Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bad News, Good News

So, the bad news (for me) is that The Folsom Fine Arts and Gourd Festival has been cancelled. I'm disappointed, as it was to be my first art show, but, as they say in the Old Country: shit happens.

The good news for you all is that all the stuff I have made and been making for the show will now be available in my Etsy store in the coming weeks. Keep in mind I am still messing around with my shipping profiles in the shop and will do my best to keep the costs down for you.

Happy shopping, kids!

Jack-o'-Lantern Heaven

Source.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Giant Smile

Source.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hauntcast 21


Up and running with a new month of Halloween and prop coolness especially for crunch time! Click on da pic to get to the HC home page!

Back to School


This week was back to school week for me, which is why my posting has been a bit thin. I'm taking another ceramics class, plus a class on alternative firing techniques. I was getting to know my teacher a bit and had asked her opinion about how to get a little more color in my Raku firings, and showed her some of the work I'd been doing since I had brought my laptop with me. She commented that my work was more "crafty" than anything else, and asked if I'd had any art history classes. I told her no, and she says, "Well, you need to."

Now, while she went on to explain that taking art history makes a huge difference in an artist's work and had really made a big difference in hers, I couldn't help but wish she had just a tad more diplomacy. I'll have to remember this experience when I start teaching again in a few weeks. I guess it's the way she said "crafty," as if it were synonymous with the bubonic plague that ruffled my feathers a bit. Mind you, I know it's true; I don't have illusions of being the second coming of Michelangelo by any means. It just came to my ears as being a little harsh.

In any case, I'm looking forward to the class as I know she'll be pushing me, hard, to the next level. I need the challenge so I can improve what I'm doing. Mr. ShellHawk reminds me that I've only been doing this a little over a year, and not be too hard on myself, but I'm impatient to be a more competent artist, like, yesterday.

Also in Nest News this week, I come to find out that no one has heard from the event coordinator for the Folsom Fine Arts and Gourd Festival, which is the show I've been prepping for. I am crossing my fingers that the guy has not disappeared to Belize with our meager entry fees.

Meanwhile, Saturday I headed out to the first girls night out in forever. One of my buds put together an evening for twenty-two of us, complete with limousine so we didn't have to worry about either finding parking or drinking. That's me in the pink day of the dead dress, and I finally got to wear my Iron Fist shoes I won from Skull-a-Day!
Our driver was fabulous (he loved my shoes!), and it helped that he looked a lot like Russell Crowe. We went to see "Menopause, the Musical," and none of us could stop laughing. What a fun show!

Well, that's it for now, kids. I gotta get back out in the garage and play with clay some more!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Raven


I am still waiting to get "The Raven" on DVD! I haven't seen it since I was a kid, and really would love to. Click on the image to watch the trailer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Etsy

I'm still new to Etsy and all of the neat things that go on there. For those of you who don't know, Etsy is a place to buy and sell all things art and hand made and crafty. The cost to list an item is very reasonable; far more reasonable than eBay (the listings last far longer, too) and without the annoyance of people "watching" an item and not buying it.

There are also some fun things you can do, like "favorite" a shop or item, or you can create a "treasury."  A treasury seems to be a collection of items you can get together from different sellers. Maybe it's yarn, or buttons, or pots. Whatever strikes your fancy can go into a treasury.

I was really pleased to discover that someone put one of my pumpkins in a treasury! I mean, that's pretty cool! Thanks, jalinde, for featuring me in your treasury!

Now, if only I can figure out how to make a treasury...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Raku Firing a Minor Triumph

I've been busy gathering the last of the parts and supplies I would need for firing up my Raku kiln on this past Saturday.
First, we had to assemble the kiln for the first time. Some of my friends from past ceramics classes came over to help and watch. My friend, Gary, had already made two other portable Raku kilns, so I was very happy to have his help.

You start out with kiln wool and landscaping cloth. I had made some "buttons" to put some high temperature wire through, to hold the wool to the wire of the landscaping cloth.
We then whipped out my new Raku burner, which Mr. ShellHawk commented would be handy for a zombie invasion, as long as the propane tank held out.
We put down some backer board, then started arranging the fire bricks I'd gotten. Eventually, we'll be putting down a cement pad, because the heat from the firing split the backer board and made it unusable.
We got the kiln loaded with the ware I'd already bisque fired and then glazed. We set the burner in its place down at the bottom of the kiln where I'd cut the access hole for it.

We fired it up. To the left, you can see the cold kiln with the burner just turned on. To the right, you can see the ware heating up towards where the glaze starts to flux (or liquefy).


