Thursday, 24 April 2008

The first Tomato

The first tomato of the year is growing on my window sill. I almost forgot to show you! (It might bore you immensely, but really, I'm excited!) Some of my plants are already as tall as 1 meter. I hope I can put them on the balcony soon. It looks a bit like a greenhouse in here.

Here's a picture of my little beautiful tree. I'm so fascinated by it!

Claytime again

This week my pottery class took place again! My tiny experimental pierced plate is finished and I think it looks fabulous!

I'm absolutely happy with it! It turned out much better than I expected. All the decoration is still visible, even the small dots. A lot of the piercings filled with glaze (I love the colour.) and they shine greenish now when the light falls through. I want to try something like that with a bigger item, I have to!

My cobblestone bowl went missing but as it was glazed later than the plate it most probably was still in the kiln two days ago, so I hope it shows up next week. The bowl I made two weeks ago dried meanwhile and is ready now for the first firing.

My lace vase was bisque fired already and glazed this time. I chose the same green that adorns my pierced plate.
In the picture you can see the vase before and after it was dipped into the glaze.

I made a bigger vase (Or a pot? A jar? Well, it's a vessel.) this week. I needed some help by my teacher to roll the clay flat with a rolling-pin, then I cut out a big rectangle and fitted this wobbly stubborn sheet around one of those round boxes (wrapped in an old newspaper, so it comes off the clay easily) you can see in the background of the photo. When I attached the bottom the whole thing got a bit wonky but I don't mind. After that followed the best part: impressing decorations. This is so much fun! I wish I could do this every day.

Friday, 18 April 2008

In Bloom and in Bed

My pottery class took a break this week, but instead of taking this chance to relax my arms I became ill and stayed in bed aching all over and knocked out by an attack of fever.

Meanwhile my tomatoes started to bloom but it's still too cool outside to put them on my balcony.

My mother gave me forget-me-nots a few weeks ago. It's warm enough for them. They are blooming like mad in such a lovely shade of blue!

At the time when I sowed my tomatoes I also planted the seed of a conifer. It's a tiny tree now! I don't know what it is exactly (but its parent was a huge old tree). I took the cone home with me, when i visited my sister, because it looked so beautiful.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Making bowls makes happy

I promised to show you my glazed bowl, so I used what felt like the only ten sunny minutes of the past days to take a picture. Here it is:

I love this bowl so much! The contours of the pattern are highlighted so nicely by the glaze. (It didn't run into all of the dents and some aren't visible anymore at places where the glaze was applied a bit too thickly, but it doesn't matter.) I think it looks great and I feel really proud!

Yesterday I had my class again. Last week's dried items had been fired and were ready for glazing. I chose green glaze for my pierced plate. It was dipped when I was busy making new things, so I haven't seen it and don't know what it looked like before the glaze firing and I completely forgot that I wanted to take a photo of it. My cobblestone bowl should get a transparent brown glaze, that needs to be prepared first. So, I'm sorry, I have no pictures of it either. The vase I made last week was dry now and I sanded its sharp edges away, so it's ready for bisque firing. (I'm still not sure if I like it.)

There are tons of ideas floating around in my mind, that I should and would like to try, but somehow (and maybe because I'm so happy with my bowl) I feel very strongly drawn to try more in this style. I don't feel ready for other and bigger pieces yet, so I made a bowl in a mould again and impressed some abstract decoration. It's amazing how contented I feel doing this. (I wish I could do this more often.)
When I had some minutes left afterwards I made this button.

I felt so good and uplifted when I walked home. I was much more able to do what I want than in the past two weeks, although my arms are still in a very bad shape.

Friday, 4 April 2008

More Whining and a Bit of Happiness

My hands and arms still feel very bad, in fact they feel worse, but I don't want to neglect my blog because of that. I'm really sad though, that it is so obviously impossible for me to recover from the strain on my wrists within the seven days between my classes. I spent the first half of this week's class messing around with a lump of clay but I had to stop because of the pain. With the help of a dear fellow crafter I was able to make a little vase though.

She rolled the clay flat on the table with a rolling-pin, then we put an old piece of lace onto the clay and then she impressed the pattern of the lace by rolling over it with the brayer again. This results in a patterned sheet of clay. She made a little bowl this way. I cut my sheet with a knife, not knowing yet what to do with it, (Yeah, very clever!) but then I thought I should try and make a vase. The seam, where the ends of the sheet meet, is covered by one of the pieces I cut away before, so my vase has a little tail. I don't know yet, if I like it. It's very different to the stuff I made so far.

Here you can see the dried pieces of last week:
This is the bowl that looks a bit like cobblestone from the outside...

... and this is my tiny experimental pierced plate.

That's what the piercings look like from the outside.

I did not want to sand this away. I like this raw look and I'd like to know how this will look fired and glazed. Attentive readers of my blog will ask now: what happened to the bowl that was glazed last week? With great pride I can tell you it turned out great!!! (I'm so relieved it did!) I'm extremely happy with it. I'm touching and looking at it all the time, but I have to take some proper pictures of it before I can show you.