Sunday, December 26, 2010

One special year...2010!

Time really flies, it's already boxing day 2010. This has definitely been an eventful year for me....started my own home studio the end of June, participated my first Ottawa Guild of Potters sale in November, visited Italy, France and Barcelona at the end of September...
The home studio came together quickly with help from my wonderful husband and the kiln expert, Jim. I managed bisque firing quite quickly, however, glaze firing took quick a bit longer. I had 3 glazes made: black, mysterious blue and randy's red. The black was just a disaster, it's really matte finish...just looks nothing like the black from the studio. After using twice, I had decided to stop using it. It just wasn't worth the time and it's always disappointing....The mysterious blue started out ok, but there are always pinholes on the pots. Most of them I had to re-fire again and even then they were still not 100% fixed! The Randy's red seems to be a little better, but it doesn't like to be applied on too thick or else it runs everywhere....and thanx God for the kiln wash or else I would have needed new kiln shelves already.

My first ever Guild sale went well, except I was under a lot of stress the week before the sale. I was hoping to get more pieces in for the sale, so I was still glaze firing 2 nights before it. And had to stay up past mid-night to load the last glaze load. :( The sale was 3 and a half days long, on the Thursday my husband and I went to set up my booth and then the Standard Committee went over everyone's pieces to make sure they are all up to the standard th
en the door opened at 4pm to the public. I was the cash for a few shifts and some shifts were so busy that I was writing receipts non-stop for a couple of hours. I met many nice potters, they were all very supportive and encouraging. I'd learnt a lot from everyone of them. I will definitely join them again at the Fall sale again next year. However, I don't think I will be ready for the Spring one. Since, I didn't make much since the sale. :P

My goal for this coming year is to make something different and a bit more challenging and to support that statement, I made my first more challenging piece....teapot.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pottery-girl will be showcasing her work at the Fall Pottery show

The Fall Sale of the Ottawa Guild of Potters is scheduled to be held from November 25 - 28, 2010 at the Hellenic Community Centre. The poster has been finalized for printing and subsequent distribution.

November 25-28 / le 25-28 Novembre 2010

  • Thursday 4-10 / jeudi 16:00-22:00
  • Friday 10-10 / vendredi 10:00-22:00
  • Saturday 10-6 / samedi 10:00-18:00
  • Sunday 10-5 / dimanche 10:00-17:00

Monday, August 9, 2010

First load - bisque firing

Loading the kiln was my biggest concerns/worries when I was thinking to start my home studio. I had never done it before and I've heard many bad things that can happen if you don't do it right. I guess that's true for everything we do, if we don't do it right, bad thing can happen! Anyway, to prepare myself for loading the kiln for the very first time. I went online to check out the How to. is a great website, I've found many pottery videos with excellent information. Of course, thanks to the instructors putting in all the effort producing the videos! I love those videos from Emily ( She explains the steps very well. With her help, I was able to prepare my kiln furniture (put kiln wash on them), learnt how to load my kiln properly etc and here is the result.....First load ever started on July 31 at around 2 pm with preheat set for an hour. It contained 14 pieces with some of them stack. It took just over 9 hours to complete and was unload the next afternoon. I'm very pleased with the result and no longer worry about bisque firing. I guess the next thing I have to worry about is mixing the glaze and of course glaze firing!

My studio

It has finally happened....despite all of my very own pottery studio!

I've been quite busy with my new home studio. The wheel and kiln has been delivered at the end of June and everything was ready to go by mid July. Speical thanks go to Jim @ Woodlawn Kiln Service and my very supportive husband. Without them, my studio won't be ready this quickly!

