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!

Necklaces

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These leaf pendant necklaces came out really nice!

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This one was glazed in…Goldenrod by Coyote

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A close-up view

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This one was glazed in…Shino by Coyote

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As you can see from this photo…each leaf glazed in Shino comes out different, even when they’re fired in the same glaze firing, and even when they’re on the same shelf. So, each one is unique and different.

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Here’s another view

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This oval pendant necklace has a handmade bead. I’m not sure if I’ll make beads again. I don’t mind making them, but glazing something that small is not fun! 

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Here’s one with a different design.

These were glazed with the same glaze…Bronze Patina by Duncan. This glaze comes out different from piece to piece also.

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The back

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This one was glazed in…Vintage Blue by Duncan

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This round textured pendant was glazed with Bronze Patina by Duncan also. This glaze does very interesting things with texture.

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They came out nice!

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Pendants and Beads

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I’m not sure if I’ll continue making the oval and round pendants?

I might just make the leaf pendants.

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.

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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.

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.

 

 

Coyote Glaze Test – part five!

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Light Shino on cone 5 B-Mix Clay!

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Three coats brushed on with a fan brush!

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The plate has one coat of Saturated Iron on the leaves and branches, and three coats of Light Shino. It came out great, but I think it might look even better with two coats of Saturated Iron on the leaves and branches. I’ll have to try it!

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And Light Shino on Dark Brown Clay! I love these!

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!