Sunday, March 29, 2015

Meditation Bowls

These mini zen meditation bowls are always a remind to me that there's a lot to see in miniature if I'm observant. These zen meditation bowls are each a little less than two inches in diameter. I like to use the dark brown mottled glaze symbolizing the earth and the blue or cream to symbolize water.

 The cool blue water is something for the eye to gaze upon.

With their diminutive size the meditation bowls can be carried in your pocket or purse and taken wherever you go. If you're feeling stressful, take out your meditation bowl and gaze upon it and let your mind relax and wander.

When I had my lavender farm in California I used my lavender sachets in much the same way for relaxation. If I was feeling stressed I could squeeze a lavender sachet. The lavender essential oil would release into the air and help to relax me. I am reminded using the senses to their fullest makes life much more pleasant.

I just remembered visiting the Arkansas School for the Blind when I lived nearby. In front of the school is a sunken herb garden full of fragrant herbs. I remember walking along the path and at times closing my eyes, listening to the sounds, smelling the fragrant herbs, and rubbing their textures between my fingers. If you have a chance to visit an herb garden please do, or why not grow a few herbs. They bring such joy to me and I'm sure they will to you as well. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tall Tower with Stopper

It's been ages since I made this tall tower with a coiled stopper. The tower is about 20 inches tall. It was too tall to fire the stopper in the tower so I made an an armature to hold the stopper while it was firing. The tower was made with speckled brownstone clay. Since the ring that sits on the top is unglazed, I think a tower with several rings left unglazed with look good. I might make a few of those.

When I took it out of the glaze firing I thought the stopper had stuck to the armature but it broke loose when it cooled a little more. One thing I think I might do in the future is have a key or perhaps some holes through the tower and the inner part of the stopper to keep the stopper from falling out when I move the tower. I like the idea of the stopper reminds me of a perfume bottle with a stopper. I might have to explore making bottles with stoppers in the future.

It's been so warm this week the three Aristocrat flowering pear trees bloomed out. This year Gary has placed groundcover cloth under the trees and put mulch over the top. He's working on doing the same for the blueberries which line the front of the enclosed basement patio room. That's Barney with his short tail standing in front of the door to the basement room. When we're outside he follows us wherever we go. I had just gone inside the door.

Here are the fruit trees along the wall we planted last year. We also have five lining the driveway. We expected a frost this morning so Gary and I went out and put sheets over the fruit trees and wrapped painter's tape around the bottoms to keep the sheets from blowing off. We have one more night of frost for this week so we'll keep the sheets on during the day to save ourselves from having to put them on twice. If we used plastic the plastic might make it too hot underneath for them to stay on. If rain is threatened we could put the plastic over the sheets and that wouldn't allow the plastic to burn the tender blossoms and leaves under the sheets. More pottery to come so stay tuned.Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Friday, March 27, 2015

One White Rabbit

Big disappointment, only one white rabbit made it through the firing. The other white rabbit had a hairline crack at the bottom seam and that was the rabbit I thought had the cutest face. The cat jar had a crack down the middle seam. As you can see the good news is the glaze I put over the underglaze on the rabbit allowed it to show up perfectly.

I now have three animal heads in the studio waiting for bodies. With regards to seams I seem to regressing instead of progressing. I may have to get that other clay I was working with in Florida, Macabee 5, which seemed to be far more forgiving. Stay tuned for more pots, had to go to the gallery yesterday so no time to take the photos. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bell Bottoms & Oil Spot

Hope you're not disappointed that I don't have any bells bottom pants to show you here. I remember wearing them many moons ago. Here's one of the bells with some oil spot going on. This is one of my glaze experiments that I've been adjusting.

These are three of the experimental bells after the glaze firing. The one on the right has a crack at the edge. Before firing another one with a handle was broken so I discarded that one. Another I glazed but forgot to load it into the glaze firing. It was hidden behind a glaze bucket. I wasn't going to make any more with handles since they are hard to construct but after tapping these with a wooden stick I think I'll make both styles.

But what should I do about the bell bottoms? The non glaze part? I could paint the bottom edge after firing. I could keep the bells unglazed in natural color clay perhaps a speckled or red clay. Maybe I could underglaze the whole bell and then spray a clear coat of paint after firing.  What do you think?

Here's a little more oil spot going on in the bottom of this tea bowl. Stay tuned for more photos and unfortunately a few disappointments. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.