Thursday, June 13, 2019

Two Great Trailers That Go Great Together


Click on each pic to be taken to the individual trailers.

Autumn is looking up, my fiendish friends!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Teapots and Bowls


There are new Needful Things in ShellHawk's Creations Etsy Shop! Click on any of the pics to be taken to the listing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

WIP

New guy in progress. Not sure what the body will be like, but I'm sure he'll tell me!

Also, I have 100% beeswax votives and tea candles in the shop now, so that when my ceramic jacks start getting into the shop, you can get one if you like!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Bone Flautist


Friday, April 19, 2019

Sam and the Continuation of the Craptacular

My sweet boy a few weeks after surgery.
For those of you who aren't a Facebook friend or who haven't been following my blog for all that long, that doggo in the pic is my sweetheart, Sam. (If you're interested in his history, you can click here.)

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, Sam stopped eating. Since I had already gone through stomach cancer with my old Shepherd, Josey, I was immediately concerned this was a repeat of that situation.

It turns out I was partially right. Sam was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma. He had a baseball-sized tumor growing in the middle of his spleen which needed to come out. They diagnosed him after sending it out for a biopsy. I found out on my birthday. Ugh.

Sam is still with me, but his energy level is down. Since this type of cancer is vascular, the next tumor could show up anywhere. The oncologist I consulted with said that usually happens within a month, and most dogs only survive three to six months after the surgery, and that's with chemo. I just can't see putting him through that without the assurance of at least a year or more of good quality of life for him.

In the meanwhile, the oncologist gave me a couple of over the counter supplements to make him comfortable. And while it may sound weird to you, I decided to search for a new puppy for Sam to help me train while he's still with us. I know he's missed his friend Coda deeply, so even though he initially doesn't like other dogs, I know that he'll be fine with a puppy once a few days have passed. Maybe he'll even perk up, some.

I'm trying to keep it together. Focus on positive things. I throw the ball for him until he gets too tired. He's on my bed with me every night. He gets lots of hugs and snuggles from my boss and coworkers, and of course my mom and dad.

After some thought, I decided to go with a breeder for a puppy. It turns out German Shepherds and most other large breeds end up blowing out their knees when they're fixed too young. Something about needing the hormones in order for the joints to form correctly - this happened to my other shepherd, Coda, when she was young. Rescues, understandably, have all puppies fixed before they go home, and Sam won't tolerate an adult dog. So, a breeder it is.

 The new pup has been chosen. She's a lovely black German Shepherd with lines tracing to Germany. Her grandfather has been best in the world in obedience for three years. And, like all puppies, she's adorable!
That little face! Just kills me!

I should be picking her up next weekend. It's going to be a bittersweet occasion.

*Sigh* I am so ready for things to start turning around for me. Maybe starting with money coming to me and my dog being miraculously cured?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

New Doings in the New Nest

The hands of a working potter. Manicure? Me?
OK, it's not really new, anymore. It's coming up on two years, this June. Plus I grew up there, so it really technically isn't new...

Anyway, since I was able to bring a wheel into the place (amazing that fluttering my eyelashes at dad still works!), I started playing around with new ideas. New mediums. Anything to get the fun back into creativity again.

On a side note, I started meditating daily again. It's been well over a decade since I last had a daily practice of meditation, and it's made a big difference to my creativity and my state of mind. (Still a long way to go with that, as there are some serious and lingering anxiety issues after what I went through, but enough of that...)

Well, since the creative ideas started popping again, I thought that adding beeswax candles to my shop this year would be a logical next step. After all, if I sell jack-o'-lanterns, shouldn't I be a one-stop-shop and supply the flame for all those burning grins? 

My imagination went another step further and I thought it would be fun to make ceramic jack-o'-lantern votives! So after some mental calculations, I decided to go back to the jack design I used to do, way back before I knew how to make enclosed forms. Only now, I would make them smaller, the better to make the piece into a good receptacle for the wax.
Thrown "off the hump" and waiting to be trimmed.
Since the studio in which I work is a high-fire studio, my first tests are going to be with underglaze first, then be fired with a clear glaze. If they turn out well, I'll make candles out of them. That way, when the candle burns down, another tea candle can be thrown in! 
And if you look below, you'll see I'm already working on that angle!
Of course, my usual difficulty of having more creative ideas than time to execute them, is still in play.

How on earth do people have time to be bored?!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Clockwork Monsters

Click on the pic for a wonderful video about an artist's creation of automata. 

