Tag Archives: pottery

A love of porcelain

The last few weeks has been very busy for me yet I still found time to create some really beautiful pieces of porcelain jewelry. Having been a polymer clay artist for fifteen years I can tell you that there were times when I got bored working with that amazing medium. Don’t get me wrong, polymer clay is truly a wonderfully genius medium to work with but I wanted something more, something more solid. With this I ventured into glass lamp-working, and although I LOVED the results, I couldn’t use my hands to create designs in which I had grown so accustomed to with polymer clay. Lets face it, you don’t want to get your hands anywhere near or on molten glass!
Since I had bought a kiln during my glass adventure it dawned on me that I could create “Glass Like pieces” from ceramic clay, and so I planned a trip to the craft store and bought enough supplies to host an art retreat. My philosophy is if I’m gonna do it I better do it well, and I can shop for craft supplies very, very well!
I fell in love with the ceramic, I was able to produce an item that I felt had substance. So here are some of my first creations from ceramic, I think they turned out beautifully and they were a joy to create!
I love these earrings in which I stamped a french postal imprint and wrapped with sterling silver wire.

This next piece is a large white heart with a beautiful purple fleur di lys, I finished this necklace with purple ribbon and a gorgeous floral toggle clasp.

This next piece is simplistic yet has a feeling of elegance. The color is what I was most pleased with, the depth and difference in the coloration of this piece is what makes it so alluring I feel.

This heart is so beautiful, simple in design it has a red rose and “ALWAYS” in black script. This piece is oneof my favorites.

I really love creating rings, and this ceramic piece totally thrilled me when I pulled it from the kiln. The color is simply gorgeous! What I really love about ceramic is that unlike polymer clay the colors have depth and character, you really dont know what you will get in the end result of a firing. I love the mysterious beauty that I feel ceramic jewelry possesses.

I was initially so enthralled with ceramic that I decided to order some porcelain clay, and after the results I achieved with it I am so not turning back! Porcelain and ceramic are my new best friends, my medium of choice. I cant believe I have been creating for over 15 years and though I puttered with ceramic in the past I am amazed at how quickly I fell in love with it.

Here are some of my newest porcelain creations, they are stunning, beautiful with glaze colorant or by itself. The texture cool and silky smooth.
This porcelain cuff has “Live, Laugh, Love” imprinted on the cuff and I created a rose to sit to the side of the cuff. What I love about this bracelet is that it is so light in weight, and the smoothness of the porcelain is remarkable.

I had so much fun creating cuffs that I made another with a FRAGILE stamp and handmade ceramic beads that I created at the same time.

I love stars, so it was only right that I create a pair of earrings. My cousin actually bought these as soon as she saw I posted them online.

This last porcelain piece is a small dove on a circular disc. I attached it to a beautiful bronze ball chain. I love how beautifully simple this necklace is.

Working with ceramic and porcelain has inspired my creativity in so many new ways, I think the change was good for me and am happy with my creations. I will be posting more of my adventures with you, until then, Peace, Love & Hippie Chic Jewelz


Getting out of a creative rut

Today I am sitting here patiently waiting for my ceramic jewelry pieces to finish firing in the kiln… okay, so maybe I am not really sitting here patiently. I have to admit I am obsessed with walking over to the kiln, checking the temperature and looking through the side wall peep hole to see if my pyrometric cone has slumped over. This brings to mind a saying my mother used to tell me whilst growing up: “A watched pot never boils” and so it seems that this is more than true, especially in the case of creating ceramic jewelry.

My usual medium of choice would be polymer clay, however after getting a wild notion to use my kiln for other than my usual sporadic glass fusing moments I decided to give ceramics a try. I won’t lie; at first handling ceramic clay was a bit, well, on the slimy side for a moment and certainly not pliable like polymer clay. It took a bit of playing around with this new medium before I actually decided to make something from it. Sitting at my studio desk I looked at all the clay tools laid out in front of me, it was as if they were taunting me with an artistic malice that only a craft person can understand. I picked up palette knife and started to create a thin band of pottery clay. Pottery clay isn’t as easy to cut or slice through as one would think, and my first attempt was not what I had pictured in my mind. What normally would have been a perfect form cut in polymer clay turned out to be a snagged and not so straight attempt. I wadded up my little mess and started over, this time being sure to keep the blade of that palette knife somewhat wet with water. Presto! A smooth, straight and every thin strip appeared before my eyes! The palette knife and I had a new understanding and respect for each other, I realized that what that palette knife was trying to tell me is that pottery clay is in no way to be treated like polymer clay. With this new respect I had found not only a new and interesting medium, but quite possibly my new favorite medium of choice. I have to be honest; I think much of the allure is that unlike polymer clay you have to wait to “SEE” the outcome of ceramic pieces. This is time consuming process, taking as much as up to 14 hours from start to finish in the kiln. I strongly advise that this is not for those who are impossibly impatient, as the suspense will kill you or at best, when you just can’t handle anymore and open the kiln and risk ruining the pieces you so lovingly created.

