Loaded up the kiln for a bisque fire. Lots of sheep, pigs,cats, and Other. These will be in the shop soon when they have been painted and glazed. Click on the link under my logo above to see what is currently in the shop. I will post when I do a glaze fire and you can see them all shiny and ready to go!
As you can see there are some terracotta pigs going in. These are the ones made from that new clay body I told you about. I'm excited to see how they come out!
Well I wanted to post about the pigs I was going to be making in the shed today but I cut the end of my finger off* which means I need to stay away from the clay for a couple of days. BOOOOOOO!
Being an artisan you rely on your hands and when you hurt them it is really bad for business. I need to be careful of cuts when working with clay because clay is basically dirt. It's clean dirt but it isn't something you want to run into a flesh wound.
It was ok though. I have lots of glazing to do and it gave me an excuse to stay in the lounge and paint some pigs, cats, and goddesses while binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
*Ok this is an exaggeration. What happened was this: My partner and I went to the Chatsworth Show at the beginning of September and there was this guy there selling these AMAZING knife sharpeners. Like he had a garden spade there that he had sharpened using this thing and was cutting tomatoes with it. The Bear has to have one of course and I borrowed it last weekend to sharpen all my knives. My knives are sharper than mother frikkin' lasers man. I am used to knives that don't cut things. Things like fingers that accidentally get in the way when you are cutting tomatoes. It was not the whole end of my finger thank goodness but we had to check the salad for, um, bits.
The thing about making stuff is that it isn't all about making stuff. It is about building an image for the stuff you make and telling people about it and making sure that your brand is consistent. Then there is taxes and housekeeping and all those glamorous things that make being a crafts-person and artisan so exciting!
I make artisan pottery in my 8x8 garden shed. It's special. I love making it. I want people to feel that even though they have bought a piece of my pottery that each piece is a gift. That it is special just for them or for the person they have bought it for.
Which means that once a week I have to make boxes!
I don't spend the same amount of time and effort on packaging as I do on my pottery. That would be silly. Think of it like being a painter. You wouldn't spend a huge amount of time and effort on a beautiful painting only to put it in a dog of a frame. No, you put the right amount of effort into the framing to make sure your picture looks its best. That the frame forms part of that experience.
These little boxes are 2x2x3 inches and have been made for the most recent batch of Random Pigs. All of my boxes are 300 gsm linen finished card stock which makes them good and strong and luxurious. I hand stamp and construct each and every one. Today the stamps were these big beautiful blooms and each batch is different.
Making the frame for my pieces beautiful and special is very important me. A little special gift for you to go with your Random Pig or sheep or cat or whatever you may have ordered.
It is worth the time away from the shed and it is also kind of fun. It is even more fun when stuff comes out of the kiln and I get to wrap up each little gift ready for you to take home.
My clay yesterday was too wet to stamp well. The stamps are made for paper and are shallow. You need to press hard. When you press hard on clay that is too wet is spreads out to the side rather than being cut into by the stamp edges. The result is even-star sad face.
Rather than persevere made some plain stoneware disks and set them under some paper. Then I kneaded a bunch of clay up for rolling which is very therapeutic.
Leaving the disks out for 24 hours made them the right consistency today for me to stamp today. And the results are better than expected. This kind of stamp is new to me and it really looked like they would not be good for clay. Too shallow. But I managed to get some good impressions once I figured out the best way to do it.
With more practice these are going to be a good addition to my tool belt and the company (Stampin' Up) has lots of great sets that I know would be very salable on Christmas ornaments and ring dishes and the like.
I also got to try out some of my new engobes today as well! These can go on to greenware like paints and they can be layered up for sgraffito . There will soon be a black sheep in the family besides me.