Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interesting Clay Artist

Beware! Fabulous man eating plant in the vacinity! I do not think I have every associated cannibalism with fabulousness before. I am thinking "Kimora Lee Simmons" and her fabulosity. This beautiful fantastic interesting original sculputure by Eric Sewell definitely fits the bill. Eric is brilliant with bright colors and pairing them with dark tones to make pieces into explosions in film as well as in reality. The great divide between color tones makes his work 'come alive' taking an ordinary and interesting sculpture of a man eating plant to the extraordinary. See him at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5081006 on etsy to buy from his online shop, http://etcarts.blogspot.com/ to read his blog and read what is bugging him or inspiring him today, or http://etcarts.com/ to visit his other webpage and see other artwork he has to offer.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fiber Fabulous


Wool is a natural fiber and it is only natural we would find etsy artists using it to make interpretations of nature. Motley Mutton (and the gangly goats) and its artist Nancy B makes better interpretations than most. Whimsical and fun these needle felted sculptures of animals are impressive while at the same time fun and beautiful. From small necklace pendants to large replicas the wool that she uses makes her sculptures appear realistic and soft. Check her out on etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5043799 or on her own site www.motleymutton.com

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wow! On Etsy


I found this awesome key chain on Etsy. The creator: LeatherPrince at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5774521
makes all kinds of leather animal keychains as well as a variety of purses, cases, and other 'holding' devices.
They are a husband and wife team from singapore. Their blog is located at www.leatherprince.blogspot.com
I love love love everything that they make and you should definately take the time to check them out.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wood Fire

Oh my gosh! The wood fire opening was so much fun. There was about 20 potters to came to help out. We unloaded two chambers one with soda and one with wood fire. A couple people worked in the kiln handing things out. A few others stood in lines passing the pieces down (owing and ahing as they went by). And finially a few others worked at the tables organizing the pieces onto the tables.

This mom and baby hedgehog set was one of my favorites to come out of the kiln. Wood fire kilns are so much fun. For those of you who love pottery but do not participate yourself opening any kiln is like christmas. Sometimes you get an Ipod sometimes you get underware. This kiln opening was definitely an Ipod.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Work and Work

Oh my god it has been a long time. Between my real job, the fun job, going to classes, and this crap ass economy this has been a busy and stressful fall. But on a happy note the wood fire kiln at the artisan center is being opened this saturday. http://www.maplecreekart.com/ I have a few cute little animals in the kiln plus two bowls. I am very excited to see how they look. It should be a super fun time, like christmas except better. Then Z pottery with Carvings by G, i.e. my husband and I, have two shows in early November, and a new show in December. I truely hope we sell something. I am, as are many other crafters, saddened by the lack of good business. I am just lucky that I sculpt clay for fun and not for a living. My husband and I are meerly happy when our pottery pays for the expense of doing it. I feel for the artist who tries to feed their family on their art in this economy. ~ cheers

Monday, September 8, 2008

Finding the Time

Gas is not the only thing at a premium. Every extra second I have seems to go somewhere. I find myself saying - if I have five minutes later I will.... OR Staying up five minutes later to do x then waking up more and more exhausted day after day. The werid thing? I really enjoy it! I enjoy having more work then I could possibly do. It makes me feel useful, successful, meaningful. I love doing pottery even if it is in the extra seconds. I love teaching even if it is the center of my universe, I love teaching fencing even if I can barely move the next day. I love going to college and being a student even if all I do on Sunday is read textbooks and write papers. If you do what you love then it is not really all that big a deal that you can barely move most of the rest of the time! Cheers!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kiln Opening

Christmas! At least that is what it feels like when you open a glaze load in your kiln. There could be huge successes and dismal failures. Today was no different. Some totally cute things like this little turtle

I was so sad at some of my new glazes though. I did not know how they would look because the jar doesn't tell you how thick to apply it. Sometimes one coat is good and then other times I have to practically bath the peice in glaze. So I am going to refire a few things. Don't know if it will work because my glazes are water based and the clay is no longer porous. We'll see. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Glazes

My glazes came today! 96 different colors in 4oz jars. I have never been so excited! I was too tired from school to use them last night, but tonight is different. I will be glazing like a made women. I will post pictures with my new colors this weekend. New glazes are like getting a box of brand new crayons. The colors are exotic and unknown and currently perfect. Happy day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Money

It seems to me that the longer you play at a hobby the more expensive the hobby becomes. This is because you start happily playing with the materials you have. Then you see this new cool thing that you could do ten things with if you just had it. So you save up and you get it and you play around happily for a while. Then you hear or see about another cool thing that would help you get better, or make you more creative in your hobby. Before you know it your basement is full of dohickys that make you happy, but also take up more room then you have and you have to buy a new house just to have room for your growing hobby. Sigh. That is my favorite part.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to Work

