Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Work in progress

My kilns have been working overtime this month getting Christmas gifts made. And a couple of birthday presents as well as two wedding gifts. I'm looking forward to a slow down of "production mode" so I can experiment and play some more!
Last count I think I made 10 candle holders, 6 platters of various sizes, and a couple of bowls. Here are a few examples:

I have a few works in progress that I am so very looking forward to completing also. This first is based on a picture I saw of a Haitian woman in World Pulse Magazine a couple of years ago. I love the gauzy appearance of the dress, and don't want to lose that by over-firing, but do think I am going to play around with adding an additional element -- perhaps a basket or a small patch of weedy vegetation... I will also add some color to make her shoes stand out a slight bit more.

  One of my favorite color combinations. I used a black powder glass with mica in it for the design and it is really sparkly. It will make a lovely bowl!

For this piece I was playing around with colors that contain elements that react with each other. Where the copper-containing blue touches the sulfur-containing cream, a you get a change in color to a smoky gray/brown. I like it especially for this because I wanted it to have an "industrial chic" vibe. I don't think I will be adding additional colors or firing it again, just need to come up with an appropriate way to display it. I may mount it on oxidized copper or distressed wood.

Emo girl -- I've tried a couple of different borders but haven't come up with one I really like yet. I have a new one in mind, however. I think it will be just right!  ;o)

This was a fun exercise in playing with layers of both color and texture. I may make a couple more of these and fire them differently then mount them as a triptych..,

Signing off for now, thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Playing with texture

I have been so busy working on new techniques that I have had much less time for powder glass drawing than I had hoped! Here are a few pieces I managed to create in breaks between the day to day production of Christmas gifts and ornaments:

This is my favorite of the bunch so far. About 8" square. I'm pretty happy with it, but still considering adding a tiny round circle where the red ball is, to make it stand out a bit more.

I still have work to do on this one (a lot of work). I'm planning on adding color, and a swing on the long branch. I like the idea of adding a couple of children, probably in silhouette, because I think they will be a wonderful juxtaposition and contrast to the mature entwined trees. Kind of a play on young love and old love ;o)

And one of my dandelions -- I'm already thinking about how I am going to do the next one!

I've also been really enjoying playing with texture -- here are a couple of pieces I completed this month: 

 This is a bas relief piece that just glows, I used iridescent glass for some extra pizzazz, and it really helps the texture "pop".

For this I played with glass enamels and created a bubbly texture on the surface of the glass. I love the texture and the cool bumpy surface!

Clearly, I need to find someone local who is better than I am at photographing my glass! Here is a close up of the color and texture of the bubble texture piece:

Oh, did I mention Christmas presents? This 8 x 12" platter and 6" square candle dish are just out of the kiln this morning!

And my smaller kiln -- gave these up today!

Finally, and just for fun -- here's my first lidded box. The first picture is of the lid. I held it up to the light so you can see how fabulous it looks with that light shining through it. People have asked if this is granite, you will see why in the next picture, but it's all glass! The lid like this reminds me very much of a koi pond  ;o)

And here is the whole box, with the lid on. I think these will make spectacular "gift boxes" for tiny little special gifts like rings and other jewelry!

I am having so much fun creating -- and the kiln is once again FULL of platters and dishes that will be making their way under the tree very soon!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Big Draw, day 6

Oh boy, another day of 5 minute drawings :op

Our talented leader, Kelly Crosser Alge calls this exercises "fast hands" and insists that practice makes, if not perfect, at least better. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's "good for me", but I find it sooooo hard to come up with anything I can draw in powder (with just my fingers and a business card, remember!) in 5 minutes.

Despite that, here I am, immortalizing my lousy drawing attempts for all eternity -- the internet is forever, you know! Despite my fear of derision and my immense embarrassment and how rudimentary these images are, I'm posting them. Hopefully this will help encourage other newbies to get started on their own paths toward personal artistry ;o)

Drawing 1:  A face (couldn't get the detail done in 5 minutes, so it is a very blank face. More a head, I guess):

Drawing 2:  A cone flower:

Drawing 3:  A wooden deck chair:

Drawing 4: A very fluffy pine tree:  ;o)

Drawing 5:  A pine-y landscape (wish I were there!)