I've been using my brand new wheel making new pieces. The wheel is nice and quiet. The new clay (from Pottery Supply House) is so easy to throw with. I LOVE IT! With the home studio, I was able to work on something that I have never done for a long time.....soap dispenser! I enjoy my new studio very much, although there are still lots of thing to learn. The next thing is to load the kiln!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


As I mentioned in my earlier post, I've been spending the past few weeks making mugs. These are the four that I brought home last Friday to attach handles on. I always run out of time at the studio, and I don't like attaching handles in a rush, so the easiest way would be to bring them home. It's a little risky but I would take the risk and hopefully do a better job than working on them at the studio. Anyways, here they are, some new square greenware (before first fire) mugs:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The busy weeks for pottery

The studio started again 3 weeks ago, it's good that I can make some new pieces again! I had my first open house in April which I invited some of my co-workers to check out my latest work. Thanks Kim, Claudia, Julie and Kathy for dropping by and all of their compliments - which really motivated me! Thanks girls. They have made some mug "orders" during their visit. Guess what I have been doing for the past 3 weeks....MUGS!!!!! Since the heat is off at studio, the pieces dry a lot slower. The mugs I made 2 weeks ago were only ready to be trimmed on the 3rd weeks. So, the Friday just passed, I trimmed 4 out of 5 mugs I made 2 weeks ago (1 of them was still a bit wet) and I did some glazing too. And just like that, I went out of time, I had to attach the handles at home. I think I have to work faster next week, since I still have 8 mugs at the studio waiting to be trimmed and handles attached.

During the down time, I was really pottery withdrawn and the fact that I am on the waiting list for the summer session really drives me crazy. It's good that I have a very supportive husband and he suggested that I should look into having my own studio at home. A studio at home?! I have never dreamed of having my own studio. I am also a bit worried about having my own studio simply because I have never made my own glazes, loaded my own kiln etc....these details have always been done by our wonderful technicians, I don't have to worry about it. Would I be able to do it myself?! Anyway, I still went ahead to ask for pricing at our one and only one local pottery store. Pricing seems to be acceptable, but it's still a lot of money. Anyway, I am still thinking about it as I type. :P

Just as I am thinking about having my own studio, my friend Wendy told me about Anne Chambers Glaze workshop in May. It's a hands-on workshop and I would get to make my own glaze. I quickly jumped on it and registered. The workshop was on May 1 at the Gladstone Clayworks COOP. The first part of the workshop was mostly theory, and it was like attending Chemistry class again. Glazes are very interesting and Anne is very knowledgeable and a very good teacher. She makes everything so easy to understand, even though I might have only gotten 1/3 of it. In the afternoon, it was the hands-on part of the workshop. We might the base glaze and add oxides to get colours. It was a lot of fun to make glazes. We all had 21 tiles for the glazes with the glaze base that we chose and we got to see them on May 8. Here are my tiles with the Magnesium Satin base (Base B) which turns cobalt purple (cobalt is usually blue):

These are other people's tiles:

I think this is my favourite colour:

Monday, April 5, 2010

A few more bowls before the end of the winter session

Registration for the next sessions (Spring and Summer) started while I was on vacation. Luckily my brother was able to do the registration for me. However, he said that would be the only time he would register for me because it took too long and he was so tired. (Yes, registration starts at mid-night and usually requires a few tries before we get on the system). Anyway, he got me in the Spring, not the Summer. :( I will have to figure out what to do.

A few ladies at work would like to know if I will be in any of the upcoming shows, however I won't be in a show probably until November again this year. So, I have set up a show at my place this Thursday. I don't have that many pieces to show yet, just about 20 pieces, but I guess it's still kind of nice to have a show in April, just like the Guild sale (one in April and the other one in November).

I picked up a few more bowls on the last day of the winter session, they are the famous black and mysterious blue combination. I have already sold one of them to my one of my golf instructors.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Recently pieces

It's almost the end of March and the winter pottery studio is once again coming to the end. I didn't have too many pieces this session around and here they are:

This one was supposed to be a teapot, however it was drying way too quickly and I didn't have time to put on the spout. Therefore, I turned it into a jar, it's probably good for some yummy cookies. It was glazed with turquoise and slate blue.

This is another square mug, I quite like the shape of this one and the glazes turned out quite nicely too. It's butter and slate blue.

These bowls were glazed with black and mysterious blue.

These 3 plates were glazed with mysterious blue.