So I am back from my vacation to Pennsic. It was wonderful. I snooped around all the pottery places in the market place and have so many new ideas to try. However, I also have to go back to work now that I am back. School starts next week and I have meetings and curriculum to write this week. So sad :-( I would much rather be home doing pottery. Especially since we have 7 shows coming up. I will post a complete list tonight. I also am going to be taking a few classes at the community collage to extent my teaching licence. Needless to say I have a lot going on this year. Always a juggling match.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Napking Rings are Beautiful

Napkin rings are so beautiful it is too bad that american families do not eat together and if they do they do not set formal tables. Including me. I eat with my husband when we are both home, but we eat in front of the tv. We do not set a formal table unless we are being romantic. We do cook for each other. I feel we (USA) have lost our glamour in our own homes. My friend comes over almost every Thursday, do I clean my house spotless? No. Suddenly it is okay for people to see the real us. To see how we live and that isn't always clean. Well forget it! I miss my napkin rings. I miss my cute placemats. I am clearing the junk off the table and moving it back to a place of power so that we will eat together with our cloth napkins and beautiful polish pottery and maybe even a centerpiece.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My First Etsy Mud Team Challenge Entry

I just completed and submitted my first Esty Mud Team Challenge Entry! The challenge was to create a serving piece. Pretty easy right? Well.. I found it very hard. I do not throw and I really wanted to have a bowl. My first idea was to take an old bowl and lay clay over it and let it set up. Then I would clean it up and decorate it. What a disaster! The bowl was uneven and very wrinkled. When I tried to fit it the bowl became worse and worse till finally in a fit of furry I ..... threw it across the room. Oops.

After a husband imposed time out my next idea was better. I used an old pot for the form. I covered it in thin plastic so clay wouldn't stick to the old pot. Then I rolled out a slab and used a cookie cutter to cut out round shaped. I layered the circles until I had covered the entire pot. Using my hands I pressed down on all sides and "squished" the clay together into one attached form. Four little legs were added. When it was tough enough to flip over I was delighted. The weird pattern of layered circles and the scalloped top hid the unevenness and wrinkles! So I decorated it and woala! Yeah!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quickbooks was created by the Devil

So I bought Quickbooks to help my husband with his business. Right now I do all of our finances because I am better at that stuff than him, mostly because it does not interest him. Anyways. I went to the library and borrowed a manual and started reading last night. I understand maybe 5% of what it is asking. For anyone who thinks accounting would be an easy job you are sooo crazy. There are all these excessively hard terms for no particular reason. Like inventory part, non inventory part, and inventory assembly. The first being if you buy and then resell items(grocery stores), the second if you buy and use items but don't really track how much you have because you buy it for specific jobs(remodeling), and the third if you buy parts to assemble into a whole(gift baskets). But pottery doesn't seem to fit into any of those because you don't buy and resell pottery unless you are like a paint a pottery joint, we do buys stuff for jobs, but mostly we use what we already have on hand, and we do buys parts and assemble them, sort of, but not really. So I had to just choose something. Then I realized I would have to take like a full fledged inventory. Yeah, which means I have to come up with a whole naming skeme and try to keep it simple so I do not have like a billion different items for sale. That was as far as I got in the book. I was daunted. I admit it. Maybe I'll try inventory tomarrow.... Its just that our inventory changes so often. hmmm....Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More on Coasters

Coasters take a long time to make. Let me outline the steps. Get press out. Find appropriate amount of spacers and set up press. Cut clay. Flatten clay with your hands. Put clay on press. Press clay. Smooth out clay on one side in three directions. Use drywall board and news paper to cover clay. Holding board on other side of clay flip boards and clay over. In this way the clay is never bent and you can now see the other side. Smooth the other side of clay in three directions. Cover clay with plastic. Using box lid cutter make as many coasters as possible between 2 and 5. Score around coasters. Remove extra clay around coasters. Smooth out the top of coasters with your finger from the plastic. Press whatever into coasters. Put whole board somewhere to dry. Take removed clay and kneed it to remove air bubbles. Start over and repeat until you have 160 coasters. Then fire them all. Then hand paint them in what ever way you want. We are painting in green, then wiping the excess off so that the cracks are green but the overall piece is brown. Yeah! Now run out and make your own.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Too much time off.

