Pottery Bowl

Pottery Bowl
Archies' Base & Pam's Green glazes

Pottery Bowl

Pottery Bowl
with tree appliques

Johnny's Trees

Johnny's Trees
Closeup

Johnny's Trees

Johnny's Trees
Woodburning on plank

All That Jazz

All That Jazz
Fused glass

All Polished UP

All Polished UP
Canvas/nail polish

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Pottery - bison, cups, teacups, frames, jewelry

The kiln is firing - it is mostly full of my porcelain stuff, although there are a few pieces of my students' in there, too, and a few pieces of my stoneware. It will be fun to decide what colors to use on the cups and teacups, bowls and platter, frames for new weaving/felting projects and jewelry.

I haven't done jewelry for a long time, but was reminded how much I enjoy making it when I was in Bismarck for the street fair in August. I borrowed a necklace that I'd made as a student and given to my mom...and I received a lot of compliments on it that day. Since I have the setup to fire glazed beads I thought I should make some for fall/holiday shows. I'm excited to be working on small things!

Today I finished three felted landscapes that I created inside pottery frames that I made and had in my last firing. I really like how they turned out, as they reflect the rural landscape in which I live - fields of gold and green!

The tea cups have a place, opposite the handle, to drop the tea bag when you are finished brewing your tea. You don't have to carry a separate tea bag plate to your desk or easy chair - whatever is your favorite place for a tuppa tea!

A small herd of bison is in the kiln, too - fun to think about how to glaze those...none will be pink, that much I know! I especially love the metallic glazes that I have, and the satin white for the albino bison.

Two large bowls and a platter are also in the kiln - if they survive firing without cracking, I'll glaze those in creams and browns.

November 15, I've been invited to participate in a local holiday show. It will be fun, is a one day event so it doesn't consume the entire weekend - which is good, because I'm teaching about Egyptian art that weekend in my home studio!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lample II is finished - recycled art

Lample II is finished!

I love how it turned out...the barn wood, diamond willow and the recycled globe came together nicely. I finally had a use for 10 pieces of turquoise that I bought in New Mexico about 15 years ago. I bought them for a future project and really didn't think the future project would be 15 years down the road. But the turquoise matched the paint I used on the globe and fit nicely into the center of the diamonds in the willow trunks. I used glass amber nuggets in some of the diamonds, and left some of the diamonds unadorned.

I 'printed' leaves on the globe in turquoise and amber by painting on real leaves and them pressing them to the glass globe. The colors look nice individually and where they overlap , too. I bought a cut glass light bulb and that adds interest, too, when the light is turned on.

I debated on how best to finish the reclaimed wood and finally decided on Watco's Danish Oil. It seeps into the pores, so the wood is preserved, but doesn't add color or sheen, like varnish does, so the 'history' of the wood is retained. I love that!

My husband did an awesome job wiring the lample and putting the pieces together. It was fun to show the lamples at the Art and Wine Walk today - and fun to hear people's positive comments on them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Red Lamp + Table = "Lample" is Finished!

It's finished! Our first "lample" is a bright, cheery apple red with white legs and trimmings. The lamp globle is painted with red stripes, yellow and blue spirals and dots. I think it looks cute and it is definitely unique! I'll be bringing it to show at the Art & Wine Walk downtown this Saturday. My art kids really like it and I hope it inspires them to some art inventions of their own! It is especially pleasing to me because this white globe was destined for the landfill and now has a bright, new life!

I continue to work on the second lample - the one with the diamond willow branch legs and barnwood top and shelf. It was disgusting work cleaning the barnwood of bird poop, spider webs, bugs and other accumulated dirt gathering for 100 years. I used a good brush and wore gloves, otherwise I couldn't quite get myself to touch it! Yuk! But it did clean up beautifully and Eric, my husband, has pieces cut and glued for the table top and shelf. I'll coat those with satin finish polyurethane so they'll withstand use.

I need to get outside to get 3 more willow branches stripped. I'll be using tung oil to finish those - I tried it on a small branch and like how rich it looks. Hopefully, this lample will be done for Saturday, too!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Table + Lamp = 'Lample' and Art + 'Lample' = Cool!

"Lample" - a new word I invented for my lamp and table combination! The first one, with primary colors and apple red, glossy shelves, is nearly finished. It only needs some tape removed and the cord moved and I'll be posting a photo. I'm happy with how it turned out - the light looks wonderful and it is cheery and bright - a fun addition to lots of different spaces.

I've started working on the second lample, too. I painted the globe yesterday with turquoise and amber leaves and it's very pretty, especially when lit up. I'm debating whether to make this lample coffee table height or end table height, like the first one. I know I'll have to make two, so I can do one of each! That will leave me 4 donated globes to think and dream about.

This morning I got out the wood rasps and scraped on the diamond willow until I got most of the dirt off and a small start on removing the bark. I don't think I will scrape it down to the hard wood every where because I like the roughness and the color of the under bark layer. It is a nice contrast to the hard wood, which is very light in color. I'm planning to leave
the inside of the diamonds darker, too, so they show up better. Or maybe I should clean it all the way to the hard wood and apply an amber colored stain. Hmm, too many options! I'm posting a photo here of the branch/trunk I'm working on so you can see what diamond willow looks like. It is all very fun and interesting to think about - and very different from pottery so it's a wonderful change of pace.

