Friday, October 19, 2007

Of Rain and All Things Wet

Sleepy Little Mouse all packaged and ready for his new home.

Its a gloomy, rainy, glorious day here. We love the rain. Today is even more special since my son decided it was time to let go of diapers. Potty training so far today has been fantastic and Im feeling rather proud. He's doing extremely well. Because of this new development in the house I decided to stay home. No Post Office visit or stroll. I figured it was best to stay within quick reach of a potty.

The extra time gave me plenty of opportunity to sit and think about how to package up my Sleepy Little mice. I have batch number two almost ready to be sold and was rather disappointed at my lame attempts at packaging batch number one up. (Apologies to the first batch of owners). I know all mice arrived safely just not in a pretty package. I like pretty packaging so it bothers me they were sent without something "special".

I decided the mice should be enclosed in a warm calico cloth, small blue ribbon with a teeny tiny hang tag and blue ribbon as a topper. Im rather thrilled with this idea and the look of it. The cloth is thick enough to keep all mice safe during transit. I wrapped up 7 mice and was hoping to wrap up the rest I fired in the kiln this morning, but alas, I pulled them out to find that their ear and tail color has totally burned away. I dont know what it is with reds, but they fire off pretty fast. Im going to have to finish up any color details on this batch and then fire the reds last and at a cooler temp. Not sure if that will help, but Ive grown very frustrated with loosing my ear and tail color for the third time.

A peek inside the kiln

Here is a quick peek into the kiln before I took everything out. I wanted to mention the traditional sized foal Im glazing in my studio news letter this morning, but I really have no idea who she is. Does anyone know who she is?

The piece came in a china body lot and I am slowly trying to bring her color up to a baby chestnut. The key with the china paints seems to be to go very slowly when building color. Everything seems to blend nicer that way. Of course, I can see 30 or more firing happening with such a method.

I really need to start experimenting with the airbrush and china paints. Honestly, I dread it. Im still hanging onto the belief that I will be able to get smooth supple application with old fashioned hand painting. I believe it just comes with practice. So, Ive been practicing on non horse subjects.

Porcelain bunny getting custom glazed

This bunny is currently the best piece I've painted free hand so far. The color is vibrant and very smooth. Even smooth along the ears. I just kept adjust the value of the original color each time it was fired. Im doing the same with the unknown china foal.

Looks like rain for the entire day. That means playing indoors and a cartoon or two and maybe adding that red back onto the mice.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Inspiration from the oddest places

Inspiration comes without warning and from the oddest of places. This summer my husband and I witnessed the most perplexing occurance. We watched as huge wasps tried to stuff Cicadas into the drainholes on our property. By the end of the one day there were SEVEN poor dead Cicadas sticking, butt up, in the drainhole. This most definitely needed clarification! According to the online research I uncovered the wasps are called "Killer Cicada Wasps" and they stun the Cicadas, burry eggs in the Cicada bodies and as the pupas emerge they feast on the cicada carcas.


I honestly couldn't get over nature taking its course and I had a real rare opporunity to examine a dead Cicada up close. The colors and design were fascinating to me. I couldn't help but touch them and decided to keep two. Something inside me said that they would be great creative fodder for future projects.

This afternoon, after I had packed up the Shah Azim and about 4 other pieces that DESPERATELY need to leave my studio, I found my mind wandering to the Cicadas and their gorgeous wings. I did the deed....carefully, (and respectfully) cut their wings free from their now hollow bodies. Yep, in the span of 3 months their bodies had started to decay and hollow out just laying in a cup in the studio.

I chose a G3 jumping horse as my work horse this time. He is slowly being turned into a flying horse. It was fun to pull out the blue and green pastels to paint him. I never get a chance to really explore those colors. They are just so harsh and the greens can really ruin a piece in a second. I'll tell ya, blue and green mixed with a bit of brown make the most luscious grey. LIke...grey for a dappled grey on an Arab or LIppy! Who KNEW?!!! Its the most amazing find today. So, this project is just continuing to inspire.

Inspiration can be found in the oddest of places! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Martha Clara

This past holiday weekend we took a much needed family trip to Long Island's Martha Clara vineyard. We had such a wonderful time visiting with family, feeding the goats, petting the Percherons (they were gorgeous) running in sunflower fields and tasting yummy wine. Although I took my sketchbook with me it was my camera that I felt most comfortable with as my medium that day. I captured many wonderfully artistic shots but this is probably my most favorite photo from that weekend.

Playing at Martha Clara Vineyard

After such great weekends the studio remains quiet. I take to fixing things in the house and just cleaning up since most excursions out begin with a whirlwind of a mess left at the home base. We have never been able to leave on holiday without a stressful exit. LOL Im not sure why.

I was asked to produce another cover for JAH. I am anxiously awaiting the UPS truck and a delivery sometime this week. Got a sneak peek at the item Ill be photographing and its really a lovely piece. Something brand new. Im also excited to see the last cover in print. Im told it went off to the printers last week. That's one we will send home to mom.

My Gammon is done. Im so pleased with him too. He wanted to be an appy so I obliged. The more I worked on him the more in love I fell with his mold. The sculpture is just amazing. He would have been for sale already this week, but I had this idea to create a beautiful stone wall for him. I have the 8 pieces, unfortunately. I called in hubby to assess the problem. I believe that I need to wait 2 weeks for the plaster sections to dry thoroughly and then I have to use something called "Liquid Nails" to hold it all together properly. Im happy their is a solution in sight, but Im feeling rather impatient as I am dying to paint up that wall and pop Gammon on top of it. I know he is going to look smashing! I just cant wait to show him off.

Well, tea time is over and sleep is a must.
Talk again soon