The Lucy Fagella Pottery Blog is where I share the how the pottery is made. Pottery process is a beautiful thing… watching a pot rise up from a lump of clay at the wheel, or seeing a work table filled with freshly thrown pieces. This blog focuses on process shots, pottery videos, the work table at the end of the day, and some finished work fresh from the kiln.
I can show you a photo… but I wish I could somehow fill your sense of smell with the sweet scent of lilacs that permeate my studio entrance. The weather this spring must be perfect for lilacs here in Massachusetts, because everywhere I see lilac bushes they have abundant blooms!
I have made some signs for my entrance, finally. One for the gate, so that you know it’s the studio, and not to come knocking at the house entrance. The other is just a welcome sign at the door. I made these just before the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail a couple of weeks ago. I thought people might like the welcome sign, so made an extra which sold on the trail, (also had an order for one). Yesterday I made one for the order… and some extra just in case, maybe I’ll put them up on etsy!
Then of course… my studio entrance is not complete without my studio dogs!
Two days until the 2013 Pottery Trail. This year is our 9th annual tour of nine potter’s studios throughout Western Massachusetts. We have invited eight guests this year… all very well-known. See my earlier post for who the potters are! Get get all the details on our beautiful brand new website! And come out to see us, even if you’re not local… just check our sponsors for great B&Bs to stay!
So here is a little sampling of what you will find on the Trail at my studio!
The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail is two weeks away! One of the items (a customer favorite) that I have been making are berry bowls and baskets. Here are some drying on my work table, and a couple of finished ones.
Berry Season is almost upon us!
April 27th and 28th 2013! See our website for all the details, and a printable brochure and map!
I have been wanting to share some photos of my apprentice’s work, Gemma Farrell. Gemma is really into drawing images via a sgraffito technique. Every thing she does is by hand… no they are not decals! The images vary from realistic body parts, including hearts and ovaries, to birds, and feathers! You can find her work at Pinch in Northampton MA. I keep telling her she needs to sell these to Cardiologists!
Today my apprentice Gemma Farrell got her first look inside of the control panel of my L&L Kiln. I really feel it’s important that my apprentices know every aspect of the pottery business, plus walk away from the two years with great pots. Gemma already has the great pots, (which I will show off in the next post.) She just needs the biz end of it… the part they don’t teach you in art school.
It was definitely time to change the element wires and the thermocouples. How did I know this you might ask… well the first sign is that the element wires are starting to grey and flatten in areas… but still work. The most notable reason to change them now, is that the kiln is taking longer and longer to fire… a sure sign it’s going to break down soon. The other reason to really, really change them now is that I do not have a big show coming up this month. It seems that kilns tend to break down in the middle of a firing, right before an important show or the holiday season! My next big show is the pottery trail at the end of April… and I better have the kiln heathly for all the firings coming up!
Whew, take a look at that old thermocouple compared to what it looks like new… won’t be long before that’s a goner. It’s been over a hundred firings… when that time comes along I know it’s time to take a look at them!
Why did I make big pots the first day of the flu? Well I knew I was only going to get sicker, so while I could, I made ten little pitchers, five large urns for resist work, and three other large urns. The second day of the flu I made lids, and slept. The third day I trimmed all the pots, and slept. The fourth day I slept, trimmed lids, joined knobs, and carved urns. The remaining ten days I’ve slept, carved urns, took photo’s and slept… and vowed to get a flu shot next year!
Here are some nice shots of the urns in process. It’s a very long process, between the throwing, trimming, and carving the feet and rim. Once the pot dries completely liquid wax resist is brushed on to create the floral pattern. (This process is known as shellac resist or hydro abrasion). Then comes the long process of rubbing away the clay with a sponge, (which I thought would be a nice sitting down job while not having much energy). Where there is no resist the clay slowly gets etched away.
I recently had a question from potter Joel Cherrico asking me about the plate setters I use for dinnerware sets, (that I don’t actually like to make… sorry folks they are just too time consuming).
I think I got these setters from my favorite ceramic supplier, Sheffield Pottery. The plates are currently used daily in our kitchen.
For more on dinnerware sets see a post I wrote a couple of years ago on what a potter makes per hour. I gauged it on a dinnerware set. http://lucyfagellapottery.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/what-does-a-potter-make-per-hour-dinnerware-set-final-results/