Cups on Shelves

From the last kiln firing before the show:

This one is “The Thief of Time, by Terry Pratchett”. Wheel-thrown and incised stoneware, underglazes, and glaze. A mandala-inspired design for the history monks, but in shades of grey, of course, for the Auditors.

Aaaand “Terry Jones’ Barbarians, by Allan Ereira and Terry Jones.” Again, incised stoneware and underglazes–the same ones, in fact–but a copper green glaze layered under the clear. The clear glaze interacted with the copper glaze, turning it a paler colour and making it transparent. The design is stolen off a Parthian bowl.

A Library of Teacups: Half Organized

The show is almost here! Shelves were installed today, and I spent the evening putting cups on them. The non-fiction wall is done:

Just have to finish up the rest of the room, which is all fiction. Comics, graphic novels and BDs on the two plinths when you come in, sci-fi and fantasy on the bookcases, a plinth and a cube out-of-frame for children’s lit, and a windowsill of less interesting forms of fiction. And I should probably cart away the giant pile of recently-emptied boxes.


So. Almost my entire backlog of bisqued gallery cups went into the kiln this week. Only a teensy few to get through now. My task for this week, I decided, was to take all my books off the shelves, unpack the teacups, and match them all up. Whatever books are left still on the table (or on the chairs, or on the dresser, or in boxes on the floor where they’ve been since I moved into the new house) are books I still have to interpret into cup form.

This has done two things. 1) It has given me a great big list to make (in visuo-spatial form, but a list nonetheless), and it lets me mentally cross things off the list, which is great because crossing things off lists is one of my favourite ways of dealing with anticipatorystagefrightstress. 2) It has pointed out to me, very concretely, how much work the last year has been. It has made me stop thinking “Oh god I’m so tired” and made me think “Holy cow. I’m proud of myself.”

Grad School Flashbacks

That’s “Old English Handbook, by Marjorie Anderson and Blanche Colton Williams”, “Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Primer, by Henry Sweet” and “Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Reader in Prose and Verse (Revised Throughout by Dorothy Whitlock), by Henry Sweet”.

One more kiln load is ready to go tomorrow (assuming the hurricane doesn’t throw a wet, windy spanner in the works). Oh glod I hope it goes well… something like a quarter of my show is in there.

Geekery and starch

From right to left: The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Blood and Honour, and Legends of the Ferengi.

Didn’t quite capture the texture of a TIE fighter wing panel, which is what I was hoping for, but that’s pretty hard to do in clay anyways. The leafy business on the Pathfinder rulebook is inspired by the marginal illustrations on every page in it, and the other cup is going to be glazed to resemble one of those Ferengi head thingies. (I love this project. It’s a lot of work and it’s taking forever to wrap up, but it lets me do things like watch Star Trek for art research purposes.)

Aaaaand because I was curious and impatient, I pulled up one of the potato plants in the backyard. Lo and behold, there were potatoes!


I tested the gold luster on St. Augustine’s “City of God” yesterday evening. The kiln was cool enough this morning that it could be taken out. The experiment was a success! Even coverage, no dripping, good thickness. I lustered up some more cups this morning and put them in for their firing. Should be able to take them out by evening. I’m so excited. Luster is completely new territory for me, and I was sure I’d mess it up somewhere along the way, but so far, it’s all gone very well.

While I was busy with the luster, Jason and helpful hand Denzil put a few big pieces through the raku kiln. It was a very dangerous-ceramics-themed morning. Only one smallish fireball was produced, although Jason did lose some eyebrow to the first kiln-opening.

What I Did This Weekend

I worked on my Annual Members Exhibit Submissions.

White clay, black underglaze and sgraffito. The shape is inspired by Victorian porcelain, and the design is inspired by crewelwork embroidery. It’s not as elaborate as my original plan… I figured I’d see if I could get the hang of the “grammar” or crewelwork before I went and complicated it with other shapes… but I’m still happy with it. I started off with two bowls and four teacups. The goal is to submit one or two bowls and two cups. So far, one cup was lost to handle crackage, and one cup has been deemed to ugly to submit, but the rest soldier on.

I also organized cups.

Some to the shop, some to Model Citizens. A handful held back for Fresh Fish (June 23rd! Tell everyone you know!), and more thrown and waiting for firing. The rest of them are gallery teacups. Lots of Star Wars comics and textbooks in this batch.

That’s Wildflowers of Fogo Island and Change Islands, by Todd Boland, The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, by Kevin J. Anderson, and From Roman to Merovingian Gaul: A Reader (Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures:V), by Alexander Callander Murray.


TWO of my tomato plants have wee green tomatoes on them! TWOOOO! Also, three of my pepper plants are in bloom. They are doing such important-to-the-development-of-food things when the temperature has dropped to unconducive levels, but hey. I’m still excited. Google tells me their babies risk turning out “cat-faced”, but quite frankly, hat does not sound like a bad thing. I am quite curious to find out exactly how a vegetable can appear cat-faced. I bet it’s cute.

In other news, pots continue happening. I put another dent in my pile of bisqued book teacups this week; they’ll be fired tomorrow, along with a special request and sundry robots. Lots of medieval textbooks in this load. I’ll have to set them aside and figure out how to get gold luster on them. (Gold luster not only requires firing to a different temperature than I normally hit. It’s also incredibly toxic stuff. The gold is held in suspension with a bunch of very nasty, highly absorbable chemicals. Gloves ain’t gonna cut it for safety gear. I strongly suspect the respirator I have is the wrong sort[1], and the ventilation system in the studio may not be good enough for the length of the firing… What I need is an outdoor kiln or something. Hrm. )

[1] It’s rated for mineral and other dust, not chemical fumes.


From left to right: The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, by Kevin J. Anderson[1], Lucid Dreaming and the Art of Dreaming Creatively, by Pamela Ball[2], and Histoire de la langue, by Peter A. Machonis.

[1] The design is based on some columns in the Imperial Palace, as drawn by the amazing Ralph McQuarrie. So much of my childhood was shaped by that man.

[2] Still haven’t read it. Should really get around to it.