Thursday, July 31, 2014

Of Honey Pots and Bees

I have just finished painting 283 bees.

No, I didn't catch 283 fuzzy buzzy things and daub them with CIL Interior Latex in Lagoon Blue. Although the bumbles might look nice with a little touch of blue on their tummies....

It's Honey Day at the Carp Farmers' Market this Saturday and I got a little carried away making things decorated with bees to jazz up my booth. I made a few honey pots (not many, I didn't have much time), but then I went on and made some hangtags:

 And some bookmarks:

Here are a few of the honey pots, before they got dipped in clear glaze. I have them in the kiln right now, hopefully to be ready in time for Saturday. There are also some square coasters and some round trivets. I throw my trivets, by the way. When I tried to make them from slabs they kept coming out slightly oval, due to the clay being stretched by the slab rolling, so now I just throw them. Easiest thing there is to throw!

And then I went on to paint a bear sitting watching a bee.... then strolling over to see the source of the bees.... then leaping off the page with a swarm of angry buzzers after him. But you'll either have to imagine that, or come to the Market on Saturday!

Meanwhile, hum along with me: 'Oh, the honey bees are buzzing....'

Thursday, July 10, 2014

It's the Berries, Dahling....

Berry bowls, that is. I'm kind of late this year, but I will have berry bowls for my booth at the Carp Market this weekend.

Always hard to know what size to make them. This is true of a lot of pottery items - which is why I joke that I make things in two sizes, too big and too small. Mugs, for example. No matter what size they are, someone will come by, pick up a mug, heft it to check the size, and ask me if I don't make one a little bit bigger.... or a little bit smaller. Sometimes I think it is just a variation on the old 'I am not buying this but it is your fault' game, but usually I remember that every person is different, every cook serves food for a different family and variety is the spice of life, yada yada.

Berries bowls, however, are kind of tricky. I know, myself, I like a larger bowl for serving strawberries than for serving blueberries. Mind you, the last time I served raspberries they came in one of those small paper fiber boxes, and I just handed my husband the box. He didn't comment, just ate the raspberries. Good husband.

The bowls I've been making take 2 lbs of clay (900 grams if you're metric) for the top and 1.25 lbs (600 grams) for the base. I trim the bases of the bowls flat, then attach a thin coil and throw the foot. The tricky bit is making sure the bowls are soft enough to trim, but stiff enough to allow me to centre the coil on to it. Then I let them stiffen upside down for a bit before turning them right side up and cutting the holes.

In case you're wondering, it's a real peeve-off to find you've cut the holes off-centre. I know this for a fact.

Here is a shot of one of the bowls with a jug left over from last year:

Berry bowls are great gifts: they don't have to match the kitchen! And nobody already has one!

Hmmmm, think I'll have strawberries for breakfast...