Just fantastic stuff and the sculpting is so detailed! WoW!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Mansion's Dishes

There's always room for one more at the table, isn't there?

Well, someone was wondering where to get the goods to recreate the Haunted Mansion's beautiful dining table, and of course the internet responded!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dracula Lives!


Info on this Marvel of a Vampire here.

I love the old artwork on these! Pulp, all the way!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Haunting


via GIPHY

So spooky! I would love to figure out how to do this in a yard haunt!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Horseman

The late ride after the party.

Faithful Gunpowder, running for all he's worth.

And the Horseman, searching for a head.

Drawing by Walt Sturrock.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ECTO-1

Click on the pic.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Oh, the Glamor!

One of the most basic parts of being a potter is the tools you use to make your pottery. Some of the tools are expensive but easy to make yourself, in the sense that they're not complicated.

Plaster bats are on this list. Get yourself a five-gallon plastic bucket from your local hardware store, some potter's plaster from your ceramics supply store (it only costs a few bucks!), some plastic plant dishes from your local garden store and some water, and you're in business! 
Plaster bats are one of the potter's go-to tools. They enable us to throw certain kinds of forms, such as plates, without running the risk of warping or destroying the form when we take it off the wheel head.
We fasten the plaster bat, which is like a thick disc of plaster, to the wheel head with a bit of wet, sloppy clay. The plaster absorbs the water and helps it to stick and stay put. Then we can throw low, wide forms such as plates on the bat without having to cut it from the wheel head because the plaster will absorb the moisture from the clay evenly and the plate will just pop off evenly, without warping, when it's ready.
Making bats is messy and time-consuming, and frankly, I hate doing it! But I couldn't justify packing my bats and driving them down from Folsom to LA when they're heavy and very likely to break along the way. I gave them away to a nearby school so they could replace some of their old ones which had gotten chipped.
After rubbing the plaster through my hands into a bucket in order to get rid of the lumps, I started mixing the plaster by hand, paying special attention to getting it smooth.
When it was ready, I poured it into my plastic dishes and left it to set.
 After I poured them, a little jiggle here and there helped get some of the air bubbles out. 
Immediate cleanup is key. I had a bunch of old newspapers handy to wipe out the bucket because if you throw plaster down the sink, it will set and wreck your plumbing! I poured the leftover plaster into some newspaper and let it set before throwing it out.

I'm really glad I finally decided to bite the bullet and get it done. Now I can get some more variety in my work!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Year's Resolutions?

Artist unknown
I can't say I really do New Year's resolutions anymore. 

It's not that I think I'm perfect; I'm well aware of my flaws. I've just had a steady drive to be better, to be more than I was, for several years, now. In all honesty, I've had that drive most of my adult life.

I guess it's the last couple of years of challenges, one after the other, which have helped me to become refocused on what's important to me. 

Someone once told me that human beings only change when the pain is so great they have no other choice. If everything's going along swimmingly, there's not a real drive to change, because why fix it if it ain't broke, right? Except I've never really been comfortable enough with myself to stop wanting to change, to stop wanting to be a better human being.

These last couple of years have put that to the test. Even so, I think and feel as though I'm making some significant strides forward. I've gone back to my practice of daily meditation, and it's making a difference. I've been more careful (with the exception of the holidays. And haunt conventions.) of what I put into my body and my mind. I'm working on being more consistent with my exercise.

I think the most significant change on which I've been putting my attention is how I think, or more specifically, what I think.

In the past - especially since Mr. ShellHawk took off and started divorce proceedings - I've struggled with thinking more about what's wrong than about what's right. 2017 and the beginning of 2018 saw me sunk into that mindset, and it wasn't comfortable. I felt like crap, all the time. Granted, that was the time when people were coming forward and telling me about all the things which had been going on under my nose, and it was crushing to contemplate. Other connections were made and bank and credit card statements revealed even more the farce that had been my marriage, of how far the betrayal went.

I have an "excuse" for thinking dark thoughts.

But then I started to make the decision to turn my thoughts to other things, and life started to get better. I got work with a spectacular boss, a new car, found a pottery studio to go to so I could get my hands back in clay. I started to feel more playful and willing to experiment with my art. I started to redefine what was truly important to me. 

This year, I feel more like myself, but better. Wiser. More compassionate. More willing and able to experience life with some confidence. 

There will be some adventures. Some new plans. Some pleasant surprises. Connections made at just the right time. And more "right place right time" happenings than I've ever had before.

But no resolutions, except, perhaps, to live life with as much grace and courage as one woman can.
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