Saturday, February 8, 2014

Friday, August 16, 2013

pitcher 29


This is pitcher 29.  Sadly, it cracked, so I think I'll hang it outside and fill it with succulents.  It's a simple stoneware form, pretty straight sided, and I cut down the base to form the spout.  I was moseying around on pinterest one day and saw a beautiful self portrait by Frida Kahlo that was full of flowers- I borrowed these flowers from her.  The sugar bowl is one I made to fit this vintage pressed glass top I found in a thrift store box when my sister in law was moving.  I liked its shape and wondered if I could make a bottom to fit it.  It *almost* fits perfectly.  I might go after the base with a sanding tool to make it more secure.  Our sugar bowl has seen better days and I'd like to keep it from breaking entirely (it is part of my wedding McCarty pottery stash).  Pitchers 30, 31, 32, and 33 are waiting for their bisque fire.


And almost every time I unload a kiln full of porcelain I consider switching to it entirely.  I LOVE the stuff.  Love love love.  I have gotten to the point where I can throw tall forms (thank you, pitcher project!) and I understand what it requires of me in terms of handbuilding (dry very very slowly), but plates are still scary.  It is less forgiving, more demanding, but, oh.  goodness.  This little teacup was a test piece that I'd applied another layer of decoration to, hated, and scraped off.  The rim bears evidence of the scraping, but I love it anyway.  So far from perfect but still lovely and useful.  And maybe better because of its scrappiness.  So that may be my 2014 goal- switching to porcelain.

I am having big issues with getting this URL to redirect to my new website, which is up and ready to go except for the URL.  I am keeping my etsy shop open and stocked with everything I have (including some special sale pieces coming soon) and will keep it open for certain things but will move others, like this blue and white line (and the speckled egg pieces that I'm going to reintroduce this fall) to the website.   This journal will also move over in its entirety (I hope).

Have a lovely weekend, friends.


Friday, August 9, 2013

afoot

This week has seen so much change- I feel almost like my world's spinning like my pottery wheel- but in a good way.  New orders, new clients, new opportunities.  I just brought home a friend's long-neglected Lockerbyie kick wheel and am setting up an outdoor studio for temperate weather.  A new client has requested somewhat rougher/rustic work than what I usually make, and I plan to make it all on the kick wheel.  There will be a learning curve, to be sure, but the work will be somewhat more playful and decidedly less pristine than what I usually aim for.  I'm excited for the opportunity to stretch my skills.

I also began working on a new comprehensive website this week- a catalog of what I make, an online store (planning to keep my etsy store open, at least for the time being), and I'll be moving this journal of my days making pots over to that space.  The url should stay the same, but I hope that the feel, as well as my vision of my work and its progress, will be clearer.  There's a learning curve there, too.

Until next week- have a lovely weekend!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

new new new

School began yesterday and I'm getting my groove back on.  Between the obsessive canning of tomato products (salsa, marinara, bbq sauce, plain tomatoes, soup) and list-making for fall business, I'm making plans.
New website
New local shop
New ideas
New styles and products


I always feel like I've got a fresh new start with the new school year.  You?

Monday, July 29, 2013

25, 26, 27, 28


Finally, four more pitchers.  I was really pleased with this batch.
25- porcelain, thrown, handbuilt spout, carved.  I really didn't know what to do with this pitcher when it came time to glaze it but wound up choosing the bucket of "mystery glaze".  This is an ever-changing bucket of glaze solids left over from my day's glazing.  I wash my brushes in a bowl of water as I'm working and at the end of the session, there is a half-inch or so of glaze sludge at the bottom of the bowl.  I mix the water and glaze up and pour it into the 2 gallon bucket, let it settle, scoop out some of the clear water (for the next round of glazing), then mix the resulting glaze with my drill attachment and dip vases, pitchers, bowls into the resulting glaze.  This time last year it was a light celadon green, but this year it is a transparent glossy pale blue.  Because I am mostly working with white, clear, and aqua glazes right now they form the base, and odd bits of cobalt wash also wind up in the bucket.  It's one piece of my sustainability practice.  I only wish it were as easy to recycle my clay!

26- also porcelain, thrown, trimmed, and cut away for the spout.  Floral mishma decoration that turned out quite well here but I'm not sure I'll use it again.  I was working with this sketch-like floral design for wedding platters but they don't work as well as I'd like somehow.  Still, this is pretty.

27- front- a shamm, short, squared off stoneware with cascading circles in cobalt mishima.  The spout is handbuilt and added when the body was leather hard.  This is one of my favorite new patterns.

28- rear- stoneware pitcher, thrown in two pieces.  I went back to my love of antique china for this one and added a scalloped border at the top and bottom, painted with cobalt wash.  I used the edge of one of my platter templates to make the scallops and will repeat this for my work for the cookbook I'm working on.

And lastly, I'm just tickled with this cake plate.  The top is a slab of faux bois clay fitted into a flat (like, abnormally flat) glass IKEA plate.  The bottom is a thrown/flared cylinder.  I bisqued the pieces separately and then glaze-glued them together.  I was afraid that the plate would slump over the base and dithered about firing them separately and using epoxy afterward.  In the end, I ran out of space in the little kiln and decided to risk firing them together.  YAY! It worked!


This is our last week of "summer".  School begins next Monday and we have lots to pack in this week.  I'm looking forward to a regular routine and work days again, and being in this space a bit more regularly.

Have a lovely week, friends.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

developing


This summer I have been working on building a body of work to serve as photo props for some friends upcoming cookbook.  I'm tickled to be included and stretching my skills to come up with a diverse but unified collection for them.  These ramekins are part of what I've made.  Working in less figurative, more abstract manner is difficult for me, but I'm pleased with these.

Also this summer I've been talking to a good friend, Brian Pera about art, work, working at home, and film.  The week N was at camp he came over for the morning while I worked in the studio.  I was nervous and reticent to participate, but I'm glad he talked me into making this short film.  I shared it last week over twitter and my personal facebook account, but neglected to post it here.  Quiet Brain: Melissa Bridgman from Evelyn Avenue on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, July 12, 2013

This week my boy has been at camp all week so I feel like I've had so much time to be in the studio- both working and cleaning.  I feel like I was really productive and have been so happy to have uninterrupted days.  Countdown to school has begun- we start again on Aug 5, so I will be spending the rest of July doing as much fun summer stuff as we can stand, and very little time in the studio.

As promised, here are my chicken tiles.  I'm planning to install them on a beam that spans the length of the run from the door to the coop.  There's a lot of red with some aqua accents- the faux bois and chicken wire impressions.   My favorite tile isn't visible in this shot- a drawing of chicken feet!

And also promised, there's a batch of honey pots in my shop right now.


Have a good weekend, friends!