Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Purple Pluggers United
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Spirit of Christmas
I'm absolutely thrilled that the lovely Manamoon of Manamoon-studios awarded me the Christmas Spirit Award. It's an honor I don't take lightly at all! I believe in the Christmas Spirit in all things I try to do and say.
I'm supposed to blog about five reasons I love Christmas and then pass the award onto others.
So here are my five...
1. The Christmas tree, the symbol of Christmas. I have 5 of them up right now,one I never put away. I know it is just a symbol, but it is my living reminder of how I want to live my life.
2. Christmas music- The joy, the wonder, I listen to Christmas music all year, especially whenever I am feeling low, or uncreative, or if my spirits just need a boost.
3.The decorations- Of course I had to add this one to my list, after all it is what I love to make most of all the things I create. Lights on trees, houses,stores, Christmas Ornaments....
4.The Presents- I love receiving all of the things I have denied myself this year, I really enjoy the artwork and jewelry I got from the many artists I know, I adore giving things from artists that are truly unique and shows much more thought than a mall gift certificate...
5- The most important- The Giving... This year I have donated my earnings not only to the IRS, but I was able to donate to Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary as well as 2 other pet rescue groups locally and I also was able to give my time this year all year, to help train puppies become great dogs and to help their people become better owners.
Thais world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last
By helping a neighbor
O even a Stranger to know who needs help,
You need only just ask"
I pass this award on to
Freida -Deer Mountain Wood Art
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Sculpting in Porcelain, lets make a Unicorn
So, you want to sculpt?
Starting with a bag of porcelain clay…..
After adding the front legs, add the back
Shape a head, attach it to the neck, obviously, unless you enjoy some sort of weird modern art.
With a reverse side of a small paint brush,, poke 2 small holes for eye sockets. I rolled two small balls of blue porcelain and inserted them in the holes.
All of a sudden you have a creature looking at you, can he breathe? have you created nostrils, how about a mouth?
Here I decorated him, I guess he is now a she, with some pink flowers and green leaves, still needs a little something, so I add a bird for her to talk to.
Now the hard part, waiting she goes into the kiln after thoughly drying out, if she is wet, KAAABOOMMMMM!
Shrapnel everywhere in kiln. Pieces destroyed, a big mess to clean up, so we wait and let her dry out, usually about 2 weeks.
Here she is , sitting in kiln with the others.
Updates coming soon, watch for bisque firing, next, the glazing, then golding……..
Friday, December 26, 2008
"When the cold of winter comes
Starless night will cover day
In the veiling of the sun
We will walk in bitter rain
But in dreams
I can hear your name
And in dreams
We will meet again
When the seas and mountains fall
And we come, to end of days
In the dark I hear a call
Calling me there,
I will go there
And back again"
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
"IN THE MOMENTS OF OUR LIVES
BOTH THE JOYOUS AND THE TRAGIC
IF THE TRUTH IS TO BE TOLD
WE ARE ALL PURSUING MAGIC
AND THE MAGIC THAT WE SEEK
AS WE'RE SURE YOU HAVE DISCOVERED
CAN BE FOUND IN CERTAIN PLACES
FAR MORE EASILY THAN OTHERS
IN THE SAND BENEATH THE SPHINX
IN THE DREAMS OF CANDLELIGHT
BUT THE SUREST PLACE OF ALL
IS IN THE FORGIVING WORLD OF NIGHT
AND OF ALL THE NIGHTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
THAT COME AND GENTLY LEAVE
NONE HOLD THE DREAM OF MAGIC
LIKE THE EVENING, CHRISTMAS EVE"
Christmas Eve and other Stories
Sunday, December 21, 2008
My Christmas Mural/Tree
Merlin is what got me started in making Christmas Ornaments. I had a tree, and no money, so I wanted to make some ornaments. I thought, I have cats, I could make an ornament to match each kitty. So, how do I make them? I learned how to make bread dough ornaments. From there I sculpted in bread dough, making several hundred of these ornaments, selling them at craft shows, friends and family. Then I got frustrated. I couldn't do with the dough what I wanted to do, so I took a pottery class and learned how to work in fired clay, bought a kiln, now 16 years later, here I am still making kitties! (Yes, doggies too!)
