Friday, April 29, 2011


Speckled tan fired at ^04, low fire
I mentioned my grand experiment in the last post. I found some old clay, made a kiln load of things, bisque fired it without bothering to look up proper temp. I low fired, ^04.

It turned out a nice pinkish color, that I very much like. It was impossible to tell from the color of the raw clay what color I'd end up with. It looked like a speckled clay and was a darker brownish color. I rather expected a dark tan.

I finally looked at the box - it doesn't say what cone range, but I did get the name, 'speckled tan'. I figured it was probably a mid-fire as the company doesn't make much in the low-fire range. Turns out I was right. It's a mid-fire clay.

I'm now debating on whether to underglaze as I'd also mentioned in the last blog post and re-fire OR go with it as is and glaze with low fire glazes. I'd be completely sealing it with glaze so the question of not hitting the correct water-tight range wouldn't be much of an issue. The pieces in question aren't going to be anything other than decorative so it shouldn't make much difference.

KPS Speckled Tan - How it is supposed to look
when fired to Cone 6
I may opt to split the load and keep some pieces for low firing, re-fire the others at cone 6. I've never double bisque fired at two different ranges before. I have double-bisqued when I needed to repair a piece (with mixed results). I have multi-glaze fired a zillion times. However, I'm wondering if it will change the color, cause the pieces to crack, or result in pieces that won't hold glaze?

I think if I re-fire at correct cone I'll be able to see the speckles. They're not visible at low fire temp.

I have a baby kiln so I guess I could pull out a couple of smaller pieces and experiment. There are a couple of small pieces that I wouldn't cry over if they were ruined. Shoot, I may just split it into a number of loads and fire them all different temps.

I'll keep you posted. I know everyone is just hanging on ever word I'm writing, the wonderment will keep you up at night. Uh huh.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Too many pies, not enough fingers...

I used to joke that I was going to have a t-shirt made that said "Whatever the question" on the front, then "the answer is NO" on the back. However, I came to realize two things. 1 - people would just re-phrase the question and 2 - if they didn't, I'd still find a way to stick one of my fingers into whatever pie they were offering up.

I'm just the kind of person that perpetually says yes to good causes, fun things, and stuff that intrigues me. Life is too big, too fun and there's always something to catch my attention.

Why am I telling you all this? It's just a long way of making excuses for not keeping up with my pottery blog.

I have been busy in the studio! I'm hoping the weather isn't so bad tonight that my studio flies to Kansas. If it's there in the morning I will be out there first thing unloading my new pottery. THEN I will be loading up another glaze load. THEN I will be glazing the stuff I pull out of the kiln tomorrow.

I'm really going to try and take some photos to share. I am experimenting with all kinds of new things. I made some boxes to hang on the wall. I made some quilted type pieces. I used a couple of new clays. Then promptly forgot to check what cone to fire the clay to when I started the kiln. I still haven't looked! It's some boxes of clay I picked up at a going-out-of-business sale a few years back and then promptly forgot it as I piled "my" clay on top of the boxes. I discovered it recently and decided to use it. It was a little stiff but worked great for the things I had in mind. I can't even begin to tell you what color the clay will be - no test fires. It's mystery clay! It is marked on the box so I can look it up... and will before glazing. If it turns out it needed a higher cone I'm going to use some underglazes on the clay and re-fire. Fun.

I've also been busy getting ready for some shows...

And, I'm involved in a new art group, Fine Arts and Crafts Entrepreneurs ( We are 'all about the business of art'. Most of us who live with messy hands due to clay, paint or similar have messy brains when it comes to the business side of our craft. I can make a piece of pottery. Balance a checkbook? Yes, I can handle that one... if I must. Figure out whether to incorporate or go the sole proprietor route? That's a bit more of a struggle. Taxes? Insurance? Big huge YUCK.

So, a group of us decided we were never going to 'make it' if we didn't knuckle down and attempt to get our business side in order. We've had an insurance agent come to speak to the group, an attorney and in upcoming months we're going to have a CPA, a printer and some folks from the county come speak. In June we're meeting at an art gallery and the owner is going to give us tips on getting accepted into a gallery. The list of things we'll be discussing and learning about is unlimited.

However, it takes time to get a group going! There are six of us right now on the Board, soon to be a few more. We have a fantastic group of artist members. We're putting on shows, too!

I'm loving getting to network and become friends with local artists.

I think I have shared enough for now??? I am sure I've whined before about how busy my schedule is on here. I hope it doesn't come across as whining as I love my life, I love jumping from one activity to the next and always having something new on the horizon.

To those in the areas affected by the horrific storms and bad weather - prayers are with you. To those who are looking at bad weather tonight - be safe.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Still playing with my website...

Anyone selling their art knows that a website is important. Especially if you're trying to break into the field. Having a bad looking or outdated website is almost as bad as not having one. Some would argue it's worse.

I do websites for others, but have gotten a bit behind in some of the latest and greatest. I don't like some of the latest and greatest but really need to get my butt in gear on some of the things that I like. I also got a bit behind in updating my own website. It's kind of like the plumber who never fixes his own plumbing, carpenter who has closet doors hanging off the hinges... I check everyone's website but my own each day!

So, in recent months I've been toying with different options. I tried Wix (thank you to everyone who gave me valuable input). I decided not to go that route. Slow loading, higher cost as compared to what I can get if I do it myself plus it's a whole new world of learning how they work.

I have a new site --- finally! I still have a lot to do. Mainly I'm behind in taking photos of my work. This is busy show season and things are selling before I can snap a good photo. I do need to have good records of what I've sold, if only so my kids, kids, kids will be able to say yes, that was done by our great-great when it turns up on Antique Roadshow. Valued at a couple of bazillion dollars, of course.

If you get a minute, go take a look and let me know what you think thus far. I have a couple of links that don't have anything on them yet,  but I'm working on it!