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Cavy Fire Studios

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Posts posted by Cavy Fire Studios

  1. Wow, Rakukuku, one piece?? I've used sooo many clay pieces to make the Cap'n. His head and body are both a "sphere" that was made with two pinched "bowls" I scored and slipped together (newspaper keeps the forms from collapsing), then kinda beat into shape with my hands. All the other parts (ears, hat, limbs, boots, coat, etc) were separate pieces of clay. I wonder if I'm overkilling him, lol... I get really wrapped up in details. Guessing that's the illustrator in me...


    That pajama piece sounds awesome, heehee! Clothes are freakin' hard to sculpt, ugh. I guess I'm just gonna have to keep practicing... *sigh*

  2. Thanks, Oldlady! ♥ I'm gonna add a bunch more things to him, and will post more progress soon. He's gonna get some underglazing as well, just like the fox head I made around Christmas. :)


    I'd really love some feedback/tips from fellow handbuilders. His coat tail was really hard...the crackling is fine, since I want to give it the appearance of old leather, but I'm having a hard time with the shape of it. I'd love the help! ♥


    I know my sculptures aren't nearly as pretty or good as my pottery, but I'm still very much a beginner at this handbuilding thing, and I'm getting pretty frustrated at my limitations... I miss throwing a lot. :'(

  3. Soooo, it's been a while.


    Poor Cap'n Cavy was stuck under moist paper towels and plastic for weeks, but I got reinspired to work on him again these past couple of days. I'd say he's undergone quite a transformation since the last time I posted a progress shot--he was a head, a round body, and two legs with one boot. :D


    I still have a ways to go, but am liking this direction. ♥ He stands about 7.5" tall.


    I'm having a real hard time with this clay body. Clay Art Center of Tacoma's redart with mica is pretty, but lousy for handbuilding, when compared to their seward terracotta. Lesson learned...


    So, here he is! Remember, he's still not finished! :)


    (Hnngh...my poor hands.)







  4. Awww, thanks for the kind words. ^_^

    Well, I made the head and body separately. The head is a pinch pot with air holes in the nostrils, mouth, and neck, and the body was pinched, piece by piece, with a hole on top to match the hole under the head. I made the legs separately, too, putting them on with a wad of clay under the body to keep it stable. :) As for burnishing, nah. My hands are too shot for that kinda work (I have psoriatic arthritis); I just kinda smooth it with my fingers and a small rib. The mica is also still there, but will appear as white flecks once the piece has been glazed. :)


    I finished one of his wee little boots last night; OMG ITZ SO KYOOOOOT!! ^_^ Sorry for the crap quality pic, lol...


  5. Hee. I couldn't wait to go any further before I posted a pic! ^_^ My hands are fried today, so he probably won't get worked on again until tomorrow, buuuut...


    Here he is! Cap'n Cavy, the guinea pig pirate! ^_^


    Bear in mind that he is still in a really primitive stage. He'll get a royal pirate treatment by the time I'm done fixing him up! ♥


    I think this is the last time I'm gonna build with Clay Art Center's redart with mica. It throws really nicely, but it takes a lot of effort to blend smoothly and isn't as plastic as the Xtra White stuff. Their Seward Terracotta is also more friendly for handbuilding. :) I've been thinking about trying paperclay, but I'm not sure how well it takes underglaze...I've never used it before, but I hear it's heaven for sculpture. :3


    Welp, there you are!



  6. Yeah, I'm the proclaimed "Underglaze Queen" of the forum (Paul's fault! :D ), and here is my experience with wanting a more "watercolorey" effect with your underglaze.


    When I was first starting out, I worked in midrange uderglazing. For me, the glazes tended to bleed and run the most when I added too much clear glaze over them. It was wholly accidental on my part--rookie error, haha. But, if you like that effect, make some standing test tiles and muck about with the layering of clear. :) Also, adding gerstley borate as a flux to your underglazes should up the bleed factor a bit, too, especially with Mason Stains. Play around with the ratios until you get the desired effect. :)


    I work in lowfire sculpture instead of throwing now (easier on my poor creaky body), but underglazing is still my primary surface treatment. ♥




    P.S. I almost forgot; watering down the underglaze and splotching it on with a small sponge or brush makes for nice effects, too. :) Feel free to visit my gallery if you'd like to see some of my watercolorey technique. I have lotsa animal portrait stuff in there that relied on my underglazes blending smoothly, especially the brown lop rabbits.

