December 7, 2013
I’ve been selling my art on Etsy now for a few years. It’s fun, I make enough money to cover my art expenses, plus extra. But I love a challenge so I want to increase my sales this year.
I’ve been researching, taking some classes and trying to figure out how to sell more art.
Clayton Christensen put marketing in a different spin for me. He said to think about what “job” your art is doing for the customer.
Okay. What job has my art done in the past for customers?
Suppose they wrote a position available listing on Craig’s List:
Customer: I need a gift that shows my friend that I am a cool,artsy,different person.
My art: I am affordable, convenient, different.i can do the job for you.
Customer: I need a gift for someone who adores their dog. But it has to be personalized and it has to be their dog
My art: yes! I can do that for you.
Customer: I want something I can hang on the wall with my favorite quote.
Customer: I want something beautiful to look at.
See get the idea?
So what kind of “job” does you art do for your customer?
November 15, 2013
I opened and the kiln and screamed, “Oh no!”
The life size head of Danny had a slice blown off the back of its head!
Thank goodness it wasn’t the face but still I am so disappointed .
What did I do wrong?
* Wasn’t it completely dry yet? It’s been well over a month of drying.
*Didn’t I hollow it out enough? I tried to keep a consistent 3/4 inch thickness but it’s hard to figure that out. I even stabbed it all over inside with a fork to help release any trapped air.
* Didn’t I slip and score good enough when I added to the back of his head?
* Did I trap air between layers? I think that’s what happened because it looks like there may have been a layer of air trapped behind the section that blow off. I can still see a little gap on the rest of the head.
After feeling frustrated for 5 minutes, I let the head cool down. and I got out my new Amaco BisqueFixer. It was a very clean break and it fit back together perfect. My friend, Sandy used it on her broken piggy tail and it worked beautifully. But she said to be careful to wipe off any excess because the color is extremely white and the mend will show.
I painted Fixer on my broken head and put it back together. But now it didn’t fit together at all! My husband said it was because of the fixer, but it was just a then coat. And this was way off. did it shrink or something as it cooled?
I carried the head out to the picnic table, got out my Drexel tool and a face mask. I sanded and sanded and sanded. I went thought 2 metal bits. Wore them right down smooth! Then I used some type of hard stone like bit and that seemed to stand up better to bisque. I finially got it sanded down enough for it to fit back together but I still have to sand more so there is room for the Fixer stuff. Tomorrow I will do that because my arm got too tired to keep going today.
Good thing this isn’t a commission because I would’ve had to start over !
November 7, 2013
What I’m working on today! I’m making this to go outside under a little tree for elfs, fairies or gnomes to live in.
November 1, 2013
Her arm broke!
I was sanding my second sculpture of Jesse and her arm broke right off! This sculpture has been causing me problems from the start. I’m going to attempt to repair it with this mixture:
SPOOZE variation #2: Use to attach anything, leatherhard, bone dry or bisqueware. Keep applying until cracks disappear.
Liquid sugar: any kind, honey, corn syrup, etc 1 part
vinegar 1 part
slip of your choice, any thickness 1 part
I think I’ll add some toilet paper also for good measure.
So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will work.
Here is the first Jessee. I really had a lot of trouble with her. As I carried her to the kiln she broke at her ankles. I repaired her in the kiln with slip made with epsom salts. She broke in the kiln and fell backwards against the wall of the kiln so her base is t a crazy angle. I still love her but she can’t really stand. I have her rubberbanded to the fruit stand.
P.S. The fix did not work at all! So it when in the kiln apart and I will glue it when it comes out.
October 15, 2013
I’m almost done. Today I cut Danny’s head in half and scooped out his brains ( perfect for Halloween, right?) Really, I scrapped out all of the inside clay except about 3/4 of an inch thick. This is pretty tricky to do. You have to cut the head in half with a wire cutter . I was so a friend that it would split open and plop face down smashing all the work I had done? Thank goodness that Danny was there to help me. He cradled the 50 pound head while I sliced it from the top of the head to the base. Then we gently laid the two halts on pieces of egg crate foam. I scraped and scooped while “Leave it to Beaver” played in the background.
After I got an even shell, I took a old fork and poked holes about 1/2″ deep all around on the inside so steam could escape easily. I sure wouldn’t want this head to explode in the kiln!
