Sunday, August 28, 2022

Short Update - Jars and More!








After Midsummer Scream, I was exhausted! Three days of long hours and lots of people was more draining than I had remembered, and I imagine at least some of that is having been isolated for so long due to the Covid-19 lockdowns. I got too used to being alone or just with my folks and suddenly - 50,000 people! Eeek!

I gave myself a week off and then got back to work, this time on some apothecary jars, big enough to be cookie jars!


Sadly, yours truly pulled a total rookie move and picked up one of the greenware (almost bone dry) jars wrong and cracked it. I did my best to repair it, but even as I put it in the kiln for the first firing, I was fairly sure it wouldn't survive. I was right.




The upside is, I know a potter who can make another one! Yay, me!

So the ones which came out of the kiln are in the process of being glazed. Three of them are a commission for my friend Emma, over at Soap Cauldron. She and her crew recently moved into a new, larger space and she wants to put them in her store! I'm very excited for her expansion, because that means I get to keep using her wonderful, handmade soap fo a long time to come!

This weekend, I was fortunate enough to be helping out at Digital Day at the DGA! Every year, the Directors Guild holds an invitation-only event to feature the latest in digital technology for film and TV. I was working with some folks who are doing some truly incredible things with AI, DGene (soon to be Artemi), and got to once again see the results of a shoot I produced just before Covid shut everything down.


It was fantastic to see the advances they've made since then, and also to check out a couple of the VFX sequences which their subsidiary, Makuta VFX, did for Netflix's RRR. (Check out the sequence at 2:19 of the trailer!)

Life has been so much fun, lately! I'm so eager to see what comes next!


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Great to be Back!

After months of hard work and stressing out about having enough at the show to sell, Midsummer Scream finally arrived! 

Everything got loaded in and set up, and let me tell you, the work Dave Lowe did to make my new booth design happen really set the tone for the whole weekend! Everyone loved it! 

My pumpkin people were a hit, with five of seven finding new homes! 



The little guy at the top, above, was the first to go!

I made a few new things, too. Skeleton wind chimes, witch bells, and new designs for some nice coffee mugs!

As you know, I've been playing with new colors for my jack-o'-lanterns.



All the bowls sold, too! But one sale, in particular, made my day!

Me, Bob Gurr, and friend/booth goddess, Sherri Miranda

Original Imagineer and Doom Buggy Creator, Bob Gurr, came by my booth specifically to tell me he thought my work and my booth were the best at the convention! I swear, I could have died happy at that very moment. I gave him one of my haunted house mugs, and he came back a little later to buy one of the jack-o'-lanterns which had caught his eye earlier!



I am still just floating! (We all float around Bob!) What a great show and what a great time we had!

Now, onwards to make for my Open House!

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Packing



Why, yes I do have enough room for a body in my suitcase!

Everything listed in the point of sale? Check! Display ready to get loaded into the van? Check! Humorous picture of skeleton in extra large suitcase?

Check!


Yards and yards of tulle? Check!

Corsets? Check!

We are ready for takeoff! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Booth Upgrade

The old booth was serviceable. Somewhat generic, though the coffin shelves were a nice touch. Sporting the usual Halloween lights around the ordinary shelving, it had nothing really stand-out to recommend it, aside from its contents.

Any attempts to redesign it were shot down by the other person I had in my life at that time.

Well, that's not an issue, any more. Amazing how much growth and expansion can happen when your wings aren't being clipped, eh?

Sneak peek:

Full reveal this weekend!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Push Before the Show

Today is going to be the last day for glazing! I hope, that is. It always takes me longer than I think it will! 

These pieces are all going to be low-fire, many of them with clear glaze, but I have a few stray jacks to get their orange, yellow and green treatments before they go in the kiln for their final firing. I've been doing low-fire for so long, I no longer worry about how the glazes turn out or if anything sticks together. 


Off we go!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Ohhhh, He's SO GOOD!

And to be honest, I don't even care if some of you read that post title a little dirty, at first! Lol! 

I worked hard on this guy and I couldn't be happier with the results!

I took him over to UPS today to get a ballpark idea of how much he would be to ship, should someone need that service at Midsummer Scream, and everyone there was ecstatic to see him and know I'd be entrusting him to their care.

As with my other jacks, I glazed his inside yellow, so that whatever lighting goes in his head really pops!

I also re-fired this jar. I had used a lavender celadon over obsidian celadon, but when I pulled it out of the first glaze firing, the lavender was almost unnoticeable. I decided to slop on another thick coat of lavender over it and take the chance it would show up when it came out.

And it did! Not as much of a contrast as I would have liked, but I like the quality of how the lavender blends in, almost like cream getting poured into black coffee. Next time, I'll fiddle with the application and see what results I can get.

I am so loving firing at cone 6, again. I have some really fun stuff in mind (when don't I?) and as always, it's going to be a matter of being able to make time for some experimenting. Work, aging parents and creating Halloween ceramics. What more is there to life? 


Friday, July 22, 2022

Out of the Firing!

 
And into the fire!

I have been pushing my Skutt kiln to live up to its workhorse reputation by firing day after day, nonstop, for the past four or five firings. As soon as it cools down enough to open, everything gets emptied and the next load goes in!

Case in point: these pieces were unloaded this morning and my large jack-o'-lantern and one of the jars are in their glaze firing right now. The jar is a second firing because the purple over the black wasn't very apparent, and while I don't really think slapping another coat of the lavender over the obsidian on a red clay body will make a huge difference for the good, I don't think it will hurt it any. We'll see! It's all mad scientist experimentation.

The two above are a good example of that experimentation. I wanted to see if the "Ice" celadon would give a contrast to the clay body and the glaze, or whether the translucency of the glaze would cause the color to wash out. Turns out it was the latter, but even so, these turned out well! I'm just going back to the drawing board to find a lighter, bluer, glaze to contrast with this chocolate clay body.

However, the celadons I used on light clay bodies were predictably wonderful! The True Celadon glaze never disappoints! (Long-time followers with amazing memories might remember I used it on this carved porcelain punch bowl set.) I used it on two of the carved tumblers and I never cease to love the way it pools in the low spots and accentuates the dimensionality of carved pieces!




The bat cup, while it didn't turn out quite how I expected, still maintained a spooky vibe. I plan to play with the next one and see if I can get better results.


I took the opportunity to play with stoneware glaze combinations on the new clay body, too. I love how you can combine Deep Firebrick with Indigo Float and get this gorgeous and vibrant combo!



On the Frog's Breath jar, that versatile True Celadon over a red clay body. It's a really nifty green!


And I *love* how these guys turned out! They remind me of the old, sepia-toned photos from way back when!






 Alright! Back to making!