Archive for the ‘new ideas’ Category

These are what I’m working on at the moment:

Graffiti on the Metro fingerless gloves

Fingerless gloves made with lovely Fairtrade Manos del Uruguay¬†merino/silk blend yarn that was very kindly donated to me by the wonderfully generous Mim of Crinoline Robot. It’s the Sagittarius colourway and you can buy it from Oxfam at the moment for truly guilt-free indulgence ūüėČ I’m loving the way it is knitting up so much that I’ve ordered 2 skeins of Pisces to make a Peggy Sue cardigan for myself. I’m also eyeing the amount left on the ball and somewhat optimistically wondering if there is any way I might be able to get a little beret out of it too!

I’ve also started planning my Christmas present knitting (mad you may think, but it’s a good distraction from stressing about wedding planning, which is the other thing occupying my brain at present!). Last night I succumbed to this beautiful hand dyed silk from Ripples Crafts based up in Assynt, to make a scarf or mini shawl for my Mum – I can’t wait to see the colours in person. I hear there will be a big shop update over at the Yarn Yard at some point today too, which may be very bad for my bank balance as I can see lots of people getting fingerless gloves for Christmas.

For other Making Monday posts, check out the Yarn Yard Blog.


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Welcome to 2012 – I’m still here, although still without pottery classes. I am finally getting round to making actual jewellery from my left-over beads and pendants, like this necklace made from emerald clouds glazed beads and silver effect spacer beads, which I just need to attach the fastener to.

I’m so pleased with it that I’m thinking I’ll get some more of the silver beads and do another one – I think I have enough blue beads for a chocker and the silver should set them off nicely.

Aside from jewellery making, I’ve been trying my hand at knitting, something that I can handily do at home unlike my beloved pottery. I’m making a little bag in King Charles Brocade stitch at the moment, to practice knitting and purling and reading a pattern. I’ve managed 3 pattern repeats so far:

I’m really quite pleased with how it’s turning out given I haven’t knitted since I was 12 and then I only made garter stitch squares for blankets.

This year looks to be a year of more varied crafts – I’m not going to be back at pottery classes before April at the earliest from the looks of things, I’m determined to master the knitting enough to make some wearable garments, I have fabric offcuts and want to learn to use a sewing machine, and I have a big event coming up at the end of the summer which is also calling on my crafty skills (these silk flowers may well give you a clue on that front).¬† So now I’m seeing the drawback of intending this to be a specifically pottery-based blog. I don’t know whether to give it a make over or just start again from scratch since I can’t change the name. If there’s anyone still reading this, what are your thoughts?

Check out what everyone else was making yesterday as part of Making Monday on Natalie’s blog!

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I made buttons! They are stoneware, glazed in Blues&Greens – the colour representation looks pretty good on my laptop screen but it’s foggy in Dundee today and not the best light for photography.

Stoneware ivy leaf buttons

I made these by pressing ivy leaves into rolled out clay and then cutting around them. There are 3 different leaf shapes, 3 of each of the larger ones and 4 small ones. I thought the two pence coin would help for scale – the larger ones are 3.5-4 cm across and the small 3 cm.

Don’t all fight over them at once! I can make some more if people want them but I can’t guarantee how quickly because we are down to one working kiln at the college at present.

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I finally got around to photographing the oil lamp I talked about making back in this post late last year. I didn’t want to post it before Christmas as it was a surprise gift for my partner but then I forgot about it until someone at my pottery class yesterday asked me if he had tested it out yet. Anyway, as you can see, it might be rather rustic but it does work!

Historically-inspired oil lamp

I made it totally by hand, putting a lid on a pinch pot, after an attempt at using a mould to make a round base failed because of the difficulty of then trying to put a spout on it. It’s decorated with coloured slip, which I carved a grecian pattern into, and then distressed by rubbing watered-down iron oxide onto it.

The Boy was pretty pleased with it, I think, and having met a bunch of viking reenactors, is now trying to rope me into making replica historical buttons and Thor’s hammers for them to sew onto their kit.

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Happy New Year! Hope 2011 is treating you all well so far. Pottery classes resumed at the college yesterday so I’m continuing with my latest obsession which is making things using pressed ivy leaves, which are handily still available despite there being snow on the ground around these parts.

I realized that leaves actually chart my pottery progress rather well. When I first started classes, I made a whole bunch of vases and a goblet decorated with free-hand leaves and vines.

Free-hand leaf decoration

Then last year I made a plaster mould featuring leaves based on a stone carving and produced the wall plaques featured in my header and raku page, culminating in this lantern which I’ve been meaning to post for ages (I was slightly disappointed with the colours, the green slip would have been better sponged on and I wish I’d put white slip on the background like I did with the one in my header, but hey ho, I’m a perfectionist!).

Lantern made from press moulded panels with bits cut out

And now I’m working on pieces using actual ivy leaves pressed into clay and then cut out. This mask is the first completed piece, testing out the random brown earthernware glazes I found in the back of the cupboard and was really pleased with. I also have a plate decorated with the same leaves ready to glaze and yesterday I made a ring-shaped wall hanging inpired by the Bitter Beck Pottery ones I featured in this post.

Mask made of pressed ivy leaves

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Classes are going pretty well. My lantern constructed from 4 of my press moulded panels stuck together hasn’t cracked while drying out and will hopefully be biscuit fired next week ready for the final stage of decoration and I’ve made a whole bunch of beads which I can spend the next I-don’t-know-how-long glazing once I get them back next week!

An example of an early oil lamp

My latest project is an oil lamp, something along the lines of this original one, for my partner. He’s playing a Greek Priest at Odyssey, a LARP (live action roleplay) event again next year and thought it would make a nice set dressing and prop for his character. It’s harder than it looks, I’m on my 2nd attempt and hunting for pictures just now I realize I probably would have been better taking a bunch of printed out photos with me to work from rather than a rough sketch. Oh well, we’ll see how it is looking next week having dried out a bit before I decide to go back to the drawing board again!

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Not having a class at the moment doesn’t stop me being inspired by things I see out and about. I was in Ireland last week and visited the Neolithic burial mounds of Newgrange and Knowth, which have some really impressive stone carvings. It’s amazing to think how old they are!

Neolithic stone carving at Newgrange

Neolithic stone carving at Newgrange

I also saw this lovely art noveau style cross in a graveyard local to where I was staying – definitely a design I’d like to recreate, maybe on a vase.

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