Open Studio on ArtWalk Day, April 17th

We had so much fun in the studio yesterday! It was the last day of the ArtWalk and we were all feeling festive. Pauline Doyle and Dan Severance showed their lovely work in the main studio area. I’d say about 100 or more people came by the studio. After seeing Pauline and Dan’s work, couples, families and individuals worked their way down the hall, looking at displays. Finally, they arrived at the area where the Open Studio crew was working, the throwing room, the glazing/kiln room and the space between. As Gary sculpted his horse, he drew quite a crowd. Many people had never see such a work in progress and they were spellbound. Gary’s friendly and he chatted and answered all their questions. Sylvia wedged clay and threw along with Lily. And there were treats aplenty.

Action: While Gary did sculpted, I worked on my tiles and bird house. I finished three terra-cotta tiles, then, sandwiched them between plaster bats to hasten drying time. My “Sheaf of Wheat” tile had been bisqued and I brought it home to mold. Interestingly, the mold that grew on the clay during the lengthy drying period didn’t burn out when bisqued. It stained the tile. It won’t affect my tile, since I’ll glazed it after molding, but I thought it was curious…. Shifted the brown sugar medallions to the bisque area, as they’re bone dry. After firing, I’ll give them to friends. Just a little something….

Plans: My oil lamps were glaze fired but I’m going to have to redo them because they aren’t sealed on the bottom. Did I wipe the glaze off before firing, like usual? Silly me. The entire bottom half of the lamps needs to be glazed, so the oil doesn’t seep through when I light them. Will reglaze, then fire upside down. No sweat… Let’s see, I worked on my bird house and am very happy with it. The lid is well-supported during the drying phase and it isn’t cracking. However, this coming Tuesday, I have to do some serious work on the whole bird house:

  • cut a hole sized to the type of bird I want to attract,
  • assemble the bird house to figure out where I’ll cut holes to thread the chains,
  • affix the decorative knobs at the top and bottom,
  • test the nesting platform to see if it’s stable,
  • finish all decorative treatment,
  • check under the lid and inside the house for cracks,
  • fix any cracks I find with paper clay,
  • and, finally, start thinking of my glaze treatment.

The bird house will hang from a big leaf maple tree, as I want it to be shaded. Direct sun could hurt the baby birds. About glazing…I do intend to glaze the inside, even though it will make it heavier. If you’ve ever cleaned out a bird house at the end of a season, you know about the insects and larvae that  cling to the inside walls. A sealed interior will be easier to clean.

The first sparrow of spring! The year beginning with younger hope than ever!… What at such a time are histories, chronologies, traditions, and all written revelations? The brooks sing carols and glees to the spring.” — Henry David Thoreau


About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
This entry was posted in Articles and Interviews, Current Events, Featured Artists, Home and Garden, How-to-do-it, My Work and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Open Studio on ArtWalk Day, April 17th

  1. Pauline says:

    It did my heart good to read Thoreau this morning.
    Thanks Jan.

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