Underglazes

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These are some of my underglazes

and here’s what I do with them.

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Dinnerware…underglazed bottoms

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Ring Bowls

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Heart Dishes 

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Heart Ornaments

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Rings

Going through these photos made me realize…I’ve been using a lot of purple, black and red lately. Time to use another color!

Tropical Breeze

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When I first made these plates, I had no idea what to call them!

I even had a…name this dinnerware giveaway. The winning name was Plantation Breeze. I kept the name for a while, but it just wasn’t right! Then one day I received this email…

“I am a food photographer in Atlanta. I am needing the exact look that you create for a client of mine: Tropical Smoothie Cafes.
We are creating beauty food shots that will be in all of their restaurant decor.
We are doing a shoot this week and I am wondering if I gave you our FedEx number, if you could overnight some pieces for us.

Their ideal shapes are typically:
– plates: flat as possible and a 6.5-7″
– bowl 1.5-2″ rise and 7″ in diameter.

Let me know asap
I know you make things very close to these sizes, and beautifully.”

Best

Parlee Chambers

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Before I even saw the email, she went ahead and purchased 4 plates…two of these and two Vintage Cottage plates. Needless to say, I was excited! I called her right after I read the email, got all the information I needed, packed up the plates and my husband shipped them the next morning.

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And that is how they became…

Tropical Breeze

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I really like the name now!

I can’t wait to glaze them in different colors.

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Do you think I should just glaze them in tropical colors?

Hmmm…I need to think about this.

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And now they come in square plates and trays.

I took this photo right after I made these side plates and tray. The rims still need to be cleaned, and the bottoms need to be signed. I’m also planning on making platters with and without handles, bowls, cups and mugs. 

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I think I’m going to make a set for myself. 

Star Bowls and Ornaments

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These are some of my new star bowls. I’ve been experimenting with different textures. They’ve been bisque fired, but I haven’t glazed them yet. But now they’ll have to wait until I set up my new workshop.

star dishes melinda marie alexander ravenhillpottery.etsy.com with textjpg

These are the first star bowls I made. They came out really nice. The blue one was glazed in…Vintage Blue by Duncan and the other one was gazed in…Rustic Mustard by Duncan. I love these glazes. They work so well with texture.

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I love making star ornaments

star ornaments red melinda marie alexander ravenhillpottery.etsy.com with textjpg

These came out really cute. I make these in different sizes, even small ones for little tress. I think I’m going to make some for our tree.

star ornaments off white melinda marie alexander ravenhillpottery.etsy.com with textjpg

These off white stars are really cute too. Now I have to decide…if I want the red ones, or the off white ones for our tree. Maybe I’ll just have some of each, that sounds good.

I think we’re going to need a tree in every room!

These stars make great gift tags too.

What color star ornament would you like on your tree?

 

 

Sponges

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I love my pottery sponges!

These are just a few of them, I have more. I need lots of sponges, because they do different jobs. The old-looking ones, on the right aren’t really that old, they just look that way because they wash off underglazes from bisqueware. It’s a rough job, and it does a number on my sponges, especially if it’s stoneware clay with grog. I have sponges for washing bisqueware before glazing (these have to be really clean sponges), sponges while I work (I usually have two large buckets of water on my workbench while I work, with several sponges in each), sponges for cleaning pottery tools, and sponges for cleaning bottoms of pieces I just glazed, so I can load my items in the kiln.

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One day, I needed a really small sponge for a piece I was working on. None of my sponges were working. I thought about cutting up one of these, especially the old-looking ones on the right. But then I remembered something. I went into the bathroom, opened the top drawer and there they were in the back, where I had left them…make-up sponges. They were there for a long time…years I think. I never use make-up sponges when I put on make-up, I use my fingers. The only reason I even had them, was because my daughter wanted me to buy them, she uses them all the time.

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The make-up sponges worked perfectly! It was exactly what I needed. But more importantly, they have become a regular pottery tool now in my workshop. They make the smoothest rims and edges I’ve ever seen, and you can cut them if you need a smaller piece. I absolutely love using make-up sponges!

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They don’t last very long, especially if you’re using stoneware clay with grog. But who cares, they work great. I make sure I have plenty of make-up sponges on hand at all times.

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If you like nice smooth rims and edges, or if you need a small sponge for a hard to get to spot…give them a try. I think you’ll love them too.

I get mine at Walmart

Hope you liked my tip of the day!

Ravens

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I love making these ravens!

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After making plates, platters, bowls or any other large item…I always have pieces of clay leftover. I like to use up as much clay as possible, so I make ornaments, pendants and rings with the scraps of clay. After I make those, I have even smaller scraps of clay leftover. So, I squish the clay together and roll it into little balls, put them in zip lock baggies, squirt some water inside and then zip it up until I’m ready to make ravens and little birds.

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Aren’t they cute?

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I think I’ll make some larger ones, next time!

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Here’s a close-up view!

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And coming soon…Raven Ornaments!

I can’t wait!

Quilted

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Work in progress!

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I haven’t decided what to do with this design…yet!

When I started making these plates, I put the design on the bottom…because I wanted a smooth clean surface on the top of the plate, for food. But now, I think I might put the design on the top as well. People can choose which one they like better, or they can mix and match. For example…a dinner plate with the design on the bottom, side plate with the design on the top, and bread and butter plate with the design on the bottom, or the other way around. A dinner plate with the design on the top, side plate plain and bread and butter plate with the design on the top. I think that would be cute!

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I’m not sure what colors I’ll glaze them in yet…either?

I’ll have to make a bunch of little plates and do some glaze testing to see how they come out, especially with the plates that have the design on the top. I’ll have to use a transparent glaze or at least a glaze that works well with texture.

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I really like this design.

I’m not sure what to call it though? I was thinking about calling it Cobblestone, but I’m not sure? What do you think I should call them?

Palmeida’s Lace

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Palmeida’s Lace

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I’d like to introduce you to Palmeida Machado

The inspiration behind Palmeida’s Lace, my husbands grandmother!

She was born on July 26, 1899…on an Island called Terceira, also referred to as the “Ilha Lilás” (the “lilac” or “violet” island), it’s an island in the Azores archipelago, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the larger islands of the archipelago, and is the location of the historical capital of the archipelago, the Azores’ oldest city.

The girl on the left, is my husbands mother Laura and the girl on the right is his aunt Rose.

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Palmeida gave my husband and I…a very large collection of her handmade Portuguese lace, for our wedding. A lace bedspread, tablecloths, table runners and a lot of doilies!

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I’ve kept them well-preserved over the years. I actually only used one small table-cloth to cover one of my grandmothers vintage tables.

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I started making pottery in August of 1990, and in 1991…I dug out the plastic bag filled with Palmeida’s lace and took just a few small doilies out…to use for texture. I used them for a while, then I stopped for some reason. I’m not sure why? I guess I wanted to try something different, and then I probably forgot all about it. I’m bringing it back now. 

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Here’s a heart dish in Indigo Blue

It came out great! My husband loves it too, it’s his favorite color.

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I love this glaze!

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Here’s a close-up view

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Here’s one in cream

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On this one…I applied three coats of violet underglaze, washed it off, leaving the underglaze in all the crevices. Then I glazed it with a clear gloss glaze.

It’s so pretty!

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A true family heirloom from me to you!