Friday, December 28, 2012

just before the studio sale---

Just before the studio sale in early December, I decided to 'twig' the two demi-lune tile sets.  It's an addition I learned from my friend Will Case-a jeweler in northern Michigan. I had been using a small drill bit to drill small holes, and then was nailing in small nails to hold the branches (wild cherry, apple) in place.  Bruce saw me struggling,  outside, in the cold, and said:  "why don't you use the pin gun  (works on compressed air, a Senco).  So, I did, being careful not to shoot a 'nail' into any of my fingers.  I also used some of the wild grape vines that I had been trying to cut out of the crabapple trees.  It's amazing how easy a job can be with the right tools.........Just be sure to follow proper safety standards!:  Eye protection, etc!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sale of Edith Franklin's final works, tools, memorabilia, and donations of other artists' works

Around three years ago, 2009, perhaps, Edith came out to my studio.  I had just been filming a video of my throwing on the wheel, and the camera was already set up. We decided, quite on the spur of the moment, to do a video, ourselves---and to talk about the beginnings of pottery:  How we would start a new student, what the importance of a pinch pot was, ------and so, without any further preparation, I set the camera, and started the process.  Here is Edith, so clearly herself, and so quintessentially Edith  (you really shouldn't eat that much!), while holding out a pinched pot the size of a hummingbird's nest.  I will always remember her.  Come to the sale of the last of her works, this Sunday,

  • The Secor Gallery, 425 Jefferson Ave., Toledo, OH 43604

  • Celebrate the life of Edith Franklin and help support Edith's  life and work, and the Youth Arts Fund she created to ensure the promise of Toledo's young artists of the future. Join us as we celebrate at the Secor Gallery, 425 Jefferson Ave., Toledo on Sunday, November 11 from 1-4 p.m. Selected archival works by Edith and personal mementos will be sold at her request, along with other local artists' works donated in her honor. All event proceeds go to the Edith Franklin Youth Arts Fund at the Toledo Community Foundation. Donations to the fund may be made at the event or mailed to The Arts Commission (1838 Parkwood Ave., #120, Toledo, OH 43604). RSVP requested, 419-254-2787.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

selling my potter's wheel chair

I am selling a potter's chair/stool which I bought to use with my sit=down wheel (when my hip/back was bothering me) Now that I have had hip replacement surgery, I no longer need the chair, and am selling it on ebay--if you go to the ebay link and enter 290782517949 in the search box, you can see the link------

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Studio Repairs

shakes are going up on the gable end (to match the house)

Tar paper, before the cedar clapboards
After 25 or more years my studio is in need of repairs  ( OK, it's always in need of updates...)  and having replaced the crappy T-1-11 that was on the outside of the studio at least once (esp. on the west end, where the heavy weather hits, during the winter) the outside was in serious need of fixing-up!  This summer I purchased some cedar siding (clapboards) from a friend, and then hired the Bieber boys  (Jared, Raymond, and Steven) ' when they were little' to help stain them.  It was, of course, the summer from hell, at 104 degrees F., and we all were so hot we could hardly move, but we all managed to stain enough boards to redo parts of the outside, if not all.   (The boys  also helped scrape and stain the back side of the studio, not visible to incoming customers, but in need of re-staining!) so that that area will be the last to get an upgrade of new siding.)  Here are some photos of the work in progress for the west end, which should be finished before the snow flies.  I have only done the minimal amount of work this season  (hip replacement, and now an upper back injury, of old...) so I am very lucky to have had Bruce's expertise and his and the boys' labor!  These repairs are especially needed since the December studio sale will be out in the studio this year (and not in the house).  Things should be looking good for the sale and for the customers!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I SHOULD be throwing mugs, but....

