Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Blog Favourites

My favourite blogs I discovered this year are:

ad sinistram - an enlightening blog criticising very intelligently the political and economical circumstances in Germany and the rest of the world from a left perspective; and

HellOnHairyLegs - sharp-witted angry thoughts of a young feminist, who is able to tell a lot of truths in very few sentences.

I highly recommend you to read them! Both writers are very aware of iniquities and social imbalances and I admire them for their ability to raise conciousness and for not giving in.

With this in mind I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Gift Wrapping

I rather enjoyed wrapping presents for Christmas this year. I wasn't very satisfied with the first ones I decorated with some doodles, but then I remembered the gift wrap ideas I saw at Bugs and Fishes and was inspired by the paper snowflakes. (Look also at this lovely winterly curtain!) I changed it to square designs that look quite folkloric in my opinion and used almost 30 year old gummed coloured paper, that has a backside like stamps. (As you can see, I never throw things away! I'd like to know if something like this still gets produced.) It still was incredibly sticky and worked really well and I had fun like a little child!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Glowing Windows

I hope to get rid of my dull fatigue now that the days slowly are getting longer again as winter solstice is behind us in the northern hemisphere. I need more light! I want to come out of hibernation. The sun was out today and yesterday after a long row of unpleasant grey and dark days and I squeezed in some crafty tasks by making some Christmas greeting cards and wrapping presents. (Does this count? I think so.) There isn't much happening at the moment on the muddy side of life but I'm also terribly behind with posting photos of my finished pieces.


Here is my tea light house in an attempt to arouse some Christmas feelings (which I lack completely so far). I'm pretty satisfied with the house, but it wasn't a good idea to leave off the chimney I originally wanted to add. The roof gets quite hot very fast and may even crack. I recommend to everyone who intends to build something that should hold a candle inside to make holes at the top.


Merry Christmas, my dear readers, and to everyone who doesn't celebrate it (and is lucky to avoid the madness) have a great time too!

Friday, 19 December 2008

More Texture, More Glass

I've been extremely tired and uninspired all week. Nevertheless I tried a new texture that I cant wait to see glazed.

In class I challenged my patience by intricately arranging my glass in this carved pattern. I used the finest grain of my blue shards for the petals. It took ages and I hope everything stays in place during firing.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Texture, Glaze and Glass

In class this week I mainly proceeded with the work on the second of my textured bowls. This time I applied the glaze with a brush in the parts that catched air bubbles and remained unglazed after dipping. Afterwards I sprinkled tiny shards of green glass over the surface and also added some glass beads. Looking at the picture now I think to myself I should have used more glass. I also would like to try this texture with glaze only.

I sorted my smashed glass by size together with my father. We sieved the shards so they are easier to handle when I need big ones or small ones or tiny ones only. I carry quite a heavy assortment of glass in different colours and sizes with me when I go to class and sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one carrying around glass shards in her rucksack. You should hear the sound it makes when I move fast!

Monday, 8 December 2008

My Glassy Tree

I love it, I really do! It's a rare thing, that I'm absolutely satisfied with one of my creations, but this tree immediately got me enthralled when it was fresh out of the kiln and it still makes me smile with delight. It's about 11 cm tall, quite small like most of my pieces.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Christmas Ornaments

Here are my Christmas ornaments along with some of the little test pieces I made to see how the glass reacts with the glazes. The nicer ones can be used as pendants and I can put them on the wall to give me new inspiration. I like how the blue bauble turned out (I drowned most of the imprints of the red one in glaze). My fellow claymates say it looks very oriental.

This is what the backsides look like. I decorated both sides so they can actually be used as Christmas ornaments without hiding a blank side.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Recycled Glass

This week I glazed my secret surprise and still didn't really work on new stuff, apart from what could be called some experimental playing with mud, that gave me some ideas for designs to come.

Here are more of my finished pieces, three small bowls in different sizes. They all have glass melted into their bottoms.

I tried a runny green glaze on the rim of this one and like the result.

This is my favourite of the batch. I love the blues.

Here's the smallest. It has an unglazed spot on the outside but still it's quite cute.

Monday, 1 December 2008


Last week has been fairly unproductive for me. The class has been cancelled due to illness, my hands needed some rest after the work on the secret surprise, that has yet to be finished, I'm freaking out over the pressure of time and the pessimist in me can't stop thinking that I will break it, which already almost happened.

So, I have no pictures of things in the making, but one of a finished piece. This little poppy bowl turned out rather nice.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Secrets and Experiments

After almost two weeks of taking a break from clay I'm very busy at the moment making a secret surprise. I'm utterly excited about it as it is some sort of order and I hope I don't mess it up or don't get it finished in time! It's a lot of fun and an exercise in patience as well as for the muscles in my poor arms, which ache quite much.

This week I was struck with the idea of making an impression of the bisque fired carved flower bowl before I proceed with it. It can serve as a mould if it turns out alright.

After complaining about my stuff being art (and not necessarily functional) I thought I can get more experimental with the first of my textured dishes. Air bubbles got trapped in the indentations in the process of glazing and I just left it like this and added some glass beads. I'm very curious what it might look like when it's out of the kiln. Chances are that it's totally ugly. Well, we'll see...