Once the glaze hits that point, the top of the kiln comes off and I pull out the ware with a set of tongs. I consider it a win that I came out of the firing with both my eyebrows and my arm hair. The temp in the kiln reaches around 1800 degrees, and it simply has to be turned off before I can even get close.
With the help of my friends, I put the glowing ware in a metal trash can filled with organic material-in this case, hay. The ware sets the hay on fire instantly. One person piles more hay on top and the other slams the lid down afterwards. You can actually hear the fire sucking all the oxygen out of the can.
Later, I pull it out to cool.  There's another shot of me pulling ware out of the second firing.        

Here are some pics of the finished ware in my new photo tent. I plan to iron out the wrinkles in the backdrop, but otherwise, it seems to work fine. As for the ware, I'm a little disappointed with the uniformity of the glaze; I had hoped for more color and variation. I think I can adjust that if I add some larger pieces of organic material.
Now, out to the studio to make more of these guys!
This one is now in the shop!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Horror Scholarship

I was just contacted by the nice folks over at Star Costumes who tell me they've created a Horror Scholarship! It's a $1000 scholarship designed to provide assistance to students studying to work in the horror industry.


I have to say that not only do I heartily approve, but I encourage all of you to spread the word so people can take advantage of this great opportunity.

Star Costumes Horror Scolarship information page. Go there and find out the details. And please, pass this on!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hallows Soap

It seems like one by one, retailers are becoming infected by we Halloween folk. This time, it's Bath and Body Works with a small coffin full of nifty soaps. Although some of them are in already-familiar scents, it seems they've developed a few new ones, as well.

It occurred to me that if won a modest lottery win today, I would send Great Pumpkin gifts out to my favorite bloggers.

For the Frog Queen, there's Spider's Web deep cleansing hand gel, for cleaning up after those monster mud classes.


For Rot and Bean, there's the Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap, for after all the pumpkin carving they do.


There is Spooky Soap for Spooky Blue to wash off his paper mache, which smells like their Warm Vanilla Sugar soaps.

And for House Bloodthorn, there's Vampire Blood, which is supposed to smell like plums. I guess that will cover up the blood smell from his victims.



For My Ghoul Friday I'd get Zombie Squad to wash off the paint of her Eyeball Monsters and the flesh of her victims from her delicate hands. She would even smell deliciously like marshmallows, which would surely lure her victims within grasping reach.

And for Mr. Macabre, I'd get Bat Bite, for good luck in bobbing for apples and biting brownies.

There would be more stuff for other folks I haven't mentioned, of course, but I've nearly run out of products! Go to Bath and Body Works Boo-tique for more fun stuff.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Discount Voiceovers Available!

So, you've got this prop that needs a voice, and you sound more like Tattoo from Fantasy Island than Hannibal Lecter. No worries! Head on over to the Hauntcast site and pick out yourself a nice voiceover! Toss it in the cart, checkout, and you'll be emailed a link to download your new scary voice. Voila! It's just that easy.

Voiceovers on Hauntcast here!

Tell them your Mistress sent you. It won't get you a discount, but maybe I'll get a raise.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fixed!

The post with Lurch has been fixed. I had a hell of a time with Blogger yesterday, but it seems like it wants to cooperate today!

Sorry for the inconvenience, All!

Night Shots

I promised some night shots of the new guys, so here they are. The jacko below will be a hanger when he's finished.
Here's a quick shot of my photographic assistant, who is normally very camera-shy (upper right part of the frame). She's very helpful in keeping the lens clean with her tongue!
Since there seems to be a good response to these new additions, I'll make more to put in the store in the next couple of weeks. I also want to let you all know that prices in the shop will be going up in the middle of September, so if you like the ones already there, buy them soon!
Screamin' Scott asked if I would have some of these jack-o-lanterns available in the shop, so I guess I'll have to make some more like them, too!

Back to playing in the studio!

Y'All Should Be Dancing

I just love this; it makes me laugh like a little girl!
Click on the image and click on the magic "play all" button.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fresh Out of the Kiln

I've been a bit remiss in my posting, because I've been pushing to get some pieces done for the show in September. The one that's taken the most time has been Pumpkin Head, who is pictured below, pre-bisque firing.
Here he is, just out of the kiln this morning. I layered a couple of different glazes on his head, and I really like the slightly mottled result.

Here he is with a couple of new friends. I've been playing with some new glaze colors, so all my pumpkins don't look exactly the same.
I've also thrown a couple of larger bowls. There's the bat and moon pictured below
and this guy is actually made with a slump mold. I wanted his edges a little raggedy, hopefully someone will like that, too. I'll make another with normal edges.
I'll get some better pictures later, after dark.

Alright! Back to writing my podcast!
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