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.
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…
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:
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:
Owls, butter dishes, and fun modern porcelain vases:
Luminaries in making: just pop in a candle and watch it glow and cast shadows on your walls Interested in anything you saw here drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org 📩 or visit us at our Etsy shop.
Many 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!
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!! 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.
Pottery 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!! Visit LaBote on Etsy to explore more unique art pieces.
Today 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
Bubble wrap or sushi mat
A bucket of warm water
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. Step 2:
Wet the soap a little and put inside the short stocking carefully so the felt does not move around. 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.
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!
What 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.
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:
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.
My friend S had planned this night for many months and we finally made it. She gracefully hosted me and our dear friend L at her home for a night of painting.
This turned out to be a great night where we bonded deeper over art. S bought 3 small canvases and brushes for acrylic paint. She also had snacks and wine all ready for us. Even the vino had sisterhood in the name.
Our paintings were so different. Each seemed to reflect our individual journeys. Common theme was growth and hope forward.
Noooo, we did not just paint and talk art. We talked present and past relationships, glanced at the TV once in a while for March maddness – L is really into it. Clinked our glasses and planned an upcoming birthday for S.
I had not painted for a while. This certainly reignited my interest in painting, especially oil painting. Realized how much I miss it. Above all, this was such a meaningful way to spend time with friends.
These are the kind of nights where you truly get to know friends. Learn things you did not know about them. Feel blessed by their presence and having the opportunity to extend it back. Highly recommend this kind of exploratory, positive activity.
Got even more interesting when S read tarot cards for us. Never had that before; our cards were so spot on that it was a little scary.
Ladies here is to you!
Looking forward to our next artful night.
It is always a surprise to see what comes out of the kiln. Sometimes I can hardly wait. Before you glaze everything is just milky white and uniform as in the above picture. This time around I had quite a few pieces that I was waiting for.
Taking chances and letting it go was my philosophy when I glazed these pieces. So I was so scared an excited at the same time to see IF my bravado actually paid off. Certainly had pleasant surprises but learned lots of lessons.
Magic of glazing is the unexpected results of combining colors. You can always create more predictability by testing shards using glazes. Many artists do so they have an idea what the combination will result in. For now I prefer to be surprised, so I am taking risks.
Plate glaze combo: white, amber, copper
This was a risk that paid off – I had never tried this combination before. The copper sheen particularly looks nice. Cube glaze combo: shiny bone, iron oxide, floating blue
This was a lesson learned. One side turned out good but other sides not so much. I had patterns that I brushed with iron oxide first the glazed with then shiny bone and on top the blue.
Good side /Bad side:
Buttons: chameleon, wax
My sister G wanted me to make some jewelry pieces and I was playing around I made buttons. Had to learn how to glaze them so they would not fuse to the kiln shelves. After waxing the holes and bottom, used chameleon to paint them. So far the have put a smile on people’s faces.
What are some of your favorite glaze combinations?
In the spirit of this newfound courage and the surprising results, today I took more chances and glazed all sorts of other colors. Will let you know how they turn out!
G’s Spring13 Jewelry line is here!
She has been working on these pieces a short while but the collection turned out great.
Her fashion sense, our travel adventures, and her passion for re-cycling and re-imagining jewelry shapes her approach to designing. Each piece is handmade by G, and one of a kind. Here are a few pieces from this Spring13 collection:
Jade.d Heart – jade pendant, black beads. Simple yet elegant piece. Sultana – purple stone beads, black beads, and gold plated centerpiece. A statement piece period. Sorry, this piece is already sold out.
White Cream – white beads, gold beads, gold plated centerpiece, black beads. Unusual and unique, this is a beautiful long necklace. The Webster – black beads, gold plated pieces. Webbed structure spotted with the eye catching gold pieces. Short and rests on the chest beautifully.
Hope you like the collection or at least are inspired by these delicate beauties. We are proud to share them with you.
For prices and purchase information, please contact us.