Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DIY: Embossed Ceramicness

So I might be having a little bit of a love affair with pale-sky-aqua blue, faded-rose pink and, well,  pastels in general. Proof of such here and here.
Sometimes when people are inclined to talk to me (which I don't recommend to the easily offended, annoyed or grossed out by stories involving pants wetting accidents and pee puddles [which, btw, is up next on this blog post menu]), they ask me stuff. Stuff that leads me to believe that they must read my blog and assume the following:

1. That I make stuff all the freaking time.

2.  That I also dress like a moron all the freaking time.

One of these things is as false as Miley Cyrus virginity rumors. Can you guess which?

If you guessed the first then, ding-ding-ding!, you are correct! Congratulations! You win absolutely nothing but my utter respect at your guessing skillz. Really. I mean, you should consider joining the circus and being one of those weight-guessing people. I hear the pay is incredible. 

Which means the crazy notion that I'm a making-stuff-maniac is totes false, ya'll. Truth be told, I spend entirely too much of my life online googling things like "dorky art teacher clothes" (can you guess whose mug pops up first? Use those expert guessing skills of yours...) and chatting up long lost buddies on Facebook. Which is what I was doing last night when a class photo from elementary school was posted. Next thing I know, it's past midnight and I've been reminiscing about favorite teachers and crazy classmate antics with people I've not spoken to since the 5th grade. Time well spent for sure. Meanwhile, my sewing projects/unglazed ceramic pieces/half finished paintings of nude leprechauns (just seeing if you were paying attention) are left collecting dust. Das my life for realz, ya'll.
I've also got this terrible habit of starting something and then callin' it quits midway through. Sometimes I return to said DIY -n- Ditch but it's often weeks, nay, months later. Case in point: my Embossed Ceramicness. Last November I attended the annual state art conference in the town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee where the allure of the airbrushed t-shirt never dies. I took a course that involved this pretty sweet process of using your printing block as a ceramic embosser. I began by creating the above masterpiece.
And transferring the design to my linoleum block. This was done by scribbling on the back of my drawing, taping the drawing to my block and then going back over my pencil lines. At this point the carving commenced.
This squirrel-tastic block was carved by my awesome art teacher buddy Mallory. One of the things I love about attending these workshops is you get to hang out with your favorite artsy friends. And you make so many new buddies who do a much better job at commiserating about life in the art room than, well, your hubs. Cuz new art teacher friends don't get that glazed-over "is this gonna be another kid peeing themselves story?!" look like that dude who lives in my house and breathes my air. Nay (yeah, I just used that word twice in one post like a boss), new artsy buddies slap you a high five and commend you for your tales of how you turned lemons into lemonade. Or, rather, puddles of pee into a "Pond, kids! Don't step in the pond because you don't want to get wet!" (this actually happened...which was met with a "Yeah, cuz that pond is PEE!" by a dear kindergartener).
One friend I made at an art conference years ago has since become a dear friend of mine. Her name is Debbie and she carved this block which I'm thrilled to say I have a ceramic copy of. I can't wait to get it glazed and out for Halloween. I'll be sure to share it with you soonish.
Okay, where was I? Ah, yes, the carved block. Is it any wonder I don't finish much? I can't even stay focused on one lil blog post! Once the carving was finished, a slab of clay was placed over it. That was either rolled out or run through a slab roller. From there we had the option of turning our embossed piece into a vase, a mug or a slab. I did a little of each.
And that was way the flip back in November. It wasn't until recently that I busted out the glaze and forced myself to finish these pieces. The completed slab in the top photo was mounted onto a wooden flower box.
While these lovelies have found their home at my front door. Finally. After months of hanging out in the Land of Forgotten DIY's, they are now complete. Who woulda ever guessed I'd get 'em done?! Well, you, of course. What with your intuitive guessing skills and all.

Until next time, friends, STAY AWAY FROM YELLOW PUDDLES! 
And have a great holiday weekend.

6 comments:

  1. Great! And very nice colors, too!

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  2. Love this idea for reusing my old linoleum blocks! I'm going to have to try this. Thanks for some much-needed inspiration!

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  3. Those are very, very pretty. Love your color combinations, very cheerfull yet pretty.

    Even if you don't make stuff every waking minute of your life, you still make wonderful and unique things which is more then most people manage. I actually used to make stuff every second I wasn't working. Turns out: you actually need rest and internet time and sleep and stuff to prevent total exhaustion.

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  4. These are spectacular! Hope a full instructional post is coming along soon!

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  5. Charming! And the color palette is gorgeous. I love how you turned the embossed slabs into mugs! This is a great idea for art club.

    We did a group project where the 6th graders each carved erasers and we all stamped them into a slab of clay. It turned out great.

    Thanks for posting!

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  6. Anonymous10/17/2013

    You can do the same by drawing onto a thin piece of syrofoam with a dull pencil and pressing the styrofoam into clay then running a rolling pin over it. Your scale would be smaller.

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)