Tag: throwing on the wheel

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.

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.

Teapots

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.