November 24, 2007

More Tiles

Here's an update on some of the tiles I've made in the past week or so. The gas kiln should be done and cooled by sometime early this week... Not sure how long it cools down for, but it is well into being fired at the moment. Finished work soon!!!!!!

November 19, 2007


One of the things that has made moving to Cub Creek worth while is all of the nature that I can't seem to get away from... Ok, so it's a blessing and a curse to live out in the sticks, but it has its perks. Like this:

November 18, 2007


Wadding is what happens before one can put work into an atmospheric kiln (like soda, salt or wood kilns). The reason for this is to prevent one's shtuff from becoming stuck to the kiln's shelf and therefore ruining the shelf and the piece, as one swift whack with something hard is the only way to pry it off after the glaze has attached itself to the shelf. This happens because of all the shite floating around the kiln while it is being fired. In salt and soda firings you pump salt or soda into the kiln at a certain, very high temperature and it melts to your pieces creating a very cool glaze and it makes normal glazes even cooler. or it makes them ugly as hell. but that's what re-firing is for. And in the wood kiln, ash is what settles down and melts on to the pieces. Its all very neat. But it means extra work for yours truly. What in god's name is wadding you ask? It's a secret formula you carefully glue (yes, i use Elmer's) onto the bottom of your piece.

looks like this:

This takes a long time. It better be some pretty cool stuff coming out of the salt kiln or I'm going to be very busy refiring things and that might make me cranky. who knows. It'll also just be nice to have some FINISHED things finally.

And here is some knitting. Same yarn, the open knitted looking side is not felted ( really, it's called fulled) and the denser, softer side went through two cycles of hot water and a little soap to shrink it down. I basically did the whole, "oh shit I just shrank my favorite wool sweater" fiasco on purpose. It should turn into a bag when it is done. Might not.

November 17, 2007

Tiles are taking over my life

This cat button is a cross between my buttons and my tiles, I made holes in the side and back of the disk after absently carving this cat while on the phone one night. I liked it too much to put holes through the top, like a normal button. It now is sew to my curtain and I plan to surround it with more embroidery.

At the moment I am not only making my own tiles of various sizes and shapes and motifs, I am also the prime tile-layer down at the big house. This means I spend a few hours everyday laying down some lovely slate tiles and then later grouting them. It can get a little uncomfortable, but I can get in a great rhythm once I get going. It's nice to have something concrete to see at the end of the day. But more importantly, the tiles I am making!

I can't remember how exactly I got to them, but it had something to do with the buttons. Anyways, I roll out the slabs, smooth them down and then use a nifty cookie cutter like device to punch out squares of clay that I then carve into. Most of the designs are abstract, with heavy textures. On others I have been exploring bird motifs and seeing how far I can go with this whole bird fixation I seem to have developed since moving to Appomattox.

There have also been some sculptures out of said tile squares...

Since I started with the curtains, I suppose ending with some newer embellishments has a nice symmetry. The second bird is about seven inches above the first one, there will probably be more of those as time goes on...

November 13, 2007

my new best thing in the world

My bed. that's right, the one I haven't slept in for about... oh lets say... about 3 and a halfish months or so, as I slept on an air mattress for a awhile, then moved to Cub Creek and slept on one of those foam mattress cover things (an egg crate is what I've hear people call them but they do not resemble one at all...) in a tent for the past little-over-two months. Finally the big house is done enough to move my bed into! Rejoicing happened big time.

I've moved from buttons to tiles and am really loving them, each one i get to carve the heck out of and sometimes its a beauty and I keep it. I've also come up with another way to get fibers and clay together, i'm going to be using some of the tiles as PIECES OF ART by sewing them onto canvases and other fabrics and then embroidering around them, possibly beads will also become involved with this. This new range of possibilities means that all the tiles do not have to be... tile shaped, so I've had fun mushing and throwing them into new, crumpled up forms.

Still want to knit a sweater. Still don't really know which one or what kind. well, no, something with skinnyish sleeves and cables. yeah, too bad the funds are too low for that kind of thing. I may have to start searching the web for cheap-o yarn deals ... hmmmmm.

So I have no pictures of the tiles, but here is my little sister's first finished knitting project EVER. We sat on the couch together while I knitted a certain brown and blues scarf for someone special... It was probably one of our sweetest things we 've done together so far.