Category: art

Episode 4 – Kiln Opening Tests – Success in Failures

Episode 4 – Kiln Opening Tests – Success in Failures

This was a wonderful growth week! I spent this week in both brainstorming and testing!

First, this Weeks Video:
2016 Hobby Potter Weekly – Season 2 – Episode #3 (8-6-16):
( I ramble a little in the journal section so you may just want to read the blog LOL !)

– Kiln Testing: I always love the element of testing that happens in ceramics and combine with that the element of the unknown that comes with every kiln run! It’s exciting yet disappointing when things don’t work out. Thankfully there was nothing I was making “on purpose” in the kiln and just accept the failed tests as just that… growth for future successes!

Challenge #1: Glaze Application: The incense burners did not turn out as I was anticipating.  I believe the challenge occurred with the layers and application thicknesses. Under the wash under the flowers was too thin and the colored glaze applied to the top was too thick.

Challenge #2; White turned out beige: Wrong Clay! I also wanted to test what my clear glaze looked like on the earthenware clay. Since I was after pure white results for the future wedding cake and bridal shower favors. I call this a successful test, even though my clay did not turn out white! It would have been a disaster if I created 180 wedding favors and they turned out a yellowish beige!

-Planning The Ceramic Wedding Favor Cake : Since my daughter and soon to be son-in-law wanted something other than a traditional wedding cake, we thought it would be fun to combine the wedding favor as part of the cake! So I’m constructing 180 ceramic pieces to hold a “dessert” that will be displayed in the shape of a wedding cake that guests will be able to take home with them! This week was the beginning stages.

The challenge was determining how much space and what size I would need for the cake form to work out. A rough “guess-timate” I came up with was approximately 120 pieces sitting on a the round table and 60 pieces on the second tier and the third tier will be their personal sized wedding cake to cut (for traditions sake). In the coming weeks we’ll see how this all pans out in actual fact LOL!!!


-New Clay! : After the clay party and seeing my above test results, I was able to talk to Sandra Veneman (Ceramic artist & Co-Owner of The Chartreuse Muse Art Gallery), about a finding a pure white clay. She recommend the clay and clear glaze they use. Amaco’s Versa Clay & Duncan’s Pure Brilliance. It is an earthenware clay, but can be fired up to Cone 5. I just now read the description and it says it’s made for children in the classroom…so their must be something very forgiving about it. Went out, bought the clay and started to throw with it to make the Bridal Shower favor cups….LOVE IT!!! Let’s see if it really comes out white!


-Just for fun! : I took some time off camera and made a few pieces just for the fun of it! After all …I’m a “hobby potter” and as a hobbyist we are all free to do what we want with our hobby! A small sculpture pitcher and a sushi tray!


And with this I’ll close! Hope you enjoyed the video and will see you next time!

Enjoy your clay play!!!

~ Tammy Jo

Surprised…This all Happened In A Week – Update!

It has been one busy week!

I didn’t realize it until I decided to create a video…so here’s how it happened….

1. 3rd Thursday Art Walk – Throwing Demo

2. Wood Colony Faire (a tour of the studio),

3. Stanislaus Magazine Photoshoot (Thank you James Ewing, enjoyed chatting with you and thank you for your patience with me … lol!)

4. Purchase a “Lil’ Duncan” Test Kiln

5. Got Inspired: Visited a unique art gallery “Gatos Loco’s” and met some wonderful artists.

6. Investing in “Thankful Reflections” because I’m writing the book of my journey with “365 Day’s of Clay Cups” since it will be 5 years ago that I started the project.

7. and yes…I even cut off 8″ of my hair

MY NEW YEAR! The beginning of my year has always been my birthday! I don’t know why…but it just feels more accurate to set goals on one’s that’s my “New Year”. It also seems that a persons birthday should be the day you GIVE other’s gifts,  rather than GET gifts. Think about it… we were thought of as presents to our parents on the day we were born (hey…I’ll stop there LOL)!

So with this mindset, I  generally set off about 2 weeks before my birthday to visualize my future (which would be now…since November 9th is the big day)! I make my plans and set my goals for the coming year! WHAT WILL MY CLAY PLAY LOOK LIKE IN 2016…those types of thoughts start about now!

This year is a little bit more special…1/2 a CENTURY ….I’LL BE 50 YEARS OLD! As I thoughtfully reflect, I also consider it an exciting adventure in a different season of life!

To be honest…I know I’ll never grow up (sorry my children…but don’t older people revert back to childhood as they grow old…eventually my mental age will again meet!), Now I feel like I’m more open and receptive than I’ve ever been to learning new things!

So, I’m looking forward to this future, I will find more joy and keep it fun & exciting …the way I’ve always wanted to live my life!

The big question….Hmmm…I what should I give as gifts on my birthday this year!!!??

Cup #355 – The Final Count Down – 10 Ceramic Cups To Go!

Well folks….this is it! 10 more cup throwing videos!! Can you believe it? 😀 There is a lot of reflection going on nearing the end of the project.( Listen to this song while watching the video…No copyright infringement this way 😀 The Final Coundown )
I can honestly say I now feel comfortable about throwing cups! For the last clips I wanted to share some of the important lessons I’ve learned along the way:
Tammy’s TOP 10 of 2011:
#10. Find What Techniques Work Best For YOU!
When it came to the basics…I learned not everyone uses the same techniques (and some people can be pretty adamant about the benefits of their own technique). No one technique will fit every person, so I decided on which ones gave me the best results (for me) then practiced them over and over to work towards mastery! ……….
Thanks for watching and hope you enjoy!
Warmth and Friendship,
Tammy Jo