Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tulips

You'd think the first place for flowers in the house would be the dining table, or maybe the entry room, but I love flowers in the bathroom.
Especially when they were given to you from a friend who bought them from a kid in support of Amigos de las Americas. (thanks, Cyndi!)
I found this vase designed especially for tulips at Judi Tavill's etsy shop:
I love the way SimplyModern paints the sides of these wooden pendants and signs the back (artfordailylife!):ArguingTheMobius makes these origami tulips in Cork, Ireland. She has an awesome photo of her henna tattoo on her blog.
I have been fascinated with all the Gocco goings-on lately. Here is a tulip print from SarahParrott's etsy shop:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stacks and stacks

I just love the way pots look when they are all stacked up. The variation in size and shape of handmade bowls creates a rhythm all its own.
The only problem with a stack of plates like these is when you want the color that's the third from the bottom. Best not be too picky. Everyone in my family has their favorite plate. Before dinner, sneaky swapping has been known to happen. But I never do it (wink wink, jab, jab...)
I like the dark brown one, fifth from the top (called 'dirt').
Wouldn't these serving bowls look good if you had glass cupboard fronts? Or open shelves? Kind of like a totem pole of bowls.
Here's a totem of winter tea bowls:
One of my favorite books in the whole world is A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein (et al). The book is a guide to making spaces function to support human interaction with grace and beauty. We used it when designing and building our house.
This is what the NYT has to say about it:
"A wise old owl of a book, one to curl up with in an inglenook on a rainy day.... Alexander may be the closest thing home design has to a Zen master."
There is a chapter (pattern) in it called 'Open Shelves' that declares:
'Cupboards that are too deep waste valuable space, and it always seems that what you want is behind something else.'
It goes on to say that a family's most prized possessions are often hidden away when stored in cupboards and that open storage, one item deep, makes a space more beautiful.
What can I say but yes ~ art in daily life...



Thursday, April 17, 2008

Orange Juice

I want some orange juice.
Oh, thanks! I'll have it in this cup:
I'll daintily blot my lips with this charming hankie by stichado:
Or one of these boxwoodgoods' linen napkins:
Of course, I'll be wearing these by TickledPinkKnits to keep warm:
I may even be inspired to change my style with this dress (but I'd wear it over jeans, I think):
Okay, I know the dress is a shock to all who know me, but it's called a carpenter's dress.
And it's my favorite color-mud. (Actually, shaybelle calls it tobacco leaf brown.)


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dinosaur

I'm beginning to feel like our website is a ponderous, grizzly old dinosaur, especially compared to sites like flickr, blogspot and their ilk. So, I spent all of my day yesterday working on an overhaul. I tried about a million times to embed a slide show without success. There is no emoticon that could embody the sad/frustrated/unhappy/crabby face I would put here...
The good news is, now it's all spiffed up & functions well as my tile catalog with links to more dynamic pages for things like lamps and pots that are actually on hand & for sale in the studio.
The process was de-energizing in the extreme. Really, I was this tired. Two steps forward and one step back; all day long. I'm sure you'd like to hear all about it.
Instead, since I doubt I'll ever find a post where these YouTube favorites of mine are actually relevant, here are a couple of treats for you:

and this:

If you're feeling crafty, go get a little kit from Mykonos:
Or just look like you might get crafty sometime and leave them lying around; they're so pretty!
She is from Hong Kong and also makes these cake toppers:
If you want some inspiration, hop on over to Katie Runnel's flickr page to view the likes of this:
And this:
Be prepared to spend the better part of your afternoon gazing upon the loveliness there.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Published

The Sixth Guild Sourcebook of Residential Art is out. We have a page in the 'Art for the Wall' section under 'Murals, Tiles & Wall Reliefs'. Our (Jensen & Marineau Ceramics) page has a picture of a carved earthenware fireplace surround and a kitchen installation with a peony garden (pictured above).
There's a rabbit hiding in the green beans.
I loved carving the celeriac, so gnarly.

Our tile is on page 278, opposite my favorite artist in the whole book, Elizabeth MacDonald. Yay!
She makes very cool tile murals. This one is called 'Landscape I', it's 21"H x 21"W x 1"D
$2220.00
This book was produced before I even had a blog. It seems like centuries ago! And now I am wondering why we didn't choose to feature blue & white tile...???
The green carved tile is a real pain in the you-know-what to make. The timing is very sensitive. I have to catch it at just the right moment when the moisture content is dry enough not to be completely goopy when I carve, but before it is so dry that my tool chatters and I am forced to inhale so much dust I risk silicosis, aka Black Lung Disease.
I love the green though, I just don't make it as often as the blue & white. Maybe now I will...

Oh, and here is one more place we've been shown lately:
This is a Treasury on etsy. They come and go daily, so it's not up anymore, but it's always a thrill to be on the front page for a day. We've been in others, but I have always missed them so far. See our little blue & white soba cup with the pig on it? Right in the middle?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Decorating a Sink

I took some process photos of the last sink I made. The client wanted me to include a starfish, crab, and lobster, instead of the usual assortment of fishes...No problem.
First, I put the sink on a banding wheel and set a double wavy line around the upper edge with my slip-trailer. I fill that with a blue wash using a brush. Then, I layout a sketch with a pencil. The pencil lines burn out later in the firing.I use the pencil lines as a rough guide for the slip-trailed lines.
I fill in the lines with a blue wash using a brush.
I go back and add more watery, sea-weedy detail.
Then I add more. When I am satisfied with the image, Mick sprays the sink with a clear glaze.
The sink is fired to cone 02 in an electric kiln. This is how it looks finished. I sign each sink on the outside and add my little bird. If you open the sink vanity door, you can see the bird peeping at you. That bulge going down the side is the overflow, some building codes call for this, some don't. Might as well have one.
The finished size is about 15" x 19" x 8".

You can see a slideshow of various tile installations I have done.

Speaking of shellfish and tidepool inspired shapes, look at this:
This wonderful piece is by Heather Knight. It is handmade porcelain and would be great as a votive candle holder, paperclip holder, or just sitting around looking cool. She has lots of botanically inspired forms at her website, Supermarket, and her etsy shop.