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Saturday 31 December 2016

A dream commission.

One day at the beginning of summer, a gentleman, whom I had made a set of figures before, contacted me to commission a work. I booked a slot for it in autumn. He sent me loads of photos. They were taken during his very special trip to see Northern lights in Norway, which changed his life. He sent me about twenty phrases to go with the photos. I thought they were like flashes of his memory.

He requested me to create a sculptural piece inspired by the photos and phrases with a generous budget, without a deadline. There were no conditions, except for one thing. The piece should be a surprise, so he would only see it for the first time when he would receive it.

Like other commissions, I started thinking about it whilst out walking. What the aurora would look like? How cold was it? What was like to be on dog sleigh? I have tried to follow in his footsteps, reliving the experience. This is the most important part for my creation. Unless I could imagine it, that is, I could re-live the moments, I can't make. So I took as long as I needed.  

After a while, I started researching images of landscapes, aurora and the important places of the client. Finally I got a vision.

Here is a photo record of the making. I usually share the images of my kiln shelves. It was not very easy to avoid any part of the mask being visible in any of the photos. But I managed it, and the lovely client didn't have any idea what he was getting through any images he had seen on social media.

The initial idea. I wanted it to be asymmetrical, to start with. I don't sketch because sketching will limit my feeling. 

However, next day, I realised that it will need a pair of horns. The vikings' bridge has gone, too. I have added more details from the client's life. They have fallen into place naturally. 

After a bisque firing. They all stayed on, thankfully.

I was not sure about the forehead. I took a photo and slept over it. 

I thought a triangle would go well with the theme of the mask. 

In the end, he didn't want the pointing corners. 

The first glaze-firing was ok, but he needed dark bluish tinge on the sky parts. This was taken just before the second glaze-firing.

The third glaze-firing.  It went well. I was happy with how he came out. I told the client that it was ready to ship.

An accident happened.  Whilst packing, a part got broken. Usual repair method failed. I bought a special repair concoction. And it went through bisque-firing and glaze-firing. It was finally ready to be shipped. The repair itself took a month. In total, from the very beginning to the end it took about 5 months.

It was a dream commission. All pieces came in places, and it was like a puzzle. I knew it was a good work because I was happy with it.

The lovely client was also very happy and he even uses the mask as his avatar. Thank you so much for your trust, patience and understanding. I couldn't be happier to create this piece for you.

The client named him  Jeg v√•kner' (I awaken).

You could see sleigh dogs behind.

The details of the church. And a walnut. 


Saturday 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas! Sweet dreams to children of all ages. 

If you are not going to be with somebody on the day, don't worry. There are lots of people who are with their family and feel lonely. Do spend quality time with your animal family and if you don't have animal family, give some food and water to wildlife. They will make you happy!


Have a peaceful time. That matters most. 

Monday 12 December 2016

Angel, owls and spoons.

My shop has been busy. Thank you so much! As almost all sold works are gifts to somebody special,  I will share what are available.

A few Angels were just completed. I didn't make them particularly for Christmas, although they have been popular during this time of the year. I have a few in my website, 'Available works'. And I will add new ones soon.

There are more Angels available in New Ashgate gallery and GalleryTop.

A fortnight ago, I have made 64 spoons. Now eight spoons are left; three tapirs and five cats. They are perfect little gifts for a tapir lover and a black cat lover. If you know someone, please check in my Etsy shop.

Four owls are waiting for you. One Wind swept owl, and two Surprised owls also one Smiley one.


The last glaze-firings for the year were done. All commissioned works have been posted today. Large works will be sent with special delivery, which will be delivered by Next day 1PM. I observe Royal Mail tend to look after them more carefully.

I used to think I was a totally crazy to start selling ceramic sculptures online, when I started. They are heavy, bulky and fragile. But accidents are rare. I have posted about 300 packets this year, so far there have been no damages, thankfully. Now I am glad that I made the decision to open the shop then.

Friday 9 December 2016

Christmas is coming

I have had a very busy fortnight. One day I had 10 sales on my Etsy shop alone. That is a record for a day there. I had spent between 3 and 4 hours packing and posting a day. Christmas is coming!

It's not only once or twice that people said they were surprised that I do packing myself. First, I don't have an assistant. Second, packing is an important job, which I take seriously. For example, I make a special commission for someone special, and if packing is not good enough it will ruin the work, my labour and my time as well as my reputation. Good packing could save your career.

Here are pics of those who went to loving homes earlier on. Most people buy my work as gifts at this time of the year, so I am sharing those I know are not secret gifts.

I made three bears, and all went to loving homes. 

The right and white cats have gone to loving ladies in England and the Netherlands.

Now she lives on a mantle pieces  with a nice gentleman.

A day's posting. 

Another days' posting

Angel has flown to a lovely lady in the USA.

Sunday 20 November 2016

Made in Clerkenwell

This year, I will take a part in Made in Clerkenwell, organised by Craft Central.

Do come to see us. 150 designers/makers/artists will be there in  4 venues. I am in the Goldsmith's centre on Britton street.

24 (Thu): 5-8
25 (Fri): 12-8
26 (Sat): 12-5

Craft Central own venues will open on Sunday, too.

I will take lots of work from Etsy shop and the latest firings. All are gifts in mind, for your friends, family and yourself.

Do come if you you can.It is easy to get a bus ride No.63 from St Pancras/King's cross. (That's how I get there!) I hope to see you there!

If you can't make it, keep an eye on my shop update on the 27th and the 28th!

