Vintage Cottage

 I love old houses with character, and charm!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s the inspiration behind my handmade dinnerware
called Vintage Cottage. The design reminds me of an old tin ceiling,
in a home with beautiful woodwork, moldings, old wooden floors,
radiators, and a claw foot tub. We actually had a claw foot tub in the first house my husband and I purchased. It was built in 1912, it had original varnished woodwork, huge cast iron radiators and old wooden floors. I miss that house. Too bad we couldn’t take it with us when we moved.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The dinnerware starts out as a bag of B-Mix clay. A combination of stoneware and porcelain. I love working with this clay, it’s so smooth and really nice to work with. It does have its draw backs though. Sometimes it tends to crack. So, I baby it. As long as I let it dry slow, it’s fine. Do you like my water bucket? I like to recycle.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I cut chunks of clay with my wire tool, and smash them together on my slab roller. I kind of like this part. I get to punch it! Those marks are from the end of my fist. Oh, here’s a tip! If you want a really nice clean surface, use an old sheet over your canvas. I use them all the time. I have a draw full of old sheets that I cut up to fit my slab roller. I also cover the clay with another sheet as well, so both sides have a nice smooth clean surface.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
After I roll out the clay, I add texture, then cut out what I need, and shape it into plates. I let them dry a little, so they set up and don’t lose they’re shape. Then I clean them, let them dry completely, and then bisque fire them. And this is what my handmade plates look like after they’ve been bisque fired. This is a dinner plate and a lunch/side plate
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Each plate and bowl is made one at a time, so each one is unique, and different. The design will differ slightly from plate to plate, and from bowl to bowl, depending on where I cut out the plate, or bowl from the slab.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
These are side plates
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
After they’re washed, I let them dry. Then I wax the bottoms, and let them dry again. Once they’re completely dry, I can start glazing. I usually start glazing the bottoms first, then the top and end with the rim.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
These are glazed in Antique Celadon Green by Duncan
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I like this glaze!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This bowl was glazed in Vintage Blue by Duncan
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This glaze is Deep Olive Speckle by Potters Choice
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This is Deep Sienna Speckle by Potters Choice
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
And this one is Deep Firebrick by Potters Choice
new amaco glazes
I really want to try these new glazes by Amaco.
I think Vintage Cottage would look fabulous in these colors!
Which color do you like?
new amaco glazes2
I might try these too!
What do you think?
Which color would you like for your kitchen or dinning room?

Potters Choice – Indigo Float

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Indigo Float

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It definitely works well on this texture!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then I try 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?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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!

A Flock of Birds

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have a flock of birds…waiting to be glazed.

I love these little birds!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made some with a little extra texture.

I can’t wait to see how the glazes react with the texture!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made a few in a darker clay body, that has lots of specks.

Hmmm…not sure what glaze to try?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This little guy is special! He was featured in the…

Arts Business Institute

2nd Annual Great Handmade Holiday Gift Guide – Under $50

http://www.artsbusinessinstitute.org/blog/2nd-annual-great-handmade-holiday-gift-guide-under-50/#utm_source=feed&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feed

He’s been tweeting about it ever since.

I think the other little birds are a little jealous! lol!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are a few of his friends

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These blue birds were glazed with Duncan…Vintage Blue

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Love these glazes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The green birds were glazed with Duncan…Antique Celadon Green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This one was glazed with Duncan…Shino Cream

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And these were glazed with Potters Choice…Deep Sienna Speckle

Potters Chioce Glaze Deep Sienna Speckle

I guess, I’ll just try a bunch of different colors and see what happens!

Since I have a Coyote Glaze firing next, I’ll try those first!

Mansfield Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m calling this Dinnerware…Mansfield Park

Because
#1 My father was born in Mansfield, Massachusetts
#2 I love Jane Austen books and movies
#3 Every time I look at it…it’s all I can think of!
I’m not sure why?
This design was floating around in my head for 2-3 years before I even made it. I’m not sure what took me so long? I guess, I just have too many ideas floating around in there, not to mention book ideas. I think there’s 5 or 6 book ideas in there somewhere. My mind creates designs way faster than my body can keep up with them. They even keep me from sleeping sometimes.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Mansfield Park began when I called the ceramic supply company to order some clay. I had an order to fill, and needed some B-Mix clay. I figured, I might as well get some #50 too, but they didn’t have any. I was told that #60 was similar (it’s the clay with the white leaves on the bag), so I purchased a box. When it arrived, I was like a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t wait to try it, couldn’t wait to touch it, and work with it. I was too impatient to make test tiles first. So, I rolled out a slab, added texture and made some tapas plates. I made six of them, and with the little pieces of clay that was leftover, I made bird ornaments. 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The clay was nice and soft…But!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
It has a lot of grog, as you can see. Grog is like tiny little rocks, that’s added to clay, it reduces shrinkage and aids in drying. It also prevents defects like cracking and gives it structural strength for hand-building and throwing.  
Which normally I don’t like. That’s why I use B-Mix.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Because I didn’t make any test tiles, I went ahead and glazed all six plates, without knowing how they were going to react with my glazes. I had no idea what they would look like, or even if my glazes were compatible with this clay (which probably would have been a really bad idea, if they hadn’t come out good!) Not only that, I had to pick a glaze from the huge glaze inventory I have. I could have used six different colors, but I decided on just one color. Thankfully, I picked the right one!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Duncan…Shino Cream!
I love these glazes! They’re so easy to use. They brush on so nicely, and they always come out great. I love glazes like that! I think I’m getting really spoiled.   
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Wow! Was I lucky or what? They came out great!
I only have five left. I gave one to my Mom, because the most important reason for naming them Mansfield Park, was to honor my Dad. I wish he could have seen them!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
So, what do you think?

