Wednesday 14 January 2015

A Work Behind

Every time I hold these earrings in my hand, I wonder how is it possible that such small and, at the first glance, simple pieces involve so much work?

I love these earrings, but when I am creating them I often ask myself if it’s really necessary for me to continue making them. Once the porcelain is coloured, the neriage block prepared, the beads formed and fired, it takes me days to sand them until they are smooth. My fingers are always in pain afterwards. The thinner ones get broken a lot during the sanding.

Maybe you are wondering if it’s really necessary to sand them. Well, yes it is. Only when the outer layer, which gets dirty from forming the beads, is removed (sanded), the colour and the pattern can shine through. Here is a before and an after.

Last night I made a new curly pattern for my neriage beads and I was terrified of what lies ahead - a lot of sanding. And then it struck me out of the blue: I don’t have to sand them as much if I cut off the outer layer when the beads are leather hard. This way I will only have to give them the last polish with the very smooth sandpaper. Why didn’t I think of it before? Well, I love that I am still learning. Also, this is a great example how one can grow.

Here are the new curly beads and how they look after the cut.

I won't only have less work later, but I am saving on material as well. All the waste I cut from the leather hard beads I can recycle and use again.

Monday 5 January 2015

My New Working Table

My studio is not a big, perfect space from my dreams, but I have all that's needed to make ceramics. I have a kiln, a potter’s wheel, some shelves, running water and daylight... And a few weeks ago I also got the most beautiful working desk. 

Before I found my perfect working table, I used to work on my rickety study desk which was far from the best solution. I had a clear vision what my desk should look like: a solid wooden desk that can handle some rough treatment like clay throwing and wedging. Buying a new one was never an option so I had my ears and eyes wide open. 

And then it happened. A few weeks ago, I had a strong feeling that I should check our local flea market store (Brockenstube), a vintage and second-hand shop. Jackpot! There it was, my perfect working table! It is not a wooden one as I originally wished for, but it is still a table from my dreams. I also love the retro look of its easy to clean yellow surface and green metal legs. It must have been an old school table before.

Well, this girl is over the moon now. 

This is what my son I created on that table the same day we brought it home.