Kathy O'Connell

June 27, 2018
by katdazzle

The local animals tile wall is done!

Notice the cat door? I still have to grout and make some small fill in pieces for the bottom and anywhere else that has too wide of a gap. This is on both sides of my studio entrance.



1. I first put tar paper

2. Then I nailed up masonary mesh (a metal wire sheet) it was really hard to cut to size with tin snips. That’s why it is so uneven

3. I mixed up TEC mortar for large tiles and did an initial coat, pushing it into and behind the mesh. My tiles are heavy so I wanted it to have something to grab onto.

4. I nailed a row of nails in to hold up the tiles until the dryed.

5. Next I will grout with sanded white grout.

Products I used:


TEC Skill Set Large Tile and Stone White Powder Polymer-Modified Thinset Mortar


TEC white sanded grout



August 15, 2017
by katdazzle

Animal tiled wall

I’m working on tiles depicting local animals. I’ve sculpted about 20 animals in bas relief. I’m so excited because I just bought a tabletop slab roller from the Ceramic Shop  in Norristown, PA.

I was either rolling out slabs for tiles with a rolling pin or driving to my friends house to use her roller. I never thought I’d have the room for a huge roller. But this one goes on the table and breaks done small to be stored when not in use. It works perfect. The handle is super easy to turn.

I still have 26 more vine tiles to roll out and sculpt. This is going to save me so much time.

Here are some of the tiles I sculpted:

I can’t decide if I should glaze them in one color or paint them natural colors?

August 15, 2017
by katdazzle

Ugly style drawings

I’ve been experimenting with a style of drawing that I’ve secretly been doing since art school. I never really showed them publicly because I was trained for perfection in art. But lately I’ve been like screw it- I’m going to just put this stuff out there. I just draw what amuses me. Little bites of life as I see it. I don’t worry about making it pretty, sexy or porportiately correct. I don’t worry about getting a likeness. I don’t worry about nothing. I just see, react and draw. What comes out, comes out. I’m not trying to please a client or a teacher or even myself. It just happens. Like farts.

I call it my Sookie La La collection.

Here is some examples:

October 21, 2014
by katdazzle

Shower Tiles

I’ve been furiously working on shower tiles the last few weeks. The above picture from Pinterest was the inspiration. So far 250 pounds of raw stoneware clay have become tiles. Square ones in 4 different sizes and rectangle ones in 5 different sizes. I’m using a glaze called Wintergreen that is just stunning. Each tile comes out with slightly different variations on the greenish blue color. It’s like each tile is a jewel. It’s a lot of hard, hard work, but when it’s all installed it will be worth it.

Thank goodness the contractor is installing it. Good luck to him! It ain’t gonna be easy!

September 1, 2014
by katdazzle

Etsy tip of the day.

Even if some of your etsy products are high end expensive, make sure you have some in the most common selling range. Between $3.00 and $ 25 is the average selling price of most of the items in the top selling Etsy shops. And don’t forget you demographics- women between the ages of 17-34. For some reason my stuff sells mostly to the west coast and over seas, I guess I’m too weird for the east coast!

August 27, 2014
by katdazzle

The Starving Artist Diet

I’ve been trying to lose some weight. I very hard thing to do. I know that keeping a food diary really helps but it’s so BORING! So instead of writing, I’m drawing everything I eat, so much more fun! It’s cool to look at the whole day and see what I’ve eaten and to see patterns. So far so good. I’ve lost 10 pounds! Wahoo!

Try it yourself, it works!

August 10, 2014
by katdazzle

Inigo Montoya

Now for sale at my Etsy Shop

Porcelain head, hands and boots. 

Inigo Montoya: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Price: $170.00

Inigo Montoya as portrayed by Alejandro Diego Narwhal

Though he was successful on stage, Alejandro Diego Narwhal’ s style is so cinematic it’s hard to imagine him acting in any other medium. His is a loathsome yet hilarious comic villain, which he is particularly adept at portraying in his close-ups. There, his range of facial ticks, stares and what-nots tell the story. When he isn’t outright villainous, he is adept at being vapid, smarmy, obsequious or just a little behind.

As you can see I sculpted the head, fins and boots in porcelain. I sewed the soft body over a wire skelaton so he is easier to dress and pose. He is part of a series of animal people portraying characters from movies, books and TVland. Isn’t he a fun one? He is from the movie ” The Princess Bride”

Inigo Montoya is a fictional character in William Goldman‘s 1973 novel The Princess Bride. In Rob Reiner‘s 1987 film adaptation he was portrayed by Mandy Patinkin. In both the book and the movie, he resided in the fictional country of Florin but came from Spain.

It’ll be fun making his clothes and sword. How do I make a tiny sword. I have no idea but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. Got any ideas?

August 5, 2014
by katdazzle

What’s on my table today

I spent the day glazing and under painting. A few more Animal People and then I’m done with this idea for a while. But look who’s here! Cheech and Chong portrayed by a walrus and bison. The llama is the main guy from Clockwork  Orange. I forget his name. Is it Peter?

They will be like all the other dolls made with a cloth body around a wire skelaton. I make them this way so their clothes can be put on and off easier. I sew all the little costumes by hand. It’ a fun!

Now many hours later I have almost everything painted and my back is aching from all the close work. I probably should get a higher table. I realized that I somehow forgot to make cheech’s arms! He needs his arms! This is a problem because I don’t want to wait for a whole cycle of filling up the kiln again. So what I’m doing to solve this problem is to quick sculpt some hands , let them dry till tomorrow and glaze them without bisque firing them. Just going straight to glaze firing. He better keep his fingers crossed that he doesn’t blow up.

Arn’e these two sisters adorable? They are my next idea. I’m going to do each season. They are summer and winter. I didn’t go ahead and make spring and fall till I checked if these two would fall off their skinny legs.. I put high fire wire inside of them, but I was so afraid they would crack as they shrunk  around they wire. They didn’t crack! Not yet but the little sisters aren’t out of the woods yet. They can still crack during the glaze firing. So stay tuned to see what happens.

It is a beautiful summer day and I’m sitting out on my screen porch painting away listening to French music. The kids are in the pool, the dog is asleep at my feet. Life is good.