Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some Progress, Some Not

There are officially 64 days (9-ish weeks) until Dragon*Con. This news has me more or less freaked out as I realize just how much costuming I have yet to do.

As far as sewing large garments together Kate came over yesterday and we managed this:

Oh my gosh you guys, we have some legs and an arm!
But there is much to do.

We also threw onto Kate's hammer another layer of paper mache to fill out the hollowness on it. We also bought some paint for when it dries.

Fun times!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Raku Magic

So far, throwing pottery has sorta-kinda not really been my jam, but there is one part of it that I must say I enjoy quite a bit.

That would be grabbing red hot ceramic pieces out of a kiln and putting them in large metal trash cans full of fire.

Yes yes. Raku is totally awesome.

Well, today was pretty much all about glazing, so in between prepping our regular glazes, we set up a few things for raku and set them outside. I dipped one of my shaped cylinders in Raku Burst, and one little mug (that I was never really a fan of) in Tutti Frutti and White Crackle--sort of a half and half design.
Then! We loaded them up in the kiln, and a while later, a few of us were called out to pretty much prepare for battle.
I was put on tongs duty since, while I didn't have tennis shoes, I did have sandals. Others with flip flops were on the trash cans.

After suiting up in heavy leather (gross, but it did mean not horrible burns upon me) jackets and aprons and spats and gloves and we all had helmets with safety visors.

Before the action! I believe other peoples got some of the action shots, so hopefully I will receive them at some point.

The Raku process pretty much goes like this:
  1. Prof opens up the kiln.
  2. Tongs people start reaching in and grabbing glowing hot pottery.
  3. We turn to our respective trashcan and trashcan operator and they open the lid.
  4. Trashcan people must use the lid as a shield against the giant fire that is inside of the trashcans.
  5. We place the pottery inside onto a bed of burning newspaper and sawdust.

Also there are four of us doing this repeatedly (and very quickly so things don't cool off) in the small space outside until the kiln is empty.

After all that nonsense, we take off our leathers and go inside since it is 1000 degrees outside (slight exaggeration) and we're all sweating like crazy people.

A bit later, we go back out and suit up once more, since the pottery must now be taken out of the trashcans and quenched in water.

Only now when you open the trashcans, giant clouds of smoke pour up and out of them into your face and you can't see anything. Also your eyes hurt and you can't breathe.

So we dig around blindly in the trashcans and pull the stuff out, slowly lower each it into a bucket of water, then set it to the side.

Lastly, you rub / clean of your piece with sand to get them all nice and shiny and ready to go!

The finished product!

My cylinder has this awesome green upper half, and the bottom is completely coppery looking. It also has mysterious circular recesses in them, which still looks totally cool.
I am very pleased.

My mug came out slightly worse. The Tutti Frutti side is pretty cool. Kind of pink and green swirls.
But the White Crackle... For one: it doesn't match the other colors, second off: it just looks sort of gross. But whatever.

Anyway, that all actually took place right after class had ended.

Glaze drying!

Pieces ready for the kiln! I have no idea how these will turn out. Hopefully they'll be cool.

Clear glaze going on top of an orange and blue square design on one of my bowls.

I cracked one of my vessels shortly before it was graded...


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ceramics is Almost Over!

There are 3 classes left, and then it's off to Dreamweaver!

Our last real project is lidded vessels:

Mine are a bit clunky and fat, but the lids fit alright!

The egg over on the side needed a handle, and the one I put on had a bit of a rim, and a friend said that it looked like a top hat and that I should turn it into a penguin. I'm totally going to do it. :P

Due next week are a few types of surface treatments, which is going alright. So far I've only incised a design and put an underglaze on one of my bowls, so hopefully I'll be able to knock out the rest before Monday!


Arts and Crafts 2: Megalodon

Oh my gosh, you guys. Today was flippin sweet.

Firstly, I got my sewing machine set up! It works like a dream.
So obviously, I went ahead and made this:

The most surprising part, it completely fits perfectly. Like, what were the chances of that happening? I did take down some skinny jeans and use them as a guide, but come on. That's pretty good.
Now I just need to find a way to make sure they stay up during a full day of walking around and sitting and being adored.

Also today! My friend Kate (and her associated blog) is dressing up as Ramona Flowers for D*C. One thing her costume requires...

...her hammer.

This is where it gets really nuts.


It is in no way done, and it is slightly pointier than our reference photo, but it's coming along great!
We used a giant dowel, many tiny dowels for the frame that was a nightmare to cut up and piece together, wire mesh, and some paper mache stuff.
We had thought of using styrofoam, which would have been a lot lighter and less sunken looking, but this was so much cheaper.

