Week 9

Things are about to get pugly! This week I finished up the pug mug faces. I didn’t get as much done this week as I would have liked to..but I enjoyed our visiting artist, Sunshine Cobb, on Wednesday. She was very insightful on what life looks like after college and was encouraging.

The pug mugs are going to go into the soda kiln and I plan on making them colorful rather than naturalistic. I’m excited to see how they turn out.

To kick off the wood kiln, I’d like to make some pug salt and pepper shakers and see how they turn out. I am making so much pug themed stuff to complement my branding I have created in graphic design. It is called The Crafted Pug where I create hand crafted pug themed merchandise including everything from ceramic classes as well as digital artwork ranging from wall art to t-shirts.


Week 8

This week I have been working on some pug mugs. I now have all the handles attached as well as the feet. All that is left is the faces. I realized my handles are more geared to right handers so I made a couple to fit comfortably for a left hander.

I also took one of my mess UPS on the wheel that got really small and turned it into a miniature flower pot with a tray. I gave it a few pug features and plan to put some shellac on it to make the face. I hope that I can find a plant small enough for it, but if not a pig with grass hair would still be cute.

I also got to pack up my pug pile and it is now ready to go home with its new owner.

And just for fun I made a pug necklace with polymer clay.

Week 7

So first of all I’d like to share that the pug pile from a year ago just sold 🙂 so I’m pretty excited about that. But this week we’ve been firing some saggars and finally got the pit kiln running. I have one puggy bank in the pit kiln now awaiting the results. I have been too chicken so far to put anything in the saggar but am realizing now how much I like that effect and might try it out on some puggy banks.

I got some more puggy banks out and ready for bisque. I have also been on the wheel throwing forms for much larger mugs. I think I plan on making some with faces and some without but I will keep the characteristic pug tail handle on each and probably the feet as well.

Week 6

This week we learned how to repair a kiln’s elements which was pretty cool. We also began the next project which will be focusing on firing in the soda kiln. For this project I will be experimenting with mugs, more specifically pug mugs. I have some small ones made out right now that are just kind of helping get the feel for it all. I plan on making some larger ones. I got to experiment with making a handle as well and I found it very challenging, especially because I am trying to mimic a pug’s tail. I finally came up with something that I found comfortable to hold but it ended up a little off centered but I’m okay with it.

I decided to keep my failed attempts at handles after I coiled them in a pile, thinking it would look like a completed tail, but rather they look like piles of poo. I thought it was funny so I might try putting them through firing as well and maybe display them with the dogs at crit. I did also put some more Terra sig on some pieces and they are ready for a bisquing.

Week 5

This week we were to begin our next project which is for the soda kiln. I decided to start working on some pug mugs that I had designed last semester but never followed through with. I am currently experimenting with the method in which I would like to build them (on the wheel or hand built) as well as figuring out how to design the form in a way that will be most functional and comfortable. I want them to be a round shape, like a ball, but still function easily as a mug.

Our pieces for the pit fire were bisqued and we got to see how those turned out. I’m happy with the way my puggy banks came out. The Barnard Terrasigallata came out a lot lighter of a brown than I expected but I still like it.

My bulldogs also came out of the cone 6 firing this week and I was happy to have completed them. They are a commission artwork that was inspired by my pug pile. I am excited to get them to the person that asked for them.

Week 4

This week I finally got to experience the magic of Terrasigallata on my own pieces. I put on a couple coats of the OM4 sig on my two large puggy banks. I want the two large ones to match and so I will paint them similarly. I am waiting for the Barnard sig to finish up so that I can try out a dark brown/black for the faces of the pugs.

I have finished getting the shapes of the three smaller puggy banks but still need to work out all the details on those. I want these three pugs to be similar as well. The only difference between them being the clay bodies used and different sig coloring on their faces. I will leave the clay exposed on the bodies only painting the faces with sig. I will call this set “the three little pugs.”

I have also made up some sketches for some ideas for future projects. For the next firing I would like to make some salt and pepper shakers in the shape of pugs.

