Something Old or Something New?

Back when I first started producing planters in quantity, I had developed a series of texture patterns. Each pattern used my handmade stamps and/or found objects to create a design.

There was tire tracks that used a small wheel I had found. And sunflower that used my stamps and rollers. And … so many that I eventually built up a list of twenty or so patterns I rotated through. I made many planters in this style until I switched firing temperatures a couple of years ago. Once I switched, my textured planters became fewer and glaze designs like subway lines and seedlings stole the spotlight.

My original designs all featured a chrome oxide wash to add depth to the bare clay texture and then glaze in only a few select parts of the pattern. The oxide wash doesn’t have the same look and feel at the temperature I fire at now so I’ve largely either changed to all over glaze for texture pieces or simply stopped creating them.

Until this most recent round in the studio when I was playing around with a large nut/bolt I found sometime ago.

As I was stamping the clay, I realized that I might not need a glaze design in the negative space. That maybe I just needed to either leave the texture or the background free of glaze. Just like I used to do (although without the oxide wash) … wide sections of bare clay making the texture pattern pop.

I think it worked out, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Check out this piece and others in my online shop.

Personalize Your Clay Cutters

You can never have enough clay tools IYKYK.

Today I’m going to share one of the ways I make personalized cookie cutters for clay jewelry, but really for any time you need a unique, small cutter.

Tools Mentioned

  • Safety Glasses – find ‘em here
  • Tin Snips – feels just like using a power tool here
  • Masking a Tape

All tools noted above are my own personal preferences for my studio practice. Purchases made using the links don’t add any cost to you, but do provide a small amount to me in support of my blog and videos.

Floating Ceramic Pendants

I’m having so much fun sharing jewelry tips with everyone! Today I’m sharing an easy way to make your pendants so you need fewer jewelry findings after firing – always a good thing in my book!

Tools Mentioned

  • Wooden Skewer – definitely check the dollar store or here
  • Pin Tool – an example here
  • Smoothing Rib – an example here
  • Even Dough Bands – an example here

Be sure to check out the other videos mentioned: ceramic beads and rolling out a slab!

All tools noted above are my own personal preferences for my studio practice. Purchases made using the links don’t add any cost to you, but do provide a small amount to me in support of my blog and videos.

Olive Float

I “grew up” in the clay world firing my work at cone 10 reduction. For those unfamiliar with clay firing terms, the cone number is a kind of shorthand for the ultimate firing temperature. Cone 10 is approximately 2300 to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit. Reduction means that the work was fired in a kiln environment where the amount of oxygen was limited or reduced. The combination on firing temperature and kiln environment impacts what clays and glazes that can be used as well as effects achieved, but I digress.

When you are first learning a skill or process you don’t know what you don’t know. It wasn’t until many years into my clay journey that I first came across other firing temperatures. I had just never created work at a studio where different firing options were available. In many ways it was eye opening, but so different that initially I only did a handful of experiments at other temperatures.

It wasn’t until a few years ago when I switched solely to my home studio and kiln that I really embraced a different firing temperature. I now fire exclusively at cone 5/6 (approximately 2100 degrees Fahrenheit). Brighter colors and a broader range of colors are some of the pros at this temperature.

Each year I have been expanding my glaze palette from five options my first year or two to about 15 plus at last count.

One of my newest experiments is Olive Float (pictured above). Let me know what you think.

See this planter and more available online.

Beads, Beads and More Beads!

Making jewelry with my own handmade ceramic components is a fun side project of mine. Occasionally I get the urge to display them to the world, but mostly I do it for me.

I thought I’d share some of my love of ceramic jewelry making with you in a series of fun tutorials! First up, let’s make beads!

I absolutely love making beads. Surprised? You’re probably not the only one since I make them, fire them and then … they just sit in a box or bowl. I have quite the collection of them along with other ceramic jewelry components.

Tools Mentioned!

  • Wooden Skewer – check the dollar store or online here
  • Wooden Modeling Tool – example here

All tools noted above are my own personal preferences for my studio practice. Purchases made using the links don’t add any cost to you, but do provide a small amount to me in support of my blog and videos.