Details: Craft Central website

Friday 11 November 2016

Winter exhibition, New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, Surrey

Winter exhibition is starting tomorrow. My Angel is in their leaflet and brochure. How nice! It will run until early January. There will be art and craft perfect for Christmas gifts. Do pop in if you can.

And the banner! :D

There are more exhibitions and events this winter. Are you interested? Check my website. 

Would you like to be on my newsltter. Sign up here!

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Cat and tapir porcelain spoons

Ceramic spoons stir warm feeling among us. It's because, I think, spoons are symbols of love, healing and nurture. I like to stir my espresso with my cat spoon. It makes me feel happier, a little bit, but happier.

Fresh from the kiln - last Friday's firing

My spoons have glaze all over. So that you could use them for any food without worrying about stains. Although high fired porcelain and stoneware have high resistance against stains, but I know you would feel better if they are glazed all over, because I would. Glazing all over requires a problem solving skill because glaze would be stuck on kiln shelves if they are fired directly on them. I made a firing rack and put the heat resistance steel bar, and hang all spoons on it. The black colour in the holes of  handles were caused by the steel bar. At 1240C even steel became soft a bit. And after several firing the bars deteriorate.  

Cat spoons

The rack is about 20% higher than spoons as porcelain shrinks a lot after firing.  And the steel bars makes a mess in the kiln. As they deteriorate a bit by bit at each firing, steel dusts fly over inside the kiln.  So I usually use an old shelf to fire the spoons on and another shelf to protect other work. As the rack is quite tall, it would be ideal if spoons would be fired with work in similar height. Hence, I don't fire spoons often.  

As glaze ran down a bit at high temperature, some parts of black underglaze become a bit runny with it, as well. 

So that's how spoons were fired. It is quite a challenge. Once or twice, steel bars became bendy and a few spoons got stuck together. Each spoon is small, but it takes a lot of space in volume to be fired. Even so, I like making them. I am not a potter or 'spooner' by trade, but I know people love my spoons. I can't forget when they see the spoons in person, their eyes are shiny and twinkle, and they show their most beautiful inner girls' faces.    

Quite a few from the last firing have gone now. These are remaining ones. 

Remaining spoons from the last Friday's firing. 

Saturday 15 October 2016

Seven little tapir babies.

Autumn litter had seven tapir babies. And now only one left. If you would like to adopt one sweet tapir baby, please check my Etsy shop.  The last one is a naughty one.

Check me out! 

And if you would like to have one for Christmas, next litter would be in late November.  And if you need to adopt one for sure because baby tapirs do something silly to you, as a lovely lady said just before she adopted one, drop me a line. (My email is in my website, under Contact.)

And this is the sixth baby, who has gone to a lady in the west country. He is a dopey one!

Sorry, I am spoken for, 

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Handmade at Kew

Some of my work are in show at Handmade at Kew with Gallery Top, from tomorrow to Sunday. 

Flower garden

Angel with blue flwoers

A walk in the park

6-9 October, 
Kew gardens.

Sunday 2 October 2016

Blossom in the wind, Girl with red shoes and Black swan

Since I came back from Tokyo, I have worked solid on commissions. This year waiting time has been between five and six months. Now I have the last large piece to glaze. All others have gone to their loving homes. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding. I feel so lucky to have wonderful clients.

Blossom in the wind - commission
My original Blossom in the wind was shown and sold at Ceramic Art London last spring. There were a few people who were interested, and this is the first piece to be commissioned. There are more blossoms all over. This reminds me of Japanese cherry blossoms in strong wind.

Blossom in the wind - details

A girl with red shoes - sold

Black swan and girl with red shoes -sold

On the flight back from Tokyo, I saw Black swan. The story was about a ballerina who put everything to be a true artist. I had empathy with the heroine and her family. The sacrifice they have made resonates with me and my family. I wanted to make a work inspired by it. Probably this is not the last one. Both went to a wonderful lady.   

Wednesday 28 September 2016

The land of Archaeopteryx

Mike and I are bird people in essence. We used to birdwatch every weekend, and to visit bird parks whenever we could. We have also lived with birds since we were married. So Archaeopteryx is to me like the great ancestor of our loved birds, or the ancestral spiritual guardian. I wanted to make work of them. This is the second piece with this theme. 

The land of Archaeopteryx, sold
Imagining what types of plants grew there and what the landscape was like is already exciting. I start feeling strong sunshine on top of my head and the sounds of leaves in the jungle.

This mask is now in a lovely lady's home in the South East.


The first piece, below, is in Cecilia Colman gallery.

The forest where Archaeopteryx lived

Tuesday 6 September 2016

They have lived happily ever after

It has been a busy summer. We didn't have any breaks as I'm still working on those commissions placed before we went to Tokyo in May and Mike has worked on my studio. Here are the photos of sales during summer.

Girl in the wind has now lives with a lovely lady in Finland. 

Betty and Sam. They went to a loving lady in the North. 

My first white fox now lives with a little tapir and Otto the aardvark in a loving home. 

Medieval lady has been always popular. She went to a nice lady's home.

Sweet rabbits went to a loving home. 

Baby tapirs discuss about their new lives. 

And one of them lives with his Mum. They have lived happily ever after. 

Aardvarks have been popular. They have goofy happy faces. They make me happy! He is my second one in chocolate colour! Thank you so much for waiting for months!

And the third one has a nutty colour! He has gone to a lovely lady with a cat spoon.

The first manekineko now lives with a lovely lady in the US. Here are other two! All have different characters. Both were gifts, I was told. This white fox flew to a dog lover's home in Canada.

This little polar bear and one of the black cat, Maneki neko, below, went to a lovely family.