Sunday, June 20, 2010

this is how much I love ceramics...

Not sure if I ever posted this or not, but my friend took it when I saw my stuff that came out of the kiln. I was so happy because it looked tons better than the first kiln did, but my bubble was properly burst the next day when I saw the genius NCECA guests show their skills. It was good though. I have so much to learn...I am so looking forward to getting my hands back into clay and squishing around in it and making stuff. I love learning about ceramics. It's so enjoyable. :)I miss crafting and working with clay...I miss the studio terribly and I between being sick, a long weekend trip back to school and getting ready for this move I must say that I've been very bad about doing any crafting at all. I think this move is making me anxious and I find that when I'm anxious (unless my project is an assignment with a deadline) I can't seem to make myself focus on a project. So much time is wasted...such a shame. Once I'm settled in though I hope to be able to work on little things here and there.

Does anyone else find themselves caught in a crafting rut when they have a lot on their mind?

We're going places...

"Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking stick."
JRR Tolkien~ The Hobbit

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Finally brothers:

I love this idea and am going to do it again. Only better next time. Unfortunately I think this series falls under the "you lose some" category. But I think it has potential.

I did this as a way to deal with my frustration with certain teachers who seemed to think that art dealt with mainly lewd, crude ideas. I had a very bad week that week and Philippians 4:8 really spoke to me during that time. It's funny because I remember reading that verse at the beginning of that rough week and then it came back up during a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting. So that weekend I started these guys.

Even though they're really rough around the edges I am going to push this idea farther and keep working with it.

I love handmade!

My roommate painted this picture of a Newfoundland for me as a birthday gift last year. I love it! I love the colors and am in awe that she was able to actually paint dog hair. Painting seems like such a mystery to me. How she was able to paint things as intricate as the hair and whiskers is beyond me. I think she did a beautiful job.
We don't have our newfies anymore. This picture is a nice reminder of those sweet doggies. And a sweet reminder that I have uber-talented friends! I love getting a handmade gift. It's so special. :)

PS: I'm sure she'd take custom orders if you want a lovely painting. ;)


So since I started blogging I've pretty much given up writing in books. Sad isn't it? I found my old journal from when I was 16 (talk about sad...hee hee...I think I mostly wrote about what was bothering me) and read through it. I love the convenience of the internet. Blogging is such a fun and easy way to document photos and ideas and memories and emails and facebook are such a quick and easy way to communicate. But I miss writing letters. I love getting mail and rarely do anymore (I don't consider bills to be real mail). Anyhow, this book combines my long-lost love of snail mail and hand journaling. I've begun to glue all my letters and some pictures into a journal instead of keeping them in a box. They're much more accessible and portable. This book can be thrown in a suitcase. You can't really do that with a shoebox full of letters. Plus this is a prettier way to keep all your letters available and tidy.
This would be much easier with a spiral bound book. This is leather bound so it doesn't close all the way. Luckily it has an elastic strap to help keep it closed. Next time I do this I'll use a spiral bound book but for now this works fine. Plus it gives it an older look which some find appealing.
I don't just keep letters in here. I also keep pictures, poems, song lyrics, Bible verses and memorabilia. This is a picture I took at the park and a poem by Robert Frost. Below are two bumper stickers. One is a Pro-Life sticker and the other is one I got while in Austin. I know...they're supposed to be on a car, not in a book. I use my parent's car so I don't feel free to put stickers all over it.

These are notes from friends...
This is a Christmas card my roommate sent me. She designed it herself. I'm going to blog about something else she made for me in a different post!

I have lots more to put in this book. I think it would be a great idea for a gift for someone in college, a friend or family member who is moving away, or a loved one in the military. Have people write letters and then glue the envelopes with the cards or letters inside and pictures of everyone who loves them into a book and give it away. It's nice to see pictures and read handwritten notes (I love people's makes things so personal) from people. It can help with homesickness. I am planning to bring my book to China with me to look through when I miss home.

