Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Online Sale

Hey, folks.

It's cold now.  The end of the year is nigh.  So I am FINALLY putting together an online sale.

It's old school (as far as internet shopping goes).  I've grouped together ceramics and hearts in some folders on Facebook. You message me with what you want and we work it out from there.  I take PayPal online, but if you don't use that, we can figure it out.




barnacle vase



soda fired vase


vase with cocklebur stamp

soda fired planter


Contact me through Facebook, my website, or email deswar14 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

You can also pick up some cat head planters at the Kemper Museum Shop when you check out the incredible shows they consistently have in this gem of a museum.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Back on the Wagon

It's been A WHILE since I've put paint or vinyl to aluminum.  There are a few reasons for this, but this post is about DOING not NOT DOING.

I took my least favorite small piece and decided to cannibalize it...it just never brought me joy.

Meh. I tried.
24 inch diameter
I put some paint on it.  Then more paint and dragged through the paint while wet to make a texture.
Then I put more paint on!  And the magic happened when the sandpaper met the surface, revealing the ridges...
I like that you can see some of the old piece in a ghosty shadow.  It is the foundation of this work, after all.
Time to add orzos.  It took some work to figure out exactly how it needed to terminate.  I added and subtracted several times.
Subtle changes, but it took some walk-aways to think it over.
I think it's finished.  Feels great to have a new piece I like.  In 2020 I'll have a show at the Johnson County (Kansas) library, so I'm going to polish some old pieces.  But, honestly, I don't actually NEED to make more work, because I OVERFLOWITH.

24 inch diameter, as yet unnamed 
I'm looking forward to choosing a title, going through my on-going notes of phrases and poetic bits I find here and there to make a perfect match.

More of the day to day on my Instagram!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Studio Sale

Over the second weekend of September (already three weeks ago?!) I had my first solo studio sale (that wasn't associated with any organization).  It was great!  It was exhausting!  Here's a look back...

I'm prolific--can't stop with the making--so my inventory is vast.  

My shed housed mixed media work from my salvaged wood days.
Turned my shed into a display room.

I had surprisingly few wall clocks left.  I was able to get several out to new forever homes!  Hurrah for aluminum, it doesn't degrade!
Clocks are dwindling...
 These little dudes were hanging out in my closet.  I still love them all and was able to share several with customers!
table toppers

 The biggest part of my sale was the ceramics section.  You can make a lot of work in just a few years if you keep it in your basement most of the time.
So. Many. Ceramics.

Love these faces.
I still have plenty left, so I'll be having an online sale through Facebook and/or Instagram.  Stay tuned!

I had a lot of help from friends during the set up and break down process, and seeing all your lovely faces and meeting new people from the neighborhood was awesome.  I might make it a yearly thing! There's certainly enough making still to be done...

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Glaze Tests

At the Clay Guild there is a Last Call shelf, where wayward bisqued pieces that haven't been picked up in a certain amount of time get set on their way to the Dumpster.  There's a myriad of reasons these are left behind, but mostly because they aren't "good enough" to be glazed by the original maker, they've been forgotten, or they were practice pieces.  Most of these are wonky and/or very thick and/or have cracks in the bottom.

We have 22 glazes made in-house, and combining them can result in some fantastic colors, but taking a piece you've put a lot of time into and possibly ruining it by glazing it with an experimental combination isn't the most fun.  So I took these orphan forms right before they landed in the garbage and started throwing everything on them.  And that lead me to a long project I'm doing for the Clay Guild of a large test tiles wall.

My work, as well as other members', has benefited from these pieces and tiles.  It's sad to see people use the same boring one-coat glazes over and over again... (It's okay if that's your thing.  No judgment.)

White on top of green equals purple?

Wow, I love this one.

That pink has made its way into many of my newer pieces.  Chun and Turquiose I think.

Drooollll.   This has some rutile wash striped over the top.

