Evening all, it is freezing here tonight with possible snow expected, so I am keeping warm by reminiscing on the bonfire firing I did a couple of weeks ago.
Every year around this time we do a clean up for the summer to reduce fire hazards during the bushfire season, and in the lead up to that I make beads and pendants which I pack into an old milo or coffee tin with sawdust, seaweed, cow dung – pretty much anything I would put into a pit firing. The tin is snuggled in amongst the branches and leaves and set alight. The tin is usually ready to pull from the ashes the following afternoon – depending on how big the bonfire was!
I have published previous posts about bonfire firing which you can read HERE.
So tonight I am experimenting with some jewellery designs with the beads that emerged from the bonfire. I have already listed one pair of earrings in my ETSY shop from this firing and there will more to come, and some necklaces.
My other exciting news is that I have had an article published in the latest edition of The Journal of Australian Ceramics. This latest edition was focused on fire, so I wrote an article about pit firing. Visit their website to find out more about getting a copy of the journal.
And now for some pics from the bonfire and finished jewellery pieces – thanks for stopping by and see you next time 🙂
Readers may know I have been a bit absent from this blog lately, as per my last BLOG POST, so I haven’t offered a Sunday studio visit for a while.
Readers may also know that I love sustainability, recycling and upcycling, as illustrated by lots of past jewellery POSTS, and of course the PRESERVING frenzy I go into during the growing season! So with the recent giant iceberg break away from the ice shelf in Antarctica, and all the other crazy occurrences in the world at the moment, my mind has been drawn toward new ways of using synthetic products our society has created and can’t be recycled – such as CDs which are now largely obsolete!
I don’t know about you but I have hundreds of CDs…. from kids games, to movies to data storage, and I have never thrown them out because i just couldn’t bring myself to adding to the city dump!!
So, after a bit of research and refinement I have made a few jewellery pieces using cut up CDs with the addition – in some – of acrylic paints.
I will be making more of these pendants soon as I have heaps of CDs and enjoy the process, so the next time I do some making I will take some process shots for a tutorial.
In the meantime I have actually listed my first piece in my ETSY shop! Happy weekend and see you next time 🙂
Phew – it has been a busy afternoon making in the studio!
A combination of being ‘sold out’ and custom orders in my ETSY shop meant I was making yarn bowls, oil burners, earring holders and tapas bowls. It is Autumn here at the moment (though it feels like Winter), so these creations will be ready for turning and cutting on Wednesday afternoon – I think!
The yarn bowls need the needle holes and yarn spiral cut out; the earring holders need the earwire holes cut; and the oil burner need the candle hole and oxygen holes cut out.
This is a delicate operation as applying too much pressure while cutting can cause warping after glaze firing – clay has a memory, which means that the clay particles remember how they have been aligned and stretched! Clay is a living being!!
I also made a set of tapas/dipping bowls for a local restaurant. Yesterday I delivered a set of coffee/soup cup and saucers to this restaurant, and they placed another order – yay me!!
Well, that’s a wrap for today! I’m a bit tired!! See you next time 🙂
Well, we have certainly had a great season in the vegetable garden with lots of zucchinis, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, apples – the list goes on! We have also had a fab season for pumpkins and this afternoon we picked them all as we are having an early frost tonight which may kill the vines, but could also freeze the pumpkins so that when opening – say in three months time – they will be slop… not even OK to make soup with potentially.
(PS – I plan to do a painting of these pumpkins – aren’t they gorgeous!)
So not only did we (hubby & I ) pick the pumpkins I then went into the studio to make some platters, plates, coasters, rings and pendants impressed with pumpkin leaves. This idea has been popular in my ETSY shop so I thought I should make more while I still had the leaves available!
And this is an idea of the finished product 🙂
I hope to make more leaf imprinted plates and jewellery using whatever may be in season at the time – so stay tuned 🙂
Today, April 22nd is Earth Day – are you doing anything special? Planting a tree, turning your lights, tv and computer off for a few hours?
I am not planning on doing anything special per se – my television never goes on until about 9pm at night for the news anyway! … and I do, on a daily basis, try to live sustainably, so will do more of that today with a little more mindfulness during the day.
I find it important to recycle and reuse as much as possible, especially in the current political state of climate change scepticism.
I also consider it important because as a ceramic artist I do use alot of gas, water and electricity. My clay and glaze ingredients have a large carbon footprint also, in terms of miles travelled and mining.
I try as much as possible to offset this footprint by growing as much food as possible, composting waste, not using chemicals when cleaning, being a vegetarian, and of cause recycling as much as possible.
Here in Dunnstown,, where I live, we are approaching the end of the Summer/Autumn growing season and I have been doing lots of preserving, bottling and preserving – I will be doing more of that today. I still have lots of apples left which I will be using to make more apple chutney and apple paste (which is great with strong blue cheeses). I have made bottled apples in the past, which were great, so I might make more of them too. I have also recently delved into raw apple cider vinegar!
