Summer Art Classes

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I almost forgot to show off some of my students' work from this summer. Here are a few of my favorite images taken throughout the summer at the art center where I teach.

Stories on Clay- students (ages 9-14) made a series of ceramic vessels (using the new studio slab roller!) and decorated them with their own drawings using decals.

Hands on Art History- Students (5-8 yr olds) explored a classroom cave (ok..I had some serious fun making this), learned about ancient cave paintings and made their own. One of my favorite classes ever.

Garden Sculpture- Students (5-8) made a variety of projects out of clay, including these oh-so-cute garden insects. They are hollow forms with hi-temp kiln wire legs/wings/antennae. They were finished by placing them on stakes so they could be placed in the ground outside.

Christmas already?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Yes, I know. It's too early for Christmas. These are the first ornaments out of the kiln this year- little mitten sets. I thought they were too cute not to share! I will bring these to a show next Sunday in Greenville, WI- hopefully people will be in gift-shopping mode. Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I've actually purchased a few things already (at summer art fairs)!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

I have a few pumpkin/ jack-o-lantern sets left! Fresh from the kiln this morning :) Find them in my shop.

Camping- Fall 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Had a blast camping this weekend in Door County (the "thumb" of Wisconsin). Here are some of my favorite pics from the weekend.

Creative Jewelry

Friday, September 16, 2011

My 'I'm sick of dealing with kiln issues' headache went away when this package arrived! My first published jewelry design- Forest Cluster Necklace :) This issue looks amazing. I can't wait to read it this weekend on our *chilly* camping trip in door county. Have a great weekend everyone!
p.s. Thank you for the kiln advice (what would I do without you?)- I'm still working with the company and will update when I find out more.

Calling all Kiln Gurus- I need your help!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nothing in life is ever simple- right? My new kiln has come with a whole steaming heap of issues. Those of you who have been around kilns longer than I, can you lend me your insight? Pretty please? Should I be as pissed as I am about these issues- or are these types of things normal and I am just a crazed drama queen (it is ok to say so if you think I am over reacting!).

The first issue is that the control box clearly took a big slam during shipment. While the box seems fine, the top bricks has a sizable crack and large chunk out of the side. As well as the metal from the exterior of the kiln has been slightly pushed into the bricks on the exterior. Some pics to follow...

Next issue- is this normal? I never experienced this on my old kiln. To me it looks like the elements were put in too tight and then rubbed (saw action) on the brick grooves. It has been extremely difficult to re-set dislodged elements because the brick grooves have literally been eaten away and are super fragile. Is this normal?? Pics to follow...

I really appreciate any help you can offer. I'm starting to feel like I purchased a lemon :(

Making Soap Dishes- How To

Monday, September 12, 2011

I started cranking out soap dishes this weekend- trying to get ready for holiday shows/ etsy sales. Here are some step-by-step images taken with my iphone of my soap dish making process.

1. Get a hunk of clay

2. Roll a slab

3. Choose a texture. Here are some of my favorites: vintage lace, a hand-carved wood grain texture stamp, a purchased vine texture and a spiral door knob.

4. Put the texture on the slab and roll.

5. Peel off the texture plate.

6. Cut out the shape you want with a needle tool. I use an old 4x6 picture frame as my guide.

7. I repeat this process until I have several made. Then I set them aside to firm up a bit.

8. Sponge the edges smooth and start to give it some shape.

9. Let them dry a little more in a curved position. I even put my blue jar collection to work- they work for me as a nice curved surface.

10. Extrude a coil and cut it into even sections. Then roll those into little balls.

11. Attach 4 balls onto the bottom of the dish.

12. Flip it over, smoosh down the balls and give the soap dish a nice curve.

13. Let it dry, fire, glaze and fire again. Then enjoy with your favorite handmade soap! Of course mine are Pigeon River Soaps! I will be collaborating with my mom this holiday season to offer some pretty soap dish/ soap gift sets. Once you've tried handmade soaps, you'll never go back!

Bargain Bags!

Friday, September 9, 2011

What a busy week! Today I cleaned out the studio and added a bunch of new bargain bag sets to my shop. You can find them here. Out with the old and in with the new! I'm excited to start working on christmas ornaments (I know...I know...). I got a cool new squirrel cutter, an acorn and a cute mitten set!
And in other news, my new kiln arrived!! It is now sitting in our entryway, taking up lots of space, waiting to be wired up tonight. It somehow seems bigger in real life than it did should be great though (we had to cut down a wall in our basement to make room). I am still working with the company on some damages that happened during shipment- hopefully I can get that out of the way soon and start firing.

More news- check out our new wheels. Puppet and Finn say "we can't wait to go camping!". All it needs is a fun bumper sticker- like this.

Anyway, hopefully clearing out my pendant stash will help my bank account not look so sad after this week :)
Last pendant destash until after the holidays!

Have a great weekend everyone!!


Autumn Sampler sets

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just listed 10 autumn sampler sets in my shop. A great way to try out some of my designs and save some moolah! I'm heading to the cottage this weekend- have a good one everyone!!!