Brand New Toy

       

   

I’m always trying to keeps things simple in the studio (and in life) but here’s an instance where my efforts were kind of backfiring. For the past 5 years or so, I’ve insisted on rolling out all my slabs the old fashioned way – with rolling pins. The problem is, this is difficult to do without a lot of patience (which I don’t always have). I knew if I wanted to enjoy making vessels it was time to invest in a slab roller. I don’t have much space in the studio and they typically require 8 to 10 square feet. I’d seen table top versions but they seemed kind of cheap. Then, I came across one on Etsy that looked pretty good so I bought it. https://www.etsy.com/listing/449252632

So far, I’m very impressed. It was designed by the husband of a potter who was dealing with some of the same challenges. It’s well constructed of steel and wood (no plastics) and, although it required some assembly, the instructions were clear. The only flaw with this roller is that there should be measurements near the adjustment knobs. I printed out rulers and taped them on.

I couldn’t wait to try it out so I decided to make some mugs based on the “darted cups” by ceramic artist Liz Zlot Summerfield who posted a great demonstration video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w63bZyZ9svo

Everything went smoothly at first. I build the cups, painted the sides with underglaze, and carved my coffee beans. Then I made the mistake of attaching the handles at two points. My clay body is not very forgiving and all the handles broke. I managed to scrape them off but it’s kind of odd having tea cups decorated with coffee beans. I did make one cup with a different handle design that works as a mug but I’m still exploring other ideas. It’s so nice to be making vessels again 🙂

 

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all the dog and cat lovers I met at this years’ PNA Winterfest. I’m truly grateful to those of you who trusted me to make a tile for you. I hope you, or the recipient of the tile, will enjoy them for a very long time.

Monkey Business

      

            

When people think of handmade tiles, they often assume the tiles will be used as accents in a field of conventional tiles. When I received a request to do a fireplace surround composed of 85 of my monkey tiles, I was surprised but very excited to take on the challenge. In order to complete the project in a timely fashion, I had to make several monkey molds and press tiles throughout the day for several days straight to allow for adequate drying time. It was a very different way of working for me but I’m so pleased with the results. I especially love the wallpaper that was selected to surround the fireplace. It compliments the tiles beautifully (or maybe the tiles compliment the wallpaper).

PNA Winter Festival

    

I’m so excited to be be displaying my latest “Scratching Dog” portrait tiles at this year’s PNA Winter Festival on December 1st and 2nd. There will be over 120 artists and craftspeople selling their work, as well as, live music and food. I’ve never been to this event but I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun. Please check it out if you’re in the area!

https://www.phinneycenter.org/calendar/winter-festival-18/

Artisan Tile NW Festival 2018

     

      

        

   

The 2018 ATNW Tile and Art Festival was this past weekend. I was truly honored to display my work with such a talented and diverse group of tile artists from all over the Pacific Northwest.  It was great seeing many familiar faces at their tables and meeting a lot of new members. It was also great seeing some the festival visitors that I met last year. This was the first year that I volunteered to help with the event and I’d like to thank Barbara Clark and Steve Moon for the many hours they put into organizing it.

Finishing Touches

 

   

   

Just a week and a half until this year’s Artisan Tile NW Tile and Art Festival http://artisantilenw.org/annual-festival at the Mount Baker Community Club in Seattle on November 3rd and 4th. There will be about 25 tile artists represented at the festival, including several first-time participants.

For this year’s show, I’ve finished three panels showcasing my newest designs, as well as, loose tiles of a few of my tessellating animals. These tiles are finished in a variety of colors and will be available for purchase. Hope you can make it to the show!

Keep Calm and Glaze

I’ve been so busy with the start of the school year and making tiles that I haven’t posted for awhile. There’s a lot going on though. This year I’ll be partipcipating in the Artisan Tile NW Festival on November 3rd and 4th and the Phinney Neighborhood Association Winter Festival on December 1st and 2nd. October will be devoted to finishing 5 or 6 new panels, as well as, some extra tiles to sell at these events. Currently, my studio is a bit chaotic. I have greenware drying, bisqued tiles to underglaze, underglazed tiles to glaze, and finished tiles ready to install onto boards. The key to maintaining my sanity will be to stay organized (and keep calm).