I mixed a slurry of old dried clay bits, Epsom salts and water to make a “glue” to put Humpty Dumpty back together again! I scratched the two edges with a fork and painted on the glue which is called Slip, if you want to use proper terms. Now it was time to slap the two halls back in place. A very tricky endeavor , since it was very hard to support his heavy head and not have his chest collapse. Again Danny helped me with this while I stuffed balled up newspaper inside for extra support until it stiffens up more. I patched the seam to make it invisible and then sprayed it with water and covered it with a garbage bag. I have lots more detail to do yet but I didn’t want to wait much longer for the hollowing out because of the potential for major damage in the process.
October 12, 2013
I am attempting my first life size portrait sculpture of my husband. It is so very different from my usual teeny tiny work where the head fits in my hand. Instead of using just my finger tips and miniature tools , I am now using giant tools and my whole body to sculpt.
I love a challenge. And this certainly is. I’m studying Philippe Faraut’s techniques. I bought several of his books and watch his You Tube videos. Most of the time I am measuring with calipers and observation, lots of observation. That’s what being an artist means- you look harder at something, zero in on its beauty and pull it out of the chaos to point it out to others with a twist of your own personality stamped on it.
I’ve looked at my husband – Danny’s face for 41 years, but now I am really LOOKING at his face. I mean I am crawling into his wrinkles, sliding down his perfect nose, digging around in his nostrils and spelunking his ears. He has recently been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and lost 40 pounds. This drastically changed his face. The aging process has changed his face. It is a face I love dearly. I debated with myself if I wanted to sculpt him with the face he has now or his younger face. I choose the now face, which as you can see is a magnificent face!
I used 50 pounds of cone 6 stoneware clay. I will hollow it out when I’m done but right now it is solid. I work on it a few hours everyday. My family laughs at me and says it is creepy but I love it. There are moments when I push the clay in just the right way that it looks so alive! So they can laugh all they want, I love my head! And I think I’ll be doing more life size heads.
I’ve always loved Heads. I really don’t even see the rest of the body. Everyone is just floating heads to me.It’s where all the interesting stuff is located. All the emotion, ideas, love is right there in that neat hard ball. Heads just fascinate me. Maybe I never got past the baby stage of being fixated on faces.
I don’t know yet how I will finish this piece. Maybe fire it and then leave the natural color (white) or paint it to look bronze? I don’t know yet. Or maybe I’ll paint it realistic colors? Now that would be creepy!
September 15, 2013
This is my inspiration. Those sad mothers and fathers from the Victorian ages who just kept losing their precious babies. Being a baby then was very risky business. So what did they do to ease their broken hearts? They quickly photographed them while they were still fresh! Some even stuffed them like squirrels and set them around the house as mementoes. But , hey! Who are we to judge. Losing a child is one of the hardest things in life, so who knows what we would do?
Soak in water to prepare bisque for chocolate brown antiquing.
Water down Amaco Chocolate brown (V-314) and cover bisque piece, making sure the underglaze gets way down in the cracks.
Wipe off right. Away , leaving just a little in shadows. This adds depth to piece.
Be very gentle. Since the bisque was soaked it made it more fragile. The two places where I had trouble was the boys head and the girls hands. Both places I had used the special slip additive that is suppose to join things together. Maybe it can’t be soaked in water if you use that? Oh we’ll, I can fix it with the same stuff after I’m done painting.
I only use four colors of underglaze.ii do two coats for the black but leave the rest thin and probably streaky?
Amaco Teddy Bear Brown ( V-366) for boys pants
Speedball Turquoise ( 1009) dress, shirt and trim on babies gown and eyes
Amaco Black(V-361) hair and shoes
Clear glaze- thinned down so it only adds a little shine, none on the back since they will lie down in the kiln.and in their coffins.
I also painted on a thinned down coat of Blue Breeze (6) glaze from The Ceramic Shop in Philadelphia. I love, love, love this glaze. It’s translusient and flows into the cracks and is just lovely. It gives delicate color and shininess at the same time. They make a perfect skin color too called –what else but Skinny!
I put them back in their little coffins to wait for the next firing. They will be safe in there .
September 6, 2013
|“Sculpture should be created the same way you hug somebody, the same way you make love – with both hands.” MAX ERNST 1960
This little guy will be hanging on to a rope when he’s done. Still hangin’
Sculpted in porcelain about 12 ‘ long.
September 2, 2013
Hurray! My three favorite Irish TV Priests. The father Ted show is my favorite show. Here are three sculptures I did of them soon to be available on Etsy.
What do you think? Did I capture Father Ted in Porcelain?
Where’s Father Dougal? I hope he’s not lost? Or getting in trouble! I’ll be back soon with his pics.
July 9, 2013
Okay, here goes, I am cutting her in half to reduce the weight, probably a good time to scoop out her insides too.nsorry , Jesse I hope this isn’t a voodoo doll!