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Mushroom candle holder!

Have been playing a bit more with the clay today and have produced … a mushroom candle holder and a ‘rustic’ bowl …

The foliage in the bowl will burn off during firing and hopefully leave a nice imprint behind!

Am really still trying to get used to working with the terracotta clay, but I’m enjoying it so far.

Still haven’t fired my green man yet, as I’m too scared of breaking it!!

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Kiln attempt #1!

Well, we’ve had a productive day! We’ve built a basic storage area for drying wood and have dug out the pit kiln!

The aim was to dig 60cm deep, but seemingly we have lots of rocks in our garden so we couldn’t get any deeper than 40cm. ¬†So, we put a layer of bricks around the outside and raised the ground with the earth we’d dug out, until it was a 60cm pit.

The pit is made of an initial few inches of fine sawdust, paper and twigs.  Then the pottery went on top of that, along with some sea salt and veg that was past its best! After that we put alternating layers of fine sawdust mixed with more coarse wood shavings (like hamster bedding), paper and twigs.  On top of that were small-ish logs (driftwood) and more twigs.  We used barbecue lighter fluid on the top layer before lighting it.  It took a few attempts, but we got it lit in the end!!

Here are a couple of photos…

The pit is still smoking as I type, so it’ll be tomorrow until I see how the pottery turns out!

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Two months later…

I seem to recall back in January I said I was going to try a bit harder to keep up with blogging …. now here I am two months after my last blog post finally getting round to doing my next one. ¬†Oops!! ¬†Must try harder ūüôā

Life has been hectic as always! ¬†As well as being a keen crafter, I’m also a freelance web developer and have been busy with new & existing clients’ websites. ¬† Add to that the fact that I’m also a full time student at the moment (I decided on the spur of the moment last summer to do an HNC at the local college!) and have two pre-school children … you can see why time gets away from me sometimes!!

Anyway … I’m dabbling in a new hobby at the moment: pottery! ¬†But before I get to that, I’d like to share with you a fantastic painting I commissioned for my mum’s birthday. ¬†The artist is Nicki Macrae and she is *amazing*. ¬†The painting is the view from my mum’s old house – a lovely sea view that she misses now that she’s moved away. ¬†Nicki happens to live in the same wee town I grew up in and, being a HUGE fan of her work¬†anyway, it made perfect sense to ask her to capture the memory for mum in an artwork!

Here’s the painting (I hope Nicki doesn’t mind me linking to her Flickr account!) – isn’t it amazing!!

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Needless to say, mum adores it & can’t take her eyes off it! ¬†Nicki was a real pleasure to work with, so I can’t recommend her enough! ¬†Check out her Facebook page and prepare to be amazed!!

Now, onto the pottery … it’s something I’ve always fancied doing, as I enjoy working on a smaller scale with polymer clay. ¬†But I’ve always felt I’d never be able to afford a large enough kiln for firing it. ¬†Then last week I thought to myself “but they didn’t have kilns back in the olden days..”! ¬†So I’ve been doing a lot of research into more traditional firing techniques and I’m ready to try a few out – starting with a pit kiln.

So far all I’ve done is purchase some clay and made a few basic items to fire (I’ll take a photo tomorrow – it’s too dull now!). ¬†They are NOT masterpieces! ¬†I have a feeling I’ll break quite a few items during firing (especially the first few attempts!), so I’m deliberately not spending hours and hours on my creations at this stage!! ¬†I’m hoping to have my first bash at a pit kiln in a couple of nights!

Stay tuned…

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Changing tiles into clocks

I’ve been experimenting with changing white ceramic tiles into clocks by painting cheerful childrens characters onto them, drilling a hole and inserting a clock movement/hands etc.

Still waiting for the clock parts to arrive, but I had a go with leading and glass paints.  It was my FIRST TIME doing leading, so go easy when judging it/me!!

Croc-a-gator Clock (In Progress!)
Croc-a-gator Clock (In Progress!)

Was still wet when I took the picture, so will photograph again when it’s dry and I have the clocks hands etc. in place – hopefully tomorrow!