I added blue mason stain to shino for this one.  A beautiful metallic happened!
With all these glazes to keep straight, I made many, many notes. (#orphanforms on my Instagram)

I cannot stress enough how important glaze notes are for your everyday work!

And in the spring I was able to start making actual tiles that I have been installing in the Clay Guild glaze room for everyone to use.  I have been getting a lot of big THANK YOUs, but to be honest, you guys, I did this for me and decided to share.  Happily, I've been seeing the combos coming out of the kiln by members far and wide and love how it changes the attitudes around glazing.  It took me three years to get only marginally comfortable glazing my work.  And I have SO MUCH to learn.
I'm filling in those holes as time allows.
In just a couple days I'm opening up my studio (well...mostly my back yard) and having a huge sale.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (event page here).  Fun thing: four kittens and a mama (who is a kitten herself) showed up at my house last week and I've been trying to catch and tame them.  Three and mama are currently living in my studio (got mom fixed yesterday!) and they are a speed bump in my preparations.  These babes are about 10 weeks old and rambunctious in the cutest way.  So, if you're interested in a kitten, hit me up!  I'm looking for shelters that will take them because I'm in over my head a little.  

Anyhoo...see you this weekend?

Friday, September 6, 2019

Footed Bowls

I started making some footed bowls during the Pecked phase, and I decided to try to expand on that with a bag of clay I found and reconstituted.  Free clay = no waste if it turns out terrible.

Turned out GREAT, MAN!

Pushed it out almost like it was on the wheel, but slow and on a lazy Susan instead.  The outside made a kind of crust (I refer to these as Bread Bowls) when the surface cracked as I expanded it out.
Yeah, I know what these look like.  They're feet.
With the width being what it was (big bottomed) I wanted to make sure it was stable and supported.  So six feet did the trick!
Bottoms Up 
I tried some new glaze combos I was experimenting with and am really happy with the result.

Maker's mark made with typewriter hammers.
Here's another

Only five feet this time.
 This one cracked on the bottom but not all the way through.  I've been having issues with cracking and it has to do with the clay and the craftsmanship...still learning!  If they crack all the way I just turn them into planters.  Problem solved!

I formed the so-called Cloud Bowl over a mold, then added feet and flipped over when appropriate.  You never know if it will survive the flip, if the clay is hard enough, if the feet are connected enough or centered right.  You just have to keep making them until you figure it out, and even then you can put a lot of time into a project and it just dies.  But this one survives!!  I love the glaze, it's the same combo as the Six-Footer.
Cloud Bowl
Not only did this wide thing crack, but there is a big whammy, too...probably my fault.  It showed up when I picked it up from the bisque fire.  I left it to dry a long time, but there could have been a piece of debris in there that caused it to pop off during firing.  But I wanted to play with glaze anyway and spent quite a bit of time constructing it, so I just persisted.
 Now my Aldi cacti and succulents live here.

I'm prepping for my open studio sale!  Follow progress on Instagram and share the event on Facebook, please.  This thing is counting on word of mouth!  

Friday, August 30, 2019

Save the Date

So...I have a lot of work.

I'm having a studio sale to prove it!

September 13, 5 - 8 pm (Happy Hour! Bring your pals.  I'll have wine.)
September 14, 10 am - 5 pm
September 15, 11 am - 3 pm

Eighty Acres Art Studio
806 E 33rd

(come 'round the backside)

This is your chance to get your fill of hearts, orzos, collages, mixed media, planters, tumblers, mugs, necklaces, clocks, and dot pieces!  And to see where I make most of my work.  I'll have my tents set up for outdoor browsing, so mild rain or heavy shine, we'll be fine!

This is the ONLY local sale I have planned until 2020, so get here!

Large abstract heart piece
8 x 8 orzos
mini collage collection

ceramic bowls
Cleaned Out My Pockets
collage with papers, tea bag, this and that

mixed media ladies: vinyl, paper, paint, ink, salvaged wood

MuDots series

mixed media from Edit series

table top guinea clock

Heart Block collection
Hardy Stock, vinyl and paint on salvaged wood