  7. After a few, uh, INTERESTING setbacks, and a SNAIL PACED bisque, against all odds, my fella's beautiful Xmas present survived its trial by kiln. I was really sweating this one, because I spent a ton of time making this as good as possible. The kiln gods decided to smile on my poor old man Fred and give us a great bisque. ♥


    I'm gonna really water down my shiny clear and dip it carefully. I hope the glaze firing goes well!







  8. I didn't kill Fred!! ^_^ YAAAY!


    ...I DID kill the plug, though... >.>


    One of the connectors inside the plug came loose and fried the ground wire. I got a new plug, but I gotta wait for my neighbor to help me feex.


    I also opened up Fred's boxes and everything is aces! ♥


    Yikes...So much for Xmas presents getting done on time. Aaaalways something!! >_<


    Frank was right, btw. :)

  9. So, uh...






    I was messing with Fred's plug into the wall, when, "POP POP SPARK POP!!"




    But! He worked! He was buzzing and his indicator light was shining a bright, healthy orange. So, I put his lowest switch on "low" to preheat my precious fox head sculpture and a few more things. Then, after a couple hours, I put the mid and top switches on "low." After waiting five hours, I switched 'em to "med." Finally, after six more hours, I went out to the garage to switch him up to "high..."


    ...buuuut...I noticed the snow wasn't cleared away from the exhaust vent. Ohhh crap. So, I tucked my hand into my sleeve and pulled out one of the spy hole plugs...






    Fred was warm, but not so warm I couldn't touch his lid bare handed. The switches buzzed like they always do when I turn up the power, but the elements didn't heat up and glow at all!! HNNNGHHH and I can't get into the dang power box until tomorrow, because it's freaking midnight, 9F outside in the garage, and my stupid useless hands just can't work fine tools when it's that cold.


    Do any of you have any idea what is happening to my poor Fred? He's an ooooold man, and I hope that power burst didn't break him!! I'll be devastated... my hunny's and mom's Xmas presents are in there! :'(

  10. Nerd:Oh, HELL YES, I'm firing this slowly! I'd just die if Fred ate this one--it's my fella's Xmas gift! D: I figure an overnight candling, followed by a snail-paced firing should HOPEFULLY do it...


    Paul: Nothing to it, really. :) He's gonna have an olive green hat with a red star, be painted kinda corgi colors, be given black velvet UG around his eyes (foxes have pretty dark eyeliner), bright yellow and ochre eyes with really black pupils, and an insanely detailed zigzagged scarf in various grays and blacks. :3


    Old Lady: Awww, heehee. ♥ Thanks so much for that... :)

  11. I think I'm done with it. :) I had planned on making it a full figure, but after making the scarf, I am actually really happy with it this way. There is a point, I suppose, when one sees a piece of art and just know it's done. ♥ Still can't believe I busted this out in two days..! Gonna underglaze it when it's bone dry and apply a thin layer of clear. :3


    Sorry about the lighting... -_-






  12. Haaaaai, everyone!


    Been a while.I've decided that the wheel and I must part ways. This dang arthritis has just gotten the best of poor old Guinea, so I'm trying my paws at handbuilding. :) I forgot how hard this was, gee whiz. Took me almost five hours to make this pinch pot head! Hands are sore, but I think he's looking pretty good thus far.


    He's a fox with a cap. Gonna be sitting on a rock, holding a mug of tea. ^_^ Gotta do the fur details now...no idea how, lol. :D


  13. Hai guys! ^_^


    Nope, Guinea isn't dead. Aaaand there is a mystery afoot.


    So, an avid collector of mine told me today that one of the mugs she purchased from me a couple of years ago is crazing badly on the inside. I had no idea how bad it was until she texted me the image... wowzers. D: I've never seen ANY of my pieces do that!


    Some specs:

    Clay Art Center of Tacoma's red art w/mica

    Amaco Opalescent Liquid Glaze, 0 Series, Fuchsia

    Fired to ^03 (slightly underfired)

    Microwaved once.


    Any ideas? I feel really, REALLY BAD. :'(



  14. So, my fella has this blue-gray clay deposit by his family's cabin. He says it's pretty silky stuff, but needs sifting to remove the impurities. I'd like to try and work with it, but here're my questions:


    1. How do you know what temp to fire it at? Should all naturally dug deposits be treated as earthenware?


    2. Is stoneware found naturally in the earth? How can you tell?


    3. Any tips for harvesting?


    Thanks, guys! <3

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