Saturday, February 25, 2012


view from the outdoor bed
The absolutely best thing about sleeping outside is watching it snow from a cozy cocoon under a down comforter. I never want to get up.
path to the studio
However, a warm studio beckons just down the path (thanks Mr. Cranky!).
chilly chairs under the wisteria
remember the summer work space on the terrace?
vegetable starts
Thinking of spring; planning the garden.

Oh, but that bed!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I love getting interesting commissions. 
Just before Christmas, I had a inquiry from a publisher wondering if I could make several small custom tiles to be inset into the cover of a box for a handmade book. It sounded right up my alley as he wanted blue & white porcelain with a design that echoed the calligraphic line dancing throughout the book. 
"Easy-peasy" I though slyly, already planning how to spend my loot.

He preferred a thin line, so I thought mishima might be the way to go~
mishima tests
I didn't like the resulting stiffness in the line, so I jettisoned that idea and went back to slip-trailing.
Getting the exact size was challenging because the shrinkage varied depending upon when I cut the pieces, cutting right away gave one set of dimensions and cutting later in the day gave another.
drying under a brick
My basic blue slip color read a bit dark for the printer's eye, so I launched into a flurry of color tests. I always think it will be easy to adjust a color and it always turns out to be, well, not. 
Fortunately, my client was not too fussy about an exact color match to the ink so it only took three rounds of tests to get to where I needed to be.
color testing
It was important that the tiles be both very thin and quite flat, so I made many, many extra to be able to cull out the ones with lifted corners and such.
awaiting bisque firing
Once out of the bisque, I chose the flattest ones to slip trail~
decorating with slip
After that, it's just rack them up, spray, and load into the kiln for the final firing~
ready to glaze
glaze sprayed
They are winging their way south as we speak, so to speak.
It was definitely a fun challenge, but am I looney to keep on doing this?

This dancer will blow your mind...