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Tuesday 24 February 2015

A report form the battle ground

I have done back to back firings on three consecutive days. Glaze-firing - bisque and glaze, again. I'm working hard and long every day. I have to. An exhibition is coming up!

3 - 29 March 

The Sunbury Embroidery Gallery
The Walled Garden, Thames Street, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey

Are you in Surrey or near there? Please pop in!

My studio is a battle ground. After the 1st glaze-firing, it's a battle at each stage. I do multple glaze-firings to get colours right, as you can't remove colours on ceramics once fired, I can only add little by little. Yesterday morning, I found that turquoise blue glaze had become green! I planned everything on pieces with the turquoise blue in mind! I had battled through! They were fired for the second time today. I hope I will be able to see some improvement on them when the kiln gets opened tomorrow.

 A heat gun was yesterday's weapon. Once fired to high temperature, glaze won't stick easily. Chemical weapon was today's choice. 

I use nasty heavy metal for glazes for sculptures, (not for tableware, of course). I usually leave it until the end. They are so nasty that I kneel down on cold tiled floor and heat the pieces with a heat gun and brush them in order to avoid glaze splashing everywhere. 
Of course, nosey dogs want to investigate the hot heat gun and chemical weapon! :D And they think a little whippet sculpture I am holding is a bone! I have to keep them away! 

So now you know what it's like in my studio!  I was too preoccupied to remember to take photos lately, but I remembered to snap today's glaze-firing! 

Oh, hello there! 

Saturday 21 February 2015

Lots of firings!

I have had an adrenaline fuelled few days. I am doing a firing every other day. I work from early morning to late at night in the studio. That's not so unusal for me before a show, but I had only two hours sleep between 5 and 7 in the morning yesterday. I had kept working until nine in the evening. I didn't feel sleepy! :D

Bisque-firing went well, thankfully. Yesterday I did glaze-firing. Even though outisde was cold, the temperature in the kiln didn't come down quickly. So when I was able to open it, it was already lunch time. All went well except for bronze-gold glaze. That often needs a second firing to get the right finish.

They will be glaze-fired tomorrow. 
Yesterday and today I have been glazing the other bisques. A busy time for me.

Just a quick peek into the glaze-firing kiln yesterday!

Lower shelf

Top shelf

I will talk to you soon!

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Studio Shelfie!

It has been hectic so far this week. I was able to manage to do bisque-firing today. I started about eight in the morning, and finally downed brushes at eight in the evening. I realised that I was too tired to carry on when I knocked over a rabbit; his ear got broken. Sad. But before I would break any more, I took a tea break.

Inside the kiln looks like this. This time it is only one shelf. It's quite tight!

I took Shelfie whilst I was preparing for firing.

Did you notice the giant Tapir mum? :D If everything goes well, she would be in the exhibition at Sunbury Embroidery Gallery next month or Ceramic Art London in April.

Blue eyed night owl asked me on Twitter what the grey thing was. I showed her this photo. She is an owl! A bit Jazz!

I am an important owl. 

Hoot hoot! It's time for Midori to sleep! Good night!

Sunday 15 February 2015

Curious creatures.

How was your weekend? I had a good working one with a long walk to Sidney Cooper Gallery to see Tania Kovats exhibition yesterday, and today we went to see stand fixture on a-5hour-round trip. We had a lunch at four o'clock!

In the studio, unusual things are increasing lately. She is 24 cm high. She hasn't told me who she is yet. So I'm waiting for her story.

Then I have made these three masks.

She started like this. Masks show different expressions in different angles and different lights.

Work in progress

She finished like this.  She is the Rock Age. In Japan, there are active volcanos. I have visited one of them 2 years after eruption. Black larva was everywhere. There was no tree in sight. It was bleak and all black. I have also imagined about how the Earth used to look after it was born. First there must have been lots of rocks. No life. 

The Rock Age

The second one is the Mushroom Age. Primitive plants started growing.  More and more they started sustaining lives. A few birds came back to sparse trees in the area.  

The Mushroom Age

The third one is the Tree Age, full of life. Lots of birds and mammals among trees.  She is the goddess of life. She has two eyebrows just like Ancicnet Japanese aristcrats.  

