Monday, May 31, 2010

one last piece for tonight...

I forgot to put this piece with my favorite pieces in the last post. It's okay though because this one is glazed with colored glazes, unlike the others. This mug makes me smile. It is kind of a misunderstood little mug. Not everyone likes it. Although someone did offer to buy it from me, so it is appreciated too by a few people (I said no...we're not allowed to sell our work). It reminds me of a Ken Ferguson slump pot. I was throwing with a very soft clay and the middle got too thin and collapsed. I really loved the way it collapsed though so I saved it anyway and put a handle on it and dipped it in either 3D matte or Eustes and then in tenmoku. I had it fired in oxidation which I really like. It seems like colors are much more vibrant in oxidation than in reduction. Oddly enough, it's probably my very favorite mug I've made. I think it was a happy accident and I'm going to try to recreate it.

My favorite pieces from the semester.

The funny thing about these pieces is that I didn't use colored glazes on any of them. For the bowl I did a wax resist design (I'm not sure how visible it is in this photo) over a shino glaze and had it salt fired. The inside is glazed with Eustes (I think). I think it looks kind of natural and minimal. I like it.
This was one of my first pieces this semester. It was wheel-thrown and then altered so that the bottom is square while the top is round. It is painted with blue slip. I mixed some of the blue slip with a white slip to make it a lighter shade and it worked out really well. After painting it I carved designs in it. I think that concept is sgraffito, but I'm not sure if what I did can really be considered that. I really liked the colors. I played around with that pattern in the dark blue on a few of my pieces and someone started copying me towards the end of the semester! I was sort of flattered. :) I used it as a cup, but it could also be a pencil holder or toothbrush holder.
Another wheel-thrown/altered piece. This one I used different colored slips on to paint designs. It was then glazed in a clear glaze and fired in oxidation. I liked how bright it came out. Not sure why, but this screams "toothbrush holder" to me. I guess working for my dentist again this summer has me thinking of teeth a lot. Oh, bad news: I have another cavity! It's only my third. Oddly enough I never got cavities until I became a dental assistant. Hee hee. I know it's just a coincidence, but I think it's funny.

And finally this little cup. Even before I majored in ceramics (a loooong time in 5 months ago, lol) I preferred to drink out of mugs instead of glasses. I like the idea of making ceramic cups to drink out of. That's what this little guy is. It's very similar to the one shown above. It's just painted with slips (my painting skills leave much to be desired...something I definitely need to work on in addition to many many things!) and then glazed with a clear glaze. The only difference is that this cup was fired in reduction instead of oxidation which is why I think the natural clay has a very gray look to it.
This past semester I got to make a couple of different slips and make glaze tests. I also got to help stoke a wood kiln (which was very exiting...every time I pulled out the brick to stoke flames would shoot out...did I mention that I have a little aversion to fire?) and unload several different kilns. I had pieces wood fired, salt fired, reduced and oxidized. I would love to watch a raku firing. Kilns are so exciting! I also got to watch the sculpture students do a bronze pouring which was also very exciting. This may sound silly, but it was almost like watching a ballet...everyone rehearsed their part in the procedure and then performed it perfectly and there was this feeling of excitement and anticipation that I can't quite describe.

Sometimes I just love being an art student. And then sometimes I wonder what on earth I got myself into and why did I do it? But mostly I love it. :)

bobbies with buttons

Remember these? I got them at The Purple Fern (I love that store!) in Winchester, VA. It's such a fun and inspiring little boutique. I love buying the little fabric covered button bobby pins that are sold there. I love digging through the little bucket she has just for these little hair clips.

I have since found out that these are SO simple to make! I bought a fabric covered button kit from Joann's and a bunch of refill packs (and 2 spools of elastic thread, although that's completely unrelated to button bobby pins) for $7.23 cents the other day and this afternoon I made 5 of these little guys. It was super fast and easy...sometimes that's exactly the kind of project I need.
Ta daaa...aren't they cute? I am thinking of putting a couple on a snap-clip for my niece. She can still pull bobby pins out too easily.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial day weekend.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What's a girl to do?

(sigh) School is out. I came home on May 8th or 9th. Any normal person would be jumping for joy shouting "hurray, school is OVER!!!" But me...I miss school. Very much. Yeah, it's lame but it's the honest-to-gosh truth! I miss my friends. I miss my dorm. I miss ceramics terribly! I especially miss the Bible studies and Campus Crusade for Christ. It's strange to come home and not have Cru here. I love seeing my family and friends from home, but to be quite honest I still feel lonely and surprisingly homesick for school. I think a big part of it is that I'm not nearly as busy as I used to be. Now that I'm finished I don't quite know what to do with myself for the summer!

This summer promises to be busy and full of changes. My parents are moving. I'm going to spend the last 6 weeks of summer with my sister and her husband and my niece here in town. I'm getting ready to study abroad in China this fall. It's just a tiny bit overwhelming. Even though I'm less opposed to change than I was when I was younger I still have a hard time embracing it wholeheartedly. I am happy for my parents (my Dad lost his job a year ago and this move is a great opportunity for him and my family) but it seems strange to think that the next time I go visit them it will be in a new city. I won't know my way around. I won't know anyone there. I don't really mind that, it's just weird. I guess it just feels like I don't have a permanent home right now. That must be kind of normal for this stage of my life.

It will be an adventure though. I think this whole year is going to be one crazy adventure. I can't believe I'm planning to be in China for (almost) 4 months! One of my favorite books of all time is The Hobbit. It talks about how hobbits are homebodies who don't like adventures. In the book, the hobbit is roped into going on an adventure with Gandalf the wizard and 12 dwarves to reclaim stolen treasure. Throughout the book the hobbit wishes he was back home waiting for his tea kettle to start singing...however every once in awhile something in him wakes up (something Tookish...since his relatives the Tooks were abnormally adventurous hobbits) and makes him long to see places he's never been and hear songs he's never heard and be a part of stories that will be told for generations...
sometimes I feel just like the hobbit. My natural inclination is to stay where I'm comfortable...where everything is safe and familiar. But every once in awhile...more lately than usual, something inside me wants to go out and have an adventure. To experience what I can only read about. But at the same time I am sure I will be homesick for my family and friends and school. It's only been 3 weeks and I'm very homesick for school. I know when my parents and siblings move I'll be homesick for them. I know I'll be homesick for my sister and brother-in-law and niece. But in a way it is comforting to know I'll miss them. I am blessed to have a family that I love and that loves me. I've been blessed to make dear friends who are like family and to be a part of a ministry that challenges me to make my whole life about serving Jesus. I am blessed beyond measure to be loved and sought after by my saviour, Jesus, who sent his Spirit to be with me wherever I am. So I don't have to be too afraid to go anywhere or do anything because I'm never truly alone.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

That's a promise to hang onto!

That's about all I have to write about tonight. I'm in the middle of packing and's a lengthy process and I keep stopping to check facebook and blogs! The internet is not conducive to productivity sometimes. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I thought I would give my blog a make-over. It's been kind of ho-hum these past couple of years so I thought I'd paint the walls. :) has some very cute layouts for blogs which is where I got mine. I want to get back to making things and posting about them here. I know that my summer is going to be a bit difficult though (will talk more about that later) as far as finding time to get involved in a project goes, but I miss making things and want to get back into the habit of trying to be creative and putting my thoughts into words.

Hopefully I'll be able to put more time into this blog this summer. Regardless of what I accomplish this summer I have rather grand plans for it this fall!