Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fav Artist - Ray Caesar

Its about time I shared this fabulous artist with you! His work is not only rich, beautiful and creepy, but has so much meaning wrapped into each piece. Check out his website http://www.raycaesar.com/ Trust me, its worth a look!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Squashed Rice Bowls

I just love making Rice Bowls! Recently I have been altering the rims to give the bowl a more oval mouth. I like the way that it gives each bowl a personality. I alter the rim just after I remove it from my wheel head but before I trim the foot. I have to alter is quite drastically while it is wet because as it dries, the mouth tends to creep back into its original round form. It is always a surprise once its been fired because the clay has a memory and keeps changing even into the second firing. Here is an example but it is difficult to photograph the subtle variation of the mouth.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Photographing artwork may be one of the most difficult jobs for an artist. Luckily, I have a fabulous husband that knows everything about cameras, lights and computers. Not so lucky, he is super busy and enjoys seeing me figure things out for myself. So, I thought that I would share my process with those of you who are not very computer literate (like me).

I love Photoshop. It makes it so easy for me to correct my photography errors. I know that light is the key to getting good photographs but I do not have a professional lighting set up yet. So, I have fallen in love with a few simple tools on Photoshop.

Once I pull an image into Photoshop, I try to keep the touchups to a minimum. I would rather be in my studio than stuck on the computer. First I crop, then I go to Image, Adjustments and adjust the Levels to get rid of empty information.

Then I tweak the color by using Image, Adjustments, Color Balance. I push up the Blue in the Shadows, the Green in the Midtones, and the Red in the highlights. This gives my work a richer look, more true to the real-life colors.

Then I tweak the Image, Adjustments, Brightness/Contrast if necessary. That is usually it. I shrink the image size and Save to Web. It usually takes only a few minutes to make a dramatic difference.
Here are some before and after shots.

Mastering Cone 6 Glazes - a review

Here is a great book that focuses on Cone 6. I keep this nearby in my studio when I am mixing the chemistry for glazes. It discusses not only the basics but how to create accurate glaze tests, fitting the glaze to your clay body, and approaches to develop your own stable glazes.

The book is full of beautiful photographs and is organized thoughtfully. Glaze recipes are included with corresponding images on various clay bodies as well.

Find more info at mastering glazes

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Good Week

It has been a great week. I found myself in 4, count them, 4 Etsy treasuries yesterday. I love being part of the EMT (ETSY Mud Team). There are so many inspirational ceramic artists out there. So, before I dive into my studio, I thought I would post some new olive trays. I am wondering which color would work the best. Any Suggestions on your favorites? From the top: Mint
Blue Hydrangea
Dark Olive
Brilliant Blue

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Etsy Front Page

What a surprize! Etsy's home page is full of clay goodness. I was stunned to see my olive tray on the front page. What an honour! Yay - What a great weekend surprize!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Clay Times Magazine

Its time to share my favorite Cermamics magazine. I love CLAY TIMES! It is one of those magazines that I wait for anxiously at my mailbox and begin reading on the spot. It has a great variety of articles, how-to demonstrations, glaze recipes, health and safety issues, and gallery images. I keep a shelf for my old issues in my studio and use them for inspiration when I need to trouble shoot a problem. The design of the magazine is very readable with large glossy images that capture the glazes clearly. If you haven't checked it out yet you can get a bit of a preview on their website (thought the site is a lot more jumbled than the magazine). One of my favorite parts is the Slurry Bucket Tips where readers send in their most ingenious studio-tested tips and techniques.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dark Olive Glaze Recipe

OK I have to preface this recipe with a bit about my kiln. I have a little second hand kiln in my basement studio that I love. Its quite quirky like me and yet very reliable. I fire most of my glazes to Cone 6-7 but my kiln fires so fast that I get quite different results from most other kilns. That said, make sure that you test any of my recipes and feel free to tweak the colorants.

Midnight Olive
Base Gerstley Borate 44%
EPK 21%
Flint 35%
Add Copper 5%
Rutile 6%
Cobalt 3% or a bit more for a darker color

Its my easiest glaze to create because there are so few base ingredients. I'll have to post a pic of me with my mask on next time I mix glazes.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New to Trunkt

I ws just accepted onto a site called trunkt. It is an online buyers guide to Independent art and design. You may wish to check it out!

Snack Time

OK just a little humor before I get to work today. I plan on photographing a lot of my new work and posting some on ETSY for sale. I have four large containers of bowls, mugs and olive trays that need to go to make room for new works. Check my ETSY shop for some sweet deals. But first have a little chuckle while watching this video!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Blue Hydrangea

Remember that new glaze I asked everyone to name? Here it is on some new mugs. I love the way that it looks baby blue where it is heavy and speckled green underneath.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fun and Funky

OK I'm back from a short trip to Ottawa to watch the U-20 Soccer game. The fans were absolutely out of control. The Mexico fans wore wrestling masks and the Argentina fans brought drums and wore flags as capes! Everyone had passion.

So here is a little of my passion! I finished a bunch of new ceramic rings. Here is one of my new square designs. Fun and Funky!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Just a Reminder

One week to go. I have planned a tight kiln schedule so that I can squeeze in two more glaze firings and a bisque. The new glazes are fantastic. I just need to find the time to photograph some of them. It has been raining for the past two days and my basement got a little damp so I have been a busy girl. Hubby and I had to clean the eaves on our house in the down pour to reroute the water. Fun Fun Fun!

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Thanks all of you on ETSY who replied. The name of the new glaze is officially Blue Hydrangea
I have another load in the kiln as of 3:00 today so tomorrow should be exciting. I will let you know how the Raku mistake turned out!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Needing a Name for a New Glaze

There is something so exciting about opening the kiln with a new batch of glazes inside. There is that magical element of 'the unknown' that is mostly reserved for small children opening Christmas presents. And I wasn't disappointed this morning!

I am looking for a name for this color. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Glaze fire

Well, My Raku mistake made it through the bisque firing and is sitting in the kiln waiting for me to start the glaze firing. Cross your fingers for me. And while you are at it, check out the treasury list... Thanks nectarjewelry!