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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Ah Ha !!! Temperatures have stayed above 25°F Monday, Tuesday and today! Can't beat that with a stick. Up each morning at 5am to run the kiln while the temps are moderate. Monday and Tuesday fired bisque loads. Today, there's a casserole dish glazing in the kiln.
For the last 3 years, have brought the New Year's in with a new piece of pottery glazed and fired on New Year's Eve. It seemed imperative to do the same this year too. I hope and pray that by starting the New Year's with a new creation, it will prod the new year into producing only nourishing, peaceful, joyous and loving experiences for ALL. If i could, i would mandate peace, love, joy and nourishment for everyone in the world!

Wishing everyone a year of peace, happiness and good cheer!


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Happy New Year's To All
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Chae

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stacking the Kiln

It's always much easier to stack the kiln with greenware in the evening than to restack it exactly the same way the next morning at 6am.
For one thing - the evening before - you're awake! Your mind is clicking right along and computes space wondrously. Ah yes ..... that piece will exactly fit in that small cubbyhole between the cup handle and that funny shaped bowl with a half-inch margin between the side walls to boot.
The next morning your mind is fogged over and the ceiling of your attention is very low. It's like trying to re-assemble a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
It would be really nice to be able to leave the pieces in the kiln once they were stacked. But the garage gets much too cold overnight. The temperature differentiation between frozen greenware and applied heat would cause all kinds of unwanted fissures.
And even though, when you removed the pieces from the kiln the evening before and stacked them on the kitchen counter in the exact same configuration . . . .
Well, the next morning - garbed in fleece-lined winter boots, an Alaska parka and woolen mittens - it seems like an impossible fit.

The weatherman promised 39 degrees today. I hope he's right. For at that temperature the house heat will take the chill off the garage. Of course, with the door open between the house and the garage, it makes the kitchen, dining area and living room a wee bit chilly.
I have the bird here in the computor room so he won't expire due to the cold draft.
But i sure am worried about that funny shaped piece which fit in the kiln so well last night. This morning it wouldn't co-operate at all. So! It's in a rather precarious position.
Happy stacking days to y'all.

Friday, December 26, 2008

An Undersight

There's no language barrier in graphic arts and design, right?
I mean -- pictures are pictures. And in theory should speak for themselves.
Was checking out some Czech Republic design magazines hoping to discover current art trends in various parts of Europe. Found a magazine featuring individual art forms.
So far, so good.
Until i came across one that was far more interesting than all the others.
Now - there are many words in different languages that remain remarkably the same or very similar to English. Details is one such word. Clicked the details button.
Another screen came up with plenty of details.
All written in Czechoslovakian.

Count down days til the New Year. Hope y'all had the merriest of Christmas'

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

xxx Here's hopin' that y'all have

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxx The Merriest xx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Happiest
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxMost Magical
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Christmas
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Ever
xxxx xxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Chae

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Scripting Tool


For those who are doing decal transfers onto pottery and who are not particularly adept at calligraphy is quite a lovely find.

This site has neat stencils but the real treasure is a tool which allows the user to type in a phrase, choose the font and size, then use the mock up of it.
It's quick and easy.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sensory Perceptions

I found the neatest site. But first let me ask you:
If you were given this assignment: "Make sure you address the issues from a designer's perspective. Don't focus on too many technical details. Be sure to include the important factors of color, the visual effects that can be created and the impact a given product can bring ... and … oh and don't forget to add texture indicative of the product, again especially from a designer's perspective."
What piece of pottery would you design?
And too, what special textural effects would you apply?
Now let's even go a step further with this assignment. Our definition of texture is: something composed of closely interwoven elements which define the essential part (substance) or quality (character) of the object and has visual or tactile surface characteristics.
Objective tactile qualities can go beyond geometry: warm – cold, hard – soft, moist – dry, sticky – non-sticky, which are all distinctions that people recognize in texture, to the emotional dimension which describes subjective impressions such as "pairs like comfortable – uncomfortable, lively – dull, elegant – ugly, modern – traditional. Textures which suggest extremes of a particular quality and therefore create a range between those extremes such as descriptive opposites like plain – bumpy, regular – irregular, repetitive – non-repetitive, and line-scattered – dot-scattered.
Or textures which are feathery, honeycomb-like, oily, silky.
With this in mind how would you create the the texture of a clinging, slightly damp, elastic yet silky feel of the inner skin of an onion ?
Because texture matters shouldn't we incorporate as many tactile sensations into our pottery creations as we can gracefully manage in one piece?
And the neatest site? Why it's all about textures, of course. offers scads and scads of visual textural images to help stimulate our tactile perceptions.
Happy texturing folks

Winter Activities

Wouldn't it be fun to join the group who practises Tango dancing in the train stations in Berlin?
The article caught my imagination!
Feedback please. Are Americans too socially inhibited to enjoy such sport?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Alarm Clocks

