Monday, March 31, 2014

Originals Spring Show starts Thursday

I'll be at the Originals Spring show for the first time, with a smaller booth than I have at the Originals Christmas Show.  I'll be in Booth #704, close to the front along the right hand wall as you come in.

There is a big Wedding Show going on at the same time in another hall at the EY Centre, and double passes are available for both shows--should you be so lucky as to be planning a wedding!

I have lots of large serving bowls, baking dishes, teapots, etc. that would make lovely wedding gifts.

Friday, March 28, 2014

New pots for spring sales

Thought you might like to see some of the new pots I'll be selling at three upcoming sales.  Tomorrow and Sunday I'm at the Westend Pottery Sale.  Next week, April 3-6 at the Originals Spring Show at the EY Centre near the airport and the following week, April 10-13 at the Ottawa Guild of Potters Sale at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans.

It doesn't look like we'll be seeing tulips blooming anytime soon around here so I purchased some.  Don't they lift your spirits?  They're showing off some of the vases I'll be selling (or is it the other way around?)

And a few new bowls in new glazes in a variety of sizes (these are all quite generous salad serving bowls):

And a few round, textured vases:

And back to slip-trailing decoration:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Westend Pottery Sale March 29 & 30 in Westboro

This year's Westend Pottery Sale is shaping up to be a fun event.  It's my first sale in the spring--I only hope that it will in fact feel and look like spring by the time this sale takes place! Nevertheless, the atmosphere at the sale will be springlike, what with all the fresh new pottery that these 22 potters have been working on.

Each potter donates one piece towards gift baskets that are raffled off--a real treat for four lucky customers! This year food in the tea room is being provided by Krackers Katering,, a local organization that gives people with disabilities or economic disadvantages skills training and employment opportunities.  On Saturday there will be soup (carrot ginger) and sandwiches (5 or 6 kinds) available.  Both Saturday & Sunday they will provide a yummy selection of desserts.

Now in its 4th year, this sale creates a vibrant yet relaxing atmosphere in the middle of the bustling Westboro neighbourhood.  Details, including a list of participants and more photos on our web site

Friday, March 14, 2014

A few new pots and a few new glazes

 I've been working on some new forms--bowls, vases, platters--and have been thinking of how to glaze them.  I've glazed & fired a few in the shiny glazes I'm using these days for my utilitarian work, but these pieces demand something different--maybe some texture, matt surfaces...

I've always loved salt and ash glaze surfaces, but living in the city and firing with an electric kiln doesn't allow for those options.  When we worked in a clay swamp in Uganda at a training institute, I fired the pots I made in the bottleneck kiln we constructed with the students' help and since we had no glazes, we threw salt into the kiln during the firing.  It gave beautiful flashes of sheen to the warm colours the clay acquired in the wood firing. I've never had the opportunity to work with salt fire glazes, but love the results. Some day, I'd like to work with salt.

Today though, pursuing the ash option seems more possible.  Fortunately other potters, far more clever than I, have developed fake ash glazes which produce those fluid, pebbly surfaces that are typical of true ash glazes--and they have the bonus of not running off the pot so much and wrecking kiln shelves!  I tried a couple of fake ash glazes on these bowls in combination with a lovely red/gold glaze (on the bottom of the pot, just in case the fake ash did run...)

 This bowl has a fake ash glaze (with red iron oxide and yellow ochre as colourants) applied around the rim to the handles.  The red/gold glaze is applied to the bottom half of the bowl.

And this one has a fake ash glaze (with cobalt oxide) applied to the rim and upper half and that same reddish glaze on the bottom.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Why I'm looking forward to spring....

Still wearing clothes from my alma mater more than 30 years later!

Finally, a day above freezing without precipitation!  The last couple of years I've been spray glazing more and more of my pieces.  My studio is small, so I set up a little spray booth outside.  I actually prefer being outside to do this, although it's definitely weather dependant.  More than once I've had to set up a temporary roof to protect from the rain and the glaze overspray becomes ice if it's below freezing.  So I was thrilled to have a sunny 0+ day this week to glaze some of the shelves of pots that are beginning to pile up.  Still lots more to go, but surely by mid-March we can hope for warmer weather....can't we?