Hello!!! I have been gone for too long. Things have been busy. I am currently working on a set of 100 coasters for a wedding in Ausgust. They are 4 inch square pressed with leaves then glazed in green. Let me just tell you it is not easy to find a coaster cutter. It has to be about 4inches and one quarter because clay shrinks when it is fired. Since we wanted 4 inch square coasters we had to find a square that was slightly bigger, no small feat. My husband and I went on a shopping expedition and what we found was a lid off of a square box that was the right size. No cookie cutters at all as far as the eye can see. We have been using the lid and of coarse it is not going to make it through all 100. So then we looked on the internet at a lot of pottery shops and they did not have any coaster cutters either! I was shocked. I did not know it would be this hard. If any one knows where they could find a tile or coaster cutter that would produce a 4 inch square tile when done firing I would really like to know where!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

In the Garage

The garage was hot and smelly, but I prevailed in making two very cute puzzles. One is a gift so I will not talk about it, the other is up on my etsy site: www.sagerocky.etsy.com. I thought it turned out great. It was cut from a piece of hard wood using a scroll saw and is in the shape of an owl. I found it hard to cut the wood; the blade would get stuck and heat up and singe the wood so I had to force it through. Also since the blade kept getting stuck the wood rattled something fierce. I would love some advice on this problem. I will tell you what worked out great, clear tape! I read in this wood working magazine that putting clear tape on the back cuts down on the amount of mess you get on the backside of the wood from the saw. It wasn't perfect, but it made a huge difference. Happy hand made day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Vacation is over

Vacation is over, school is over, and I am home for the summer. No excuses! At least that is what I keep telling myself. No excuses - go to the shop and BE CREATIVE! Yeah right. I have taken to going through the encyclopedia and making anything that sparks an interest. So I have made a paddlefish, a pelican, a pecock, a pirhana, and I was thinking of a porcupine. :-) So this is what creativity looks like.
I am only to pi in the dictionary; what could be hiding just on the next page? Puffer fish, porpoise, puma....oh my. Respond back and tell me what comes to you as an interesting animal after Pi in the encyclopedia.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Promotions

So on top of everything else creatively that I am doing, now I have to try and promote myself too! I spend several hours today with 6-10 internet windows open trying to figure out how you promote your shop. It is not easy. I started out with a post in the buisness forum of Etsy, which was very helpful. From there I looked at other people's blogs; specifically I looked at their links to investigate their promotional methods. I found some webrings to join, I learned about Etsy mini and I looked at their advertising. You should notice a few new things around the frindges of this site :-) Do not worry I also did some artwork yesterday. I made two new turtle minitures and a bunny rabbitt. I figured out a new way to attach the limbs on my minitures that is so much easier and faster to clean up then my old method. I fired a bunch of stuff, which can be seen on my etsy sight, but overall I was not very pleased. Things turned out a lot darker than I had expected and some underglazes disappeared all together. I chalked it all up to a learning experience and I will know not to use those glazes later.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Today in the shop

Okay so summer is almost beginning for me. School will be over in three days and I can get to work on some serious shop time. Today I warmed up in my pottery area in the basement. But, I was side tracked by my husband who wanted me to write names on the bottom of 16 mugs (because his handwriting is illegible) and then wax resist them. I did it and did not complain, but I did give him a look he understood. :-) After that I was free to play around. I made several little things, a fish, a turtle, a bunny, and sea turtle. Then I cleaned up some leaves for a bisque fire. I was so tired afterwards. It doesn't sound like much, but it takes a long time to make things. Some people forget that. They think it looks simple so it must have been quick. Oh, they are sooo wrong. It takes a lot of work to make things look so simple and easy.

Sagerocky

Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Machine

Today I recieve our new slabroller. It was not easy to put together :-(, but it is awesome! I pressed out a really thin piece of clay and then used cookie cutters to make maple and oak leaves. I am going to make a wood wall rack to hang them on after I glaze them. I think the whole project will look awesome when I am done. We bought the slabroller because we were hired to make 180 coasters for a wedding as favors. They are going to have a leaf pattern pressed into them and the whole project will be a million times easier and more efficient with a slab roller. Happy crafting!
Sagerocky

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First Sale

I have sold things in the past that my husband made and I decorated. BUT today I sold something on Etsy that was entirely mine. I am soooooo excited. What a great feeling. It was just a little thing, but it was something and it makes me feel so accomplished. In other news: yesterday was painting day. I have a bunch of fish ready to go into the kiln and also I have the pieces to a wind chime I am making with butterflies, lady bugs, and caterpillers all ready to go in. Painting takes so much time. You really have to save up a bunch of pieces and do them all together because you need three coats of any glaze. I paint one color at a time that way the brushes do not have to get cleaned like every single color on every single piece. I was also making a glaze color test piece because I do not have one. It is a piece of pottery with all the underglazes sampled and labeled on it so that you can see what they look like fired. Up till now I have been guessing as to what they will look like. When that is done I will be one step closer to a completed work shop especially since I am now a Selling clay carver.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tired