As followers of my ETSY shop may know – and if not you will now – as well as making ceramic homewares and jewellery, I also make a range of jewellery made from upcycled materials such as guitar strings, plastic bottles, buttons and beads. Love jewellery, or know someone who does? Today, being Earth Day is the ideal day to purchase an upcycled gift for yourself or a friend…. and remember Mothers Day is coming up on May 14th.
I have been a bit preoccupied lately with all the preserving and fermenting from the summer/autumn garden so have not been doing a great deal of making… but recently I had a custom order from my ETSY shop for twelve ceramic buttons so took the opportunity to also make some extra buttons and some pendants at the same time.
The buttons turned out beautifully. The customer wanted them to add a unique and jazzed up element to a denim jacket which she wants to take on holiday with her at the end of April! I love these kinds of stories that accompany custom orders and hope she will be happy with them! I think she will…
The pendants, which I will list as necklaces and earrings in my ETSY shop, are just in time for Mothers Day – May 14th. I have assembled some of them and will be listing them over the coming week. If your mum/sister/girlfriend/wife/aunt/nana/partner or female friends anywhere love both handmade and jewellery these are the perfect gifts!
See you soon!
Hello everybody! It has been a rainy day here at the studio – almost 50 ml of rain!!
Thankfully my studio did not flood as it has done in the past – just a bit of wetness, which will be easily fixed once we extend the stone driveway we laid down recently.
This was the flooding prior to the new driveway ….
Apart from that I am firing the kiln today with a mixture of student works and some pieces for my ETSY shop including these buttons and pendants, which include custom orders – I always make extras!
So that is about it for today … hopefully I will see you during the week, or not next Sunday 🙂
Today’s Sunday Studio visit is focusing on my Etsy shop.
I have a great array of handcrafted gifts in my shop which make great alternative Easter gifts! You can also place a custom order for both tableware or jewellery pieces.
Speaking of custom orders, tomorrow I will be posting a yarn bowl which was custom ordered for the colours the customer preferred. I think it turned out great. The yarn bowl is a gift for the customer’s mums birthday, and I think she will like it!
Readers may remember from previous posts some plates I made impressed with pumpkin leaves from my garden … well these are now live on ETSY. I have listed a dinnerware set which is available as a single setting, or other custom quantities, four place settings for example. Coming soon will be plate size sets – four side plates, for example.
Pumpkin leaves are only available in my garden from November to April (approximately), so at other times of the year the plates will be available with other seasonal leaf imprints.
I also have other pumpkin leaf imprint items in my shop, such as these:
And on Friday I sent this pumpkin leaf plate off to a new home in Melbourne – a mere 100km from where I live!
And speaking of pumpkin leaves and garden produce I have been busy again this week preserving gods from the garden!! Today it was fermented cucumbers, bottled tomatoes and apple paste, which I can’t wait to taste with blue cheese!!
Well, that’s it for today – I will hope to catch up mid week 🙂
Happy St Patricks Day – and what better way to celebrate than with a 10% discount in both of my ETSY shops for the remainder of March!
Use coupon code StPats2017 in either shop for some great green finds or anything else for that matter!
Here’s a little teaser:
and from my supplies shop
Happy St Patricks Day and happy savings!!
I haven’t posted for a while (again)…. what is my ‘excuse’ this time?
Hubby & I have been busy trying to finish the deck we started a year ago! After the initial build winter hit Dunnstown and building was pretty much ruled out. Add to that the ill health I had for most of last year and building was impossible.
So, now that the nicer weather is upon us and my health is in recovery mode we wanted to get the deck finished before it stretched out to a second year – plus we (and our friends) are hanging out for a deck party!
So yesterday I oiled the floor of the deck, but I couldn’t put a second coat on today because it rained all day – thankyou Ballarat summer! But progress was still made – hubby put together the steps (with a little help from me) … and they look great!
But in the studio for today, I have been working on a custom order I received through my ETSY store for a set of bowls. The bowls are a wedding present and are to be personally inscribed on the base – so the pressure is on. It is a big responsibility to make quality tablewares at the best of times – but a personalised wedding gift really heightens the concept of well designed handmade products.
This is the bowl that inspired the custom order and is currently available as a single bowl in my ETSY shop….
And this is today’s effort in the studio. I am happy with the uniform shapes and sizes, so think they will be successful as a ‘set’ of bowls. The order is for a set of eight so I made twelve, just to be on safe side. The remaining four will make it into my shop if they all fire successfully – if not hubby will get them (the cook of the house) 🙂
So, that’s it for today’s visit….. have a great week 🙂