Speaking of pottery, I really want to get another herd of buffalo in the kiln, along with some mugs, tubers (vases with tubes in the middle to hold up flower stems - the tubes have holes in the bottoms so the flowers can drink from the bowl, or whatever shape I make the pot), and soap dishes...so much to do!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weathered wood and diamond willow trees are plentiful in the Missouri River bottoms where my sister and her husband live, near Williston, North Dakota. We went there over the weekend (350 miles one way) and came home with a trunk full of wood and willow. We had a great time scavenging around their rural area - David, my brother-in-law, has lived there his entire life and so he knew great places for snooping around and finding what I wanted...and even some things that I didn't know I wanted! Did you know there is weathered wood with cool, small, round metals things nailed to it with a previous purpose of holding down tar paper and shingles? I didn't either but now I am the proud owner of several such pieces of wood! I plan to use the wood for table tops and shelves...maybe to go with my painted glass globes - or maybe not. I love thinking about the possibilities. David also knew where there is a stand of diamond willows. The trunks of the diamond willow trees have an awesome pattern of large and small diamonds up and down the length of the trunk. I'm going to remove all or most of the bark to help emphasize the patterns. Then those trunks will become table legs or posts for shelves...photos will come when I get something finished. We also brought home some trunks from a thick chokecherry bush - it bled red when it was cut! Sort of sad, but beautiful, too. I can understand how amber is formed from such gorgeous colored sap. Too bad I'm going to Minneapolis this weekend because I'm charged up and ready to go with weathered wood and willow! I'm sure the Vikings/Colt game will be fun, but I'd rather do art now that I have so much new material to work with! David and my husband and sister were great helpers, without them I'd have nothing - thanks for your enthusiastic help with my recycled art projects!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Light globe and glass paint yields visual art!

The donated glass globe painted up beautifully and came out of the oven with narry a crack! Hooray! Now I'm busy getting the wood table top and middle shelf primed - they will be painted a bright red. The legs and additional fittings will be white PVC pipe and caps - I think they will look sort of industrial, bright and cheery against the red wood shelves. My husband, Eric, is helping me with some of this project, so I am grateful for that. I can't wait for it to be done, and all lit up, hopefully in time for the Art & Wine Walk on Sept. 20. I'd really like to get another one done, too - one with copper legs and barnwood shelves (I'm going to my sister's farm this weekend and hopefully will be able to scavenge some from her!) and celadon and copper frosted on the glass globe...visual art made from recycled stuff. I'd like to do another one with driftwood - too bad there are no oceans nearby! I've been trying to list items on sell-arts.com and have had so much trouble. I'm really lousy with computer stuff and lose my patience with it quickly. There are so many other things I'd like to do with my time than sit at the computer! I started on a new herd of pottery buffalo this morning, got two mom and two babies finished so they can dry over the weekend.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Recycling glass globes - trash to art

A new work week - with one less day! I'm so excited because my pottery students start the fall session today. It seems like a long time since I've had the little ones in my studio. We are making plaques and learning about decorative patterns today. One new student is starting, along with the kids I had last year. One of my friends, Lyle, came over before the Labor Day holiday with 7 white glass globes for light fixtures. His business was going to throw them out, but he thought I might like to have them - thinking maybe I could do a trash-to-treasure thing with them. I'm excited to give it a try! I plan to paint them, then make a ceramic base or maybe a wood/ceramic base to hold the globe upright, with a light inside. We'll see how the experiment turns out. If it works as the dream in my head is pictured, I'll post a photo here. Of course, it'll be for sale! I've never used glass paints but when we were in Ojai, California last winter I saw some beautiful painted glass art objects in several of the art galleries there. I am hoping to get my summer students' pottery clear glazed and in the kiln this morning. Every thing came out of the bisque kiln without cracks and still standing - even all the little dinosaurs from a recent boy's birthday party, so I was happy with the firing. Time to get the day started!
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My Favorites

  • books by Harlan Coben
  • Chagall's I and the Village
  • Our three daughters
  • Touring in Japan, Australia and New Zealand
  • Floating in the Dead Sea
  • My wonderful husband for 33+ years
  • "I love you, too, Grandma" by Taylor
  • Viewing the sunrise from Mount Sinai
  • Van Gogh's Irises
  • Monet's Water Lillies
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
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About Me

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North Dakota, United States
Born and raised in Williston, North Dakota. Degrees in Occupational Therapy (never chose to work in the field) and Visual Arts. Married for 33 years to a super wonderful guy, three daughters - all three are talented, educated, contributing, beautiful members of our great big world. I am so proud of them...they are my best accomplishment to date! I love to make art and teach about it, too. An etsy friend recently shared this quote with me from St. Francis of Assisi: "He who works with his hands is a laborer, he who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist." I think it is a wonderful statement!

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