Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Dangers of Manganese...

Good evening to all!  I was talking to a potter friend of mine a few days ago about manganese.  I have a manganese wash I was considering using on a few pieces.  She warned me to be very cognizant of the safety precautions I needed to take while handling it...At first I thought she might be over reacting slightly...but then I got my edition of the Clay Times magazine..and guess what it had in it?!?  A 2 page article on the danger and new OSHA standards regarding manganese!

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Goals - 2 down, 12 to go!!

At the beginning of the year, I created a page for my 2014 Business Goals, to not only help me keep track of the goals I set for myself; but also so ya'll can help keep me accountable.  One way to almost always achieve your goals, regardless of what they are, is to share it with loved ones, friends, and/or the public.  Once you've put anything out there for the public to see...there is an innate pressure to uphold your end of the bargain.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ceramic Sunday - II

 Good morning!  And what a blustery morning it is here in northern Maine!  I missed last week's Sunday Ceramics...(woops!)... and not a whole lot to say today, except it's my baby boy's birthday!!!  Can't believe he's 12 already.  Ya know when your parents tell you when you're growing up that time flies, but you don't believe them because when you're a kid...it just
D    R    A    G    S   on?  Well, I believe ya now, Mom!  LOL  Going to be a family day for my punkerhead's birthday.  He was all excited that I made him a smoothie...I used to make them all the time, but haven't made them in a while...and boy was Frozen and probably the new Percy Jackson movie...he does love that series.
he happy!  Going to spend the day watching

So, I'm sorry that today, though it is Ceramic Sunday, this post is not ceramic related...BUT... my baby's day of birth is a tad better than mud...barely. ;)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gathering of information...

Starting back in January, I began posting that I was working on writing a book.  And not just any book, but one on how to best set up your own creative haven.  I've had lots of interest from folks who think it's a great idea and want to help, and then I send them the questionnaire.  Some people aren't able to open it up, some get it filled out but then can't get it back to me...SO...I thought to my self.."self...why not create an online form for folks to fill out..."

Shoutout to Logan Johnson - a muddy buddy!

Logan is a fellow ceramic artist like myself.  However, it is her second career path.  Prior to playing with clay, she played with food as a chef and cake designer!  I've seen pictures of one of her cakes that looked too good to eat...and it was, because she took her culinary skills to the studio and made a ceramic wedding cake!!!
Name: Logan Johnson

Business Name(s):  Audeo Studios

Date Business Was Opened/Created:  1995

Types of Items/Services Offered:  Ceramic Art, Pottery, Custom tile glazing & art work, Classes in hand building, pottery, and glaze making.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shout out to Tiffany Parent of Finding the Puddles

Join me in saying hello to Tiffany, a fellow of the Etsy Maine Team!  We are quite the busy group, aren't we??  :)  Tiffany also runs the Maine Made backed storefront of Finding the Puddles.  If you're in the area of Cornish, Maine, you should DEFINITELY check it out!  (Not to mention, I have some cute little goodies in her shop!  hehe)
Name:  Tiffany Parent 

Business Name(s):  Finding the Puddles

Date Business Was Opened/Created:  Oct 2012

Types of Items/Services Offered:  We make and sell needle felted creations from wool, wet felted items, and wooden buttons.  Although we are always coming up with new creations.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Making Paper Clay

There are several ceramic artists who I love to admire from afar.  One of my FAVORITES, is Merry ArtToones. She is an AMAZING sculptor!  We have a virtual/Facebook relationship and she has always been willing to help me out and answer any questions I have.  Well, I found out that she uses paper clay for her sculptures. Turns out paper clay is just as strong as your typical clay, but weighs less. With sculptures, and even wall murals/hangings, weight can play a very important part in the finished product.  
DISCLOSURE --  Before we get started, I thought it might be worth noting that paper clay...and paper mache...are two VERY different animals...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dreams, Goals, Ambitions

Hubby and I just got done having a conversation that is rather thought provoking. He asked me what my goals were with my business. Well to make money of course was the first joking remark. But in all actuality...I want to completely move over to sculpting. Still make some of the small odds and ends when I need a break..and they make GREAT kiln fillers so there's no wasted space...but I want to sculpt. I want my sculptures to have meaning and for those messages to be embraced by the world. I want the message that my sculptures emote to be known throughout the world. Quite a lofty goal, no? But that's me...dream big! I know it won't happen over night. And it may not happen in the next 10 years. But by golly...It WILL happen. :)

Horse Treasure Box - Part I

My nieces birthday was last week... she turned 9.  We had a lovely Skype session and I got tell her Happy Birthday from auntie in person.  My sister and I have been conspiring on an ultra special gift for her....thus the horse treasure box was born.  It will be late...but we put the notion in her head that something AMAZING was being made JUST. FOR. HER.  She was pretty excited, and doesn't know I'm the one making it.  As a result...I started playing around with carving relief tiles that are later assembled into a box...O.M.G.  I LOVE it!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sunday Ceramics 1 - The Blogging Clay Community

Thanks to a clay acquaintance on Facebook, I stumbled across this awesome blog by Frogpondsrock, called Ceramic Sunday.  It's a way for us solitary potters and ceramic artists/sculptors to unite and get some of our "socializing" in.  It's a way to build a community that knows no boundaries. I decided to take the plunge and join in on the fun!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cleaning Mr. Peter Pugger - Part II

Good evening (It's Tuesday evening, as I sit here typing this up.. :) )! Hope ya'll are doing well!  So guess what....I DID IT!!!  I am soo proud of myself!  I completely disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled my pugmill!  Those that have been following me for a bit know what an AWESOME accomplishment this is, especially considering all the health hurdles I traverse daily.  :)  But *pat on the back* for me!  :-D  I didn't get it spotless, like Scott and Angie did when they cleaned their Shimpo Pugmill.  BUT, I got it clean enough for my purposes.  I want to make my own batch of paper clay (which, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a tutorial on how to make your own paperclay, that actually provides accurate ratios of paper pulp to clay?!?)!  Good thing I plan on writing about THAT too..hehe

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cleaning My Pugmill - Part I

Have you ever cleaned a pugmill?  I hadn't..until tonight.   I can now see why potters will pick a single type/color of clay to work with.  I have a dark brown clay, a speckled buff clay, and a white clay that I work with.  What can I say, I liked diversity...  But I'm finding out it can be a pain in the ass when it comes to wanting to reclaim my scrap clay using my Peter Pugger Pugmill.  Currently, I have a mixture of clay scraps that I've been reclaiming in my pugmill. It's roughly 50/50 of the white stoneware and the buff speckled clay.  BUT...I want to start working more on my sculptures, and through research, have found that paperclay might work best for me.  So I'm going to make some (another blog post to come, detailing that process...so stay tuned!).  But in order to get ready to make said paperclay...I need to clean out the pugmill so I can get all the colored clay out of the hopper, so I can mix some white paperclay.  :)