Soap

Haven’t written in a while. Life’s been busy.

I didn’t get the chance to try the mugs again yet… I got distracted with bowls. Taller, soup-appropriate Ocean bowls, and some dessert-sized Bug bowls to replace the ones that sold in December and January. Fun bowls for myself. Another as a gift… I think there’s just something about winter and bowls.

Then I got a request for 120 custom-made soap dishes. The CCNL shop is planning to put together an exclusive gift set, to include handmade soap, soap dishes, and maybe some candles or some such. So I’ve been in soap dish mode lately. The design isn’t anything fancy[1], but the glaze we wound up choosing will give them a little oomph.

I’m hoping to have them all finished around the end of the month; this is a great opportunity for extra cash, but I don’t want it to cut into my prep time for summer.

[1] But that may be a good thing. I like to play around with surface detail, but for the money I’ll be getting, I really can’t spend much time on each dish. And in general, I need to get better about not spending more time than I’m rewarded for on my pieces.

Mixed week

The fish dishes are out of the kiln! So are the experimental mugs.

I’m… satisfied. I’m very happy with the fish, actually, in principle, but there will only be one sushi set. (I cracked the tail off one of the larger plates before it was bisqued[1]. Argh.) And I’m iffy on the one survivor.

The little dishes are all marvelous, thank goodness. So at least I’ll be able to submit a school or something.

The experimental mugs look great–and the handles turned out very comfortable to hold and not the slightest bit warped–but feel disappointingly heavy. I guess I’m still not good enough at estimating wall thickness on newer designs. I’ll try them again with a few less ounces of clay tomorrow.

Pictures will come the next time I remember to bring my camera to the studio.

[1] I picked it up to check the bottom for cracks, because I am paranoid about large flat bottoms doing cruel things to me, and I knocked it against the underside of a shelf. The tail cracked clean off. The rest of the fish was bisqued and I will use it for glaze tests, so all is not lost, but still… It’s hard to feel positive about that.

A Fine Lot o’ Fish

The Craft Council Gallery (whose website seems to be permanently a few weeks out of date, but which has some really cool stuff under Past Exhibits if you want to go poke around in there) has a show coming up in February. The blurb in the members’ news says, “The Craft Council Gallery invites you to celebrate one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s ‘reasons for being’ with your fine and funky, functional and decorative, subtle and vibrant creations inspired by fish of all kinds. A Fine Lot O’ Fish is a juried exhibition of works in a variety of media to be presented in the Craft Council annex Gallery. You can enter up to two works and all work must be for sale.”

I decided to enter this afternoon. I’d been hemming and hawing, trying to come up with a good idea, for a few weeks now, but I’m taking the plunge. After chatting with Craig-from-work[1], I’ve got Plans. I’m thinking round, fish-shaped dishes (sushi sets?[2]), with lots of texture and different colours of clay.

I tried out the red stoneware for the first time tonight, and threw two large platters and a bunch of smaller, shallow bowls. I’ll have to cover them with plastic tomorrow morning and keep them under wraps until Sunday, since Saturday is D&D night, but that’ll just give me more time to tweak the design. I know the basic shape they’ll end up; I just need to figure out the surface details.

[1] One of the great advantages of working in a craft shop is that you tend to spend all day with artsy employees. Craig is a recent Visual Arts grad who was brought on for Christmas, and aside from being a laugh to have around, turned out to be a great guy to bounce ideas off of.

[2] If I can only enter two works, does that mean two dishes, or two multi-piece sushi sets? Must ask the gallery coordinator tomorrow…