The Tree Age


Saturday was Valentine's day.  Mike gave me white lilies and a box of champagne truffles. : ) He has never forgotten chocolates. He is a chocoholic, himself! :D

Friday 13 February 2015

Mike was out of sorts at (early) Valentine's dinner

I have finished before 9 today. It has been a busy week again. It will continue until mid April. The last eating out before that was Valentines' dinner on Thursday. I know it's early. But Mike told me that we would go early so there would be no hustle, and we could enjoy the food. I guess he was not able to book on the 14th! :D

He is usually sharp, but that day somehow he was not with it, out of sorts and out of order! The restaurant manager and he talked to each other about completely different subjects at the same time. Neither responded to the other.

Manager: 'Which seat would you like to take?', Showing us two tables.
Mike: Holding out his coat to him.
Manager: Still waiting for Mike's answer, but after a while, called a young waiter to take his coat and mine.
Mike: Still no answer.
Midori: 'We will take this one' pointing at a table.
Manager: Relief on his face. Passing down a menu to Mike now on seat.
Mike: 'I forgot glasses!'
Manager: 'Have you had a good day?' with polite smile.
Mike: 'I forgot glasses!'
Awkward silence
Midori: 'Yes he had!' replied cheerfully.
Smile on all faces.
Mike: I forgot my glasses in my coat pocket. I can't read menu. Would you please bring them? '
Manager: 'Yes, certainly.'


Then I made this rabbit after I came home. (yes, I had worked after the dinner!) Actually he appeared. It's Mike!

Mike at the early Valentine's day dinner 

Yesterday I did bisque-firing. It went successfully. There are lots of sanding and griding to do tomorrow.

Top shelf

Bottom shelf
Have a great weekend, everyone!


Tuesday 10 February 2015

A busy weekend!

It is getting busier! I am making works for White Balance, an exhibition with Alan Emsden, at Sunbury Embroidery Gallery, Surrey, 3-29 March. I feel free to experiment and try new things. That's nice. New works are different from what I have made. It is an adventure for myself.

He has traveled with the baby tapir. 

More works were sold over the weekend, and it was a busy packing and posting yesterday.

A sweet rabbit has also went to a lovely lady in Scotland.

This white rabbit lives in scotland now. 

A lovely lady bought the last whippet for a gift.

She will be a lovely gift for a lady. 

Two tapirs from the Tapir waiting list went to their loving homes. A blackbird also went with the baby Tapir. Phew!

Smily tapir

Curious baby tapir

Today, back to normal. I have made more for bisque-firing planned on Thursday. Tomorrow will be another busy day! 

Winter iris in the garden



Friday 6 February 2015

A busy week!

What a busy week! Lots of packing and posting this week. Thank you so much!

The Cherub, Wren and a black cat in dress are going to a lovely lady. They will be delivered at PV, at the exhibition in Sunbury next month.


Bronze-gold glaze Wren. 

My first cat in print dress. : ) 

I fired seven whippets at the last glaze-firing. Six have gone to loving homes. The last one (right middle) is in my shop. They are very popular.

Beautiful crackle glaze

Also goofy rabbits found lovely homes! They bring smile to me anytime I see them! This one went to a talented ceramic artist late last week,

and this one is going to a wonderful lady in Kent tomorrow! Yay!

And this little lamb with a duck toy in her pocket went to a wonderul lady in US. She joins another lamb and rabbit girls in print dresses. : )

Lamb with a ducky toy! 

Thank you so much!


Wednesday 4 February 2015

The day of Tapirs

I have been busy! Not in the studio much, but at my PC. There are so many things I have to do! So, creating and making is not taking up most of my time. Emailng, taking photos, editing them, listing my works on my shop, making spread sheets, book keeping, quoting etc. take up half of my working hours.

So after a long hours at the desk, I was proud when the Tapir waiting list 2015 has finally started moving. Not much, but now details are out there. At this moment, there are 13 people on it. You can join, if you like. One spot for the autumn is available. After that, there will be on Christmas list. I will send out all details. The list is not binding. It's a bit like old London double deckers, a hop and jump style! You will remain on it until you find your special tapir or you delist yourself. You can re-join later. It's a free spirited list! :D 

Here are some photos I have sent to the list last night.  

Mum Tapir has a cute bottom.

Mum Tapir has also an elegant snout. 
 Then ladies on the list went wild with the baby!

Hehehe, I'm Baby.

Hello there. 

I'm cute on both sides. 

Even my derrier. 
 I know you love them. Go on, treat yourself! :D

They will be available in Large, Small and Tiny. I can make each size with either adult or baby clothes at your request. Tiny is only available with either a Small or large one.

Here are Small and Tiny together! : ) If you are interested, please let me know.

For all tapir lovers!