I worked a little last night on a cute little fish, but I was tired and decided to give it a rest. I would carve little things like that fish from last night no matter what, but now that I am trying to do the etsy thing I am finding it a chore. I am hoping when school ends in just two weeks that I will be much more motivated because I'll only have one job (ha, job) Then I think about how school will come back in August and then I'll be trying to do two things at once again. For those of you out there who try to do two jobs, like real jobs not like my hobby etsy thing, how do you juggle what you are doing? Do you have any suggestions for staying motivated despite being mentally tired from your "day" job?

Early night thoughts
Sagerocky

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Life gets in the way

I have been working on this hat since Sunday because LIFE has prevented me from working on it. Have you ever had a project you kept thinking about doing and every time you go to do it life gets in the way? You are out of laundry detergent and have to go to the store, you have a million papers to grade that have to be done by tomarrow, or you couldn't get out of work early and tonight is gym night? I have had this hat on my mind everyday - thinking and hoping that I would get to work on it. Mentally creating it in my head. I am so glad I got it out of my head and into real life. I think it turned out pretty well. What do you think?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Beading

Let me just tell you, doing anything with your fingers after a day of sewing, especially hand sewing, is a challenge. My fingers are pricked and sore! I perservered however :-) Today I created a very silly picture stand. I saw this beaded flower in a book and decided to give it a try. The directions were horrible so I ended up just winging it. The picture in the book was way better, but I did my best. Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to make it better.

Sagerocky

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Embroidery

Waking up this morning I decided I HAD to do some embroidery. However, I only really know one stitch. :-) But since I HAD to do some, it HAD to be in that one stitch. I put a bee on the lavender sun dress, because lets face it bees are adorable. Plus my friend leslie http://www.wrightmacydesigns.com/ loves bees and I knew that she would love seeing me incorporate them in any way. Then a burgundy bag/purse was visualized and so needed to be created and what goes better with burgundy? Grapes. You might ask why and the reason is: wine is burgundy, wine is made from grapes. Enough said. All of this was very hard to accomplish because I am feeling so sick today. That led me to a nap and watching the movie Transformers, but I did sew a yellow flower onto some yummy royal purple cotton velvet while I watched so not totally unproductive. What do you think of my one embroidery stitch?

Sagerocky

Friday, May 9, 2008

making a dress

I finally found the energy to finish setting up the basement and start sewing only to find out, after arriving home from work, that my husband, who has friday's off, has used the day to clean his side of the basement and put all things that haven't found a home yet right on top of the table I was setting up to be my sewing table. So needless to say the basement did not get set up tonight. There was sewing though. On the coffee table and couch dropping things constantly on the floor there was sewing. I made a cute little dress for a young child. I like it, but I do not know if anyone else will. I finished putting it all together but I have to decorate it now. When it is finished I'll post a picture so you can all see it.

Exhausted
Marie

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reorganizing

I was driving home today thinking about my workshop in the basement. I have a long high bench for my wood and clay carving and shaping with a stool to sit at and a cute sponge bob lamp. However, today I was fixated on sewing. My dress form is down there, all my fabric, and my notions, but not my sewing machine because there is no where to put it because the bench is too tall to work the pedal. I decided I should bring a table in from the garage and move a bunch of stuff, throw some stuff away and make room to add a sewing table. Then half way through setting up I was so tired, because I am fighting a cold, that I had to stop and go lay down. Isn't funny how you manage to build up all kinds of motivation to do stuff and when you get started it all pitters out.

Ha
Sagerocky

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Experience with Etsy

I really like how easy Etsy is to use and I have figured out so much about using it properly. For instance, I did not know that you need to refresh constantly to get seen. I did not know how to create good banners and I am still trying to figure out what I need to say about shipping and return policies. I love the different artists and what they have to offer. I have found so many creative people. They should be very proud of themselves their work is beautiful. I have also seen some things that are not really hand made and that makes me unhappy. They should take their things to Ebay and leave Etsy for those artists who create their own things. I only hope that one day I can measure up to some of the true artists on the site.

:-)
Sagerocky

May 7th

Hello Everyone who sees my blog! This is my first day blogging. Today I hope to be back up here posting more stuff, but I have to work and as a teacher the last three weeks of school are the longest/hardest/most exhausting three weeks of one's life :-) Cross your fingers I get this blog set up today.

Cheers
Sagerocky

Fantatic Links To Great Sites

  • www.wrightmacydesigns.com