Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Gift came today....From Steph at Vladthebatsattic

I could not be happier with my Craft It Forward gift from Steph!! In lieu of my own photograph for right now, I am using hers from her blog. Her work is so colorful and beautifully made. I put the bracelets on the moment I unwrapped the package...they have already made my day cherrier!

Please visit her blog and see what she has to say about this fun CIF project.

This is so much fun...and I have a new set of bracelets made just for " moi ", from a fantistic artist and they traveled all the way from Belgium!!! A real win,win, proposition!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Upward Over the Mountain...a Mother's Day Gift

My son and I frequently exchange songs instead of cards and letters. Somehow the songs seem to say so much more at times.! This song was my Mothers Day gift. I am so very proud of my son, though we do not always agree, which also makes me proud that he is flying on his own. From his determination to be an Eagle Scout, to his nomination to the Naval Academy, to his decision to serve his country in the Navy when he did not get his appointment to the Academy, he has always striven to better himself and the situations around him. There is a wild side to him, but he is ever the empathetic creature who's heart can be touched by the simplest things.
I wanted to share this song with you....You can find it in my music box on the right...No. 9.....

Upward Over the Mountain by Iron and Wine

Mother don't worry, I killed the last snake that lived in the creek bed
Mother don't worry, I've got some money I saved for the weekend
Mother remember being so stern with that girl who was with me?
Mother remember the blink of an eye when I breathed through your body?

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons are like birds, flying upward over the mountain

Mother I made it up from the bruise on the floor of this prison
Mother I lost it, all of the fear of the Lord I was given
Mother forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to
Mother forgive me, I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons could be birds, taken broken up to the mountain

Mother don't worry, I've got a coat and some friends on the corner
Mother don't worry, she's got a garden we're planting together
Mother remember the night that the dog had her pups in the pantry?
Blood on the floor, fleas on their paws,
And you cried 'til the morning

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
Sons are like birds, flying always over the mountain

Monday, May 18, 2009

Congrats to the Grad!

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door — Only this, and nothing more."

Edgar Allen Poe

My nephew just graduated from college and I wanted him to have something special that tied this event to his beginning years of school. In his early elementary school years my Dad would help him read from Edgar Allen Poe and he could recite most of The Raven. Quite a memorable thing to hear...especially since most of his peers were still reading Green Eggs and Ham.

So I created this ceramic piece for him to commemorate his hard work and this wonderful accomplishment!

It has a high fire stoneware checkerboard glaze with cutouts that I filled with antique watch parts. The top is an antique clock face backed with the back side of a gold watch case. The center piece is comprised of two watch crystals attached to the ceramic base, in the 1/8 inch space I enclosed watch springs and gears that free float. On the back crystal there is the silhouette of a raven that can be seen if you hold it to the light. A real Poe postage stamp is also enclosed behind a larger watch crystal to the left, and there is a ceramic raku beetle that I made at the bottom to represent the story of "The Gold Bug", with the code to the treasure to be deciphered at its side. At the top, I added the first paragraph of "The Raven" , and to finish it off I added a few more watch parts and tree silhouette. I did a little destressing here and there. The square hole remains open to let the light of wisdom through. I have been wanting to do a Steampunk piece...and I think this qualifies?

A one of a kind piece for a one of a kind young man who has made his family very proud!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What do you do when the Firing goes bad?

High expectations and a self imposed time frame did not help in this firing that has gone wrong...drastically wrong! A good customer has ask for some custom items from my shop...whoopee, jump for joy...I love special requests! Should go smoothly but as you can see in the photo the glaze burned out in the kiln. Have no idea why...but I am not one to give up.

Sometimes you can salvage work by firing again, adding a different glaze and firing a third time. After a fourth firing and three different glaze applications I was able to get pendants that I can use for myself. But it is back to the clay,rolling pin and start all over for the custom items. But what do I do about the glaze that did not work? I guess its time for a new batch to be mixed.

I will dump this in with another small batch that lost its integrity and test a tile to see what I get. Sometimes the prettiest glazes are those mixed just this way! Only, you can never repeat the mix. Such is the way of the glaze god.