Thank you for dropping by!

#TheBigDraw day 5

Yippee :op   today we "get" to do another 5 5-minute sketches. Not my favorite exercise, and I am looking forward to being able to use some tools, rather than just my fingers and a business card -- it seems I am all thumbs when it comes to drawing with my fingers!

It did dawn on me as I was trying my hardest to come up with five things to draw, that weren't too detailed (gotta do it in 5 minutes with just these fingers and a card): I do a much better job when I have a picture or photo in front of me as inspiration.

Note to self:  get yourself some pictures!

Hopefully my old self will get off this ample tush and find some pictorial inspiration BEFORE tomorrow's challenge!

Here are my drawings for today:

1. Wonky bowl

2.  Anemone blossom

3.  Pantry door

4.  Generic bird

5. Dandelion puff

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Big Draw, days 1-4

Yay, we are doing a new 30 day powder drawing challenge as a way to participate in #TheBigDraw !

I don't know how these hashtag things work, so I doubt that this post will makes its way into the official Big Draw archives, but I am still excited to be participating again. Not least because although at the end of January, I had every good intention to practice drawing every day, but I didn't even make it through Feb -- and it only had 28 days!

So, I'm back, drawing and doing sgraffito every day (crossed fingers) in the month of October.

Here are my drawings for the first 4 days: (Please forgive the sideways and upside down pictures -- I have forgotten how to rotate them in this format!)

Day 1 -- the challenge was to draw something using nothing but powdered glass and our fingers. Think finger-painting with a dry powder instead of gooey paint. I decided to play around at drawing a large chrysanthemum blossom:

Day 2 -- using no tools other than our fingers and a business card, draw a tree. I decided to do a slight update on my old drawing of a tree with a tire swing:

Day 3 -- still no tools, draw a landscape. I initially started working on a dessert scene, complete with a cactus. I quickly gave up (couldn't get the cactus right) so I did this little seaside scene instead:

Day 4 -- the speed round, still no tools. Draw 5 different pictures using no more than 5 minutes to draw each one:

I started trying to do a pumpkin. Aaack! Definitely not a "great" pumpkin!

I'm planning to do a study of every day objects, so next I tried a cotton swab:

Then a murderous pencil (it's wiping out that poor stick figure)  ;o)

Fourth is a pineapple that I would not be even slightly tempted to eat :op

And last, I did a quick powder sketch of my favorite dog. She is 3/4 poodle and has the cutest brown curls which I have been wanting to try to draw for a while  ;o)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Painting with glass!

Today was my second day of a three day class at Bullseye Glass in Portland. I am having SO MUCH fun, and learning a lot!

We've been practicing drawing with powder, frit, stinger and even got to pull some of our own stringer using a vitrograph kiln. We made 7 tiles on Friday, using different techniques and forms of glass for each. Today we did a 20 minute black powder drawing and a second piece that we had about an hour to work on. I can't wait to see what comes out of the kiln tomorrow! And again on Monday!

Pictures to post soon!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Seeing spots

It's been a week for polka dots here. I saw some examples of techniques using pebbles to add some depth to flat glass and decided to play around with that. I like these pieces best I think:

After slump fusing:

These ones are similar, but I added more colors of dots and a lot more dots. So much that the pattern on the round bowl appears like a honeycomb instead of individual dots:

And I tried out a new texture mold. Had a bit of a disaster in the kiln but this will clean up nicely I think. It is probably going to become a plate/platter:

Now off to my other blog!  Ciao!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Adding a little color

I have had some fun this last few days since the challenge ended -- I'm adding color to some of the pieces I saved and fired. I have slumped one small dish (from my generic flower piece). Here it is in the kiln with a couple of small square bowls I am also slumping:

I've also added a couple of layers of color and a frit border to my iris piece. Here it is prior to tack fusing the new colors:

 And here it is after fusing, getting ready to go into the kiln for a nice slump:

There is something about this design that feels really old fashioned to me. It reminds me of my grandma and my auntie for some reason. Probably because I loved all of their little ceramic and porcelain goodies when I was small. I'm slumping this one on a really cute square dish mold that has a bit of ruffle around the edge.

I can hardly wait to see how it turns out!!