Monday, April 22, 2013

Gone Fishin' & Muddin' and Didn't Leave Home!

Finally, Spring has sprung, flowers are blooming, grass is turning green and the sun is shining!  And, I've gone fishin' in the studio....I've never caught so many nice fish in one place before, but I did this week in the mud!  

These are Atlantic Salmon carved into white stoneware.  It was a very delicate process and I held my breath while I carved out the tail of the fish.  It sets on the drying rack and once dried, in the kiln it shall go for the bisque fire.  After that, it won't be so delicate.  Right now it scares the daylights out of me to even breath in the direction of that pot!
This carving is of three Brook Trout on brown stoneware.  I have never used this stoneware to carved before.  This particular stoneware speckles once fired, so it should be a great effect to the fish.  

The rest of the week has been spent working on a variety of projects and pieces, from mugs, cups and bowls to more sculptural and carved pieces.  Some experimental, some purposeful. Here is a sample of a few of the pieces I've been working on.

This is an interesting piece.  Deep carved and abstract in nature.  It was nonetheless challenging and time consuming in it's own way.  Trying to get every crumb of clay out of the crevices while leaving it fairly smooth proved to be tedious work.  When I began this piece, I was clear on how I wanted to surface decorate it and although I was tempted to stray from the original plan, I did not. The picture to follow will horrify you.  But, don't despair...this is not the final piece...
I want the piece to be black with bright red in the crevices, but to achieve that, I had to saturate the entire piece in red to cover all the walls of the crevices.  I'm letting it set up and then will go over the piece in black underglaze leaving the crevices red.  Once it has gone through the bisque fire, I will then clear glaze it, as I will the black and white pieces above.  

I hope you are enjoying Spring, wherever you may be.  It has been an on again, off again relationship with Maine.  Below normal temperatures with frost one day, the next a lot of rain.  Today was beautiful sunshine and the rest of the week will be more rain.  Yet, we are fortunate, because we are not under water, as are parts of the mid-west.  Life is good in Maine, hope it is where you are!  Have a blessed week!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mud Season

It's said that Maine has two season's, winter and mud.  This year that is proving to be true. Personally, I like my mud in the studio, making beautiful pots.  And I prefer outside the ground to be dry under a sunny sky!  One out of two isn't bad.....

This week I spent throwing as much mud as possible.  Here are a few photo's from the week....
White bowls on the drying rack that will eventually be decorated with lobsters and crabs or other Maine creatures.
A lobster buoy sea salt pot!
A seal lounging on the lid for a large pot. 
Stamp decorated butter dish with handle...slab built.

And last, but not least, a large pot to be carved into......???????????????????????????????
You'll have to check back next week to see, maybe I will too, because I have no idea what it is going to be!

I hope wherever you live it is sunny and warm, here in the Northeast we haven't been so fortunate yet.  One day it rains and the yard is a sea of mud, then the next day it is snowing! The horses don't care, they love the snow or the mud, they even fall asleep in the mud.  Nothing stops nap time!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy April Fool's Day!!!  I was surprised I made it through the day without incident...nothing...no practical jokes...no attempts made by anyone, not even me!  It was an ordinary day of early morning coffee with friends & family, then off to the pottery studio.

The other day I threw these two large pots with shelves for lids.  Today, I dropped the taller one making it unusable as a lidded container, much less a round container.  It flattened one side in the fall from my hands to the counter top, a free fall of only six inches.  Far enough to change the course of the pot.  Now it is something far better than what I had in mind originally.  

A red fox carving is what transpired out of the fallen pot.  Here it is in the carving stage and doesn't look all that interesting, but once it has been underglaze painted and glaze fired, it will look more realistic and beautiful!  I can't wait to see the final product...I say that on every piece I make, I know, but it is so exciting to have an image in your head brought to life!

This past week was interesting, exciting, difficult, miserable and wonderful all at the same time!  I had to take an unexpected trip to Massachusetts to visit family.  I was featured on Facebook by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development's project Maine Made and approved into the program.  Now, my pots proudly wear the tag "Maine Made: America's Best."  I visited one of the two galleries that will be representing Peasley Pottery this year and it is absolutely full of the most exquisite wildlife art!  The Northport Landing Gallery in, none other, Northport, Maine. Love it there!  I took orders from a few new shops, received more orders from first time customers, which is always fun.   Gass Horse Supply located in Orono, Maine exclusively sells my equestrian pottery in the area and were so generous in giving Peasley Pottery a mention in their radio ad! And to top off my week....I was blessed to have my mother, daughter, and grandson with me for Easter dinner!  And, it was sunny outside!  I hope you all had a blessed Easter and a wonderful week too!