Summer is coming to a close, getting my kids ready for the new school year.
It also means I need to get my inventory up for the fall shows/sales.
First one up is Blossom Hill Crafts in Los Gatos, CA. This is my first show with Blossom Hill Crafts, so I’m not sure what I will be bringing. I have new teapots, cups, bird feeders and water pitchers. It all seems a bit disjointed, but I have a few weeks to work on getting it all to look good together.
Those of you who are in town or visiting around that time, do stop by and say hello.
September 21-22, 2013
10:00 am – 5:00 pm each day.
Held indoors at the History Club of Los Gatos
123 Los Gatos Blvd., Los Gatos, CA 95030
2Frogs Ceramic Arts announces new show and sale dates for Fall/Winter 2013. Featured items are Teapots, Bird Feeder, Water Pitchers and Holiday Accessories and Ornaments.
A quick update on my show/sale schedule for Fall 2013.
I am filling the end of this year with shows and sales, 3 so far. Which means:
I am excited to show new work
My glazes are working again
My shelves are overflowing
Can use the extra cash to buy more clay!
I’m excited to show my new teapots with techniques learned from the teapot workshop with George Dymesich and new glazes I’ve been perfecting. Look for new posts soon to see my progress with theses.
Bird FeedersYou have seen a few glimpses of these in previous posts and a few on my Etsy shop. I will have a few more in different designs and colors. I’m sure there will be ones you will have to have in your own bird sanctuary.
Water PitchersThese high-capacity vessels are slab formed and as functional as beautiful. Inspired by my need to water my indoor plants, they easily go from holding a bouquet of your favorite flowers to pouring a refreshing drink at your table.
Mugs, Tumblers and Stuff
I have been experimenting with textures, textures and textures. These will be featured on slab built mugs, cups and other versatile small dishes.
Last year, I featured little red birds to play around your holiday tree. This year…It’s a surprise. You will have to come to one of my sales to find out. Visit me in person and mention my website, one will be a gift from me to you.
Few of these items will be featured on Etsy as inventory become available so keep checking my 2Frogs/Etsy shop for new pieces if you can’t make one of my shows.
This was the last teapot completed successfully in my studio. Sadly, I’ve made at least 8 while in SF, and this is the only one that survived—thanks to a pre-mixed Cone 6 glaze from a bottle, brushed on. Inner liner glaze is my own.
Let’s rewind the clock to Fall of 2012.
September. I finally set up my little studio in the garage of our Redwood Shores townhouse rental, I was excited to continue my teapot making…I was starting to really enjoy the process. Got my little Skutt kiln hooked up after paying the electrician $300 for a special outlet—this we negotiated down from $500! Bought the necessary glazing materials and equipment…this was not cheap either since I couldn’t bring all of my wet glaze materials.
So, fast forward a few weeks… many bisqued teapots, cups and bird houses and other little experiments I was ready to glaze. Mixed up my usual batches of tried and true glazes in test quantities and fired up my kiln to cone 6. They seems to look fine… but it wasn’t. My second glaze firings included those new teapots and every pot came out with blisters! I mentioned this in my previous post, but didn’t get into what happened to my teapot making. Well, I was distraught, so I stopped making teapots…it was too heart breaking. I started hand-building and reformulating glazes and testing, testing, testing—glaze mixtures, clay bodies, temperatures, ramp/hold/cooling schedules. Turns out it was a bisque temperature and kiln load density issue…yes 5 months of testing! At least now, I have several new glazes that work beautifully (also found in previous post).
Fast forward again to this weekend.
I took a hands-on Ultimate Teapot Workshop with George Dymesich offered by OVCAG at Higher Fire in San Jose. Well, I think my groove is coming back. George was a very patient and thorough teacher, showing each step with explanation of why certain techniques are used, both functional and aesthetic concepts. All this time, I didn’t understand why there is a hole in the lid! It’s to allow liquid to flow without gurgling. AHA! There were many other Aha! moments throughout the day. Not only from George’s instructions, but from working with 10 other fellow potters learning, encouraging and inspiring from each other. Seeing little home made tools and shortcuts like: a little painter’s sponge bought at HomeDepot stuck at the end of a stick works so much better than ones you buy from the clay store! And I learned how to use a throwing stick on the inside of a pot to give volume…and I successfully threw a 5 pound clay pot!
Now I should have some photos of my hard work…nope. Packed it up in the trunk at the end of the day, got home and while unloading my pieces, dropped it on my garage floor. FLOP!
Two things learned by dropping my teapots on the floor:
1. Got over my “precious pot” syndrome. It’s the “don’t cry over spilled milk” for potters. Kind of.
2. My throwing is getting better, even walls, mostly. Still need to work on not thinning out at the rim.
It has been a long month full of activity at the 2Frogs Ceramic Arts Studio…aka. Rutter Garage.
I finally made the jump and hooked up the kiln ($300), bought the glaze chemicals & supplies ($200+), and spent the gazillions of hours mixing and glazing and testing tiles. I’m on my 4th glaze test, each taking 15-18 hours of firing and another 10 hours of cooling to find out that I’ve failed…again. But bright side…I think I know what happened…maybe. The crazy thing is that the test tiles looked great, but the pots didn’t. So what gives? Another glaze test firing in the works.
