Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ceramic crosses and tiles?? and also bowls and plates and vases and pots? Of course I do!! and it's all hand built on my kitchen table or while sitting on the floor in my painting studio. I don't even own a potter's wheel, and have never used one. Strangely, I have had several people ask in the last few days, expressing a bit of surprise. I have wanted to do this since college, but didn't have time. Several years ago I finally indulged myself with classes at the local art museum, where instruction is superb and lots of fun. I had just put my "Alzheimer's auntie" into the nursing home, and was having a terrible sinking-into-depression episode after walking on a tight wire for several years caring for her. I thought I needed to seek professional help - but decided on another course of action, as it made no sense to me to pay someone $150 per hour to listen to me whine and complain (and put me on drugs) when I already knew what was wrong. Sooooo it has been the most wonderful and therapeutic thing I have done in a very long time, and actually a fine social activity once a week. It's also a cure for PPD (post project depression) after a major thing is completed in needlepoint design. This is a thing I do only for myself, and really never thought I was very good at it - so most things went to the garage in various stages of contempt on my part. I hid them from my children, who decorate their homes with exquisite taste. To my surprise, when cleaning out the garage preparing to sell the house, a few things actually looked good to me. Further astonishment came when ladies of the local Episcopal thrift shop came to claim donations and wanted to buy these lovelies on the spot. I will put them on my web page, but to give instruction to show people how very very easy it is to do these things at home with simple materials and a few basic instructions. I do not want to sell them, as it would take the joy out of the activity for me - as I would have to worry about production, pleasing the public, trends, etc. and also pricing. My youngest son, Sam, has expressed the same sentiment as we have chatted about his superb hunting bows - his blog is totally to give away information and share a very satisfying hobby with anyone interested. Soooo - from time to time I will show some of this work, and also put them on my web page with total instructions. For example, the vase (which I do like) is simply a rolled out (with my biscuit and pie crust rolling pin) slab of terra cotta clay, wrapped around a glass vase for a mold - and acanthus leaves applied, which were made in a mold from pressing clay onto a planter and then firing the reverse clay image. Easy? The glaze is just Amaco LG-11, which well imitates the tin oxide glazes of the early mailolica ceramics. The little sea shell cross paperweight was made easily also with the same glaze. I made the plaster mold for the clay shells from actual seashells. I was amazed recently to find one of my plates from my experiments into painting with underglazes and maioloica techniques in my daugher's kitchen cabinet. You never know what they are going to dig out of your closet!! It is very flattering in this case to me that she would like it. I'll show it later.

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