We also started the building process on our pit kiln. We set out some cinder blocks in the shape of the kiln then laid down some soft bricks along the base and built them up along the wall.

Week 3

This week I have been working on the puggy banks. As it turns out, the package of corks I bought to plug the holes in the puggy banks only has two corks big enough to fit a quarter and so I am limited on the amount of puggy banks I can actually make with the corks. So I have decided to make two large puggy banks with the corks. One will be a standard puggy bank with the cork on bottom while the other one will have a cork in its mouth (“put a cork in it”). So that I can continue making more puggy banks I have decided to make three more smaller versions that will release the money through a lid rather than the cork. I also thought about making these three a set and use the three different clay bodies so that they will be different colors. To change these puggy banks up a bit, I’m considering putting hats on them as handles for the lid. I thought that would be a cute touch. We also learned how to make Terra sig. I partnered up with Carly and we mixed together the Kentucky stone clay Terra sig and it is currently settling. I also got one of my ceramic pieces into the juried art show here at IUS and was honored to have it selected for the show. I submitted my 30 in sculpture from my second semester of ceramics titled Pug Pile. Carly and I also did a collaboration piece this week just for fun. When we were in high school we would make these weird drawings where each of us would choose an animal and we would exchange the paper back and forth and draw a body part until we had a complete morphed animal with characteristics from each animal we chose. We had folders full of these drawings. While we were sitting in ceramics class we thought it would be cool if we did the same concept, but with sculpting. So in class Carly choose an owl and I chose a gorilla and we passed the sculpture around and created this weird animal that we called a Growl. There will probably be more of these weird creations to pop up throughout the rest of this semester.

Week 2

We’ve been through a lot this past week. I began our first project for this semester which will be to create pieces to go into a pit firing. This will be a new firing experience for me and I’m excited to see how it all works. I decided to make some puggy banks for this first project. I plan on creating a few sets of them so that they look uniform. I will also be experimenting with a few ways to retrieve the money from the vessel. I decided to try out some corks this semester and see how all that will work.

I ordered a package of corks in various sizes and when they came in I saw that there were some very tiny ones. This has inspired me to eventually make some pug salt and pepper shakers as well. I will probably incorporate that into one of the other firings when we get there.

I also got to make some clay with my group this week. We created some dark low firing clay for the pit firing. The batch turned out surprisingly well without any complications. Normally when I make clay I feel like something goes wrong, but that was not the case this time.

Also, an update on the bulldogs: they survived the bisque firing and are now awaiting the cone 6 firing. I put some cone 6 clear glaze solely on the eyes and parts of the tongue, that way they have a more realistic quality hopefully when they pop out of the kiln.

Week 1

The first week of this semester we completed introductions in our first class and discussed what projects we have to look forward to in this coming semester. Unfortunately I had the flu and was unable to make it to class on Wednesday and did not participate in the activities of that class period. However, I do have new work to share that I have been working on over winter break. 

Right before the closing of last semester I had someone approach me for a commission work based off my pug sculpture I created a year ago. They requested that I make a miniature stack of English bulldogs consisting of only two dogs in comparison to many on my pug pile. It is completely sculpted now and glazed (with Mason stains) and last I saw it was in the process of being bisqued. I plan on putting clear cone 6 glaze on areas I wish to be shiny such as the eyes and areas of the tongue. Then I will finish it off with a final cone 6 firing. 

Week 14

This week we have been doing a lot of raku firing. I currently have 4 vessels that have made it through the firing. I’m impressed with a few of them, but disappointed in some of the glazes that have been blistering. My favorite process so far is the the naked raku where you cover the vessel with slip and it results in a smoky line look. I’m very excited to keep experimenting with this style.

I finished glazing all of my vessels this week for the Roku kiln. This means that I am now finished for the semester as far as glazing goes. My pieces from the verb project (the hedgehogs) have already been soda fired and for my still life project I want them to remain white and raw. I put those through a cone 6 firing to finish them off.

I can’t wait to see the results of the raku firing and then see all of my work from the semester set up together. I’m excited to finally put my still life together for the final critique. I finally finished sanding and painting the table that I will be using as a platform for my pieces.