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!
Posted in apprentice, kiln, kiln repair, kiln room | Tagged changing element wires, control panel of electric kiln, electric kiln repair, fixing an electric kiln, getting ready for the Pottery Trail, L&L kiln, Lucia Pottery, lucy fagella pottery, lucy repairing kiln, pottery apprentice, thermocouple on kiln, when to change a thermocouple | 2 Comments »
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.
Here is a finished mini version of the large urn… a little keepsake in my son Andrew’s hands. To see more of these and other urns visit my website and or LuciaUrns on etsy.
If you want to see a nice little video on this method, check out Ron Philbeck , “Hydro Abrasion” He explains it very well! http://youtu.be/d_HHrNdPGIk
Posted in making an urn form on the potters wheel, shellac resist, studio shots, urns, white on white pattern pottery | Tagged hydro abrasion in pottery, Lucia Pottery, Lucia Urns, making cremation urns, making tall forms on the potters wheel, porcelain cremation urns, Shellac resist, urns by Lucia Pottery, Wheaten Terrier watching pottery, white funeral urn, white keepsake urn, white on white porcelain, White on White urns, white pattern pottery | 5 Comments »
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/
Posted in dinnerware set, plate setters, plates | Tagged ceramic dinnerware, ceramic lunch plate, ceramic plates, dinner plate, plate setters, porcelain plate settings, pottery by Lucy Fagella, small plate | 6 Comments »
Recently a priest (to be) contacted me, asking if I would make him a communion set for his ordination, (chalice, paten, cruets and tray). It was a happy surprise for me as I don’t get to make these too often. I really enjoy making the chalice form, and I am taken with the challenge of making the set work as one.
I grew up Catholic, and spent every Sunday sitting at Mass, half listening and half with my mind submerged in the liturgical art that filled the church. The stained glass windows intrigued me… I would get lost in the ornate compositions, detailed with jewel-like buttons of glass… round blobs of color, bulging from the otherwise flat pane glass. I stared intently at the gold chalice, plate, and candlesticks on the altar. I walked up nervously when asked to bring the gifts of water and wine to the altar… sensing how it felt in my hands, hoping I would not spill any. All of this and more, I remember so clearly.
As I matured I began to ask why is everything gold when the priest’s homily was telling us about this rebel Jesus, who turned the money changers tables in the temple. This Jesus who spoke of the poor and marginalized. This Jesus who embodied simplicity. So in light of this I began make this chalice and plate sans gold. I wanted it to speak of transcendence, and not purely a focus on the object itself. I wanted it to be grounded yet lead your eyes upward. I chose porcelain, a pure white, which has the ability to capture the glassy jewel-like quality of the glaze.
I decided to make this a project of mine when I was studying at Alfred University… it became my senior thesis. After graduation I made quite a few sets for churches. Now many years later it is nice to revisit these forms as a more experienced potter… they seem to be a bit more colorful than the originals from my college days.
Posted in chalices, cruet, liturgical ceramics | Tagged artist made chalice and plate, ceramic chalice and paten, ceramic chalice and plate, ceramic eucharist chalice, ceramic liturgical set, chalice and plate, communion set, eucharist paten, handmade pottery chalice, liturgical ceramics, liturgical set, liturgy of the eucharist | 2 Comments »
I’m really excited about this new little form I am making… citrus juicers. They hang on a hook to decorate your kitchen, making it easily accessible, and they fit nicely over a measuring cup. perfect for the foodie in your life! Function+Art=One Happy Foodie!
You can find them at Pinch in Northampton, MA, and soon on my Etsy Shop!
Posted in citrus juicer | Tagged ceramic citrus juicer, Ceramics for Foodies, citrus juicer, foodieceramics, grapefruit juicer, hand made citrus juicer, lemon juicer, orange juicer, pottery by Lucy Fagella, pottery citrus juicer | 4 Comments »