Monday, April 29, 2013

Finishing Touches on the Studio

For the next couple of weeks my kiln is officially out of business. So sad!  Last week I pulled the last load of pottery out of the kiln, unplugged it and put a cover over it--well actually Dave put a cover over it.  It was the final run for a bit, the kiln will not be up and running again until the drywall is up, the walls are painted (me) and the flooring is in (Dave and I). Yay!  Sounds like fun.  I don't know how much time I'll have to do any pottery between painting the walls and installing the floor (yikes!), but I am sure I will make some time to work on the wheel or hand build a few items and get them ready to fire. Pottery is my reprieve and by the sounds of things I will need a reprieve.  

Here are some of the results of the last run of the kiln before it was forced into taking a vacation. The pieces turned out beautiful!  Leaves me wondering if an Etsy store is in order...hmmmmm?  My original intent was to provide an open studio, a place for fellowship and creativity, a place to nurture the soul,  but maybe the addition of an Etsy storefront is not a bad idea.  :)  Something to think about. 

Here is a sampling of the finished pieces.  These colors turned out amazing.  Absolutely stunning!  I adore  turquoise blue, no matter where it is used or how it is used turquoise adds a spark so I decided to add it to my pottery.  WOW!  Makes me want to go on a tropical vacation.  These are so perfect for summer, they put me in the mood for the beach!    

Casserole/Serving dish

Salad Bowls

6 ounce coffee mugs....for an afternoon pick me up

I will get some more pictures posted through out the week.  Thought this would be good for today.  On such a beautiful spring day I wanted to bring a little taste of summer your way.

This makes me think on the fact that life to is made up of seasons (It's been a very reflective day). I know I have been guilty of thinking some seasons are forever (the good and the bad), but that is not true.  Good or bad, this too shall pass. That sounds fatalistic but it definitely doesn't mean that things always get worse--though they may for a time.  There are seasons I have gone through that I thought were the BEST, now looking back on the other side I have come to know they weren't.  They may have been the BEST at the time, but in my journey with God, HE has lead me to BETTER.  Not to say I didn't go through some rough waters to get there. And in dealing with the rough waters, no question about it, they are rough!  For me, if I can remind myself to keep my eyes focused on HIM and then lean back into HIM and trust HIM, the waters loose some of their fury and I can tap into HIM to pull me through. I guess James said it well when he said "consider it all joy when you encounter trials..."  That really is the key, find joy or rejoice in the midst of it all.  (On a side note: I absolutely hate rough waters!!! Just for the record. )

Having said all that--mostly as a reminder to myself--- I want to be one who enjoys each and everyday that God has given me.  To make knowing HIM and knowing HIM in my day my highest priority.  When I do that it makes the good days and good seasons even better and it adds light to the bad days or bad seasons....much like the Turquoise does I guess, adds some light, a reminder that summer is right around the corner.  Keeping my eyes on God and trusting HIM gives a peace and a confidence in the midst of a storm, helps me to know that over the horizon the sun is shinning.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Slow going

Its been a busy couple of weeks on the personal front so potting has taken a bit of a back seat. I have made it out to my "studio"--still in the garage--a few times but it has been rather hit and miss.  We moved the kiln over to the new studio and I managed to complete enough pieces for a bisque fire and then, after a day of glazing, a glaze fire was also completed in the new studio.
The sun was setting and the kiln had heated up to 1083 degrees. 

 As night time came, and the kiln temp reached around 2300 degrees, I looked out my kitchen window and was amazed to find that looking across the backyard I could see the red hot peering out at me from under the lid of the kiln. Really cool!  I went out to take some pictures to share, unfortunately, they only give you an idea of what was there to look at....some things you have to see in person I's the best I could do.
It looks like nothing so I hestitated on whether or not to even post, but seeing the glow across your yard is rather cool.  You have to admit that is pretty hot!!! 

And the results.....

I did some experimenting with the kiln settings--ummm--note to self  "just leave it alone". (Fired med cone 6 with a 5 minute hold--should have not done the hold)  I did learn a lot, the bummer is I had a few pieces that the glaze ran onto the kiln shelf.  Oops!  However, the rest turned out great.  Here is a little sampling.

Turquoise and dessert sand on a light weight clay. 

Perfect Good morning, Good Afternoon or/and Good Evening Coffee cups.  


SALSA BOWLS!!!!  A personal favorite

 One of my favorite things to make is a salsa bowl.  I think it is because they are so functional!  I use mine for nuts, olives, salsa, guacamole and sour cream.  Anything, they are perfect! (I personally think everyone needs a Salsa bowl and a couple GP-- general purpose--bowls.  For this salsa bowl I used 4 different glazes which produced an amazing color spectrum

I think the greatest reward of potting is when, after you have given your time to mold and create a piece and then you give your time to bisque and glaze a piece, you get to see the finished product. In this case the extra hold time in the heat of the kiln did produce some wonderful results.  However, I think I will put experimenting on hold for a while.   

I guess it is the same as in life, some extra time in the heat can produce a beautiful result, however, I have discovered that, if given a choice, its not necessary to undergo that "extra" time.  For me, I would rather stay out of that time in the extra heat.  Yet for those times when I chose to stay where I shouldn't have, either in my thoughts, my actions, or my situations I am thankful to God that He can make something beautiful out of my pain and out of my bad choices. He knows we are but dust, we will make wrong choices and He loves us no matter what.  Wow.  Nothing can change His love for us.