Top Nine Instagram Posts of 2019

My top nine posts of the year!

What items would you like to see next year?

 

I’m planning on making a lot of new items in 2020…so stay tuned!

 

Happy New Year!!

 

Glazing with Duncan Renaissance Glazes – Part One: Antique Celadon

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Hello! Welcome to my new blog series on glazing tips.

I’m starting with Duncan Renaissance Glazes. I love these glazes! I stumbled across them a while ago, I don’t remember when exactly, and I don’t remember how I found them, but I’m so glad I did. They’re user-friendly, they brush on so easy. I like glazes that are easy to use and consistent, and this glaze is one of them.

These glazes vary, depending on the thickness you use, whether it has texture or not, and how much texture it has. The more texture, the better it looks. Where you place it in the kiln, makes a difference also. Pieces placed at or near the bottom of the kiln are greener, darker and react more with the texture. The pieces at or near the top of the kiln are lighter and don’t usually have a rustic look. I also think it depends on the brushes you use as well.

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I use fan brushes for most of my pieces. I use a small brush for the rims, edges and for detail work. For small pieces like ornaments, I use a small fan brush or a small brush, when I run out of clean fan brushes.

As you can see from the photo above, my bird ornament is lighter than my birdie bowl. It has less texture then the birdie bowl, there are several areas on the ornament that have no texture at all, verses the birdie bowl which is completely covered with texture and it was placed at the top of my kiln.

Before I start glazing, I apply wax resist on the bottom of my ornaments, and then I go up the sides just a little, so the glaze doesn’t go all the way to the bottom. I apply three light coats on the top only, and two light coats on the sides. I don’t want any drips or any ornaments sticking to my shelves. When I fire my ornaments. I place them on kiln stilts to raise them up off the shelf.

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I apply wax resist to the bottoms of my birdie bowls. Then brush on three coats of glaze on the top, and bottoms except for a small area where the wax resist is. I have several sizes of fan brushes and usually use one of the smaller ones. Then I use a regular small brush for the edges.

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As you can see from this photo, the green bird ornaments all look-alike for the most part. The butterflies look darker…they have more texture, and they were placed toward the bottom of my kiln.

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This photo shows you the difference between a textured surface verses a non-textured surface and kiln placement. The small bowl at the top of the photo was placed at the bottom or near the bottom  and has no texture. The leaf bowl was placed near the top of my kiln and has a little texture.

This is what the glaze looks like on my non-textured ruffle rim bowls. The bottoms were waxed with wax resist and then three coats were applied to the bottoms, inside and rims. They were placed near the bottom of my kiln.

This heart dish was glazed with three coats of glaze on the bottom and top, using a smaller fan brush, and three coats on the sides/edge with a small brush, after it was waxed, like the birdie bowls. This one looks like it was placed near or at the top of my kiln.

The green leaf magnets were glazed like my bird ornaments, three light coats on the top and two coats on the sides. They were fired toward the top of my kiln, see how light they are. The maple leaves were glazed with three coats and are usually placed in the middle of my kiln.

This is one of my handmade dinnerware collections called Lake House, formally known as Brooklawn Park. This glaze loves texture, it makes Lake House look fabulous!

Each piece is slightly different, and completely covered in texture.

I use a large fan brush on the plates and a medium size one for the bowls. They all have three coats of glaze on the bottom (except where I waxed with wax resist), and the top and I apply three coats on the rims with a small brush.

This is another one of my handmade dinnerware collections called Tropical Breeze. They’re glazed just like Lake House, three coats on all sides. But it looks different. The glaze pools in between the raised lines.

Vintage Cottage is another one of my handmade dinnerware collections. As you can see from the photo, the plates were fired near the bottom of the kiln and the bowl was fired near the top. The plates are more rustic looking. I love this glaze!

I hope this has been helpful.

I think part two will be – Vintage Blue

Thanks for stopping by, see you next time! 

Pottery Inspiration Boards

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Oh, Wow! I can’t believe I haven’t posted since August.

There’s been so many things going on in my life, one of them was participating in #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again this year and I won…Yay!

While I was in the middle of writing for #NaNoWriMo, I had an idea. Since I make Inspiration Boards and Mood Boards for my books, why not make Pottery Inspiration Boards. So, right after I finished NaNo, I started making them. I really needed a break from writing and my story needs to simmer for a while anyway.

It’s been so much fun making these

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This is the first one I made.

I can’t even tell you how much I miss making pottery, but more about that later.

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I can’t wait, until I can feel clay in hands again, feel it squish through my fingers when I throw, I even miss the way it smells.

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I’m not sure If I’ll continue with this Dinnerware Collection? I haven’t decided yet. I do know that since moving to Arizona, my work is heading in a different direction.

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Lake House is one of my designs that I will continue to make.

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Backwater Bay is another design I will continue to make. It’s my favorite.

I have some big news coming soon!

I’ll tell you more about it, the next time I post.

Hopefully, it will work out the way I’m hoping it will.

Thanks for stopping by.

See you soon!

 

Vintage Cottage Dinnerware

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This is my Vintage Cottage Collection

It’s handmade…one piece at a time. Each piece is slightly different, making each one unique and different. I go into more detail in this post…

https://ravenhillpottery.com/2014/07/06/vintage-cottage/

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The top plate was glazed in…Deep Sienna Speckle by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Glaze Deep Sienna Speckle

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This one was glazed in…Deep Olive Speckle by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Galze Deep Olive Speckle

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This one was glazed in…Deep Firebrick by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Glaze Deep Firebrick

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And these are the plates that were purchased for the Tropical Smoothie Cafes…photo shoot. You can read more about it here…

https://ravenhillpottery.com/2015/04/23/tropical-breeze/

There’s so many other glazes…I want to try. I guess I’ll have to make lots of little plates and do some glaze testing.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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?

 

 

Mirror Lake

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Several months ago, I decided to create a new line of handmade dinnerware called “The Lake House Collection.” So far, there are 5 different designs, each with their own name.

Mirror Lake…which actually use to be called Brooklawn Park, is now part of The Lake House Collection. I think the swirling leaf design (reminiscent of reflected leaves in the swirling water) fits better in this collection.

mirror lake the lake house collection by melinda marie alexander from ravenhillpottery.etsy.comjpg

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Echo Lake…will be dinnerware with no texture, in the same colors as Mirror Lake. I’m thinking about putting the swirling leaf design on the bottom of the plates, but I’m not sure yet. We’ll see how it goes.

Mystic Lake…will be all about the glaze. I’ll be experimenting with glaze combinations and hopefully I’ll be able to make some magic!

Shadow Lake…will have some kind of leaf design, not sure yet though. It might be a little more moody and darker in color? I still have to figure this one out.

Sunset Lake…will be autumn colors, with and without texture.

The names I choose for the collection, are names of real lakes in Massachusetts, where I’m from. I thought it would be really nice to name them after real lakes.

I’m really looking forward to making this collection.

Check out…The Lake House on Pinterest!

What do you think of my new collection?  

 

Kiln

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This is my kiln…Charlotte Skutt. Yes, I named my kiln, and I think it’s cute!

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Here’s a little peek inside!

Usually I’m so busy loading my kiln, I forget to take photos. Then when I’m done, I remember. “Shoot, I should have taken photos!” Then one day, I finally remembered, and I’m so glad I did!

Hopefully I’ll remember to take photos more often.

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Bottom row done, on to the next row.

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Pieces ready to load.

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I start with the largest items first.

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The next row is done.

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More goodies ready to load.

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I had a lot of ornaments in this load.

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One more row, and then I’m done.

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Had some room for some test tiles.

Time to fire it up!

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?