Sunday, March 6, 2011

Welcome to the Artists Studio - BOC Open Studio Event

Congrats Michelle Mach for winning my first giveaway!!(email me your address).

Thanks everyone for stopping back - Welcome into my studio space.

For my clay work, I use a lot of porcelain and handmade texture plates and stamps to get reverse images and raised textures.
I then use readily available cookie cutters (kitchen supply stores, polymer clay suppliers) and a few home made ones to cut out the pieces.
One day soon I hope to have some custom shape cutters made - just have to get them drawn out to scale.
I love the way the glazes interact with the surface of the clay & how translucent glazes show the texture.
All of my porcelain pendants are glazed on all sides.
Sticking to this level of creation and glazing means I have to suspend every piece for the glaze firing and not just lay it on a shelf.
Buttons and cabochons are an exception because they are only glazed on the top. It can take hours to load a kiln like this and if you check out my Etsy shop, you can see that my pricing reflects this.

It is not the material cost (clay is as cheap as - well - dirt - very nice, wet, easy to work with mud/clay/dirt), but the amount of time that goes into working with the clay.
My pieces have over 20 steps from start to finish. Not including the jewelry making part.
Multi function tables in the basement for clay and glaze work.
I work out of my house.
Technically all over the house & sometimes I bring the clay outside into the garden with me depending on the time of the year. For the most part, the "main" clay studio is kept to the basement (except for the pug mill for recycling clay - that is in the garage for ventilation and access to the hose and lots of space to move).
My glazes to be tested are stacked & Chloe's under-glazed beads mid-painting.
Bins with beads sorted by texture.
Reusing trays that I had for bead shows to hold bisque beads that are lesser made.
Kiln room is behind a lockable door and is vented to the exterior of the house.
My sister Teren and Chloe were making signs for Chloe & Riley's bedroom doors the other night. 
I jokingly said that I would like one that says STOP on it for my kiln room door. 
This is what they made...
At least the kids will stop to look or pick at the foam stickers.
Computer desk, packaging area in background - a work in progress.
Temporary Jewelry Making Table - nice to have a place to leave stuff out.
Some recent jewelry making adventures.
I find my inspiration in Nature. 
In Textures. In Colors. In Shapes. In Patterns.
I take lots of pictures with my iPhone…
But then there are moments that require more detail - like from my digital SLR that I am just learning to use:
I am trying to find balance in every day.
And take my time to notice all that is around me…
Right now I am in the middle of some major life changes.
I know when I look back years from now, I will know that this time - right now - as a point when my decisions took me down that different road.
Wonder what my life will look like?
Will I still be working in clay (I sure hope so - but beads only? Probably not).

Hop back over to the Beads-of-Clay Blog to check out the other live posts and I'll see you back here for the 2nd giveaway post in a bit...


  1. Thanks for such a comprehensive post - I love seeing the process that artists go through. ANd it seems like an intensive process from wet clay to bead! And glazed on both sides....I'm impressed and interested in your 'hanging' firing technique. I have always wondered how artists achieved this - I thought maybe stuff had to go back in for a second glaze....shows my ignorance!

  2. Thanks for sharing all of that! I'm always in awe when I see the inside of your loaded kiln. It is so incredibly time consuming and, I don't know about you, but almost always I will have it ready to go and then I hear a little "plink" which means one fell! Ughhh!

  3. LOVE the snowflake photo! I'm in that DSLR learning curve mode as well, you should be so proud of that photo :) I have instructions somewhere for making your own cutter shapes...I'll see if I can find it to share with you, it was pretty easy and used disposable aluminum baking trays...

  4. Wonderful informative post Marsha. I too love to see how others load their kiln. It is always very time consuming,as are many clay steps. But so worth it in the end. thanks for sharing.

  5. It was fascinating to take a peek inside your studio and understand a little bit of the process that brings your creations to fruition. Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Even working on my mugs takes several steps that lead to the cost of them. At least 10 that I can think of off the top of my head...
    I am amazed at how many pieces you put into the kiln and very few on the shelf... wow!
    Hope you're having a great Open Studio day!

  7. I love how organized you are, Marsha!

  8. I love the awesome. Your work area is great. Thanks for giving a detailed account!!!

  9. Great post Marsha, it is nice to hear about the process you do in making your beads and pendants. I love your snowflake I would call that a once in a life time luck to capture a perfectly formed flake.


I would love to hear what you think…