From My Sketchbook

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Every once in a while, I sketch some new designs in my sketchbook.

I really should do it more often, because it relaxes me.

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All I seem to sketch lately are bottles, I’m not sure why? 

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Plain bottles, in different colors and textured bottles

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I love these rims

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These are pretty cool!

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I love this design and can’t wait to make it!

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I love this one too!

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I’m not sure about this one, what do you think?

I must create withtext

While I wait for my new workshop to come to life, I’ll just keep sketching new designs.

Thanks for stopping by!

Pottery Photo Tips

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Hello pottery peeps!

Since my workshop is closed for a while, I decided to catch up on some blog posts I’ve been wanting to do and never really had the time for. This is an updated post from my old blog on Blogspot. This is how I use to take my photos. Not sure if this will be how I take photos in the future though, when I have a new workshop.

It all depends on how much natural light I’ll have.

Before I opened my Etsy Shop, six years ago. I purchased these lamps, and a light tent. I think I only used the light tent, once or twice…I hated it! It was a big waste of money. It just takes up room in my garage now.

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Then I purchased a varitone graduated backdrop #09. It was better than the light tent, but I wasn’t happy with the dark background. So, I purchased a gray graduated backdrop #28. I was really hoping that the light gray one, would be better…but it wasn’t!

This is one of my first photos with the  dark varitone backdrop.

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So, after spending all that money, and not being happy with the results,
I came up with my own backdrop, and it didn’t cost very much.
Actually, I don’t think I spent any money, because I already had everything I needed.

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I cut up two (free) priority mail boxes from the Post Office…the large ones.
I taped them together with shipping tape, and made flaps on the ends,
 so it could stand. Then I covered the spaces that light would shine through,
with small pieces of white card stock that I had lying around, and then taped 
the card stock to my new backdrop with shipping tape…on the front and back.

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When my homemade backdrop was finished, I taped a sheet of white poster board to it, to cover up the print. I taped it at the top only. Then, I remembered that I had a piece of foam core board, so I dug it out of my closet, and placed it in front of the backdrop, on top of my workbench. Once that was done, I used another sheet of white poster board and tapped it over the first one…about half way down the sheet, with some scotch tape, and then draped it over the foam core board. This was exactly what I was looking for…a white backdrop.

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Then I set up my lamps, one on top of my workbench, and two on the floor.

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Sorry about the mess, my workshop was very messy when I took these photos.

I don’t have an expensive camera…not yet anyway. Hopefully someday I will. But you can still have great looking photos, even if you don’t have a really good camera. My camera doesn’t have white balance, or anything fancy, so I have to edit my photos. Even though I’m using white poster board and lamps, the photos still come out dark and kind of gray.

Oh, by the way…I don’t use the flash on my camera.
After I take my photos, I go to picmonkey.com and edit them.
It’s free, but you can upgrade for just $4.99 a month…it’s well worth it!

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This is an un-edited photo. See what I mean, not very appealing.

It looks terrible!!!

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This is what my photo looks like after editing and cropping it on picmonkey.com

Now, this is much better. Yay!
 
Here’s what I do…
 
I go to picmonkey.com click on edit a photo, and select the photo I want to edit.
Then I click on exposure, I slide the highlights bar over to where it looks good,
then I slide the shadows bar to where I think it should be and click apply.
Just play with it, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. It’s really easy.
 
Once I do that, I go to the icons on the left…the second one down is the effects icon. Click on it, then scroll down until you see frost, click on it and apply. You can lighten up your photo with frost as many times as it takes, to get it the way you want. Then go back to the icons on the left, and click on the first icon…basic edits. Now depending on what I want to do with my photo, I’ll either click on crop,
and crop my photo, or I’ll click on sharpen and then crop. When I click on sharpen, I slide over the sharpness bar, usually about 20%, and click apply. Then I slide over the clarity bar, usually about 20% and click apply. Just play with it and have fun!
 
Before you know it, you’ll have great looking photos,
and not have to spend a lot of money.
 
It’s easy!

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Before Editing

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After

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Before Editing

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After

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Before Editing

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After

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Before Editing

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After

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Before Editing

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After

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Before Editing

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After

I do recommend that you invest in some really good lamps.

That was money well spent. I use them all the time.  
Hope this helps you have great looking photos.

New Designs – From My Sketchbook

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When I was on the treadmill the other day, I had a vision of hand-built bottles with texture. Later that night I grabbed my sketchbook, my colored pencils and starting sketching…

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Simple bottle forms with texture peeking through.

Love this one!

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I think this one needs a little more fine tuning.

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I really like this one, the short neck and the texture. This will work!

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Love this one too!

I’m looking forward to getting back in the studio and making these. Not sure when that will be though? In the mean time, I’ll keep sketching new designs.

What do you think? Do you like my new designs?

Aftosa Monthly Featured Artist

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Today is my second anniversary on WordPress.

I’m celebrating with an Artist Feature on Aftosa.

When Aftosa contacted me in January, they asked for 8 photos and a short bio. It took me a while to narrow down the photos to just 8. I make so many different items and I have tons of photos. So, it wasn’t easy. After emailing back and forth, I found out that they actually, only pick 4 photos. So, I had no idea which photos they would pick.

Here are the 8 photos I sent them

artist feature

These were my top four

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I was hoping they would pick Backwater Bay for the first photo. I love that dinnerware. But they picked my butterfly ring bowl, which actually made me very happy because it features my pottery and my husband’s…grandmother’s Portuguese Lace (Palmeida’s Lace)

It made my husband very happy too.

http://www.aftosa.com/2016-aftosa-artist-gallery/

Here are the four photos they choose

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Thank you so much, Aftosa! 

Zig Zag

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I’m participating in the…Blogging From A to Z April (2015) Challenge

And this is the last post!

For at least a week, maybe more…I had absolutely no idea what to blog about, that started with the letter Z…just like my X marks the spot post.

https://ravenhillpottery.com/2015/04/28/x-marks-the-spot/

So, I grabbed my sketchbook and started sketching. This is the first one I sketched. I’m not sure if I like these? I’ve decided, that I’m not really a fan of zig zag stripes…it’s kind of busy!

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Second sketch

 I’m not sure if I like these either, but I do like the top of the bottles!

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Third Sketch

Now, these I like! I think I’ll make these!

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Last one…

I’m not sure if you can call this zig zag…but I really like these!

I’m definitely making these!

What do you think?

X marks the spot!

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I’m participating in the…Blogging From A to Z April (2015) Challenge 

For at least a week, maybe more…I had absolutely no idea what to blog about, that started with the letter X. I don’t have any items that start with an X, I don’t even know of any pottery terms that start with an X. Maybe there is, and I just can’t think of it right now…I don’t know? Planning a blog post about the letter X…was difficult for me. But, then one day I had an idea!

“I’ll just sketch something!” It started out as a joke really. Sketch a bottle, and put an X on it and call it…X marks the spot. Then I’d have my X blog post.

Easy Peasy!

But, then something happened when I opened my sketchbook, and started to sketch. My hand, and my pencil had a mind of its own, and these bottles are the result! I have to say…that I like these so much, I want to make them!

What do you think?

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Those bottles inspired me so much, a few days later I sketched these.

I love these…I’m making these too!

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And then last night, I sketched some mugs.

I think I’ll make a whole line of dinnerware with this design. What do you think?

Thanks…Blogging From A to Z, without you…these designs would not exist!

Now…What should I call them?