Thursday, 30 June 2016

Crowdfunding Project By Danijel Kralj



In February my brother came to visit us. He stayed only for a weekend, but we managed to produce a video together.




It is our tradition to make creative videos every time he visits. It was my brother’s idea to create a video of me throwing on the potter’s wheel. So, here I am throwing my marbled tumblers, actually feeling very dizzy because I had a nasty flu at the time. The whole process of cutting and assembling of the video was done by my brother (he doesn't want me to say "my talented brother”). As you may guess, the music accompanying the video was played by my brother as well. But that is not all: he is playing it on a guitar he made himself.

The composition he is playing is actually a part of his first CD that he wishes to release. To be able to finance this CD, he started a crowdfunding campaign at Startnext. You can check it here if you like. His crowdfunding project runs only for a few more days. If he doesn’t manage to achieve his goal he will not be able to finance his CD. In this case, the kind people who pledged already will get their money back: It is all or nothing.

Just in case you think this is a kind of charity, well it isn’t. You are not donating money, but you have the opportunity to get one of the rewards selected, designed and created by my brother. You can buy his CD, his new guitar handbook for beginners, a composition created for you, home concert and a few other special products.

So, check it if you like, share on the social media and help spread the word.







Sunday, 24 April 2016

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Our Advent Wreath




Here is our Advent wreath I made with my son. This year we used my porcelain stars ornaments to decorate it. Even though we are not that religious we like to introduce our son to the tradition of lightning a candle for the four Sundays before Christmas.









Tuesday, 17 November 2015

It Is Not Too Early To Think About Christmas


I guess that some of you may feel a bit irritated to read about Christmas in the middle of November. Most of the stores are already decorated and ready for the shopping frenzy. You can by Christmas cookies everywhere. Santa is coming, snow is falling and bells are jingling. Well, at least until you come out of the store and find yourself surrounded by the perfect sunny and vibrant November day. And if you were wearing only a T-shirt while going out for a walk, as I did the other day, you may be convinced that the world is going really crazy with this festivity pressure.

I have to admit that I am in the middle of Christmas production frenzy since August. Considering that I am still not a full time potter, I may be a bit late already. Making ceramics is a slow process. There is a lot of waiting involved. When you make something you have to wait patiently until the ceramics dries (and you should let it dry slowly to prevent cracking). 


Only then can you bisque fire it. Then you wait for two days until your kiln cools down so that you can open it. After glazing you fire it again. And wait for two more days to open the kiln again. This is only a rough description of the process. In between you have to catch the right consistency of the vessel to be able to decorate it.


I started to make these elegant and minimalistic porcelain pendants in August. Just to mention that these went through my hands about eight times. First I have to roll the porcelain slab really thin and take care not to capture any air bubble. Using different cookie cutters I can cut out the desired shape – one by one. The hole for the cord has to be done while the porcelain is still very soft. Now, you let your stars and angels dry a bit so that you can soften the edges with a sponge and take care that the hole is nicely smoothed.


At this point I can let them dry completely but I have to take care that they do not deform as the edges dry faster. To avoid it I put some weight on them while drying. After the bisque firing, the ornaments get sanded until the surface is smooth. I have to rinse them after the sanding and letting them dry again. Afterwards I can fire them really high to get that translucency that is so typical for porcelain. I take them out of the kiln, one by one and check for any cracks or damages. Now I can pull the cord through the hole so that it can joyfully swing on the Christmas tree.  

Now you may understand why it's necessary to start your Christmas production early. These ornaments are not glazed because I like the mate surface a lot. Also I wanted to keep them more affordable by skipping the glazing process.

If you like them, you can purchase them directly from my studio. Also you can send me an email (danciceramics@gmail.com) if you are not from the area – I gladly ship worldwide. The price for one piece is 5 CHF (5 Swiss Francs) + Shipping (2 CHF for Switzerland; 2.5 CHF for Europe and 3 CHF for other countries).

So, finally I can say that it is not too early to think about Christmas even if it is November and if you like these Christmas tree ornaments – get them while they’re hot from the kiln.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Marbled Ceramics





Autumn in the mountains is my favourite time of year. Underneath the mountain tops covered with snow the forests are still showing off the entire warm colour palette. The air is crisp and the sun is shining. It is the time of year when you start eating comfort food again, like cheese fondue or pumpkin soup. If you go to the forest you may come back with foraged chestnuts, walnuts, rosehips or mushrooms. 

My new marbled plates with their earthy colours are just made for this season. Take a look.
 










Saturday, 12 September 2015

How I Spent My Holidays




My father has a small wood atelier where he makes guitars, and wooden toys for his grandchildren, with my brother. I like this small creative space. Actually, this is where I have spent my two week vacation this summer. Last year I showed you my modest start as a wood carver. This year I just couldn’t get away from carving. At first, I just wanted to make two baby spoons for my twin nieces who just started to eat solid food. I thought I would need at least two weeks for this project. Well, I did them in one night. Then I decided to do another spoon for my son, then a butter knife and a spoon for my niece, some scoops for me, a few more spoons… In the end, I had to use all the wood leftovers for some tiny salt spoons.

I think this is a beginning of a new addiction. Luckily I don’t have any carving tools at home - otherwise I would have to close my ceramic studio.