Ah . . . Isn't it amazing that if you set an alarm clock for say 6am, you can easily wake up an hour before it goes off? Consistently. With no problem. Awake and alert. An hour before it's necessary . . . to be awake.
Happened this morning, of course. Figured since it was only going to be a bisque firing, it wasn't absolutely necessary to start it before 6am.
Woke at 5:04am just as if i had programmed myself instead of the kiln!
Happy days

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Decal Results

OK !!! The moment my eyes opened this morning, raced out to the kiln to see the results. And here they are.
The image is intact with not, perhaps, as much detail as it had before firing. The line drawing between the photographs basically faded away.
Was trying to get a "straight line" when i applied the Hanovia Gold. Put masking tape over the decal. Discovered that the masking tape will remove parts of the decal ... (before it's fired). And i think the black smudges near the top are from the glue of the masking tape mixed with the iron oxide??? Sadly, the "line" isn't straight either !!! But the gold looks purty!

While the white area below the decal looked perfectly white before it was refired, evidently the iron oxide from the decal transferred my fingerprints to this area as i smoothed the decal while applying it! I swear these were invisible when the cup was placed in the kiln.

Was so enamored with the decal process that i put some on this iridescence(dized) cup kilned in July. Actually like the black better than the sepia tones. So will check out further ways to stabilize these decals.

Have the greatest decaling days


Monday, December 8, 2008

Sepia in the Making?

Wasn't up at the crack of dawn as i'd planned to be. So the cup was late to the kilning.
Did apply the gold rimming yesterday. Luckily Hanovia's Liquid Brite Gold and decals fire to the same temp.
Keeping my fingers crossed that i've done the "computing" right and the cup will turn out "perfectly" !!!

Friday, December 5, 2008


Spoke with the decal company this morning and Yes! This type of decal can be fired in a kiln.
And . . . . . .
Yes! the color will change to sepia.
Will fire on Monday and post updated photo of the final effects then.
Happy Decal days to each and all

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This is all Cynthia Guajardo's fault.
She piqued my interest last year when she began exploring the area of art transfers to pottery.
At that time, i was heavily into exploring glaze composition and fuming.
Though i noted the information (re: art transfers) she provides on her blog: Colorado Art Studio ( ) i did not, then, pursue the topic.

In the past however, whenever i have found myself in the throes of sheer depression, the method which worked best for me to whup that ole melancholic despair into a semblance of balance was to deliberately choose a difficult, new and challenging endeavor to learn.
Thus, it seemed like a really good time to explore art transfers.
Not any ole transfers, mind you, but specifically photographic images transmitted to clay.

The challenge of this technique is to find enough information to perform the task. If all the time devoted to locating information on this subject was tracked, i'll betcha i could have won a marathon!
First. All transfer materials are not created equal. It took me a while to realize that there are transparency films, plain paper transfers and decals.
Secondly. There are little quirks inherent to each of these that add to the confusion.
Third. The products that accompany the process differ. Some use Golden Matte Gel as a medium; others use turpentine; some use Clear Acrylic Sealer; others use acetone; while some use regular household rubbing alcohol sprayed on the target surfaces.
Plus, of course, there are inkjet printers and laser printers. The inkjet printers come in two breeds: dye-based inks and pigment-based inks. Lasers use toner which usually use iron oxide to accomplish their black print.
And the methods vary. A few people apply images to pre-glazed pieces while others transfer the images to wet clay. But most people involved in transferring images are:
Fabric Folk
And we potters are truly not kin in their material world.

OK - here is where we currently stand.
Tried the 3M transparency film (laser). This technique needs a heck of a lot more exploration in order to make it work.

Today's attempt: printed a laser image on decal paper and applied it to a pre-glazed cup. My ultimate aim was to transfer the decal to the cup, then fire it in the kiln which as i understood the process would leave a nice sepia toned image. (Intended to add a neat strip of gold luster to the rim and clean up the messy application of the red glaze job at that time too.) Midway during the process, however, realised that the glue side of the decal attaches itself to the surface. Not the image side. Also discovered that the decal was extremely fragile and shreds at the slightest provocation. To boot, i have a hunch i ordered the wrong decal paper so am in a real quandry - to kiln-fire or to not re-fire at all.

Now i want-cha to know -- i'm truly not as egotistical as the image appears! Wanted to create a composite image of the whole family (which would have filled the space nicely) but only had up-to-date photos of Will (who is stationed in Germany) and myself. The cup is a Christmas present and has to get in the mail (how long does it take a package to arrive in Germany?) so it pictures just he and i repeatedly around the circumference of the cup.
Al least this much of the project is done.
Don't have a clue how much further to go to carry it to completion.

If anyone has accomplished this pursuit successfully, i'd sure appreciate a long post with details on exactly how you've managed it. I'll truly give you kudos as being an intelligent genius.
Happy and Creative image-transferring days to y'all.