Monday, 30 March 2009

A Rocky Pot

Last week I made a small sculpted pot at home (and skipped the class for a birthday party). The surface of my pot is inspired by geological formations like you can see them in pictures here and here. They are truly fascinating! The design is also an advanced version of the sculpted vase I made some months ago and that I like very much. It's done in a bigger scale this time and in dark clay.

I still haven't taken proper pictures of this old vase as well as of all the other finished pieces of the last months due to bad light, bad health, bad mood and bad photography skills. I hope to get this done quite soon though. For a start you can sneak a peek above on my new blog header.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Young Tomato Plants

Sowed five weeks ago.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

A Pot and a Book

This week I made a pot in class but I forgot to take a picture. One of my friendly helpful mates rolled the clay for me and then I pressed a doily into the surface of the slab, cut it into a rectangle and wrapped it around a newspaper-covered plastic pipe and attached the bottom. I smeared the pattern when I put the seam together and when I had to shorten the slab to arrange it to fit, so my pot won't look that nice. I intend to use it on my balcony for flowers once it is finished and this time it doesn't matter that much to me if it has some flaws, although I usually want everything to be done especially careful and neat.

Another one of my friendly claymates lent me a deeply interesting book about ceramic jewellery. She said she had to think of me immediately when she saw this book. This is so nice! It contains many useful tips and I think I can learn a lot from it. It's influence might be visible here sometime soon.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Pinched and Pierced

After my first failed attempts of making pinch pots again I got the feeling back and was quite busy last week.

I made a batch of pierced pieces...

... and another one with textures.

They are ready for their first firing now.
I'm glad I made these before I tried out wheel-throwing, because my right hand and wrist are still swollen. Nevertheless I'm very glad that I did it.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Mud Wrestling

Yesterday I've wheel-thrown a piece for the first time! People could visit the pottery studio, look at everything, ask questions, mess around with clay and so on. As you could also get your hands on the potter's wheel I thought I should give it a try and test the stability of my wrists. Everything was prepared and demonstrated and I got an overall so I won't get my clothes dirty. My first try started quite good but I ended up with two parts, one in my hands and the other still on the wheel. My second try produced this low bowl (You see, I always end up with a bowl.) and I left it like this so I won't mess it up as well.

I became nervous during my third attempt, because people came to watch and it was hard enough to coordinate my actions without anyone looking. The almost vessel-like shape I made had a hole in the wall at the end. I didn't try it for a fourth time because my wrists proved to be not stable enough for more and the sides of my hands, which touched the rotating wheel were sore. I really admire everyone who can master wheel throwing and make it look so easy!

Bang Bang

>> Herr Koma kommt: Der Frauenmord von Winnenden
>> Guten Abend, meine Damen und Herren, Sie sehen die Abendnachrichten.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Back at the Pottery

This week I went to my class again after more than a month of absence. I glazed the textured bowl, that was waiting for me on the shelf all those weeks and also added some glass. On one of my convalescence walks I wrote about earlier I bought three new shades of blue beads and tried them out on the bowl without making a little test piece before. Not testing makes me nervous, but I didn't want to wait. I hope they turn out nicely!
(Somehow my beads seem to confuse some of my clay mates. I was asked (not for the first time): "And you're putting plastic beads in there?" which sounded like: "And you're really that stupid to put plastic beads in a bowl that will be fired in a kiln at more than 1000°C? They are going to burn, don't you know that? And you're really stupid!". No, actually I know what I'm doing. It's glass. Glass, not plastic. Why don't they just ask, if these beads, that they think look like plastic, are really glass?)

I also played around with soft clay this week and tried making pinch pots, but it takes some time to get used to it again. The good thing is, I feel inspired again!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Paper Beads

Here's another crafty task that can be done in bed. This time the idea is inspired by jessprkle and all the pictures of her beautiful paper beads. I wanted to try and make these since I saw them for the first time. I also found a tutorial but never got around to try it out until now.

It's a bit fiddly but quite easily done, although not exactly hand-friendly. I ripped up an old Intro magazine and started with beads that are 3 cm long (the yellow and the mainly black and white ones in the picture).

The beads of my second batch (the green ones) are 1 cm longer and were a bit easier to roll up. Then my hands said that's enough for today but this is definately something I'd try again.

I like how this technique produces beads of certain colour schemes while no two beads look exactly the same.

Thursday, 5 March 2009


My crafting spirits revived while recovering and lying in bed a lot. Yet still too weak to work with clay I nevertheless wanted some exercice for my feeble hands. Some ideas came to my mind and one of it is that I wanted to try a proper papercut for a long time. I've seen many breathtaking pictures of very intricate papercuts on Flickr and elsewhere, but I have to start small and simple of course.

This beautiful picture by Skinny laMinx especially sparked my interest. She also has a neat tutorial on her blog, so I thought I should give it a try. The shapes of my flowers are totally stolen from hers, because I didn't know where to start myself.

My papercut only is the size of a postcard (and was done in bed) but it took more than two hours to complete. My hands got crampy and shaky almost immediately (And I was thinking to myself, why of all things did I have to start with something like this after such exhausting weeks of illness?) but I finished it. All those papercut people must have really strong hands or sharper knives than I have. Probably both. I don't think I'll try this again too soon. I'm quite pleased with my first try though. I neither cut myself nor a wrong line.

I finally framed my papercut and can put it on the wall now. The silvery background is the inner surface of a Tetra Pak and I think this looks just fine.