Potters Choice – Deep Sienna Speckle

 

Potters Chioce Glaze Deep Sienna 2

This is the perfect time of year to do a blog post about another one of my favorite Potters Choice glazes…

Deep Sienna Speckle

I’m not very patient when it comes to trying out a new glaze. I don’t like waiting to try it out on some test tiles, so I use small items like these leaf pendants. Test tiles are not only a waste of my time, they also take up much-needed space in my workshop, and then I can’t do anything with them. When I use something small to test a glaze and it comes out great, I can sell it! If not…no big deal!

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Then I try it out on something a little bit larger, like my super cute bird ornaments. I love these birds!

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And these really cute mittens! This glaze is always consistent. I’ve never had a problem with it. I love glazes like this!

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Then I try it out on something a little larger with a bowl like shape to it, so I can see how the glaze works on something that’s not flat. Like my little heart dishes. It came out great! And because it’s a transparent glaze, it’s great with texture.  

Oh, before I forget…everything so far has been glazed on B-Mix 5 clay.

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These heart dishes are so cute!

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Now I’m ready to try it out on some of my maple leaves.

This glaze looks great on my leaves. I love it!

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They were made with B-Mix 5 clay also.

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Now it’s time for some bowls.

These moon bowls were made with #50 stoneware clay. The color is a little darker, but it still looks great! I love the rough rustic look of these bowls.

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These bowls were made with B-Mix 5, and no texture. It looks great with texture and without. It’s easy to brush on, which I really like. And it’s reliable and consistent…what more could you ask for! 

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This bowl came out nice.

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I love the way this flower bowl came out! Doesn’t it look great?

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I used #50 stoneware clay for this bowl. It’s a buff colored clay after firing with speckles in it. The glaze usually comes out a little darker than if it had been glazed on B-Mix.

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Now it’s time to try it out on some plates with no texture.

I love it, I need to make more of these.

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I love how this glaze shows every little detail of this texture. It looks amazing!

*Please note: When firing this glaze, fire it with speckle glazes only, like Deep Firebrick or Deep Olive Speckle. The specks fly around in the kiln atmosphere and will go on your other glazes. I always fire these glazes separate from my other glazes.

Hmmm…what should I try it on next?

Maybe some mugs! 

 

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.

Vintage Cottage

 I love old houses with character, and charm!

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.

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These are side plates
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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.
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These are glazed in Antique Celadon Green by Duncan
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I like this glaze!
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This bowl was glazed in Vintage Blue by Duncan
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This glaze is Deep Olive Speckle by Potters Choice
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This is Deep Sienna Speckle by Potters Choice
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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?
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I might try these too!
What do you think?
Which color would you like for your kitchen or dinning room?

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!

Mansfield Park

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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.
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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. 
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The clay was nice and soft…But!
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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.
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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!
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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.   
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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!
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So, what do you think?

 

 

 

New Heart Dishes

I love these new hearts dishes!

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I love black, and I love this color combination.

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

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

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See the difference in the design!

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

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

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

I love this color too!

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So pretty!

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The bottom!

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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?

Loading My Skutt Kiln

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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!

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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.

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

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The bottom row is loaded, now the next row.

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The next row of items, ready to load.

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

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This row is done, now onto the next row.

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Items ready for the next row.

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Oooops! I dropped a leaf and it broke.

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This row is all done, two more to go!

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Some new ornaments!

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

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

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

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

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

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