Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy (Almost) New Year!

Here's to a New Year filled with health, wealth, love, friendship and creativity! 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

...And God bless us, every one!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Secret Santa Can Suck It

I take part in this wondrous tradition every year. Shadow Manor's Secret Santa Can Suck It is a virtual gift-swap. Since you don't have to spend any money, the sky's the limit.

This year, my giftee is Pixel Pixie, of Cuz I Said Sew. Since she like sewing so much, I thought I'd upgrade her machine to this:
It's only a $9,999.99 super-duper industrial embroidering/sewing machine with all these features:
  • Sewing-and-embroidery machine with LCD touch screen for easy stitch selection and editing
  • 67 built-in stitches, 98 stitch functions, and 10 styles of 1-step automatic buttonholes
  • 70 built-in embroidery designs, 5 monogramming fonts, and 120 frame pattern combinations
  • Automatic needle threader; 15 needle positions; maximum embroidery field of 4 by 4 inches
Then I thought, well, you can't sew without fabric, so I decided she needed an all expense paid trip for two to the L.A. Fashion District! It's the place to go for every imaginable kind of fabric, thread, trim and whatever else a sewing enthusiast could possibly need:
"Welcome to the LA Fashion District, the hub of the Los Angeles Fashion Industry. We have 100 blocks of independently owned retail and wholesale businesses with apparel, accessories, and footwear for the entire family. The district is also home to The LA Flower District – including the LA Flower Market, the largest flower market in the USA, and the California Flower Mall; Santee Alley – the famed downtown open air bazaar; and the LA Fabric District – with the largest selection of fabrics and notions in Southern California.
The district is open to both the public and the trade. Designer showrooms and wholesale business are for the trade-only. However, the Santee Alley and retailers in the surrounding area are open to the public, as are many of the businesses on the west side of the district. Showrooms open to the public on the last Friday of the month for sample sales."
Lastly, but certainly not least, Pixel Pixie and her pal will get a tour of the legendary Western Costume facility!
Western Costume has costumed Hollywood since 1912. It is one of the oldest and largest costume companies in the world! Its history is too long to post here, but rest assured, Western Costume has supplied landmark films with the most glorious and iconic costumes ever to grace the silver screen.

Enjoy your gift, Pixel Pixie! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Thrill of Victory --

--And the agony of defeat.
My sieve, and the metal rib I use to push it through
the screen into the bucket of water.
My life is all about the glamor.
So after my adventure with mixing my glazes, it was time to apply them and load up the kiln for a cone 5 firing. Here are some of the results: 
Sometimes, victory is balanced by defeat. I guess it keeps me humble.

Remember that bowl I was working on forever ago? I had layered a bunch of underglazes and carved some flowers into them, revealing the layers.
I'd waited until I had a full kiln load for cone 5 before I glazed and fired it.

Epic fail. Bubbles and all manner of ugliness. Honestly, I should have done some test tiles, first, but... Well. I didn't.
 I guess I have a new planter! Soon, though, I'll have the technique down. I have time to play with it now. 

At least the gifts I had made turned out well! Closer shots of those coming soon!

Monday, December 14, 2015

An Easier Pace

In spite of the fact that I'm always busy, regardless of the season, this time of year is a little slower for me where the studio is concerned.

It gives me an opportunity to slow down and play with new techniques and ideas, make a few Christmas gifts and try out some new glazes and glaze combinations.
 Of course, I'm still emotionally and spiritually ready to win a measly $5 million in the lottery, so I can go back to doing this every day, but that's another story!

I made up some dipping glazes this weekend, which is a bit of a rigamarole because the dry ingredients need to be sieved into the water. I do it by hand since I don't yet have the rotary sieve kit, so it takes a while!
And because the powder form of the chemicals and minerals used in glazes are pretty nasty to inhale, I got to wear my sexy NIOSH mask!

I do have a mixing attachment for my drill, which enables me to wear some of my glazes. You know, just to try them on...
I was reminded of the "Distractingly Sexy" Twitter campaign that I saw earlier this year once I took a look at this picture. Because really, this has got to be my sexiest look,ever!

I'll post some pics of the finished pieces, of course.

And at some point, I'll post video of this year's haunt and a bunch of the other stuff I haven't gotten around to posting as of yet.