Saturday, 22 November 2008

It's snowing

It's amazing how this is able to brighten up my mood.
Everything looks so quiet and peaceful when covered in snow and the sounds are muffled.

I took a snowy walk today and met a nice old man feeding the nutrias (which is forbidden since a few months) who told me a lot about them. He said, he even found some that where clubbed to death. They are so very tame.

Saturday, 15 November 2008


Don't take, don't take, don't break my amateur art
I heart my art
Don't make, don't make, don't make a joke of my art
Ne plaisantes pas avec mon art

My fabulous, magnificent, terrific sister comforted me with a hint to the great song by Robots in Disguise quoted above when I complained about some odd remarks by my claymates, that confused me. It was nothing they meant in a nasty way and they had no intention to hurt me and at the time I was rather amused. Nevertheless their words creep into my thoughts and I wonder why of all things the first that came to their minds when they saw the textured bowls shown in my previous post was to tell me, that food will get stuck and dust might collect in the indentations and that they saw something like that to prepare garlic. Garlic? Dust? Do these bowls look as if I ever had the intention to use them for food? And, seriously, I couldn't care less about dust. Do I rate my ceramics too highly when I consider them to be works of art? But to entitle it art leads to another subject matter that drains my energy, the prejudice that art in general is worthless and useless, an opinion that casts unjustified doubt when I need encouragement and that I had to face so often that it blocks me in my work because I can almost hear it hissed into my ear while I'm crafting.
Still I heart my art.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

WIP - This Week

Now I'm finally reaching the present! These are my newest elaborate pieces. All bowls are pinched and then altered.

This one is adorned with a painstakingly carved flower...

... and the surfaces of these were sculpted in a very wrist straining but also meditative procedure. I haven't made anything new since then, because my arms need rest and relaxation. I'm very satisfied though how much I got done in the past weeks.

In class I played around with glass and glaze again.
Now I need a sunny day to take pictures of my latest finished pieces.

WIP - One Week Ago

I couldn't reach the big leaves on the trees a few weeks ago, but now they all fell to the ground and I just had to pick them up, so I took the chance and made another clay leaf, quite a big one this time.

I also sculpted a small vase.

In class I mainly painted my poppy bowl...

... and my tea light house with manganese dioxide.

Ceramic Leaves

I took these pictures on a wonderful sunny day.




Thursday, 6 November 2008

WIP - Two Weeks Ago

I built a tiny bowl and a little round tea light house with many windows. It was a lot of work and I spent several days in bed with a fever before I could finish the carvings. I'm a bit surprised about how very much I like to carve and how patient I am doing this, although it is so exhausting for my wrists.

Beautiful Bowls

I'm very satisfied with the results of this glazing session and let the bowls speak for themselves. The last two have glass melted into the bottom.

I especially love this lotus bowl. (The picture doesn't really do it justice.) It's a very haptic experience.

WIP - Three Weeks Ago

All these faces of people deeply relieved I saw on TV in the last two days say a lot about US-American politics and I'm glad that for the first time in my lifetime the USA seems to get a President who has brains and I dare say a heart.


Here's the first batch of work in progress pictures of my time of blogging absence. I made these items more than three weeks ago and most of them are finished by now.

Some odd vessels.

My Christmas ornaments and my little tree glazed and filled with glass.
I used glass beads on the ornaments. I just couldn't resist when I saw the beads on a sale. So many colour possibilities!

Small bowls glazed and filled with glass. I collected the blue shards of a smashed bottle on the street and carried them home like a treasure because I was so excited that I had found so beautiful blue glass.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

The Snail Plate and the Folded Pot

These were finished ages ago so it's about time I finally show them to the world. Here's the snail plate:

On the plate is a pretty herb I found at the field where I held my photo session. It's called Taubenkropf-Leimkraut in German. You can see the seeds in the pod.

This is my folded pot. I unintentionally made the walls very, very thin, which makes it even more fabric-like. I'm really proud of this one.

I'm back

It was very foggy and cold all day long, an examplary November day, so I start with a picture of a glorious golden autumn day to make me feel warmer.

I was busy crafting and have a lot of pictures of my work in progress I have to sort through, so some updates will follow soon.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Google is watching you

I wasn't aware that Google is even filming the streets of small East German villages until I saw it with my own eyes.

On another note: I was sick and I'm having computer problems, but I hope to catch up on blogging quite soon.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

It's Autumn

October so far was rather dedicated to family time than crafting or blogging and I had no time to go to my class last week.

The week before my clay leaves got their coat of glaze, I poked through most of the holes of my vase with a needle to get the glaze out before it goes into the kiln and I made more glass and glaze tests. My fellow claymate Marion gave me blue and and very beautiful red shards of glass from a broken tumbler.

I also made these Christmas ornaments at home (although I'm not too fond of this feast) to make more experiments with glass that I can melt into the indentations.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

The "Eleanor" Plate

Remember when I stencilled this plate? It was inspired by Eleanor Hendriks' snowflake tutorial and I'm very happy how this turned out. The pattern doesn't look as smeared as I assumed and the contrast of the colours works so well.

The dark parts are a bit streaky, so I guess the slip should be prepared less diluted when I try this again and I'm itching to give it another try!