Friday, December 5, 2014

Some stuff... cause sleep deprivation leads me to think of lame titles

This post has few words, mostly cause I am in the making and doing mode, and words escape me when I am in that zone. So lets just share some pictures, and I'll get back later with some inspiring words and such.So I made some mugs. It was actually a ton of fun, I just let my freak flag fly and did whatever struck me at the moment. The bonus of being a hand builder is, you can carve/texture/stamp all the planes then put em together and somehow make it work. It gives you some serious play time with your mugs.
then, well hell cause stamping,carving, drawing and hand painting inner and outer surfaces isn't enough work to keep you satisfied, I can suggest some intricate sgraffito carving. GOOD TIMES.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Which means of course my housework is definitely not getting completely done, but lots of pots and  ornaments are being made. A few silk scarves have been dyed, and even some lovely all natural lip balms, body butters and scrubs have been made. This year I have only attended one Christmas show as a vendor. It was lovely, and my ornaments were a hit. But I think I may have to have an open studio day to make up for not doing more shows, and definitely plan to do at least three shows next year.
Baby steps back into the swing of things.

 This first ornament is my take on a local theme. The folks who live on this island are fiercely in love with their home. To pay tribute to that I carved a stamp of the map of Cape Breton Island and encased it in a porcelain heart. Lots of these were purchased to send to family away from home. I think we have a winner here folks....
I decided to make these available online so if anyone is interested they can be found in my zibbet shop
 I also made some playful reindeer, and kitties, and even an elephant or two. I think they are pretty cheerful looking.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Ok so lots has happened since I last posted, both good and bad. The best news that I am sharing is that I got married. I am incredibly happy with my husband, its been a year and a bit... though we have known each other for more than twenty years... maybe closer to thirty.
The bad, which is why I have been lax in posting, is that we have had a lot of loss. My mom, three weeks before the wedding, my husband's mom a few months before the wedding, three of my husband's uncles, and my ex husband's mother and stepfather. I didn't know how to share these feelings, nor did I know how to carry on without sharing them. Its been a real roller coaster. and it is just now slowing down, and becoming normal again.
The last six months has seen a big change in my work, and in my daily life. I had backed off from social media, and taken a break to shore up my strengths. I needed this short hibernation, I needed to learn to be ok with all of the changes in my life, to accept them, to heal from some, and learn to find joy in others.
I am back now, and I am slowly getting things done.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gearing Up For Summer

Well the kiln is nearly ready to be loaded, I managed to get about fifty pendants onto my bead rack, and a few other things glazed for this firing. Its been a crazy year full of ups and downs, and I had a slow start to the spring production, but things are starting to settle back into some semblance of routine around here. Thankfully I have patient Gallery folks in my life.This past year has held more than a few challenges to my pottery making. 
When I came to Cape Breton a few years ago, I started making pots at my kitchen table with a crappy old cheap rolling pin, and a dollar store exacto knife. My templates were made of old file folders and I had five boxes of old clay that I hand recycled to make those first few pots. I lugged those pots into town, and paid to fire at the craft centre, sold the pots and bought more clay. After about a year, I was able to buy a kiln, with the help of some grant money, and the pennies I had saved from selling my pots. I have upgraded my rolling pin a few times, and now have a selection of exacto knives, my templates are still made from scrap card stock for the most part, and I am still carving my own stamps. I love what I do. There have been ups and downs financially, and physically, but somehow we always manage to plow through it. Sometimes its difficult to see how far I have come, when it seems like there is so much further I need to go.

So far, I have managed with rolling pins, and knives. Simple tools for not so simple pots. But 43 years of doing all things with one hand have taken their toll. My body is protesting, my production is slow due to pain, and my good hand is now, my not so good hand. Time to re evaluate the methods, rethink the process, and get pain reduced, production up, and income flowing. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

BEER! and The making of the Mugs

Its seems that all my posts these past few months start with an apology for being gone so long. Shortly after my last post, pre Christmas, Our computer took a nose dive, it spent several weeks at the shop getting fixed, and I got caught up in making pots and not blogging. Its been a long winter. Mid way through this sluggish winter, I got a message from an old friend from back home. Seems my friend was following his dream to Brew fine Craft Beer, and he needed some Fine craft mugs to serve it in. I jumped at the chance. I mean who wouldn't? its BEER...and I love beer.
The Brewery is called Railcar Brewing Company, Its located in a refurbished Railcar in  Bristol New Brunswick. How cool is that???

So over the past few weeks, I have fiddled around with his logo, and hemmed and hawed over the design. I think I am making good progress, and today is the day I will start the major production. I have approval of design, so onward ho.
Here is a little photo step by step.. to the making of the mug, well the sprig mold anyway.There are still some bugs to work out with the details in the logo. But i think we are well on our way to a great mug for some great beer

 The first step is in carving a clay model for the logo. To do this, I reduced the logo to a line drawing, and transferred it to a slab of porcelain. In several steps, I carved the details in and let the clay get leather hard.

Once the details were finished, I created a wall around the finished logo, and poured plaster over the model. This is the tricky part, any air bubbles in the plaster will cause me to lose detail, .. and there is lots of fine detail here. 
When the plaster is set, I removed the retaining wall of clay and exposed the clay model

 After the model set for a bit, I gently removed the clay, and trimmed the edges of the mold. I think it turned out pretty good. There are a few minor air bubble issues, but I can work around that.. I'll be casting a few more molds before the week is out. Cheers, and look for an update when the first batch of mugs comes out of the kiln.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Craziness

Sorry its been so long since my last post. Things have been very hectic around here, what with all the holiday sales, and the intense last legs of the cruise ship season. Three shows in three weeks was a brutal haul, I have another show tomorrow, and then one on the 10th of December. Blogging just seems to have taken a back seat to all of that non stop activity.
Despite all the hustle and bustle,I have been working on some new stuff this past week, some special orders and some gifts. One of those special orders is a set of mugs for a Beatles fan. I think they are coming along pretty nicely. They will be firing today, I can hardly wait to pull the finished product out. Its been a really fun project. Today I paint fairies, and fire a kiln... so I guess over the next few days I will post some new work, and get the blog back on its feet.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A little Side Project

This summer, J and I have been spending a fair bit of time checking out the beaches of our fair Island. There is something so wonderful about the sound and smell of the ocean, something magical about the wee treasures it brings to the shore , particularly after a storm. Over the summer we have collected a fair amount of wee sea treasures. Bits of sea glass, shards of porcelain that have been weathered and tumbled by the ocean into smooth beautiful little jewels, some beautiful pebbles and rocks, even a fossil or two, or ten.... 
Last weekend we travelled to Inverness. We had both heard great things about the beauty of this beach, and about its treasures
It was a beautiful day, and so worth the drive. We walked a fair distance on the beach, and found some beautiful stones a few bits of sea glass and this.. 

Its not very big, but its beautifully worn and has such a nice pattern on it. the reverse side is a lovely crazed grey blue. I think I may well make a pendant out of it.