Author: Cassidy

Testing Garlic Roasters

The past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with lids. One of my very first lidded projects was to make these garlic roasters! I’d never roasted garlic before but my boyfriend had, and he suggested I try it out. They turned out really beautiful! My research about them revealed that they’re usually done in unglazed terra cotta, and soaked briefly in water before being used for roasting. The extra water that soaks into the terra cotta is supposed to help them roast the garlic. Since I’ve never used a garlic roaster before, and don’t have access to terra cotta, I thought I’d try a couple different glaze patterns and try them all to see which one works best. As you can see, I have one roaster that is entirely unglazed, one that is fully glazed, and one that is left unglazed on the inside only. Unfortunately the vent hole in the partially glazed roaster was blocked with glaze during the firing so I wasn’t able to test that one out today. Once it gets warm enough …

WIP of the Week: Fish Paintings!

IT IS STILL SNOWING. This winter needs to end already. Since I was stuck inside for about the millionth time this winter, I decided to do some painting today! During college I did a couple paintings based on black moor goldfish, and they are still some of my favorite works! They’re different from my usual style, but something about them just really appeals to me. My first and most favorite is the one below, in rainbow! I have in hanging in my front entryway. I’ve also done one with ghostly white fish, which is much smaller and in my bathroom. I’ve been asked multiple times to sell the larger one but I just can’t part with it! So today, I’m working on a new version. A diptych! I think this one will turn out really really great. This is just the underpainting, I haven’t decided yet what color I want these fish to be- it could be another rainbow, or possibly black fish, or even a few black and a few orange! I also have a silver metallic …

Spring Goals

There is currently at least 14 inches of snow on the table outside my window. Its like winter just totally kills my productivity! All I want to do is stay inside where its warm, and it really limits the activities you can do in general. In addition, spring is the start of the sale season for my pottery, and this will be the first year that I’m ready to sell my work all summer long! Usually this time right before spring would be the perfect time to really produce a lot of work- but the snow has stopped me from getting to, or staying at, the studio multiple times this month! I’ve been spending my days off thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in this first full year of my career, but before I go over my goals for the future, I wanted to recount my progress from last year. Last year I started working at the studio in April, and had my very first sales experience in early June at the studio Seconds Sale. Seconds are pieces …

Whoops…

This week I had a tragedy. I had 2 full boxes (nearly 30 pieces) from the past couple weeks glazed, finished, priced, and ready to go into the shop. I parked in the parking lot of the shop and pulled the bigger box out of the car….and the handle of the cardboard box ripped off, crashing the whole thing to the ground. I saved only 2 pieces from this entire box. Even though it was heartbreaking, this is a good lesson to learn- theres absolutely nothing I can do about it now other than never use an unstable box ever again! My other box of work carried in a plastic bin survived just fine and is ready to be sold in the pottery shop. I’ll just have to remake the pieces I lost, and hopefully they’ll be even better the second time. Life goes on!

Early Spring Cleaning

It’s totally almost spring. The days are getting a little bit longer and its almost not cold out. Right?? Either way I’m going to pretend its spring and start doing my spring cleaning! Doesn’t it just feel so much lighter in the house when things are clean and tidy? The first area on my list is the kitchen, so today I started by wiping down all the counter space, moving everything including the toaster oven so I could clean everywhere. And then it was time for…the dreaded gadget drawer. This drawer holds all the extra kitchen gadget stuff that you use occasionally but not enough to leave them out. Over time more things get thrown in there, and as things are used they just get tossed back in… until THIS happens. I know its a disaster. But I’m ready to face my mistakes and organize it! Six minutes later and we have this! It isn’t perfect, but in a gadget junk drawer, especially in this tiny kitchen, being able to see and even reach everything …

WIP of the week: Lids!

This week I started playing around with lids. I’ve made lids in the past, but they’re never quite the right size- in trying to make sure they’re not too big I almost always make them too small! So I’m going to be spending a lot of time this month practicing lids. These vessels aren’t for any specific purpose other than to make a lidded jar, so some of them have kind of weird shapes. I like to test out new shapes and ideas whenever I’m not making something for a specific purpose because, who knows, it could become a favorite! I want to eventually be ready to make lidded casseroles, honey pots, and tea pots. These two pots actually switched lids! The bigger lid ended up fitting on the smaller piece and the smaller lid is too small for the one its on. Once they’re fired I may switch them back to their original pairs but in this picture, the piece on the right has a perfectly fitting lid and that was pretty cool! I also made a …

My DIY Sewing Basket

I’ve been wanting a sewing machine for a few years, and this year for Christmas, I got one! Along with the machine I received a box full of tons of colors of thread, bobbins, and a few other sewing supplies and tools. I already had a small sewing basket with hand sewing tools and a couple threads, and unfortunately, not all of my supplies would fit into only one of the boxes! I tried to use both for a while but organization is so important if I’m going to be productive. So I went on the search for a new sewing basket! I love thrift shopping. You can always find either exactly what you need, or something that you can MAKE into exactly what you need. When I saw this box in my local thrift store selling for $1, I had to have it. It looked close to the size I wanted and I love that silk brocade! With boxes the inside is the deal breaker or maker. I opened it up to find even more beautiful fabric! …

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

I’ve recently gotten into making my own cleaning and personal care products! I was concerned at first that because they only have a handful of very simple ingredients, and while they might be “better” for you, they might not actually work that great. I couldn’t have been more wrong about that! The few products that I’ve tried out so far have smelled great, worked amazingly, and you just feel so good about using them. Also, once you have the ingredients, you won’t have to buy them again for months, even years! My first project was to make an all-purpose counter cleaner. Having clean kitchen counters makes the whole rest of the kitchen seem cleaner, and since you use your counters for food prep it’s one of the best places to start using less chemicals. After trying a few different methods, I’ve found that this recipe is my favorite. It really couldn’t be much easier than this! Homemade Counter Cleaner 2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar 1 Teaspoon borax a few drops of scented castille soap, OR a few drops …

WIP of the Week: New Glaze, New Plates

This week I’ve been trying out some new glazes and also doing some hand building! Right off the bat, this glaze has jumped to my top 2 favorite glaze combinations. Its so interesting and unique! I love the matte sage green that pools to a sandy color, and then how the dark purple stripe is extra shiny in contrast. Gorgeous!! As for the hand building, I usually prefer to spend my time throwing, but since I’ll be teaching hand building next month I figured I should get some practice in- and I’m actually loving it! These small plates are a perfect quick project for kids, and the process is easy enough that you could make tons of different shapes with the right press molds. In the past I’ve made small plates thrown off the hump, which are perfect to sell as candle plates, teabag/sauce holders, jewelry dishes, or whatever else you might want to use a small plate for! They also happen to make very nice test tiles for me since they’re quick and easy …

WIPs of the Week

For anyone who doesn’t know, WIP stands for work in progress. I work in the studio at least 5 days a week, so, I have a lot of progress photos! I think its really helpful when you’re creating anything to keep a record of what you’ve been doing; you can take a step back and look at what you’ve tried, and what worked and didn’t work. And personally I just love to see close ups of interesting textures or glazes! This week I’ve been trying out some textures with slip. I got some really interesting basket-weave and honey comb effects! Heres a vase and pitcher I was playing around with, freshly thrown and then after trimming and adding handles. I had another slightly smaller vase (you can see it in the first picture) but I dropped it right before I was going to trim it!! Ruining a piece is always sad but the larger one turned out so nicely that it makes up for it! I really like the combination of the soft organic texture of the slip …