Now that the pottery clay and I had spent some good quality time together there was a special bond that formed, a mutual understanding of what this material and my acceptance of its different, yet unique texture could create there was no holding back. I began creating pieces of clay in the shape of hearts, flowers and whatever else came to mind. I was truly enjoying working with this wonderful clay and before I knew it my creativity sparked to new levels! You see, I had been in a creative rut for a while, I hate to admit this but as an artist I got so involved with creating treasuries, trying to land the front page of Etsy and the endless promoting of my treasuries as well as those of my team mates that creating art took a back burner for a very long time. You see, discovering this new medium brought back what I had been missing for so long, the desire to create something beautiful and from the heart.

I bet you are wondering where I am going with all of this, my hope is to help other artists who are in a creative rut to spark a new interest and keep creating. You see, it’s so important to try new things, whether you work with glass, wire, paper or even edibles. The thing is we all benefit from learning new things, and you never know what a new medium can teach you about your old one.

In closing, I have a date with some pottery clay while waiting ever so patiently on my kiln to finish my next round of jewelry creations.

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Featured artists from the STATTEAM Spotlight

Tonight I am featuring five very talented Etsy artists from STATTEAM. These 5 artists are featured this week in the STATTEAM Spotlight.

My first featured shop artist is Rhonda Wojciak from nanioriginals, here handmade purses are unique and stylish.

This hobo style bag is medium in size and has four pockets inside.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nanioriginals/You can see more fabric choices here on flicker.
The fabric on this bag is so beautiful and fun with tattoo girls and flames. Made of all cotton. The lining is a solid light blue and the four pockets are orange and red flames with a black background. The magnetic snap has thick Pellon sewn underneath and has been double stitched for reinforcement. The pockets are double stitched and the corners have been sewn down to prevent tearing. This one includes a hand embroidered nani lable. We made this one with a short wide strap so it fits close to your body.

Surprise a loved one with this beautiful wallet.
You will love this upholstery weight fabric. It’s called “Punjab Peacock” by IMAN. The lining will be made with either teal or black Kona cotton, you choose.
We like to carry our cell phone in our wallets since they are padded enough to protect it. Send us a convo if you would like us to gift wrap with a note to your requested address at no extra charge.

My next featured Becky Helmer from BeckyHelmerDesigns, her jewelry designs are beautiful and charming with a West Texas flair.

These pretty earrings are made with black lucite trumpet flower beads, yellow lucite bell flower beads, and antique bronze bead caps, findings, and kidney earwires.

These festive earrings are made with white, red, and green lucite bell flower beads, silver colored metal bead caps, and metal findings.

Shelly from Shellyka on Etsy is my next featured artist, her shop is full of whimsical hand-painted decor for your home.

This painting of two Pink sheep is 100% handmade (Not a print) using acrylic paints on a stretched cotton canvas

A decorative and unique way to display your child’s artwork.
This colorful and fun hanger is 100% handmade and painted with acrylic paints, perfect for safely displaying your child’s artwork and helps you change the display from time to time.

I actually am the next featured artist for this week, it is truly an honor! My jewelry is handmade from clay and glass, eclectic, fun and funky!

This ring is a size 8. The rose is hand sculpted from polymer clay, has four black onyx rhinestones set in each facet corner and the zebra stripes have been hand painted making this ring its own unique work of art.

I LOVE the look of vintage inspired jewelry! I created a dark blue background that fades into a lighter blue and added a snowflake. I added Swarvoski crystals on the Vintage inspired filigree cab. This necklace would make the perfect gift for someone special or to add sparkle to your favorite holiday outfit!

My last featured artist is Noelle Argenti from potterybynoelle, her shop is full of beautiful and fun pottery items!

Heres a purple ceremic snow flake bowl

I made it from a mode and a snowflake pattern book I have It was
Glazed with non toxic glazes The color was purple It was fired in a low fired kiln. would be perfect for just home deco

Heres a ceramic bowl I made out of white clay It has a snowflake print in it the color around the snowflake is cobalt blue slip . I glaze the snowflake with non toxic glazes the color was white and the black of the bowl is blue lagoon . This bowl was fired in a low fired kiln and it is food safe.
I think this bowl would be perfect for serving those hoilday treats , would also make a perfect christmas gift .

Congratulations to each of our featured artists, I hope this week your day in the STATTEAM Spotlight and it was an honor to host each of you here on my blog!

