Friday, 28 March 2008


My hands hurt too much even before this week's class, so I felt quite uninspired and miserable and didn't really know what I could do, that wouldn't make it worse.

At first my bowl with indentations was glazed. This time I didn't do it myself, so if this ends up looking ugly, it's not my fault! My teacher dipped it with a swift and experienced movement into a bucket with glaze I chose. It should turn into a greyish green or greenish grey when it's fired. If you look closely you can see that some of the impressed marks aren't covered with glaze because they were filled with air bubbles when the bowl was dipped. I was told the glaze will run there during firing. I can't await to see how this one will turn out!

I was messing around with a small portion of clay and a mould because I couldn't knead at all. I ended up with this sort of mini plate. It's really tiny and quite thin. I pierced the rim and impressed a random pattern. I'd like to make something like that in a bigger style.

After that I tried a new technique, that reminded me of Millefiori. Small balls of clay are pressed into a mould and smoothed from the inside. This should make a pattern that looks like cobblestone at the outside. I'll see next time when it's dried and taken out of the mould if it really looks like that and then I will decide if I'll keep it. This technique is better suited for big pots than for a small and low bowl like mine.

Afterwards my fingers, hands, wrists, arms, my tendons, muscles and bones hurt even more. The cold and wet weather makes it even worse and a day after I was plagued by a headache from hell and now I have a sore throat. I feel bad. I'm tired.

Monday, 24 March 2008

My aesthetically challenged Bowl

So, here it is with it's nasty unglazed gaps, looking smudgy and as if made by the dilettante I obviously am. As you can see, yes, the glaze indeed melted and run, but it did so in places where it shouldn't. I just hope my next attempts will show better results.

Here's a part that came out as I intended it to be. Nice, even, sharp
and unsmeared and the clay completely covered with glaze. It's the
proof, it can be done properly (even by me)!

I filled the bowl with some of the polymer clay beads I made so far to make it look less sad. At the moment I can't work with pc, because my wrists can't stand more than the class once a week and need a lot of rest in between. I hope the Fimo I have in stock doesn't harden until I can work with it again.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Glazing and Snow

Finally I find some time to write about this week's pottery class. I spent it glazing my first bowl but I completely messed it up. My intention was to glaze the rings in white and blue alternately and so I did, but I did it very, very badly. I've never done this before so I wasn't prepared how tricky this stuff behaves. As long as the glaze is on the brush it is wet like paint but as soon as it touches the surface of the fired vessel all the moisture immediately sinks in and leaves a dusty, chalky coating and a dry brush. It was very hard or even impossible for me to apply the glaze on the seams where the rings touch each other. Whenever I tried it I ended up putting more and more glaze to the parts the brush touches before it reaches the grooves. It looked all clumpy and crumbly and stupid and it was driving me crazy! I was told the glaze will surely run to those parts when it melts in the kiln, but of course it didn't!

The glaze firing was finished on Thursday, so I went to the pottery and picked up my bowl. I decided before to like it whatever ugly it may look like and indeed it looked exactly as awful as I expected. I won't spare me the embarrasment and will show you a picture soon. I rather should have trusted my intuition and better washed off the glaze before firing and dipped it completely into just one colour of glaze to leave no parts unglazed. I just hope my other bowl will look better.

Despite the disappointment with my bowl Thursday morning was one of the loveliest this winter, because there was sun and there was snow. Yes, real snow! For a few hours only, but I walked on beautiful cool crunching snow after a completely snowless winter! What a lark!

I also walked to the river and took pictures of some of the nutrias living there. Legend says these are descendants of the ones someone abandoned, who kept them as pets many years ago. The grown ones are so tame you could touch them.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Easter Bunny

This weekend I finished this bunny hanger. I'm glad about that because I wanted to have it done before Easter. I used vernal colours, so you see I'm slowly accepting that spring is coming, although there was no winter that deserves the name. (I feel so cheated.)

A few days before I stitched the pear you can see in the making in this picture. The yellow is so delicious! It gave me the idea to make a pear.

Speaking of delicious - my tomato plants are growing very nicely on my window sill. I probably have said it a thousand times already, but I love to see them grow.

Today I put pictures of all the felt creations I've done so far into my Flickr-Gallery. (I should do this more often.)

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Clay Bowls

Yesterday I had my pottery class again. I was excitedly looking forward to it all week! I couldn't wait to try out new things and this time I took pictures.

In the photo above you can see the piece I made last time. It dried since then but it's not fired yet.

Yesterday I made this bowl. (I'm so fond of bowls! My class-fellows mainly make ceramic figures like cute Easter bunnies and cats and frogs. So far I feel no desire to try things like that. I feel so much more inclined to make bowls.) I began to form it freehand but my teacher gave me a mould so I could make the walls thinner more easily. Afterwards I impressed decorations with several tools and shaky hands and I enjoyed it very, very much.

Friday, 7 March 2008

The Felt Leaf and Pottery

A while ago I wrote I'd like to sew a leaf and so I did. It came out really nice I think. I'm always very glad when the stiches look as neat and regular as they do here.

Last Tuesday I started to attend evening classes in a pottery. I couldn't sleep the night before, because I was terribly excited and afraid at the same time. I know it's going to be hard for my hands but I absolutely want to try it. The clay was softer than the stuff I used in hospital. I rolled logs of clay into canes and build a low dish of them. I hope to take pictures next time so I can show them here. I felt very happy afterwards. My right wrist feels like I had punched a wall but still I'm happy.