One of the things I've found that really helps people visualize what they can do with these little kusamono planters, particularly at shows, is to use a kokedama (or moss ball planting) and set it in the different pots. These are nothing special, really, but they're very effective. The first planting is a small planting, the ball is about the size of a tennis ball and it fits a lot of the small kusamono pots. The other three are larger, about the size of a softball and they work with the larger kusamonos and most of the bonsai pots. The tricky part is having them in good shape for the show! The sea thrift was just starting to pop at the end of the show, and a tiny English Daisy that I dug out of the driveway is a few days from blooming and just not looking as good as it could.
Well, these are something new! I'm trying them out to see how they go over. They're sort of randomly shaped footed plates with terra sigillata and stain on the bottom and a glaze inside. I'm thinking they'll work nicely as either small plates or something like a soap dish or spoon rest, a jewelry dish or catchall, or maybe even a kokedama tray for Japanese moss ball plantings. So far they're just sitting there, but I've only got a couple listed and I might need to play with tags. I'm really liking the finish on the bottom of the blue and green one on the top, but the green on this lower one is nice too!
I've also been listing a few more #kusamonos - shocking, I know!
Another project I'm working on this week is a line sheet for wholesale. Yikes, I haven't done wholesale this way before, but I think it'll be better than what I was doing before. We'll see! I've had a couple of people interested, one that was only wanting 6 to 12 items for her 'boutique', which since my typical order on the kusamonos is for 4 to 6 pieces isn't going to qualify for wholesale. The latest one was from a fairly good size bonsai retailer, so it could be nice!
Sigh, too many ideas, not enough time! :)
Unloaded the kiln today! I finally got a big orchid pot done thats been just hanging around, its going up on Etsy soon! Its a red clay, stained with iron oxide and a touch of cream glaze on the top to hide where the seams weren't cleaned up as well as I liked... durf, no shortcuts, I do know better! It looks great now. Also a bunch of kusamonos and the trays I did a few weeks ago at the studio tour. They're pretty generic so people can mix n match, the tan clay with oxide on the outsides and some with color, some with clear on the inside. My thinking was they'll go with most anything, we'll see if they're a hit or a flop! They should also work for kokedama (moss ball plantings) which might be interesting! I've GOT to get a kokedama made so I can use it in photos...
Also fired up a nice matte green DEEP scoop that was a back up for a custom order that I somehow forgot to get fired with the rest of the order, so its a good thing the customer was happy with the other one I did!
WELL, now, Weebly went and changed the format for doing things! What a revolting development! Back to the learning curve anyway.
SO, where was I (mentally) before getting so rudely interrupted...
Ah yes. Did the local 'Artist's Studio Tour' last Saturday, sold one piece, possibly got a few people to come join the Mudslingers, but otherwise a day hanging out making pots in someone else's garage! Ah well, got a bunch done, so no worries there! I've been selling pretty well on Etsy, so that helps. Weather has changed and its definitely getting to be fall, so of course the outdoor painting jobs are ... not. Oh well!
This little pot (its about 4 inches across) is up on Etsy now, click on the picture to follow the link and see more photos. I was playing with glazes again, this one is a layer or two of milk and honey with ancient jasper over, and it came out pretty cool, I think.
Made a run to Arcata early this week to pick up clay, got 450 pounds worth. Mostly for the Mudslingers, a box for another local potter, and a couple boxes worth for me. A new porcelain and a greyish tan that has a bit of speckle, so I want to PLAY! Instead I've been busy putting listings up, replacing the stuff that sold this month. One of the other things I did was pick up a new thermocouple for the kiln, the latest one is only about a year old, maybe two, and its bending and just ready to be replaced. Its sort of depressing, the original one lasted most of 8 years, I think! Possibly even longer! Anyway, the new one was only $15, so I'll be changing it out before I get the next load in. Th
This one is from a batch I made a few years back, I found these recently going through old boxes! Ooops! This one is very nice, straight sides and the glaze is interesting with the yellow and frosted yellow. Click on it to see the listing on Etsy, it has a bunch more views. Measurements 10 3/4 inches (275mm) by 8 3/8 inches (212mm) wide by 3 1/8 inches (80mm) high (exterior)
Another one from that batch, this one is Fern Mist (I THINK, something close to that if its not) and is sort of matte olive green and glossy darker green in some areas. It measures 8 3/8 inch (215mm) long and 6 inches (153mm) wide by 2 1/8 inch (52mm) tall (outside dimensions.)
Well, there's a bunch of little kusamonos still out there to get photos of, plus a few other ovals that I've posted to Etsy including another green one with drippies on one side and the ends, then very similar to the one above on the other side. Also a mottled brown one, and a cream one that I still need to upload. Also 3 or 4 triangles! Last time I had these boxes out was at the Bonsai Club Show a few years back, oops!~
I'm also in the process of uploading some more orchid pots, and debating on putting up a starfish plaque. I am working on some changes in the styling on the starfish, so the one I built today will be very different. The starfish have more texture and should be even more realistic than the ones to date.
These are some of the little Kusamono pots I pulled out of the last load! Normally Bonsai pots are pretty neutral colors and shapes so the TREE is the center of attention, but with the accent plant - a small plant displayed along side a bonsai in a formal display - the pot can be a bit more radical. Often the plant has leaves that drape down over the sides of the pot somewhat, they flower, have brightly colored foliage, or some sort of attention drawing aspect like wispy seed heads on grasses. So the pots can have a lot more color and variations in shape. These are small, draped over a tennis ball, and a LOT of fun to make! I admit, the pink one is a bit more radical than I was actually going for, but its actually a nice little pot. The yellow is the same glaze I've used on a few bonsai pots, its bright but perfect for something like a maple that has BRIGHT fall foliage. I'll post some more later, they're just too cute. These are listed on my Etsy site.
Well, I survived the holidays, although the obligatory round with the plague is still ongoing! We've got a load ready to throw in the kiln tomorrow, bisque stuff, and I'll have a bunch of kusamono pots to go in. These are little 'grass pots' for accent plants such as, well, grass, or other plants to display with bonsai. These make great little decorative planters! This batch are simple textured slabs draped over a form, in this case a tennis ball, with feet added to let them drain. I haven't decided quite yet how I'll finish them, but they're fun to make and I'll have about 10 in this load and at least that in the next, if not more! Also a stray orchid pot, then a bunch of stuff from the rest of the mudslingers. I did one or two pieced ones too, so there's a lot of variation.
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.