I also make a White Angel Kitty Christmas tree every year. I love the way porcelain shines in the light of a tree, every ornament, with a couple of exceptions are white angels kitties. I decorated three full sized trees this year. (one of the benefits of being a Christmas Ornament designer!)
Hey! Who put the Husky Ornament on the Kitty tree!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
From the proceeds earned the last couple of months I have "adopted" a Sandwich Tern from the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.
The non-profit Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, Inc.is the largest wild bird hospital and bird sanctuary in the
Founded in 1971 by zoologist Ralph T. Heath, the Sanctuary is world renowned for its innovative rehabilitation techniques, and was the first facility to breed Eastern Brown Pelicans in captivity. The Sanctuary is staffed by experienced professionals and dedicated volunteers. Similar to a human hospital, it is equipped with emergency facilities, a surgical center, bird injury recovery areas, and an outdoor wild bird recuperation area.
Display areas feature permanently injured birds that have been given a home at our bird sanctuary. Any offspring they produce are released into their natural environment. At any given time, visitors can view in excess of 600 wild birds. So come our wild bird sanctuary and see how we help injured birds.
The Sanctuary is a non - profit 501c3 corporation which depends solely on the financial support of caring individuals.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sculpting Angel Ornaments
Today, I am showing how I sculpt Angels, I had previously posted this a long time ago in another blog, but have many requests that I show how I make these .....so here we are.....
First, I get out a lump of porcelain clay, work it a bit to remove air bubbles and then roll it out with my roller.
The clay is cut with a small knife into a rectangle for the skirt. I then fold and gather the top edge around its self into a circle.
Sleeves for arms are made from cone shapes, and attached to the body with wet clay slip.
Then a circle of clay and another cone are added fto the top of the dress and neck. Wings are then shaped.
Wings are attached to the back of the body,
Then I get out the flesh colored clay and make feet, hands and a head. The feet are attached under the skirt…
Then the head is shaped… eye holes are made… eyeballs!
I mixed some brown and yellow clay together to make a light brunette hair
There now, isn’t she cute?, but she still needs details….
small roses are made from pink clay. Green leaves are added to the dress….
I decided she needed a little dove friend….
Now she is done being sculpted, she waits for about 2 weeks to throughly dry out, and is bisque fired in a kiln, hand glazed then re-fired to 2246 degrees, to a fine porcelain china. 14k gold will be applied to her halo.
Watch for upcoming photos
Another Day, down the road......Glazing
Ok, today the pieces that are in the kiln were glazed, including this little Angel.
First I open the kiln cautiously, in case of any explosions, It looks like a perfect bisque firing.
Ok, then I unload the kiln, while inspecting each piece for faults, cracks, then dip them in hot wax. If you don’t do this, when putting on the glaze, it makes it much harder to get the glaze off of the bottom of your piece. (If you ever have noticed on any porcelain piece you may own that anything that touches the kiln shelf must not have any glaze on it, and you can’t stilt porcelain, so the bottom rim of your porcelain china will not have any glaze on it.)
The work is then dipped into the clear glaze…
the wax is wiped clean and the work is placed back into the kiln to be fired to 2600 degrees.The firing will take about 12 hours, then the kiln must be completely cool before opening or hairline cracks will appear on the work. So sometime tomorrow I open the kiln an see what I get.
And Another day.......
Ok, the work is ready to have the gold applied, and this is how I do it. First of all the second glaze firing is done. The peices are unloaded and inspected for faults.
Here is our little angel again, after glazing, before gold, the gold is painted on, it is real gold in a liquid form that burns out in the next firing. Its called an overglaze, because it is put on top of existing glaze, which makes it shiny, and then fired again on.
The work also gets another overglaze, called mother of pearl which I add to the wings of angels and I also add it to my fantasy figurines, such as the mane and tail of the unicorn. It produces a lovely iridescent color.
As you can see from the photos, I try to do a lot of pieces at the same time, to conserve on my electric usage of the kiln. I also am very detail oriented, I enjoy adding all sorts of details to my work, from making sure the back of my designs are made just as good as the front, I add feet under the dresses, the back of wings and roses are mother of pearled.
The work is placed back in the kiln and low fired to 1156 degrees Fahrenheit.This firing takes only around 5 hours. After the kiln has cooled I get to see what I have made.