Monday, January 20, 2014

Ceramics Second Course : Where are They Now?

I'm excited that my third ceramics course will start this week.  It is called "Vessels That Pour", and will involve tea pots, and other such items.

I'm happy to say that many of the items from my second course have found homes, and are not all on my living room window sills.  :-)

#31 (left) - This one was easy.  I made it for my mother-in-law, as a
Christmas gift.  She seemed to like it.  I look forward to seeing it at her house, hopefully with some nice flowers in it some day.

#32 (right) - Since she liked the first vase, I gave her this second one also.  I could see this one being used as a planter (holding a small flower pot).  We'll see.

Oh, I almost forgot.  My mother-in-law also complimented me too many times on this little mug (#13, left), so she ended up with it under the Christmas tree, too!  :-)

#33 - Ditto this one (left), it was a Christmas gift for my sister, Rose, who loves Disney.  I know it is already loved in her home, since I've already seen it full of candies (but forgot to take a photo at the time, I was enjoying the turkey dinner too much).

#20 - This bowl set (right) became a Christmas gift for my friend Lily, since she is really great at entertaining people in her home, and I could imagine it filled with dips like her fresh salsa. (I learned a wonderful trick from Lily, to add fresh chopped tomato and cilantro and other veggies to store-bought salsa, and it becomes a wonderful fresh-tasting salsa.  I've been doing the same ever since.)

#27 and 28 - This soap and toothbrush holder set (left) was also a gift for Lily.  It didn't turn out quite as good as I had hoped, but Lily seemed to like it.  (I'll see if she's actually using it next time I visit.  :-) )

This sturdy mug (#7, left) and bowl (#18, right) became Christmas gifts / housewarming gifts for my nephew, Charlie, who has recently moved out on his own.  I hope they will come in handy.

This mug (#3, left) was a gift for my dance instructor, Lisa.  I filled it with Lindt chocolates, and added a small note : "May you be truly blessed - and spoiled - this Christmas season".  We all need a little blessing, and spoiling, at times.  She has been a blessing to me over these past few years.

My massage therapist, Maguin, takes such wonderful care of me when I wreck myself at the computer...  She told me she liked blue, so ended up with this mug (#2, left) for Christmas.

Perhaps one of the nicest compliments I have received on my ceramics came from Heiko, who is also a wonderful massage therapist.  I joked to him that if he was jealous of the gift to Maguin he could have a mug also.  At first he refused, that he already has too many mugs.  But when he saw Maguin's mug, and found out that I had made it, he said he would be happy to have one.  Wow.  I was happy to provide him with this beige toned mug with a funky floral imprinted handle (#6, left).

There are a few other ceramic items making there way into our everyday living also.  When I have time, I'll take some photos of them, on our counters (not just the windowsills).

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Second Ceramics Course : Vases and Bowls as Gifts

Now that Christmas is past, I can finally post the final three creations from my course, since I gave them as Christmas gifts.

#31 - This vase was a gift for my mother-in-law.  I thought I remembered her saying that the lily-of-the-valley was her wedding flower.  It turns out she had wanted it as a wedding flower, but it was not available.  But it was still a nice thought.  I think she liked the vase.  It is made with white stoneware, and the leaves painted with green and white slip (mixed), the stems in green slip, and the flowers in white slip.  Then the vase was dipped partially in Matt Green glaze, and finished with a light spraying of Clear glaze.

#32 - Since the first vase seemed to work out quite well, and I got a lot of compliments on the piece in the ceramics studio, I decided to make a second one.  This one also turned out quite well, but I forgot myself, and made both the flowers and stems in White slip.  It's funny, but quite a few people looked at both vases, and didn't notice, including myself.  I just had a vague feeling that the first one looked better.  It was my 12 year old son who pointed out the white stems.  But I've been told these look "artistic", so it's okay.  To me, it's a mistake.  But the overall look is still pretty good.  I offered it also to my mother-in-law, and she seemed happy to receive it.  I think it would look great with a potted plant in it.

#33 - This final piece was a gift for my dear sister Rose, who loves everything Disney, especially Mickey Mouse.  It was inspired by the 2-bowl and 3-bowl projects in class (see my items #19 and #20).  But it came to me that I could arrange them to be Mickey Mouse ears.  It is also white stoneware, finished in Tenmoku glaze, which I fully dipped from one side, and then the other.

I was happy to see this bowl set in use at my sister's house at Christmas, where she had them already filled with chocolates and candies.  I forgot to take a photo at the time.