You can see those below.  

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's coming right along...

Did some more work on the painting this week.  I should have all of the major elements in by the end of next week, then I go for corrections and refinements.  

See how that background sinks down into the center of the picture?  As I continue to work with the main focus, the flowers, it will continue to do so.

What do you think of it so far? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Progress is made

I've had some time to work on the three roses painting.  I decided to create a distant background in the center to draw the eye in.  Believe it or not, this will look like gravel on the ground when the painting is finished.  

 I've worked on it a bit more here, adding more gravel and continuing to slowly define forms and background.

 And yesterday I only had about an hour to work, so I tackled the upper left rose and the surrounding area.  Each layer adds more depth to the composition, doncha think?