Tag: handmade ceramics

Handmade Ceramics: Wood Grain Mugs and Vases

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In the spring of last year a new, local shop reached out to me about including my pottery in their store. I was excited about a new opportunity to sell my artwork, but tentative about the required year long commitment, and monthly rent. Despite my concerns I decided to jump in with both feet, and commit to Crafted Westside.

Since I signed my contract I have been hard at work, creating, producing, and filling my space at Crafted. The store has been a huge success, and after a short 5 months of being open, they have already expanded into the space next door. I’m looking forward to the  upcoming holiday season, and am keeping my fingers crossed that I will set my personal best sales months.

One of my favorite things about my commitment to Crafted is it has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I have had to develop new designs, techniques, and products. I have had to chart what is selling, and what is collecting dust and taking up space on my shelves. I have had the opportunity to experiment, and experienced a great deal of trial and error.

A few weeks ago, while brainstorming new ideas, I decided I want to try my hand at hand building with slabs. Up to this point all of my products had been thrown on the pottery wheel, and I needed a change of pace. I went to my local ceramic store, perused their shelves, and fell in love with a wood grain stamp. An idea immediately hit me, I would hand build a few sets of mugs and vases, using slabs, and this beautiful patter.

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Keeping with the look and feel of my pottery, I decided to keep the exterior simple, with the white body of the clay, and a quick layer of clear on top. For the interior I used blues and greens, to stick with the earthy feel of the wood. I also decided to experiment with gloss and matte finishes. Rather than coat the entire exterior with clear, I left a section at the bottom unglazed.

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I was really excited about my finished products. They have been delivered to Crafted Westside, and are sitting on the shelves, waiting to find a happy home. I hope they do well, so I can continue to play around with my beautiful new stamp.

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In addition to my wood grain pieces, I also made a set of hydrangea inspired vases. Check out Crafted’s website here to look at more products!

IMG_8148Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about my latest works of art. Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others on your social networking site of choice! Thanks for stopping by.

T.G.I. Friday’s Summer of Fridays Tour: Artists and Crafters Feature

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I am so excited to share a recent feature of mine in T.G.I. Friday’s new campaign, local and handmade.

In an effort to rebrand their company, T.G.I. Friday’s has been busy meeting artists, crafters, musicians, and all people artsy across the US. To keep with the theme they recruited photographers from Instagram to document these “makers of America.”

Through the Atlanta based, all things handmade shop, Crafted Westside, I was brought to the attention of the tour and photographer, Daniel Davis. I meet with him one morning at Crafted, and enjoyed talking about his last 3 month adventure traveling down the East Coast, meeting a variety of crafters. He took amazing photographs of my work, and included a wonderful write up on the TGIF, “Summer of Fridays,” blog.

mug TGIF

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Thank you to Daniel Davis and TGIF for giving me this amazing opportunity! The stories and photographs are art in themselves. Thanks for checking out my blog. Help me spread the word about it by sharing with others! I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by.tumblr_nav6yrtlkJ1tx0d9wo2_1280

Handmade Ceramics: Antique Inspired, Stamped Plates

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While putting together a new set of handmade ceramic pieces for the lovely shop, Crafted Westside, I decided to try out some new techniques.

I stumbled upon a number of interesting stamps at a local shop, and thought it could be a quick, easy way to add detail to my pottery pieces. I tested the technique out on a set of mugs, and loved the result. Check out the blog post here.

After a successful set of mugs, I decided plates would be a good direction to go. I started by throwing four plates on the pottery wheel. After trimming and finishing them it was time to add the stamps. I pressed the stamp into a thin slab of clay, then took the slab and scored and slipped it to the plate.

Stamped Typewriter

 

I allowed the plates to completely dry out, then bisque fired them. When it came time to glaze I decided to keep it simple and clean. I used dark brown underglaze to emphasize the stamp, and used a pop of color on the bottom side of the plate.

Antique Stamped Car

 

I loved the simple, clean look of the front, with the sudden surprise of color on the bottom.

Stamped Chair

 

Stamped Teapot

 

I was very pleased with the result and can’t wait to use this technique on other ceramic forms.

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Thanks for taking the tim to check out my new products! If you live in the Atlanta, GA area see them in person at Crafted Westside. Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others, I couldn’t do it without you! Thanks for stopping by.

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Handmade Ceramics: Antique Inspired Stamped Mugs

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With my new artistic endeavor at Crafted Westside, for the first time I have had the opportunity to really experiment with ceramics and find my aesthetic niche. I recently began adding stamped words and letters to my ceramics, with my “joe” mugs and teapots, and this technique has crossed over to incorporating stamps of objects into my work.

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I have always enjoyed all things antique, vintage and old. This is very apparent when you walk into my house and see the old, peeling furniture and other antique decor. I wanted this love to translate into my artwork, and when I found stamps with antique phones, watches, and cars, I knew it would be perfect.