 

 

 

New Heart Dishes

I love these new hearts dishes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love black, and I love this color combination.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Each handmade heart dish is made one at a time, making each one unique and slightly different.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think they’re elegant, sophisticated, and chic!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

See the difference in the design!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think I’m going to make one for myself!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is what the bottom looks like. I glaze the top and sides only, leaving the bottom completely unglazed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here it is in purple, on white stoneware/porcelain mix clay.

I love this color too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So pretty!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bottom!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m going to try some in red, and electric blue. Then I’ll try some rustic glazes and see what happens.

What color do you like?

Glazing The Moon!

 

How I glaze…The Moon!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I first started making this dinnerware, I hadn’t planned on calling it…The Moon. I was actually thinking of a beachy-coastal theme, especially since I use a sea urchin to produce this texture. But when my husband first saw it, he said. “It looks like the moon.” So I went with it. It didn’t take very long to come up with some names like…New Moon, Full Moon, Moon Dust, Harvest Moon, Moon Shadow and Once Upon a Blue Moon. And I didn’t even have to buy new glazes, I already had everything I needed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All the underglazes and glazes I need for this firing, are lined up for easy access. My brushes, and everything else I need is at my fingers tips.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I place old towels on my table to protect my pottery, it gives it a little cushion, and I don’t want to get wax on my table. It’s so much easier to clean up too. I just roll up the towels and throw them in the washing machine when I have a load. Now I’m ready to wash my plates.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I use distilled water for washing all of my pottery and for glazing. The reason I use distilled water, is because we have well water. There’s a lot of iron and lime in our water, and I don’t want it to affect my glazes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The plates are all washed and drying. Once they dry, I’ll apply black underglaze to the bottom of the plates.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I use a small brush to apply the underglaze, so I can get inside all the cracks and crevices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One coat is done, two more to go!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After all three coats are applied, I let them dry really well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the part I’m not to crazy about! Washing (scrubbing) the black underglaze off and leaving it only in the cracks and crevices. I can’t even tell you how many times I need to change the water, or how long it takes! Lets just say, it’s a lot of work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One more to go…Yay!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After all that scrubbing, here they are! All cleaned up and ready for waxing!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once the wax is applied to the bottom of the plates, and they are completely dry. They’re ready for glaze. I use a fan brush to apply the glaze on the top of the plates, and a round sable brush for the rim.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And after three coats of glossy black glaze, they’re ready to load in my kiln.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is what the bottom of the plates look like after they are fired. I love the way they look and feel!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here they are…all finished!

I’ve been thinking about doing these in the beachy-coastal theme I was telling you about before. Creamy off white clay with beachy colors. What do you think?

.

 

 

Loading My Skutt Kiln

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is Charlotte Skutt…my kiln. I’m not exactly sure why I named my kiln, but I did and I think it’s cute!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think this is the first time in almost 24 years, that I’ve actually taken photos while loading my kiln. These items are going on the bottom shelf of my kiln. I’m doing a bisque firing, so I can get a whole lot more stuff in this load, then if it was a glaze firing. I can actually stack pottery on top of each other, unlike a glaze firing…they would fuse together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The kiln posts are in place, and I’m ready to start loading the bottom shelf.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bottom row is loaded, now the next row.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next row of items, ready to load.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I usually start with the larger items, and then fill in the rest of the space with smaller pieces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This row is done, now onto the next row.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Items ready for the next row.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Oooops! I dropped a leaf and it broke.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This row is all done, two more to go!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Some new ornaments!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next row is done, one more to go and then I can turn it on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Top row is done…Yay! Now I can rest and let Charlotte do her job!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And approximately 36 -38 hours later. Everything is bisque fired, unloaded and in my workshop.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now it’s time to put all these goodies away.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But before I do that, I need to decide which pieces are getting glazed first.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yay! Everything is put away, now it’s time to start waxing and glazing.