If you are in the neighborhood of Palo Alto, CA in the second week in November, I’ll be showing my work with other members of the Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild…details below.
2Frogs Ceramic Arts will be one of over 300 artists showing works at the 9th Annual Ravenswood ArtWalk along the Ravenswood Corridor in the North Center and Ravenswood Neighborhoods.
This show will feature the Carved Series (more photos to come), Pebbles and the yet to be named series of pots featured below (naming suggestions welcome!).
The ArtWalk is free, thanks to support from dozens of neighborhood businesses and a strong donor base. Besides featuring the work of more than 300 visual artists, it also includes music, food vendors, kids activities and a live graffiti wall.
I will post updated location information as soon as it is available.
Save the Date!
New year and a new resolution. Will this count since I didn’t really follow through with last year’s resolution? Does that count since I don’t remember last year’s resolution?
At least I’m off to a good start. I am posting 3 new teapots with new glaze effects, couple of new nodding vases too. These have been added to 2Frogs Studio @Etsy with multiple views. So check them out.
There is a certain expectation of what I might see when I open a glaze firing. This time, the wait was just too much. I had 4 teapots loaded with new glaze combination that I haven’t tried before. I was anxious and eager at the same time. Out of the 4 that went in, one didn’t survive. It was a beautiful form, but 75% success rate can still be celebrated.
This Brown Potbelly Teapot has to be my favorite so far. This glaze color was a complete surprise when I pulled the teapot out of the kiln. First of all, it was way too hot to handle but that’s just a testiment to how excited I was to see it. Oil Spot over Red Glaze with White Grotelle. The combination of Red Glaze and the Oil Spot created this deep brown with beautiful texture to create depth. The white over lid area and handle created the glazes to run creating the movement and intrigue. I tried an extra long single pulled handle and the contrast between the bulbous body with a slender handle is refreshing. Now, I’ll have to try to duplicate this again and again.
When at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This worked for the Blue Fire Teapot. First pass glazing was not very interesting and consider calling it a failure. So reglazing was more of an experiment than anything. Still, the outcome was a bit of a surprize too. It began its life as a dark blue on the bottom half of its body with a light blue top . In the second firing I experimented with layering a green glaze over blue to see what would happen. The result was a fiery dance of the colors.
Here’s a dilemma, what to name my teapots. While Potbelly is more of a descriptive name for the form, might not be as fun to call them. At least, that’s what my husband pointed out. So readers, help me out. This teapot and the first teapot have the same colors but one has a handle that is long and loops towards the spout, and this one is curled over towards the lid. Wider at the base and slightly bigger than the first one, this teapot has a much smaller lid opening requiring a ball tea strainer. You might ask “how do you wash the teapot with such small opening?”. Well, you don’t wash a clay teapot with detergents because teh teapot will be “coated” and the aromatic peaks of the particular tea will be emphasized, giving it a more satisfying taste. Therefore, you should try to use one tea families for the tea pot to keep the flavors more pure. Ha! Tea enjoyment 101. Oh, to finish the though… just rinse with hot water when you are finished. That’s it.
I’ve finished a couple of tea cups or Yunomi’s too. These will soon be uploaded to Etsy too.
Thanks for visiting. I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave me a note and subscribe to get all of my (occasional) posts.
This year’s resolution? To feed my teapot passion. To balance work, family and passion. To update my blog more regularly. To travel. Ask me next year.
Wow, it’s been a busy summer! And too soon over. With temperatures below 45 last night, it hits you right away that in Chicago, fall comes and goes even faster.
I have a new announcement! I’ve opened an Etsy store front. http://www.etsy.com/shop/2FrogsStudio
So far I am getting a nice flow of traffic and some sales… ok 2. Still very excited to show and sell.
This series of pots are with the red glaze. It’s working really nicely and mixed with a cream glaze or with the blue glaze, it give me results that are somewhat predictable and spontaneous at the same time.
I’m also launching my “potbelly” series of pots starting with mugs and lidded jars. It’s called Potbelly because it has a nice paunch belly. My mom is the one to thank for this idea, and I’ll take the credit for improving on this. Unlike most handmade mugs, I use fine stoneware so that I can throw thinner but still be strong. The design is rounded in the middle and hold more than you think, while the bottom still shows stability and carries the weight and keeps coffe or tea warm. The rim is rounded and flares out a bit and comfortably forms to your lips. I like the handle the best. It’s is hand pulled and curves into itself and attached upside down.
Ahhh, and the teapots.
About two years ago, as I was making my first ever teapot, I was having such a difficult time, I claimed that I would never, ever, ever, ever make another teapot. Well, as with some challenges, I am compelled to master that which I struggle with. (I qualify this with the fact that I do not follow this all the time. I think my family hope that I am not compelled to bake again. oh well.)
I think this Red Teapot looks good. I have more and they are posted on Etsy, and a couple more waiting to be glazed. I think I will keep exploring but these shapes are both delicate and confident at the same time.
I am working on a few more forms and hope to post new soon.