Olive

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This glaze is called…Deep Olive Speckle

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It’s another great glaze by Potters Choice. It’s easy to use, brushes on nicely and is very consistent. I haven’t had any problems with it…at all! And it’s fantastic with texture. You can see every single detail. I really like that!

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It’s definitely a keeper!

PC 29 PC 41

A while ago, I purchased two bottles of PC -41 Vert Lustre…mainly because it looked like a really nice dark green. It’s another great glaze by Potters Choice. It brushes on really nice, and it fires well…but it’s really difficult to photograph because it’s so glossy. If you don’t need to take photos, then it’s great!

After working with clay for almost 25 years, I’m getting a little picky with my glazes. They have to brush on easy (if I’m not dipping), they have to be consistent, and they have to photograph well. That’s really important if you sell online. You need good photos. So, if a glaze doesn’t photograph well…it’s gone!

I wasn’t pleased with myself for purchasing two bottles, I usually only buy one bottle at a time when trying out a new glaze. So, I decided to layer it with another glaze and see how that would work out.

I choose to layer it with Deep Olive Speckle. 

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Now, this is much better! I can photograph it…Yay!

The color is a little different from the test piece by Potters Choice, I kind of like this color better. It’s different because Potters Choice used 2 coats of Deep Olive Speckle and then 2 coats of Vert Lustre on top…four coats total. Four coats scare me, I think that’s a little too much glaze. I don’t want drips (I hate drips), and I don’t want the glaze to run onto my shelf. So, I used 2 coats of Deep Olive Speckle and 1 coat of Vert Lustre on top…three coats total. I like it! I think I’ll keep it. What do you think?

I think I’ll call this color…Pacific Pine

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Here’s a close-up view

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After trying it out on some leaves, I wanted to see how it reacted with texture. So, I tried it out on a couple of Birdie Bowls. You can see the texture through the glaze, but not as clearly as if it were just Deep Olive Speckle. That’s because Deep Olive Speckle is a translucent glaze and Vert Lustre isn’t. But, I like the way it looks. What do you think? 

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Here’s the other Birdie Bowl. There’s still some glare from the glossy glaze though. I’ll have to do some extra photo editing the next time I use this glaze combination.

I think this color would be great around the holidays.

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Since that glaze combination went well, I think I’ll try these glaze combinations, and see what happens. My test pieces probably won’t look exactly like these, because I’m not using 4 coats. We’ll see what happens!

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Hmmm…I have a lot of glaze testing to do!

Blue Birds

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Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson

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I love making birdie bowls and bird ornaments!

I wish I could make some right now, but I can’t! I’ll have to wait until we move. My fingers are itching to dig into a bag of clay and make something cute, or pretty, functional or non-functional…I don’t care, I just want to feel the clay in my hands. I want to touch it, squish it through my fingers, smell it…I like the smell of clay. Everyday I go into my workshop, and force myself not to make something. I look at all the pieces that are ready to be glazed, and then I have to leave. I know I have to start packing, but I’m procrastinating. I’m not sure if I’m ready to say goodbye to my workshop.

But then, another part of me can’t wait to move. I’m looking forward to starting over…in a new place, a new state, a new town, a new house, a new workshop. Everything new and clean and wonderful!

And then I remember I have to leave three of my children behind, and my three little granddaughters. That’s not going to be easy, but I have to. If only we could all go. Maybe someday we’ll all be together again…I hope!

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They are really cute, don’t you think?

Making Birdie Bowls

While I’m taking some time off, to heal my shoulder and get over a stubborn sinus infection, I thought I’d catch up on some blog posts.

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My birdie bowls started from a sketch I drew a long time ago. I thought it would make a really cute bowl. So, I cut out the original bird and transferred it onto some graph paper, so I could enlarged it. But I ended up taking it to Office Max and had them make it for me. I decided to make three different sizes, one for a birdie bowl, one for a bird ornament, and one for a smaller birdie bowl. Once I had the sizes I needed, I cut them out, and traced them onto a piece of poster board. I made a bunch of them and cut them out so I could have a template…good thing I was good at cutting out paper dolls. And here they are! The only thing is, they don’t last very long. After I use it a few times, it gets messed up, so I have to make more templates. I need to find a better way to do this, so I don’t have to keep cutting out paper birds! In the meantime though, it works great!

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I’ve only used B-mix 5 for my birdie bowls, but I have tried a stoneware clay called #60 on some of my bird ornaments, but I haven’t glazed them yet, so I don’t know how they will come out! If they come out great, I’ll try it on my birdie bowls too.

