Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More changes...

If you're not open to change, if you're not willing to expand then you stagnate. As a rule. I would imagine there are exceptions.

This blog is going away. I've started a new one titled "Janet McGregor Dunn". The new address is http://janetmcgregordunn.blogspot.com. I slid all the blogs from here onto the new one so nothing will get lost...and I'll leave this one out here for a while.

My website is now http://www.janetmcgregordunn.com. The old Hummingbird-Hollow site will be there until everyone in the world knows about the new site. In other words, it's gonna be there for a long time!

I'm going to work hard to blog more often, too.

Nuff for tonight. Bedtime.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What a month it has been!

I've had some crazy times in my life but lately it's been ultra-roller-coaster-crazy! We threw a surprise birthday party for my Dad to kick off things. Great time, best Dad in the world and for the first time ever, we actually pulled something over on him. He swears he didn't have a clue about the birthday.

Then I got what I think was food poisoning from the food at the restaurant where we held the party. Days of misery, lost five pounds.

I had some shows coming up and really needed to find time for the studio but couldn't get muster the energy to leave the house for a few days after the worst was over.

Of course, everything got behinder and behinder.

My house suffered (more than it normally does). Somewhere in the catch-up-with-everything phase I put out hummingbird feeders, picked up some grape vines to plant and did some of my non-studio work. Volunteer at a local thrift store, serve on a Board, managed to handle those much-loved "chores" also. Websites needed work, Comcast threw in some curves (oh, I want to ditch them soooo bad), we discovered an armadillo was burrowing down by the foundation of our home, the air conditioner went out, the termite folks came and luckily didn't find any problems aside from some work we needed to do to prevent problems, we bought a truck to haul things around...

Then had a visit with my cousin and went to eat at a local Mexican restaurant near his home. Next day, food poisoning or whatever. Milder than the last bout but still dropped another three pounds.

I'd continue down the list of craziness, but this is a blog about POTTERY, not my nutty life.
FINALLY I managed to squeeze in studio time! Yikes, shows coming, needed some new pieces to put out. I'm experimenting with adding glass in various ways. A friend who does stunning stained glass gave me some of her cast-off glass. I picked up some clearance glass from a craft store that's usually used in mosaics. Very bright and heavy as it's made to be cemented into those tiles you walk on. I also have some glass chips and tubes that are meant to be used in "regular" fusing.

I was told by the glass instructor to fire their glass to 1550 degrees, which is about cone 012, so I had to fire my pieces twice --- once to normal cone then a second low, low fire to 012.

I had three non-glass pieces that I was able to carry to the show on Saturday. The rest that I re-fired with glass weren't cool enough to pull out yet.

One experiment is with three boxes I made and loved but the glaze bubbled and popped on the inside bottoms, ruining them for all practical purposes. The clay did not like the one glaze that I used in that area I guess.

I refired to see if I could get them to lay down but  they just decided to hang in there. I learned that I need to fire that particular glaze at a higher cone to get rid of those impurities or gases or maybe just avoid that type glaze. Or the clay. It's a bit temperamental.

In this third attempt to fix the pieces I added a multitude of glass chips that complemented the glazes I'd used. I managed to do a cheat quick kiln open and ran my hand over the bottom of one of the boxes -- voila, smooth! It'll be my luck that the sneak peek I took letting in that cooler air will cause them the glaze to ping and crackle!!! No, that is NOT going to have happened.

Later today, I head out to the kiln and I'll see the results of all my experiments.

Top two photos: 
Back to the Beach. Five glazes with added glass. Fired the glass in with normal glaze firing.
Whisper Will. One beautiful glaze that reacted perfectly with the textures and clay. I need to take a photo of the inside as it has stars laying on the bottom and against the side. I love making the insides of my art as interesting as the outside.