Watching an Olive

This past weekend I watched my niece, Olive, while her mom and dad (my sister and brother-in-law) went out on a date. We had lots of fun eating her parents out of house and home while they were gone (don't tell me I'm allowed to raid the kidding). We did actually share some homemade blackberry cobbler (when did my sister turn into Martha Stewart? That girl can cook!) and homemade whole wheat oatmeal bread. We played with toys. We listened to the Dean Martin station on Pandora (I love the way he sings Sway). We sang songs and snuggled. And we played with water in the bathtub. Olive just LOVES playing with water. Seriously, put her in the tub with a couple of containers of water and some spoons and she has a ball.

She also loves cell phones. She accidentally dialed 911 with one of her parent's phones. She is such a little genius. I let her play with my phone while I was eating my dinner and she loved it. She got mad when I took it away.

This is where I took the phone away.

I'm pretty sure she is signing and saying "please" here. My sister is teaching her sign language and she can say "please," "more," "all gone," and "ice cream." She is walking around now and saying more words. She calls the cows next door to us dogs and when they moo she will moo back at them. She likes to pretend she's a puppy. She plays patty cake. She is snuggly and blows kisses.
I can't imagine how we ever got along without her.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

And you lose some...quite a lot actually.

As you can see not all projects turn out according to plan...

Most don't. To be honest I don't really have a definite plan for many of my pieces. I just experiment and see what happens.
salt-fired...not good...I'm very sloppy.
sloppy again...gotta work on that...
This went into the wrong kiln. It went into salt instead of reduction. And it's sloppy. But I think the idea of it is cool. It was inspired by Banksy. I am going to try this again sometime. In the meantime I think I'll go destroy these. lol. Actually, Adam (my brother) has decided that he's claiming all my ugly mugs (which I collectively refer to as my "ugly muglings.") and keeping them. So I think he claimed the middle one.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tea Pot

Here is one of the finished "Alice in Wonderland" teapots. I didn't turn this one in for my critique. I ended up making 3. I gave one away already and my sister has the actual set that I turned in. I am going to photograph it sometime soon. Anyway...this set was just a teapot, creamer and a sugar. Where is the creamer pitcher? was loaded next to a sculpture in the kiln and during the firing that sculpture fell over and fused to my creamer pitcher. So this is all that is left. I like the color. It is a tenmoku over celadon, but our celadon was messed up so it's not typical of regular celadons (so I'm told...I'm so new at this I really don't know what it's supposed to look like.). It was a very fun set. Each piece was wheel thrown. The lids were wheel thrown and so was the spout. Only the handle was hand built. I fired the lid separately from the teapot and it warped a little bit so now it doesn't fit inside properly. I'm going to have to take away some of the rim to make room for it. I like them better than the very first teapot I made, but I am excited to continue experimenting with teapots. I'm hoping when I get to China to try throwing with porcelain. I can't wait to be good at what I do. It's nice to see improvements, but I'm nowhere near where I want to be. It's good though. It's always a challenge and that is part of what keeps me coming back. I love it.

I miss it SO much! As wonderful as it is to see my family I miss working with my hands on the wheel and at hand-building. I don't have access to a wheel at home. This summer is already going by so quickly though. I've been home for 4 weeks and 1 day now. I'm going back to school to visit my friend this coming weekend. I can't wait! I'm also going to get some paperwork taken care of for China, but I'll get to stay for three nights and maybe visit a Bible study or church service while I'm there. It will be fun to go see the folks who are still in town.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

From this...

to this...
(excuse very poor picture quality)

One of the most time consuming and frustrating projects I've ever done. It got a bit messed up during my trip home so I need to retouch it in a few places. I'm glad I finished it. My teacher said the skin looked scaly. :P I'm hoping to get it retouched and take a better photograph of it since I need it for my portfolio in school eventually.