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To create these vintage style mugs I make the base on the pottery wheel. I aim to throw medium height, with a slightly rounded shape. After trimming them and adding a handle, it’s time to add the stamped element. I roll out a thin piece of clay, press the stamp into it, and score and slip it to the side of the mug.

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After the mugs are put together I set them out to dry to a bone dry state. I then bisque fire them, then comes the glazing. I love the simplicity of white and dark brown against a pop of color. It is a color scheme that I have carried through all of my products at Crafted. To create this contrast look I use underglaze to emphasize the stamp and a bright color on the interior. I then clear glaze the outside of the stamped mug.

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I also add underglaze to my initials stamp on the bottom and my three dot signature pattern. The mugs are put in the kiln, fired again, then they are complete and ready to add to the shelves.

I love the way these new stamped mugs look, I am already working on a small plate set to match. I find I am continuously on the look out for other interesting stamps to add to my collection.

If you live in the Atlanta area and still haven’t checked out Crafted Westside, go take a look! The store is filled with amazing local and handmade products.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and ready my post! Help me spread the word about Look Between the Lines by commenting, subscribing, liking, tweeting, and sharing on your social networking site of choice. I couldn’t do it without you!

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Handmade Ceramics: Alphabet Mugs, Nursery Rhyme Teapots, and Flower Bowls


Alphabet Coffee Mugs

These last few weeks have been a blur of late afternoons, clay, pottery wheels, handmade ceramic pieces, glaze, encaustic wax, and glass.

My recent decision to join the newest addition to the Atlanta retail scene, Crafted Westside, meant I needed to produce pottery. My long afternoons began, my second job as working artist started as soon as my first job, art teacher, ended for the day. Every day I stay pumping out decorative bowls, teapots, pitchers, and mugs. I love seeing the similar glaze colors coating each pot create a unified, body of work.

I don’t think I have ever made so much pottery.

As I begin each creation I try to think like a consumer. Who will buy my products? What is their taste? What will compliment the overall look of the shop? Generally the consumer I visualize is me, shopping for my Mom on Mother’s Day, my sister for Christmas. When it came time to create my “c” alphabet mug, I couldn’t help but include a coral shade, after all my sister Christy is a bright, pink personality.

My goal in the coming weeks is to complete the entire alphabet in mug form. I am currently up to letter m, with letters n-u waiting to be fired and glazed, and letters v-z waiting to come into reality via my B mix clay and pottery wheel.

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In addition to the many mugs I have created in the past few weeks, I have also been hard at work creating more decorative bowls. My house is scattered with ceramic bowls. If a tabletop looks empty, I plop a bowl down to jazz it up. I love crisp white contrasting with a bright interior. Over the years I have developed a knack for making flowers out of clay. A pinch here, a pinch there, a score and a slip, and out comes a hydrangea, rose, or camellia. Just this week I added a dot bowl and a hydrangea to the mix at Crafted Westside.

Dot Bowl

Hydrangea Bowl

My absolute favorite thing to make on the pottery wheel has to be teapots. There is something about seeing the spout, lid, and handle come together that makes me smile.

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I knew I wanted to add a couple of teapots to the shelves of Crafted. Luckily, at the time I was also about to begin a teapot lesson in my 3D II class. It was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; demonstrate how to make a teapot to my students, and create a teapot I could turn around and sell.

First came my bird teapot. I want to create a small bird to serve as the handle of my teapot lid. After some brainstorming I decided to go a more abstract route when glazing, and drew lines to represent telephone lines, and glazed in between the lines. The end result almost looked like a plaid shirt wrapped around my little teapot. When you first take a glance at it, it looks like a random pattern. But, when you give it a closer look the telephone lines and bird silhouette begin to emerge.

For the second teapot I opted to stick with a stamped letter design, which was already incorporated into a handful of mugs and bowls at the shop.  I put my teapot together, and thought about what to stamp into it. After looking at my small little pot, I decided the perfect quote is from the childhood song, “I’m a little teapot, short and stout.” It was perfect, it was nostalgic, and fit with the short and stout nature of my teapot.

There is something about teapots. They each have their own personality. As I put them together I feel like I get to know them.

The final addition to my space at Crafted Westside is my brand new business card holder. With the creation of my new identity, Sweet Celadon, came a need for advertisement and contact information in the form of business cards. While I waited for my order to arrive I decided I needed a handmade ceramic item to hold my new cards. Out came this simple, flower and hand stamped card holder.

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I can’t wait to see my table at Crafted Westside continue to fill up. I hope in the coming weeks I continue to move items through the door and create new items to replace them. In addition to the handmade ceramics I have focused on for the shop, I have also been prepping for my next craft fair, the annual Wesleyan Artist Market, coming up May 1st-3rd. More information will come soon!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about the brand new shop, Crafted Westside, and my blog my sharing this post with others.