Saturday, March 14

Amusing myself

I don't have enough to fire a bisque load yet this week, but took a picture of one of the miniatures I made anyway, (in case the full size one sells before I get the tiny one glazed).

This full size love letter vase was for a Sweetheart Challenge in the Mud Team last month. Yesterday, I decided to do one in miniature too. The tiny one isn't an exact replica, but pretty close. If I still have the full size vase once the mini is finished, I'll update with a new picture.

Monday, March 9

I'm Back!

For all of December, January, and most of February, I wasn't able to work. Most of that time, I wasn't even living at home, but now I'm back! :)

I have new work in my etsy shop, new things waiting for their pictures to be taken, and more work in progress.

Easy Way to Start!

I watched this video the other day from Ceramic Arts Daily on an easy way to make hollow clay beads.  This shows an easy way to make a "base" for your ceramic vases in miniature.

From the link:

November 7, 2008

Video of the Week:

Making Hollow Clay Beads

by Barbara Hanselman | Read Comments (10)

If anyone was looking for proof that ceramics really does cross over into all sorts of creative endeavors, this week's video is that proof of that assertion. Barbara Hanselman demonstrates how to make hollow clay beads using a few dowels, a small amount of clay, simple tools and a bit of imagination.  Even if you don't want to make beads, this is a great technique. I first saw Mitch Lyons use it (watch for his video coming soon) to make full-size vessels. So give this technique a try and let us know what you come up with!— Sherman Hall, Ceramic Arts Daily

I don't make my basic forms the same way as her first example, but the second example is one I use frequently.

Good video if you are interested in the process of making miniature ceramic vases! ***** (that's 5 stars)  :)

Miniature Fairies Too!

I haven't been keeping an extra gallery for my miniature fairies and dolls lately, because I haven't made any new ones for close to a year. I do still have a few for sale in my shop , and here are a few of my favorites:

I call this one "Phoebe's Necklace" because the inspiration came from an episode of the TV show "Charmed" and the character named Phoebe. I loved the necklace she had, it was roses on a hemp cord that was really long, and she had it around her neck a couple of times then trailing down like you would a scarf.

This little sleeping fairy got rave reviews from being in many etsy treasuries. She was really sweet, about 4" tall if she were standing (if I remember correctly). Was sort of sad when she sold.

This desert fairy with her dragonfly (also a sculpture in his own right, and poseable), is the largest fairy I have ever made. She would be about 5 1/2" tall if she were standing. In scale for a dollhouse if someone dressed their dollhouse in "nature" things like fairies :)

This sweet little winter fairy would be about 3" tall if she were standing. She got a lot of attention last winter by getting 4th place in a "Winter Wonderland" contest. I know 4th place doesn't sound that hot, but you should have seen the other entries!

My next posting will be back on topic of miniature pottery or similar talk....just wanted to mention I do make other types of miniatures.

How do you get from here to there?

This conversation was on a discussion board a few months ago. We all tried to describe "how we get from here to there" making whatever item it is we each make. I did my bit on how I make miniature pottery.

How to sculpt miniature vases:

First Day
•gather supplies
•ball of clay
•scraps of paper towel
•various paint brushes
•needle tool
•found objects for molding around or inside of
•rocks glass of water
•exacto blade without handle
•shot glass for slip
•make some clay slip
•Start making shapes for the base of the vase
•Make about 8 or 10 very basic shapes
•Use needle tool to start a place where the vase will
be carved out tomorrow
•Make some extra shapes that will be added to "base"
shapes to make taller, or differently shaped vases
•Use slip to build on some of the base shapes, with
other shapes as they dry to leather hard
•Let everything set over night (or 8-10 hours)

Second Day
•gather tools
•exacto razor
•shot glass of slip
•rocks glass of water
•ball of clay (in case of changes)
•needle tool
•various paint brushes
•needle/razor curled sort of tool
•toothpicks (both flat and round)
•paper towel scraps
•start thinking of exact designs
•can begin refining the shapes with paint brush,
water, slip, and razor blade
•lots of "rest" periods for every piece, if they
get too wet, they fall apart or break
•some pieces will be able to dry enough for final
designs on the second day

Third Day
•gather same tools as second day (probably still all
out from yesterday
•most/all pieces can be completed of the designs on
the third day
•carve or build designs with more bits of clay,
sometimes using slip trailing/carving combined
•allow to dry enough for the bisque fire
(can sometimes fire on the third day)

Fourth Day
•underglaze anything that you've decided needs an
underglaze color
•bisque fire (average about 6 hours in small kiln)

Fifth Day
•Draw images of each vase in record book like a chart
of what you'll be glazing on this date, and what glaze
colors/combinations you use on each piece so you have
a record of what was fantastic and what was a
"mistake", never to do again
•Go through all the sample glaze tiles while studying
each piece to decide how you want to finish the piece
•Write down the glaze combinations you plan to use, the
order in which you plan to glaze also (important!)
•Gather all of the glazes
•Use the "work sheet" while glazing so you don't mess
up the order or glaze color on any of the "planned"
(rarely can I finish glazing and doing the glaze fire on the same day, usually have to wait for the next day
to fire again)

Sixth Day
•load the kiln
•cuss when everything won't stay on it's little bitty
•pray, pray, and pray some more
•wait until the kiln is cool enough to peek
•cheer or cry depending....

Seventh Day (idealy, usually put this off way too long)
•take pictures
•edit pictures
•list vases for sale

Oh My! How funny :)

I was going through old pictures trying to find specific "works in progress" pictures (don't have many because it never occurs to me at the time), and found this little Disco Diva Fairy I made.

I can't remember what I did with her, haven't seen her around in years, so somebody must have her.

She still makes me laugh :)