Meet Sanja this weeks winner for the Saturday STATTEAM Challenge!

Sanja was this week’s winner of the Statteam Treasury Challenge with her entry, “It’s Time for Love.” Currently she is on vacation, and gave away her feature in this coming challenge to the two finalists who were right behind her, JemsbySandi and IntotheLight. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy this wonderful interview.

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Tell us your personal name, business name, website and location?

My name is Sanja Lukić and my shop is Craft Unikat. Name of the shop just stayed because I didn’t really know what I was doing when I was opening my shop..and only later I saw I can’t change it. First word is Craft – because I love to be creative and make things, and Unikat – means unique in Croatian. I live in Zagreb, capital of Croatia.

What is your studio or workspace like, and how do you work in your studio?

Currently I have no studio or better to stay my studio is everywhere. We move a lot and this summer is one crazy “moving” summer. But when I paint at dining table, terase, on the floor I imagine my future cool studio full of paint, ceramic, clay, my works and works of my artist friend. Also I imagine further, me dressed so bohemian and probably with red or orange hair.

How would you describe and think of your style, what kind of handmade items do you make and what type of materials do you prefer?

My style depends of time of the day. If I am working at day time I usually work with my two daughters and they are very hard critiques for anything wich is not pastel, pink, green, purple, blue. Working with them we create happy fairy world full of cute things. At night my dark side takes over and vampires, full moon, dark forest, skulls, passion and sadness show their faces in my work. I love to paint. That is the fact. So I paint on everything I can, ceramic, wood, paper, glass…And if you shop from me you can have situation like this: you drink your morning coffee from one of my painted mugs and rest your eyes on lovely OOAK magnetic paintings, while wearing one of my bracelets.

What new directions do you hope to move in the future?

Oh I would so love to make my own pottery and then paint it – from the scratch. I would love to make some crazy extraordinary shapes and designs.

Do you have big plans, new ideas or designs you will be exploring soon?

As we are going on a vacation in Croatia wilderness I am forced to explore painting on wood, stones on everything that nature will give me 🙂 . My paint and brushes are with me and we will see what will happened.
Pottery will wait for me until we join civilization again.

What is your typical day like?

At the moment I am on my maternity leave. I have two girls and a baby boy who is just started to walk. In the morning he is the first one to crawl out the bed and starts to call me and the girls. He loves to eat and he is fighting to wake us up to get his meal. It’s alert situation and I first make them breakfast and then when they are full and happy they watch cartoons while I make myself coffee and check Etsy. Later we go outside for a swim or for a walk. When we come back we paint if girls are into it or we just play with baby. He is so funny with his new skill of walking. We are on holidays, school is out so all day is dedicated to kids. In the evening I love to take a walk by the river and there we make up stories, our own fairytales. I got so many inspiration from my talk with kids. Later when they are sleeping I cook for the next day, paint or just do BNR and chat with my amazing supportive friends from Etsy.

How do you work during the day in your studio, and what keeps you inspired and motivated?

As I said if I work during day I work with my creative team. Then we all do one theme and see what we get. They are my inspiration . They are so pure, creative and they show me how world looks like to them. World like we all used to see before. That is so powerfull inspiration.

Who are and are your mentors and inspirations?

Since I was a child drawing was my favorite game. Then my cool aunt showed me how to make dolls and theater, dollhouse, jewelry, painting. She gave wings to my imagination and she is still my number one artist 🙂

I noticed you work with many medias, do you create one piece from start to finish, or do you create various components and then the piece grows to completion separately?

Usually it’s one piece from start to finish, or few pieces at once.

Are there things that you enjoy and do often without putting it off, and other things that aren’t your favorite and you delay doing them?

There is so little time for painting, so every free moment I grab a brush or a pen. If I have more time to paint, probably it will be phases of emptiness, but now I miss it so much and just grab the opportunity.

What sort of things do you prefer making and creating, what comes easily to you?

I find making magnets more easily then painting pottery. For magnets I use acrylic paint and it gives me opportunity to mix paints in wonderful combination. Acrylics are more easier and natural then ceramic paint to work with. I just love to have my hands all covered with color – so do the kids.

What are the things you consider most important to do for your business and your creativity?

First when I joined Etsy I was so pleasantly suprised with community on it. Everyone is so friendly and supportive. Joining teams, sharing ideas, getting connections and making friends is just so important on Etsy. It makes you feel good and you also have a chance to help and make someone else feel good. I love all the positive energy shining from this virtual Etsy world. Making treasury is just such a burst for my creativity. I love them.

What would you recommend for others Etsians who may just be getting started?

DON’T PANIC! Everything will fit in it’s place just be creative, list your items regulary, fill your shop, work on your photos, share, enjoy in what you do and just be a good friend.