I’m STILL Excited!


I opened up the kiln and I was floored! For some reason the iron oxide black ink from the laser printer decal completely burnt out the red glaze, and itself in the process. But how cool is this?


The bad news is that it didn’t burn out on all of them. I don’t know why.

But when it worked: WOW!

I have a load in the big kiln right now, full of plain colored glazed beads of every underglaze. I can’t wait to fit them all my with very own decals. There’s no telling WHAT will happen!

Homemade Decals


A few weeks ago I discovered that I could design, create, and print my very own decals in my studio! I have been wanting to do this for such a long time, but my only option was to buy a $3000 set up … however, I ran across someone in the Etsy Mud Team forum who was excited about a laser printer that used a black ink (iron oxide) and had begun making his own decals.

So of course there I was ordering the printer and the decal paper online and it seemed like it took absolutely FOREVER to finally arrive. Right away I printed a sheet or two and put them on a couple of items.

The first couple of tries I ruined because I didn’t read the instructions carefully enough. I had fired the decal in TOO low of a temperature. I took it out. I touched it. The ink came off on my fingers. I was horrified!

Then I discovered that the decals work best on cone 08 through cone 6. So I did it again, except this time my glaze was so dark that the decal was hardly visible. I put it aside to work on some teapots and marketing and other projects.

This morning I got out a pad of paper and doodled away. I came up with several drawings, one of which is on the right. I took a photo of it with the camera, uploaded it, reduced it to 2 colors. I did the same with the rest and printed the sheet of paper out onto the decal paper.

Then I took some bright red beads and began applying them. Tomorrow they are going into the kiln. I’m! So! Excited!

——-UPDATE———
I finally figured out that in my kiln that I get good results at cone 04. If I fire hotter, the decal melts into the glaze and begins a slow slide downwards. If I fire less hot the decal rubs off. But cone 04 works GREAT!

More Beads


Even though it’s been a while between posts, I have not been neglecting making and firing pottery beads. But I have neglected taking photos of them! This is a bracelet I made out of monsoon sea rounds and nuggets. The transparent rounds are some vintage lucite, and the spacers are sterling silver. I have this (and other others here) for sale on LovLi.


This little old man is part of a series I did a few months back. Most of these have sold, the three on this bead strand is still available. I make a round ball of clay and push with my fingertips to make the eyes and the nose. Then with my fingernail I form the mouth. The pupils and nose holes are made with a bamboo poker.


This buttercup blue round is not online yet. I am planning on adding it today or tomorrow. I have taken a picture of this before but the colors came out waaaay to bright. I am going to add it to my fantasy bead series. Sometimes the picture is so different from the bead, but SO much prettier than the actual bead that I could almost weep. It has happened before. It will happen again. That is the nature of the bead photo. The goal is to represent the bead’s actual color!


These are some bigger focal beads that range from 20 mm to 22 mm. I think they would make a great necklace. I love how the colors contrast with each other and yet meld with each other at the same time. I can see this put together with jasper and jade. Someone else might shout, “No TURQUOISE,” and I would have to agree with that assessment too!

Pulling Handles from a Pot

This is a lesser known technique for attaching a handle to a mug.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hza0qaAxBqQ

I did this only once and it was only after I attached the top part of the handle I realized it was too thick for the mug. Aesthetically it simply didn’t work. Since I didn’t want to completely remove the handle, I cut about half of the clay ‘rope’ off and then pulled the handle as shown in this video. I figured it was a good save, and now I run across this technique and am amazed at all the different ways potters have of doing the same thing!

In Which I pretend to be Peter Fong Choo


I spent the morning in pottery class watching Potter Fong Choo on YOU TUBE. He was demonstrating throwing and assembling 3 miniature teapots. It was wonderful!Here are the links!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03ViTqA0u1g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3LM64kBf9A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3LM64kBf9A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vlmz-P_Y3A

So of course I had to try, too! Here’s my first one! It’s nowhere the quality and wonderful-ity of Peter Fong Choo but it SURE was fun to build!

Introducing….

I have another online store: LovLi. I will be putting different items there than what is in the Etsy storefront. This is one of my newest items in the LovLi store.

I have a kiln full of things cooling down. It’s SO hard to wait. SO HARD!

I have other items which I pulled out on Thursday that I still need to take photos of. Today is sunny and should make for some good pictures. I am enjoying the homemade light box which I put together a couple of weeks ago. It really does help for better pictures. I believe I blogged about it and posted a picture of it on my Bead blog.

Kiln Peek


So I quickly opened the kiln and snapped this photo. As you can see my shelves need to be seriously recoated with some kiln wash. Maybe patched up a bit?

The teapot came out great but I think some of the floaties from the stainless steel rods may have settled in the bottom of the teapot. The magnets came out great, too!

See that square with the holes on it that the little measuring cup is sitting upon? I got that at the BBQ store! And if anyone was still in doubt how to hang beads in their kiln, doubt no further. As you can see it is quite simple.

Alas I have to wait to peek at the other shelves.

Kiln Peek


So I quickly opened the kiln and snapped this photo. As you can see my shelves need to be seriously recoated with some kiln wash. Maybe patched up a bit?

The teapot came out great but I think some of the floaties from the stainless steel rods may have settled in the bottom of the teapot. The magnets came out great, too!

See that square with the holes on it that the little measuring cup is sitting upon? I got that at the BBQ store! And if anyone was still in doubt how to hang beads in their kiln, doubt no further. As you can see it is quite simple.

Alas I have to wait to peek at the other shelves.

It is my Favorite Mug!


I almost kept this one. I fell in love with it right after it came off the wheel. I carved the lines in it, and loved it more. As I glazed it I thought, “I really love this mug.” Some mugs do that to me! But after long deliberation, I am going to sell it. Sigh. I can’t keep them all!

Kiln Cooking


This is what is cooking in the kiln today. It has taken me too many days to finish glazing this batch. I kept getting distracted by real life. Once I set the brush down, I would forget to return. I’ve been asked before what is my favorite part about making pottery. Is it forming it? Trimming it? Sanding it? Glazing it? Photographing it? Selling it? The answer is yes yes yes yes yes and YES! When I’m on the wheel or slabbing a piece together, that’s my favorite part. And when I am trimming a whole slew of bowls and plates, that’s my favorite part. And so on!

Believe it or not, I love the sanding process. It’s a quiet job, contemplative. I wonder about who will hold the handle in which I’m taking care to rub out every little bump, what kind of life do they lead? What are their troubles? Do they need prayer? Often I will pray for the person who will eventually own my pottery. Nothing specific, mind you, because I don’t know what their life story is, but I do pray that whatever troubles they face, that they will face them in the strength that God will provide, that whatever joys they find they will rest in God’s peace.

Glazing is exciting because all the ideas I’ve thought about while forming and trimming and sanding all begin to converge together into the piece it’s going to finally become! I always worry if I put enough clear glaze on top. There is nothing more disappointing than finding out after a firing that the piece isn’t shiny or glossy enough!

The firing is probably the part I enjoy the least. It’s like the day before you are allowed to open a gift. You have no choice. You have to wait it out. Waiting is NO fun! So often when I’m waiting I begin glazing the next batch, or sanding, or trimming, or creating something new. That gives my mind something to think about other than at 12:30 pm I get to turn the kiln on Medium! 😉