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After I slice off large chunks of clay with my wire tool, I put them on my slab roller.

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I absolutely love my North Star Slab Roller, it was the best investment I’ve ever made. She is my work horse…I call her Willow Northstar!

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Okay, all the clay I need is on my slab roller. I always, always use an old sheet over the canvas…for two reasons. One, it keeps my canvas nice and clean and two, I have a nice smooth surface. I always overlap the clay and then punch it with my fist. I kind of like punching it, it’s a nice way to get out your frustrations. After I punch it, I cover the clay with another sheet and cover the sheet with my canvas.

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It’s already to roll!

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And here it is…my slab!

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I place the bird template on my slab and trace around the edge with my pin tool.

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After I trace it, I carefully remove the template…hopefully without getting any finger prints or marks on my bird. Then I remove the excess clay around the bird before picking it up.

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Like this! Now I can lift it gently off my slab roller and shape it into a bowl.

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This is what they look like after I shape them into bowls. I let them stiffen up a little before cleaning them, so they hold they’re shape.

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This is what they look like after they’ve been all cleaned up and are completely dry and ready to be bisque fired.

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These are the smaller birdie bowls, they’re really cute too!

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I made some with a pointy tail. What do you think? Should I make more of these?

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And here it is…all finished! I think these were the first birdie bowls that I glazed.

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These are some of the textures and colors I’ve used…Orange, Scarlet Red and Chartreuse. Not sure if I’ll continue to use these glazes? I love the colors but, this glaze is a pain in the butt! It’s never consistent and gives me problems with pinholes…I don’t like that!

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Coyote Light Blue Shino on plain birdie bowls and Scarlet Red on texture.

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And one of my favorite glazes…Indigo Float by Potters Choice. Now this glaze is amazing, not only is it beautiful, it always, always comes out great! Now that’s the kind of glaze I like! Always consistent and perfect!

I’m definitely going to try more Potters Choice glazes, maybe even do some glaze combinations and see how they come out.

making birdie bowls by melinda marie alexander ravenhillpottery.etsy.com

And I’d like to try more Coyote glazes too, especially with some texture. These will definitely be more rustic, I think they’ll look fantastic!

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These will look great too!

Hopefully my shoulder will heal soon and my sinus headaches will go away, so I can start making some pottery. I think this is the fourth week…with a constant sinus headache…I honestly can’t remember now, it’s been so long! It’s day eleven on antibiotics. In the meantime, I’m just hoping I can start concentrating on my writing, so I can work on my book.

Potters Choice – Indigo Float

 

Potters Choice Glaze Indigo Float

I think it’s about time I do a blog post about one of my favorite glazes…

Indigo Float

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I’m usually too impatient to make test tiles. It seems like a waste of time to me. It’s not like you can do anything with them, and they take up space in my workshop. So, I usually test a glaze on something small, like ornaments. If it doesn’t come out good, no big deal, if it does, then I have something to sell. 

These leaves were made from a stoneware clay called #50.

The color is a little darker.

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After I test the glaze out on an ornament. I try it on something a little bigger, like these leaves. They were made with B-Mix 5

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Then I like to try something with some texture, like these birds.

Which was made with B-Mix 5

This glaze works well with texture, it’s not completely transparent, but at least it doesn’t cover up the texture like some glazes.

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It definitely works well on this texture!

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Then I tried it out on some small bowls. These came out cute!

I love this glaze! It’s so easy to work with, so nice to brush on, and it’s so reliable and consistent. Everything always comes out great, and the color is beautiful too. What more could you ask for?

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This bowl looks so yummy with these mouth watering strawberries!

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Then I combined Indigo Float with Blue Midnight

I applied one coat of Blue Midnight and two coats of Indigo Float on top. It came out great! As a matter of fact, this bowl was on Etsy’s Front Page!

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This bowl was also glazed with one coat of Blue Midnight and two coats of Indigo Float. I did some photo editing on this photo, so the color is slightly off. It looks like the bowl above. After it sold, I turned it into a food photography photo for my Etsy Shop, but I totally forgot about it, until I did this blog post. I need to list this! Even if no one buys it, it makes a great photo for treasuries.

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I made these plain heart dishes not that long ago, they came out cute! 

I just realized that I haven’t tried this glaze on any of my dinnerware. I think it’s time I do that. Hmmm, now I have to decide on which one. Should I use it on some plain plates or plates with texture? Let me know what you think!

Coyote Glaze Test – part four!

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Light Blue Shino on cone 5 B-Mix Clay! 

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Three coats brushed on with a  fan brush!

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 They came out great! Can’t wait to try it on pieces with more texture!