the leather hard tiles, back in 2010, when I was musing about where they would go
the finished desk top
buttering the back of the tile
spreading more mastic

setting the tile into the mastic

wiping off the extra mastic. 
For a number of years I have wanted to fix up the top surface of the old Steelcase desk that has been in my studio.  It actually belongs to our son, Pete, but I am 'storing' it, and have painted the drawers and sides.  But the top remained a little raw, so this week I decided to tile it.  I had done tiles (4" hexagonal, unglazed, fired to cone 2) which I thought I might adhere to the foundation of the house up by the porch.  But I only had enough to do one section, and once I started looking at the area, I realized that I had an old farmhouse on fieldstone foundations, with a kind of cement covering to the foundation, and the tiles would be out of character, and I probably would need years before I got enough done to do the whole house.  Instead, I decided to tile the top of the desk!  I wanted it to remind me of the old tile floors in France---

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My work at the Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH

I have work at the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, OH,  and Ann Starr, in her recent blog, reviewed the work--here is the link for her blog!

upgrading the exhaust vent window 'exit'

new way of exiting the hot exhaust pipe from the kiln

Many years ago (15, more or less) when I bought my new kiln, I added the "enviro-vent" to the base of the kiln, and vented the kiln, via a rigid 4" metal pipe, to the outside of the studio.   At the time, and with my limited skills in construction (but fertile imagination as to how something might be), I fashioned a way of taking the exhaust pipe out through an adjacent window without having to break any glass, or do too much fussing.  I opened the window, and then inserted a 2" piece of rigid foam insulation, into which a 4" hole had been cut, at the bottom edge.  Then I put the pipe through this hole, and voilĂ !  The pipe exited the building without much fuss----with the pipe essentially rested on the wooden window sill.  As time passed, however, and as I changed out the rigid pipe for a flexible pipe this last year, I felt, more and more, that the temperature of the pipe was fairly hot, and that my method of construction wasn't the best. I also knew that wood, exposed to high heat over time, undergoes a change, and eventually has a lower flash point for catching fire.  SO, about 2 weeks ago, during one of our increasingly hot spells, and as I was starting the last kiln, I convinced Bruce to help me put in a safer exit hole for the exhaust pipe.  He found a collar from one of our woodstoves (we used to heat both the house and studio with them) which wasn't being used, and which was large enough for the piping to pass through.  Then we took off the (black) plastic from the outside of the window, and the styrofoam from the inside, shut the window, and removed a pane of glass.  On both the outside and the inside of the window, just slightly larger than the pane of glass, he put two pieces of plywood, into which a hole had been cut, large enough for the insulated stove collar to fit. Now the hot piping no longer touches either the wooden sill, or the styrofoam.  When winter comes, and I need to cover the window, again, I'll be making more changes........

Thursday, July 19, 2012

layering patterns for 'surface depth'

As I decorate a pot (the large flower pot, from the last post), I follow a series of decisions.  The first has to do with what 'theme' I'll use on the pot:  lemons, olives, hand with red pears, part of another decorated plate, etc.  Then I usually work with the largest forms for that particular theme, and lay down the lightest, largest color shapes, setting the pattern (or, working out what I might want the pattern to be) for the shape that I'm decorating. For example, I'll do lemons, and leaves, first, then smaller forms (grapes or olives, branches, and stems, and thin grey leaves).  The background is the last to be considered, and is sometimes, but rarely (these days) left entirely white.  I want the viewer's eyes to travel around the space, and I want there to be a sensation of depth, so I decorate the 'white' areas with smaller lines and swirls.  Low fired maiolica has a tendency to be flat in appearance; the glaze and clay, fired to cone 03 or 04, do not fuze to the extent that a cone 2 maiolica firing does (and I fire to cone 2).  So, in addition to the higher firing, I then add smaller lines, dots, and swirls with a very fine brush, or very small brush, or with a brush that has been opened up so that the bristles paint two closely parallel lines.  I also shade, with a pale taupe, each of the larger forms before I add the final black lines that go around the shapes.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

loading the kiln in summer

the kiln gapes open in the background, waiting to eat up whatever I can decorate

after the kiln is loaded, the colors are scattered and drying out
I seem to be slower, this summer, but am about to finish loading a glaze kiln!  There are some orders in this firing, along with work for the next fair, in August. Because of my hip surgery, I've not been going to fairs in July, but will start, again, next month. Maybe it's also the heat and drought, this summer, that's slowing me down.....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Setting up, and Saturday at the Fair

Jared, Steven and Raymond Bieber do all the unloading for me!

