Well, I guess I'm going to have to re-shoot the picture I want for my banner, darn it! I have searched through hundreds (and yes, I mean HUNDREDS) of pictures on this thing with no luck. Oh well! I'm going to have to get some quick shots of the new stuff from the kiln. Guess I know what I'm doing tomorrow! :)
Loaded the kiln at the Manley Art Center today, a bisque load. I've got a bunch of orchid pots and some little dipper dishes for sauces and pinches of stuff. A few new twists on the orchid pots, I did this batch with Laguna red clay (some Hawaiian Red and some Red Calico) so these I'll probably just stain with Iron oxide. So far that look has been very popular! a few of them are like I've been doing with triangles and shapes of clay stuck together, but I started with some variations on a few. A few I took the shapes and 'bent' them so the lines are not linear, they're biomorphic and flow around the pot like vines. Thin tips on the triangles are spiraled, and I'm pretty excited about them! A few others are made from a clay that I textured, then painted with contrasting slip before I finished rolling them out. They have a wood texture, highlighted with white (Porcelain) slip. I'm really excited to see if the porcelain pops or fades, but either way it'll add a lot of visual interest on the pots I used it on. I also did some little do-dads with the scraps, a few pendant pieces and a small tray. Weeeee! Forgot I had the camera with me or I'd have taken some before pics!
I also made some plates and a bowl that could end up serving dishes or Ichibana pots, I'm not sure which yet. Fun stuff!
Well, trying to get the darn site selling stuff is WORK! I've been working on building the web presence (I think that's the term) by fixing SEO (search engine optimization) here and on the Etsy site, and I started a Deviant Art site. Yikes! Dunno what I'll do if nothing takes off, but I know its going to take some time. The Etsy site is getting a lot of hits, but I've also been putting up a new listing or two every few days, working on key words, etc etc etc. Not sure I'll keep up with the Deviant Art, but eh, we shall see. Photos, blurbage, (ok, a melange of blurb, verbiage, and possibly garbage depending on my mood that means the stuff I have to write to sell my stuff :) ) figuring prices and sizes then putting it all together is annoying. At least most of the blurbage now has devolved to cut, paste, change the color! Sometimes getting something out that flows is like pulling teeth. VERY ANNOYING and not easy to do by yourself.
These are some old tiles, but you get the idea. These start out about 4 inches, then due to shrinkage end up a bit over 3 1/4. I do these with a smooth back and then glue a piece of cork sheet on the back for coasters. Some of them are glazed, others have just iron oxide and still others have a coat of terra sigillata.
The NEW ones are bigger and will hopefully be close to standard wall tile size (commercial tiles are 4 1/4 inches across) so people can use them as accent tiles. There are several designs I'm playing with; my regular tiles with plants rolled in but full sized, some carved ones which I started doing as a special order that are doing well in the gallery and at the small local show I did a week or two ago, as well as some brandy new coiled tiles. The coiled tiles are exciting, but I seriously need some new coaster tiles to put up on Etsy, so I might have to just see how the ones (ok, there are two so far!) I have drying turn out while I stop and do imprinted ones. Such is
Well, 130 mediocre to bad photos do NOT a happy camper make. I've decided to post a few along with explanations so people can understand how big a PITA getting good photos IS! Trust me, its easier to re-shoot than to photo-shop the usable pics and just re-shoot the missing ones.
THIS one was taken close up with the flash. You can tell I've been painting (Doh! I DID wash my hands when I got home from work, just didn't think to SCRUB the paint off) which makes a miserable picture for something I want to sell! The shadow of the lens is no good, as is the glare on the button. Sigh!
Here's basically the same photo, taken with the room lights instead of flash. You can still see the grubby hands, but the detail on the button is much clearer. The color isn't too bad, just slightly off, but almost usable. You can actually SEE the crackle this button has! The color can be fixed with photo-shop, dirty fingers not so much. Unfortunately this is the only potentially usable shot of this button.
Sigh. Ok, this is a different set of buttons, obviously. This shot was taken with room lighting (florescent) so its dark and the color is off. Fixable, but 3 or 4 steps to each photo, so not great.
Same group of buttons but using the flash. The color is ok, not great, but ok. The shadow of the lens can be photo-shopped out, but oy vey, the flash leaves way too many glare spots. Thats NOT fixable without a ton of work and just looks tacky!
So, first photo of this group, run through the photo-shop auto fix. Erm, yeah, that's not going to work. The paper looks fine, the back of the button looks ok, (it SHOULD be pure white, not yellowed, but eh, whatever) but the color on the surface of the buttons is WAY OFF..... Back to the drawing board.
Here, same photo, run through photo-shop by hand. I adjusted the color balance (more blue less yellow, also more cyan less red) and then I played with the levels to lighten the whole thing then darken the middle range of tones. Whatever, it worked, this is very close and might even be usable, if I had another 3 or 4 usable photographs for these buttons! ARGH!
Still sorting through photographs, but I guess I'll have to actually go TAKE some more to get the one I think I want for the banner... I have a plaque I made using the coil technique that'll work great for the banner, and I know I HAD a photograph of it, but, well, its evaporated!
I SHOULD go get some pictures of the new buttons so I can put them up on Etsy, I re-listed a few last night and they immediately got hits.
Oh, wait, there's a theme here... guess its time to break out the camera. I found a new sheet of watercolor paper to use for a backdrop, as the last one is rather... bedraggled... Oh well, gotta dig out the lights, etc etc etc. JOY! LOL
Had a great day at the studio today, so I decided its time to try something new! Nothing too exciting, this has sort of been percolating for a while, but I finally got up the guts to start a blog and gallery site. Obviously its still under construction, when does THAT ever stop? But here it is!
Anyway, got 3 new orchid pots built today, all of them new variations on the pieced work I've been doing. I'm happy with them! Also used a bunch of scraps and made some cute little bowls that might turn into something for the store, and a few little pendant bobs that might lead to some more button type stuff for the store... beads or components, I guess! :) I was also thinking the little bowls would make a great upsell item for the orchid pots... trays to put candles in to make them into luminaries!
OH! I also loaded the kiln with a bisque load, so in a week or so I should be able to finish off the luminary I built a few weeks ago! Might have to sneak back to the art center for another chance to play in the clay tomorrow :)
Clay has always fascinated me, its many colors and textures, the shapes you can create using it, even the feel of it squishing in my hand. Even after years of playing in the mud I find myself exploring new ideas and I hope my work shows this.