Thursday, September 29, 2011

You've seen the home side of the new living room project. Now I'll show you what's happening in the studio.

As I said in the previous post, I'm working on making a standing lamp from ceramics. The idea is to throw the lamp in sections. My forms are made so the bottom opening will sit just over the rim of the top opening, locking the pieces in place. They're thrown to fit around a two inch pvc (plastic plumbing) pipe, which will sit over the base lamp, pictured in the previous post. They won't sit right up against the pvc pipe. But there will be about a quarter to a half inch clearance between. Hopefully this will all be enough to keep the lamp stable. I'm assuming it won't be moved much and this will all work well.

So, the following photo is of some of the pieces thrown on the first day. I worked with 3-4 pounds of clay per piece, leaving a fairly thick wall for stability and strength.

I wanted the lamp to be colorful, but not enough to dominate the room. So, I decided to use underglazes and have one color family per piece. The base coat would be a light shade of the chosen color, after which I would sponge paint a darker shade over it to create some sort of pattern. Each piece would have a different pattern. There will probably be two pieces for each color family: red, purple, green, brown, blue. A few of the finished underglazed pieces are below:

I have about one more day's work before the pieces have all been underglazed and touched up. Stay tuned......

Monday, September 26, 2011

The "Cascade Effect" has hit my house. We decided to redo the formal living room, which has now spread to the family room AND the kitchen. Upholstered furniture has been purchased, but I HAVE to leave my mark on things. So, I have several projects in the mix -- one of them even involving clay!

The non-pottery designs are a coffee table and end tables featuring wonderful Chinese silk embroidery with birds as the unifying factor. I purchased an old coffee table, two square stools, and a couple of frames at the Salvation Army. The stools, with the seat removed, will be the bases for the end tables, with the framed embroidered pieces as the table tops. The coffee table will have a longer embroidered piece (purchased on e-bay) under cut glass.

 I'm going to remove the woven seats from the two stools, prime them and paint the bases black to go with the charcoal grey sofas we've ordered. The coffee table (sorry, didn't get a photo of it) will be painted the same way. Finally, a couple of coats of polyurethane will be painted on for a durable finish.

Here are the two smaller silk embroideries. One is already framed, although I might opt to replace it with a frame more like the one sitting in the chair as pictured in the third photo down.

And here's the lamp which will act as the foundation for my standing lamp:

A 2 inch pvc pipe will go over the rod part of the lamp to better anchor the 6 or 7 ceramic cylinders that will be my contribution to its beautification. I'm debating whether to run the ceramic parts of the lamp over the open ironwork and up below the lampshade (so no dark metal shows except for the base), or to use the openwork as an accent. I might make pieces that work both ways and decide when I'm putting the pieces together.

I'll try and remember my camera when I go to the studio tomorrow to show you the individual pieces of pottery, which will be stacked on each other to create my standing lamp.