Monday, February 28, 2011

Decals part Two

The decals came out of the kiln.
There is good news, and bad news.
The good news is:
They worked!
The image came out quite clear, if a tiny bit bubbled.
The bad news is that the white glaze I used turned dull in the third firing, meaning it is unsuitable for decals.
Oh, well, I was wanting a warmer white anyway, not quite so stark of a white-white. I guess I will be adjusting my recipe, or searching for some new ones.
But the decal looks pretty good on this glaze, called Nutmeg:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Last Day To Vote!

Today is the last day to vote in the Etsy Mud Team's Platter Challenge:

Vote in it and you'll receive a coupon code for 20% off in dozens of etsy pottery shops, including mine. Here's the link:

I didn't make a platter, but lots of other team members did, and it is hard to pick a favorite.

Pick one, though, and get your discount, then go shopping!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Trying Out Decals

A couple years ago Keith Phillips, of MudStuffing Pottery ( told those of us on the Etsy Mud Team about making your own pottery decals with printers and waterslide paper.

Now that my studio is up and running again, I wanted to give the decals a try.
I found a behemoth of a printer online that uses ink that has a high iron content - necessary for the process. And I also ordered some waterslide paper too. And then I specifically glazed a few pots just for trying out some decals.

To make your decals:
First, find the images you want to use, and print them onto the paper:
Next cut out the image you want to use, and put it in warm water to soak for about a minute. This loosens the image, and makes it pliable.

Next, apply the image to the pottery, image side down, paper side toward you. This puts the printing (and the iron oxide) next to the glaze where it will hopefully adhere permanently to the pot, once it is fired.

Once the image is on the pot, smooth it completely. The image will immediately cool and stiffen when it touches the pot, making it difficult to manipulate. I used a new throwing sponge to gently ease out the air bubbles and smooth the transfer. Be careful not to tear the decal!

-Ok, you probably *will* tear, fold, or otherwise ruin the first one or two that you do, so just be sure to have a spare image.-

Once the image is the way you want it, it is ready to be fired onto your pot.

This will be the third firing for this pot - first as bisque, again in glaze, and this third time to make the decal permanent.
I am firing these tomorrow. Hopefully I have done them right! Either way I will photograph the results Monday when the kiln is cooled.
Many thanks to the folks at for these great images! What fun they are!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Glaze Kiln

I unloaded my first glaze kiln full today. The kids were home, along with some friends. I bought some sparkling cider and we all unloaded together, and when it was empty we toasted the new stuff.

Some of the glazes were different colors than I expected. The blue glaze looked just about the same as the green sometimes. The white didn't react well with some of the other glazes.

But mostly it was wonderful to open the lid and see all the great pottery.
What fun!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Coupon Code for My Etsy Shop

As I have been cleaning and rearranging for my studio space, my budget is being stretched to it's limits! Also, I am running out of room for storage. I have so many very dear pots, my favorites that I just loved too much to sell... up until now!

So, I have decided to have a sale in my Etsy shop. It will serve several purposes:
1). It will get me back in the groove of selling on Etsy.
2). I will make some room by selling some of my very favorite pottery from my gas-fired days.
3). It will give me incentive to make new favorites.

With all that in mind, I am offering a coupon code for my Etsy shop for the rest of February. Just type in STUDIOFUN10 when asked for a coupon code during checkout if you purchase something from my shop, and Etsy will discount your order by 10%, not including shipping charges.

Some of the first things I am listing are dishes I made with lettering around them, with matching bowls and cups. I loved them, but never got around to selling them, until now.

Nifty, huh?

I will be adding stuff all month, so check back often!
My studio will thank you!

I've got the Power!

The electrician came this morning, and the kiln is up and running! Whoohoo!
Now all I have to do is finish making enough to fill it up!

I am off to watch the video on how to program my kiln- What a new experience! A computer controlled kiln!
My gas kiln was all controlled by a guess and by golly, with me opening up the gas flow, or closing it off, and then adjusting the amount of air flow by moving a broken piece of kiln shelving over the vent hole at the top of the kiln to get the atmosphere in the kiln the way I wanted it for the type of glazes in the kiln at the time. I loved it, but I think I will love the ease of this too.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Studio Dreamin'

I went to visit with my sisters this holiday season, and they took me to see lots of pottery.
Mmmm pottery...

To be honest, I have avoided pottery for a while now, since I don't have a studio set up in this house. My gas kiln can't be hooked up the way the gas is configured in this house, at least not without a huge amount of expensive work.

But three weeks ago, I finally bought an electric kiln.

This is what it looks like:

It is an L &L e28t, and just little smaller than my gas kiln was.

I was so excited, I could barely sleep!! So, I spent my time scrounging and cleaning and moving things around, and setting up a studio space.

The kiln finally arrived last week, but as I checked it out on the freight truck, the kiln lid was damaged. The soft bricks that make up the top were crushed and big chunks had fallen into the interior of the kiln. I called the company, and they told me to return it, and they would send me another.

The replacement was due to arrive this week just as a massive snow storm was due to hit, so I was sure I would miss out on my kiln again, but just as the snow started swirling, the truck pulled up, and we unpacked it in the beginnings of a blizzard.

Now it is all safe and sound in the basement, awaiting the electrician. The part he needs really was delayed by the storm, so it will probably be next week before I can plug the big fella in and see how it works.

Next comes the exciting process of learning how to fire an electric kiln (which is very different than what I am used to!) and how to mix up and apply the glazes for the different type of firing.
It is a whole new unexplored world.
Stressful, but in a wonderful way!!