LaBote 2015 – Studio Community

Art is a gift that keeps giving to your heart and soul. We are looking forward to an artful year in 2015.

Here is a look at new works and some of our favorites from our studio community. It’s a pleasure and privilege to work with other artists.

Last night Dan showcased his new pitcher. Freshly glazed and waxed, we adored the intricate handle details. He threw the stoneware pitcher and then hand built the handle to look like a woven grape wines. Wow is all we got! can’t wait to see final look.
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Colleen has a way with symmetry and a wide range of works. From large forms to small ones like these jaw dropping porcelain Christmas ornaments…
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We are all about peace, so we were cranking out some peace for our holiday gifting.. perfect on a wall as a daily reminder. We are spreading it one sign at a time!! Here are two examples:

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There is a whole lot more… Follow us on Instagram for stories, videos and more.

Take a peek at our shop LaBote on Etsy.

Drop us a private line for purchase questions:
surprisesaffron@gmail.com

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LaBote: Fresh into and out of kiln!

We have been busy, as in busy like Santa’s workshop 🎄🎄🎁🎅

So we have been making a lot of items for our Christmas and holidays sale. Here is a glimpse of what’s going in and coming out of the kiln:
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Owls, butter dishes, and fun modern porcelain vases:
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Luminaries in making: just pop in a candle and watch it glow and cast shadows on your walls
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Interested in anything you saw here drop us a line: surprisesaffron@gmail.com 📩 or visit us at our Etsy shop.
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LaBote Fall/Winter 2014

We are two creatives who delight in making one of a kind art pieces, including jewelry and pottery. Excited to share our passion with you and hope every pieces you buy brings you joy and luck!

We have been busy busy in the studio getting ready for fall and winter. So much inspiration and excitement is building. We are primarily getting ready for two shoes that are coming up.

Curious what we are cooking up 😜 check us out:

1. Instagram: Shop LaBote see what comes out of our wheel and kiln first! Follow us.

2. Etsy: Shop LaBote purchase our art. Hope you’ll find something you love!

If you like some of our creations but you just want them in different color or shape or etc. we make custom orders to please our customers’ unique tastes.

Update 9/15:
Just added new products and a video on Instagram. Check it out!

Please spread the love and the post, thank you!!
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Lifelong Learning – Surprise, Made a Pillowcase

20140329-145418.jpgMany of us get into a rut easily. We only do the things we know how to do and don’t go out of our way to learn anything new. If you have read our blog you will know we won’t let you settle for that!!

It is amazing that with enough curiosity we can learn to do anything. So today I decided to learn how to make a pillowcase. Luckily there is a store in town that teaches a class on how to make this. Why learn how to make a pillowcase? you say. I say why not? using the brain and eyes/hands to do something you never made before is quite energizing.

Showed up at the designated time and brought my fabric. I was ambitious to make an envelope pillowcase in two colors. Never had done this before and I was already thinking fancy thoughts. Teacher was great, she actually said I should do it. Going with my friend Jenni was nice – we had a blast of fun and left smiling with our cute pillow :)) Can learning a new talent get better than this!
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So now that I successfully made my first pillow – I would like you to get out there and go do something for the first time!!
20140329-145402.jpg I can already tell this won’t the the last thing I make. Already have ideas about gifts I want to make for a few loved ones.

Keeping Family Arts Alive

20131119-201545.jpgPottery tradition goes way back in our family…. our late grandfather was a master potter. Somehow his genes passed along, as I keep finding myself more and more at the studio.

Sadly, I did not have the pleasure of learning from him directly, but grateful somehow I caught the pottery bug and will continue on the tradition. He used to make his own clay, as my dad shares the stories. We are spoiled nowadays; just buy few pounds of whatever type clay you want and you are ready.
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Pottery is not just wheel throwing, there are some many techniques and hand building. For example, I like combining the skills – throwing part of a bowl and finishing it off with hand building part of it.
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Lately, I have found myself making lot of owls. Owls of every shape, size, and personality. This was a spontaneous inspiration, as very often I don’t set out to make a specific piece. Everyone has a style of working – some of my studio peers set off with a very specific idea like ‘I will make a carafe and two tumblers’. I arrive at the studio without a thought… the clay takes shape as I start playing, throwing, or hand building.
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Ahhh… the world of glazing; it can make or ruin a pice of pottery. Luckily I do have a glazing muse, it’s called Nikita! A studio friend who has a magic touch with glazes. Usually a quick chat with Nikita results in picking the right glazes. Thank you Nikita!
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This owl is called Frankie – the blue eyes reminded us of Frank Sinatra. It is handbuilt from ochre clay, hand painted, and then glazed. Isn’t it a hoot!!
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Visit LaBote on Etsy to explore more unique art pieces.

Do what you love, and love what you do.

Felting Soap with Susan

20130712-224050.jpgToday I got a chance to see Susan teach a friend’s kids how to make felt soap. I was so fascinated that I decided to share the whole process with you.

When you see felt soap it seems so mysterious; can’t help to think how did they stuff that soap in there?!

Here is what you need:

  • Any type and shape of soap
  • Wool roving, multiple colors
  • Short stockings
  • Bubble wrap or sushi mat
  • A bucket of warm water
  • Step 1:
    Shred some of the wool and wrap around your piece of soap. Try to wrap all sides evenly. This is the creative part; you can wrap different color wool and make different designs or use a single color.
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    Step 2:
    Wet the soap a little and put inside the short stocking carefully so the felt does not move around. 20130712-223457.jpg
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    Step 3:
    Dunk the sock in the bucket. Use the sushi mat or bubble wrap and start rubbing the soap on all sides. This process adheres the felt to the soap. Once the felt is smooth around the entire soap you can stop. Take it out of the sock and give it quick rinse. Leave it on wire or shelf to dry.
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    Hope you decide to try this and make yourself some beautiful soap. It makes great gifts! and great activity for kids. Thank you Susan for teaching us this fun creative craft!
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    Glazing Class at MCS

    20130525-183809.jpgWhat keeps our brains youthful must be curiosity and learning new things we care about. Today was a day like that — we took a class in glazing from Jennifer at MCS.

    Three hours of fascinating information that left us wanting more. So much that she decided to schedule part two.20130525-184500.jpg
    We started with basic chemistry, history of where all this came from, and what glaze is made of. People for centuries have been making pots and vessels. Jennifer and Allison showed examples of old and new to educate us. I am always so impressed by how amazing something made 5000 years ago is so much better than many made today. Especially some of the Chinese pottery and ceramic glazing is just exquisite. We also learned that salt glazing was invented in Germany. One day, I would like to go see it done where it was born.

    Part of the lecture was spent critiquing glazed pieces we had made. Jennifer called out all the good and the BAD! You can see Isaac was a good sport about being made an example:
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    The tips and tricks we learned were great. For instance, how to spray a fine mist over areas you want a thinner coverage of glaze. Can’t wait to apply what we learned.
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