Monthly Archives: November 2007

Studio Holiday Sale

Tonight’s the night! It’s the opening night for the holiday show at my studio at Lillstreet Studios in Chicago.

If you’re in the area, I hope you can stop by tonight, or any time over the next 3 weeks. Details and some pictures to tempt are below.

Opening Night Reception
Friday, November 30, 2007 – 6pm – 9pm
Lillstreet Studios
205 west
4401 N. Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640  

 

I have a studio full of new work including the ceramic pendants that you see above that hang on a cord of hand dyed silk. You’ll also see the familiar faces of mugs, serving bowls, honey pots and more.


 

  

Studio hours for the holidays:

weekdays: 12 noon – 6pm
Saturdays: 10am – 6pm
Sundays: 12 noon – 5pm

There are over 40 artists at Lillstreet Studios making functional pottery, tiles, sculpture, jewelry, photography, handmade beads and more. If I’m not at my studio, one of my studio mates can help you out. If you want to be sure to meet up with me, just send me an email (emily@sodafired.com).

You can probably find something for everyone on your list at Lillstreet Studios. I have some ridiculously functional things that everyone can use. Why shouldn’t your soap dispenser be as beautiful and functional as your favorite mug?

Directions to my studio.
I accept cash, checks, Visa and Mastercard.
It’s easy to get to with lots of parking for cars and bikes.
There is a ton of public transportation to help you get there. And the exciting news is that the Montrose Stop on the Brown line is open after a year of renovations! 
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And on a much more personal note…
I haven’t been writing to my blog much lately because I’ve had a very happy distraction. My sister, Nora, had a little baby boy, Shiya, on November 18, 2007 at 4:12pm. Congratulations!
I’ve been spending a lot of time with my sister, baby Shiya and big brother Ayrie. (The happy new family is in the picture to your left!)

 

Happy Holidays!

A Happy Soda Firing

I fired last week. When I’m done glazing, but before I load the soda kiln, I sit down and roll hundreds of wads for the bottom of my pieces. It always takes a ridiculously long amount of time. Time when I’m feeling a bit anxious about getting things done on schedule. When I was rolling my wads for this last kiln, it was a sunny day, and the morning sun was hitting them in the most beautiful way. I took this picture to share with all of you. My happy spin on a less than fun job.


Wadding Recipe
for the soda kiln (pretty standard) (by volume):
  • 1 part EPK
  • 1 part alumina hydrate
  • medium grog to taste (not really, but you know what I mean…)

I roll my wads ahead of time and put them in a plastic container (the ones from the local Thai take-out place are the best). Then I glue them to the bottoms of pots before loading (Elmer’s glue). Breaking up the wadding into steps keeps my hands cleaner and helps me avoid the problem of getting wadding where it doesn’t belong.

A shot of the front of the kiln. It was an interesting firing. I reduced the amount of soda that I added by about 25% or so.

(new) Soda Mixture:

  • 1.75 lbs. of soda ash
  • 2.25 lbs. of soda bicarb
  • 4 lbs. of whiting

Mixed together with 1/4 of a 5 gallon bucket of wood chips. Mix together well, then add enough water (while mixing) to the consistency of oatmeal cookie dough. I add it on an piece of angle iron through the ports on the front of the kiln when c. 9 is soft. (More on this in a future post.)

Below are some tea bowls that I got out of this firing. 


How to: Make a texture roller for clay

This project is instant gratification. Something that is not that common in the world of clay. With this texture roller, you can use it as soon as the hot glue has cooling, which is very fast. It’s a great project to do in a class, or on your own so you have a custom tool that no one else has.

Supplies:

  • a roller of some sort (cut up pieces of PVC, empty rolls of tape, couplings for PVC, plastic rolling pins from the dollar store or craft store).
  • a sharpie.
  • a hot glue gun. They only cost a couple of bucks.
  • extra hot glue sticks.

Draw your pattern onto the rolling pin. It’s easier to work out the pattern before with a Sharpie than it is later with the hot glue. Think about some sort of connected pattern, they tend to have the best results. And don’t go overboard with the lines, you’ll regret it later. And remember that the hot glue line aren’t going to be perfect, so just go with the imperfection.

While you’re drawing, plug in your hot glue gun. Make sure that you do it on a surface that you can toss when done, like newspaper or cardboard. When you’re done drawing on your design, start gluing. Be a bit heavy handed with the glue. If the lines are too thin, they won’t show up on the clay as well.

After the glue seems cool, start rolling away… The first attempt might stick a bit, but after there is some dusty clay on the roller, it won’t really stick.

If you’re not a hand builder, a nice use for one of these textured slabs is in the bottom of a thrown and altered casserole.