Edith, Doug, and Bruce, in the back of my booth, Saturday
More Crosby Gardens--I had great help setting up, and being at the fair!  The weather's been great, too--now if the rain will just hold off until we've packed up, this evening!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Everything's all packed---

some of these boxes go back a ways....

new pattern and mug shape
 All the pots are loaded into their boxes, and Bruce and I will pack them into the van this evening.  Tomorrow our neighbors, Jared, Steven and Raymond Bieber, will help us unload the van, and then unload the pots.  I'll have to decide where they go (something I never really know!  It always seems enough that I get them made.  Now, I have to arrange them on the shelves in display, too!!!...)
unloading the kiln; a little 4-legged tub decorated by Juliana

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Fair of the Season!

matted mini tiles


candle holders (finished, in front, glazed but undecorated or fired, behind)

succulent wall tile
Yikes, am I ever ready?  The Toledo June fair, locally known as Crosby Gardens Festival of the Arts, begins this Friday evening at six p.m., though there are always early arrivals---I am unloading a kiln this evening, and packing all the pots in the studio.  Tomorrow my friend, Pat Ligibel, will come over to help finish the unloading, sanding of the pots' bottoms, and pricing.  Today, Pat McGlauchlin helped Bruce and me set up the tent and shelving.  And more help is on the way!  I'm really grateful for all the help, Thanks, everybody!!!!  since, this year, I had hip replacement surgery about three weeks ago, and, though I no longer walk with a rolling gait, I still am not fully recovered!  I've been working on some different ways to present work: little tiles have been matted, and I took advantage of an idea being marketed by Aftosa--hanging succulent boxes.  We'll see how they go---more photos, tomorrow.

Monday, March 12, 2012

the image revealed

Finally,  carefully lift the inked paper from the tile, and check to be sure that all the ink has transferred.  If not, you may want to replace the print and continue to rub.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

transfering the image---

Next Step:  carefully place the inked and wet (thus, fragile) piece of xerox paper onto a glazed surface--a tile, in this case--and smooth out.  You can also rub the surface with a blue rubber rib--gently, and with a little gum on it--since the paper has a tendency to tear. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Inking the print

The next step is the inking of the gummed xerox---(I'm using another drawing in this stage; you'll see both transfers at the end).  The 'print' can be washed off inbetween inking by flooding the drawing with water into which some gum has been splashed in (about 1 Tbsp.).  I find this easier to do in an old bucket, rather than on the table top.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

First stages of planographic printing on unfired glaze

Here are the first steps to making a transfer of a drawing onto the glazed surface of a pot:  put a little CMC gum onto the surface of the xeroxed drawing, then rub it around.   A little of the gum under the drawing, as well, will keep the paper from slipping around.  The mixed ink  (linseed oil and mason stain) is already mixed, and is now in a little puddle on the glass plate.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Printing on glazed ware

a mask in progress, with a transfer, on the left, of Bruce, and, on the right, of a student jumping rope

linseed oil and mason stain (peacock)
                It's February, already; where is the winter going?  I'm working with xeroxed images of some of my photographs, and glazed mask shapes, trying to put them together.  Online, I've seen a process which uses linseed oil mixed with a colorant/mason stain as the 'ink'---it's a planographic printing process, (as is lithography) using gum and water to cover and protect the areas of the xerox which do not have any ink.  But the demonstration, online, is showing the printing taking place on leatherhard clay, not on an unfired glazed surface (here's the link:  The mask is not yet fired, not even yet finished.  The tiles to the right are tests, and fired.  More on this as I continue with the testing---