June: come and gone

I'm not sure how I managed to skip the entire month of June, but here we are, into the second month of July.  Summer has sped by, and mentally, I am still partially living in downeast Maine.  We had such a nice trip and by the time I was repacking (and shipping) to come home, my fingers were itchy for clay.  I kept my watercolor and pen and ink sketchbook religiously on my trip, and I have so many ideas to play with.

As promised, I'll share two of my plates that went to Maine as gifts. First, #23, a tiny porcelain plate and egg cups set that I embedded with sea glass from my last trip to Maine.  I found these sea gems at Cape Elizabeth, on a "secret" glass beach a stone's throw from a heavily-visited tourist spot.  I love how the glass runs and pools and will keep playing with it this year.  I brought home at least 10 lb of glass, in both large chunks and tiny gem-sized pieces. 

Plate 24 is something that I will definitely make again.  I gave this handled tray/plate to my friend Betsy, because I credit my sea stone love to her old Flickr photos.  Very sadly for me, by the time I got this piece to Maine it had crazed like mad, even though I mixed up a supposedly no-craze glaze for my problematic batch of porcelain.  It was fine for a few days, but a week later, the surface spiderwebbed.  Fortunately, one rarely serves liquidy foods on trays like this, so. . . .  Anyway, the stones are simple rubber stamps I carved after my trip last year, and I mixed up underglaze to approximate the deep gray of the granite stones.

Shortly before I left, I opened a box of stoneware that I used to use to see if it would work for me and threw several things- a batch of tumblers and mugs, and this plate (#25, lower right), which I coated with a cobalt oxide wash and carved.  It worked well with everything, so I think that I will be going back to it.  To the right (#26) is the same clay body, with some simple notches carved in and a coating of sea glass pieces.  I was tickled to see that the pink/lavender kept its color during firing.  At top, a plate (#27) from the good batch of porcelain, painted with the rugosa roses that were just beginning to bloom on our trip.  I can't tell a major difference in the texture or color between this porcelain and the much-easier stoneware, so I will probably go back to this when I buy more clay next week (because I am slap out).

This is the 28th week of the year and I have been playing with ideas from Maine.  I've offered peeks on my Instagram feed, but I hope to show you more next week.

 

If you are local, I'm having my annual summer sale this weekend, beginning this evening at 6, and continuing Saturday from 10-4.  Drop by!