Unusual Tape

You may know that I recently have gotten really into using custom masking tape stickers to create texture on my mugs and planters. This mug is a little different. The tape I’m using to create the skinny lines of bare clay actually comes exactly this super thin width!

The moment I found this super thin tape at the store I knew I had to have it! I don’t think I even had any idea what I would do with it when I bought it at Daiso.

Weeks past and one day at the studio I was so over cutting out custom sized masking tape stickers. I wanted to stop for the day, but I still have a handful of mugs to sticker. That’s when I remembered this tape. It was so super easy to quickly add vertical lines of varying lengths around my remaining mugs.

I really love how this particular masking tape resist design turned out … which is nice since it’s so easy to do in comparison to other patterns!

Oh, and just what is this super skinny tape supposed to be used for when its not decorating mugs? It creates dividing lines on dry erase boards, pinstriping cars and other paint effects. Check out my other taped work available in my Etsy shop!

Bark vs Snow

It can be so hard to know where an artist gets the inspiration for their work – such is the case with this lovely little bark mug.

I’ve been making fake tree bark, or faux bois if you want to be fancy, in clay for what seems like forever. An artist I met some years back, David Gilbaugh showed me the basics of creating bark and even gifted me a special tool he had made to help create realistic bark.

I’ve never achieved David’s level of expertise – he’s a true master and can accurately re-create the bark of any specific tree with ease. Definitely check out his work if you get a chance as it is stunning.

I can, however, create basic generic tree bark easily. It makes a great parlor trick to show my students and I’ve been pulling it out of my back pocket for years as a fun impromptu demo. In fact this mug was created during one such demo a few weeks back.

I was showing some studio folks not in my class the mug pre-glaze and one of them offered up that I must be getting inspired by all of the tire tracks in the snow now that I live in the mountains.

Sadly, no. Snow has yet to inspire anything, but hard physical labor in me this winter season. Have I mentioned how much I *enjoy* shoveling?

I did, however, love getting the reminder that even in what appears an easily interpreted piece of art can take on so many variations when viewed through another lens.

Check out this mug and more non-snow inspired work in my Etsy shop!

Inked

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I have a love/hate relationship with shino glazes. Shinos are a type of glaze that is heavily dependant on the kiln environment, so you never quite know how they will turn out. Occasionally, you’ll get a result like I did with this mug. Instead of all of the wonderful burnt oranges and grey carbon trapping swirling around, I got white. Blah!

Now, I have nothing against the color white per se, it just isn’t my favorite glazing option. Fortunately, while I didn’t get the results I was hoping for I did get to do the next best thing to this mug – I inked it!

Shinos, as a glaze, don’t always fit the clay body as perfectly as other glazes and when it fires without the heavy reduction of oxygen in the kiln environment it tends to go white, but also tends to crackle. If you look closely at the picture you’ll see minute cracks in the glaze surface. Now, since I know that this can happen, I use a non-shino glaze as a liner on the inside of the mug to prevent any food safety issues from bacteria getting in the cracks.

These little cracks go all the way to the surface of the clay body and using india ink you can darken the cracks of the lines. It seems weird and it is, but it is also super cool. If you notice, I only inked some of the sections on this mug to help create a little bit more contrast and interest in the surface.

Since I’m essentially staining the clay body the ink won’t wash away (I’ve already scrubbed this mug to remove any residual ink) making it completely safe to use.

For those of you interested in learning more about shinos, as a glaze category, I’ve linked here to a great article on the origins and principles of shino glazes – they truly are a breed apart.

Check out this mug and more in my online shop!

Masking Tape Madness

Every once in awhile new inspiration comes along and you have no choice, not really anyways, to follow it. That is exactly the case for me recently. I ran across an article in Ceramics Art Daily by Lindsay Rogers about creating your own glaze resist “stickers” out of masking tape and parchment paper a few months back.

I search for tips and tricks like this all the time to incorporate into projects for my students and that’s how I viewed this idea originally.

I purchased the supplies, taught the class and it was so much fun! I started putting custom cut stickers on all of my demo pots as well as another teacher’s demo pots. I just might have been a little teensy bit obsessed!

Fast forward to the next time I sit down to make some mugs. I was feeling rather lazy that day and didn’t want to pull out all of my texture makers, so I made a bunch of texture-free mugs thinking I’ll use some masking tape stickers on them.

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It was even better that I could have thought! When I glaze work that I created as a demo for my class I tend to get really wild with the combinations. It’s usually a good break from my super detailed brushed glazing method I use for my personal work. Creating custom stickers for my own mugs was like a little bit of both – exact and thoughtful as well as wild since I wasn’t sure if my patterns would turn out.

I really, really love the finished look. Its almost reminiscent of my planters and vases I’ve created that have both glazed and unglazed sections. I can’t wait to try other patterns as well as a two-toned glazed effect using the stickers.

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Look for more of these mugs to come as well as new planters in this glazing style as well!! The first batch of mugs is currently available in my Etsy shop here.

New Works Up at N7 Creamery

I’m excited to share that a selection of my newest plates are up and available at N7 Creamery in Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga.  I’ve been working on this latest selection of plates over the past month and was so excited to see all of my hard work pay off in a great display!

My work is displayed on an old barn door in the front seating area just to the left as you walk in. I have a few more plates in the back, so check back for any additions as plates sell!

N7 Two N7 One