So that was good.
Good good good.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Arts and Crafts!

So, summertime is pretty much when I just wanna get a whole bunch of stuff done. I have a few things lined up and they're progressing pretty well I think.

First on the list!
My dragon*con costume. I'm pretty much creating an entire outfit from scratch, which is incredibly daunting and something that I have never done in my life. I basically have 76 days to learn how to turn this:

...into this:

Next on the list!
I have officially set up all of the metalsmithing things that I bought and am on my way to making fantastical things at home.

My first piece is just a little test pendant.
This is all I got done before I got fed up with all the mosquitos:

When I came inside I wirewrapped a little pendant because I still really wanted one at the end of the day.

The past day or so of ceramics has been pretty good as well. We're finally trimming the bottoms of our pieces which is a nice change from constantly throwing new pieces. Everyone said they hate trimming, but I very much enjoy doing it. It may just be because it's something new to do, but it's also very relaxing and simple and very much not a complete mess to clean up.

One of these days I also need to brighten up my website. It's clean and crisp, but it's sort of dark.


Friday, June 10, 2011

And Now the Mugs!

Ohh yes. I made my five mugs. My favorites are the three in the front. The two in the back are a weird lantern-shaped one and a triangular one. They're okay, but they still went in the back.
Also I finished my taller round vase to replace my shorty one from yesterday. Actually it's probably not too much taller. I dunno. I didn't measure it.

I totally just knocked these out super fast which is really boosting my confidence and enjoyment for the class. Just look how cute they are. They were still my first handles ever, so those are kinda fat. But that's alright.

We are told that plates and bowls are next! So that's cool.
Also reclaim clay is silly and annoying.

In other news, my newly revamped website (I'm not sure if I've mentioned this makeover yet, I've done it so many times) is coming along nicely!
The URL is still, which is not as good as the one I want, or even, but it's fine. It's easy to upload and it's available to me, so it's fine for now.

I still need to link all of the thumbnails in my gallery to their appropriate pages (and also to make those pages) but other than that it's pretty much done. Unless I completely redesign it.

Although if I did change it around, it would still have this layout I think, just different backgrounds and colors and things. Actually the colors are completely different that what I originally intended, so they will probably change.
Like the green link color. Little hard to read.

Now I just need to change up my blog to match!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weird Vases!

Ceramics class is going alright. It's sort of intense (6 hours a day, Monday through Thursday) so I may just be a little pottery wheel'd out.

At first we were just making cylinders, and we just made... a whole bunch. Just a whole bunch. They had to be tall and straight and perfect. So that was kinda nuts.

Our next project is shaped cylinders and mugs.

I've tried out the vases. Mugs are next!

At this point, I really wanna break from all of it, but there is no time for such things!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's Blog Time, Good People

Hey, what's up?

Well I am revamping my webpage again. I will probably continue to completely change everything until I am satisfied, but everything should all end up in the same place. I haven't gotten my new domain name yet, so that's lame, but I am trying my darndest--to remember to get it.

Anyway, I have new art. It is amazing.


These are from my Drawing final. These are only the two best ones. The rest are in my gallery. [I don't know the URL for this at the moment XD ]


This was for my 3D final. We had to make something out of styrofoam, so I did a bow from WoW. It's super silly and funny looking, but I totally rocked that class so it's all good. I'll take better pictures of this and gallery it, but this is fine for now. Gosh you people make me work so hard.

My second project from my 3D class was some wax-carving and bronze-casting. We had to choose a mythical story and try to capture the moral / essence of it or something. I dunno--I made that up. Well I chose Phaeton and his story about driving Apollo's chariot to prove that he's better than everyone else and then he messes up and catches the Earth on fire and stuff. So I sculpted the chariot!

My original intent was to put a broken egg inside. The chariot was going to be magnificent and perfect, but Phaeton messed up and didn't follow through with the responsibility he was given (and he was also promptly killed by Zeus) so the inside represented the kid who was more into showing off than following instructions. Buuut... the egg was really hard to sculpt out of wax, so I tried to leave the inside very rough and war-torn.
This piece is incredibly 3D and I will put more angles in my gallery! -->[link coming soon!]

Since my last post, I have also been in an art show! At The Art Place!
Drawn Sideways, Drips Box, Lucid Dream, and Comp Apps Self-Portrait were all in it.

Well, that's all I got.