Sunday, January 20, 2019

Studio time...

We've had a busy past few months, and our fair share of ups and downs, but just this past couple of weeks or so, since Christmas and the school holidays, things seem to tentatively be looking up. It's still too early, too fragile, to think much of this in the long term, because we've been here before, and this is bug season, and the school term has only just begun, but we are feeling hopeful and just a little lighter, so we are trying to just enjoy this for now.

In the spirit of this uplift I've clocked some much-needed pottery studio time. I've been dreadfully slow with this, because I knew my next task was glaze testing, and there always seemed to be some reason or other to delay - it was too cold (but my new heater is in now, so this is not an excuse anymore), I didn't have enough time to get started (mixing glazes is time-consuming), I am still waiting for some glaze component or other to arrive in the mail (it's amazing how much stuff you need if you are testing, because there are so many different ways of putting together a working glaze), my studio is too chaotic (this was a bit of an issue for a while, because stuff had migrated in there on a temporary basis, but it's mostly sorted now)... So many excuses!

There are still fairly important things to sort out to make my little studio space work - I don't have a source of running water, so that is an issue,  because I don't like the idea of bringing potentially toxic pottery materials into the house via brushes or buckets. We are now considering installing a washing-up sink outside with a trap to catch heavy particles that I don't want going down the drain. Hopefully this summer...  I also need to repaint the concrete floor in my pottery space, because it's crumbling and therefore generating dust. This also does not allow me to mop the floor, meaning that any spillages will also dry and generate dust, which is a potential health hazard, particularly long-term. I also want to paint the brick-work on the walls because I get so much dirt falling down and contaminating my work space.

That said, it's a good little studio by now. My lighting is sorted out, and I have my awesome little heater, which means I feel less like an extra from La Boheme when I'm working in there at any time other than high summer.

I've even managed to get some of the dreaded test glazes mixed up the other day and I managed to pour only half a bucket of glaze over myself. I call that a win!

Now hopefully one of these testers will generate the glaze that I'm after, because I'm still struggling with that. I want a pure white glossy glaze that covers well and doesn't break over the edges of the little houses that I make. Once I've achieved that I want to make a big badge of glaze and create enough houses to put on Etsy or Folksy to sell so my pottery endeavours become a bit more cost-neutral at least.

I even managed to motivate boy #2 to help me paint the planters that he got for his birthday so they can be moved out of my studio onto the patio. Boy#2 is our green-fingered child, and he loves planting things, so we are hoping to grow some vegetables in his new boxes.


  1. My goodness, what an amazing work space. Sounds like a few more minor tweaks will make it perfect. The plant boxes look lovely painted in such a vibrant blue.

  2. You are so smart, knowing what needs to be taken care of, etc. LOVE your ceramic houses.