Jarita's Creations

A little about me and my creative adventures. Here I will share both my successes and not-so-successes. I will share the lessons learned and accomplishments made. I look forward to feedback, helpful advice, and making new friends!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Something Special in My Etsy Shop for July

Ok, I admit it...marketing is not my favorite part. But, the etsymud team (and actually etsy in general) is working on a Christmas in July promotion and I've decided to join in since I was already working on small things like ornaments and such. The etsymudteam's promo starts July 8th. I will be featuring my work in a showcase in the Ceramics and Pottery category. I haven't yet decided what my "special" will be...hmmm...what about including a small gift like a ceramic gift tag with total shop purchase over $10-$15? I like that idea! Gift tags are reasonably simple to make and can be written on with a fine tip Sharpie. They are small enough that I can include them in the packaging without a lot of extra expense. I definitely like the idea!!!

After starting this blog and coming up with the gift tag idea, I hurried out to the studio and created some! They're not very complicated, just simple little tags. The finished size should be around 1.75" x 2.75". I will bisque them, apply a frit/stain wash and fire to ^6. They will be as durable as high-fire, but because I will leave them unglazed, they will still be able to be written on with a Sharpie type marker.
I will offer one free for any purchase over $15 in my etsy shop from July 8-31. If anyone buys multiple items over $15 each, then I will include a free gift tag for each, but if someone buys multiple items that only come up to or just over $15 together, then I will only provide one free tag.
The promo starts in about 2 weeks and I better get busy! I this this is a good marketing idea, but I still need to make them, let them dry, make enough other stuff to justify firing, do a bisque-fire, apply finishing techniques on these and enough other stuff for firing again, then do the final ^6 firing. Plus, I still need time to get everything listed! Hmmm, I'd better get focused and moving! I'm excited and looking forward to Christmas in July!
BTW, there's still other stuff that I wanted to blog about like an interesting firing that I did yesterday, but I need to prioritize my time, so the other sharing will have to wait. Sorry, maybe I'll tell ya'll about it when I take a break from creating, but for now, off to the studio!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Life is good and busy!

Well, summer weather is officially here with a vengeance. I had been working most of the month of May on gardening and incorporating new critters into my world. I have added 22 chickies, 6 ducks, and 2 goats! Between those and planting 63 blueberry plants, 25 lingonberries, 24 raspberries, 12 blackberries, 40 strawberries, some corn, lots of assorted veges and a few flowers, I haven't had much time for pottery. Although my hobby farm still has a lot more work to be done, the heat and humidity have reduced the amount of outdoor time. Now, I am hoping to spend more time on my pottery.
At the end of April, I had fired a load that I forgot to blog about. It was mostly the pendants intended to go with the necklaces that I had worked on while in Rhode Island. Overall, the pendants turned out lovely, but I don't think they are going to work with the necklaces:-( The colors of the pendants are too soft, too pastel. I will be listing most of them for sale on my etsy page soon as individual pendants. (Listing new items has been very limited due to my farming activities.)

On this set, I used an Amaco Velvet Underglaze wash on bisque then fired to cone 6. The colors are very soft and delicate, almost powdery looking, like they belong on an enchanted creature. I like them a lot, but my necklaces are bolder and earthier.

The ones pictured here, though, I mixed mason stains with Frit 3134 and then washed back. The frit created an unexpected luster! I love it! I will be working more with mason stains and frit 3134 to create a wider color palette. Hopefully my next batch will color-coordinate better with the necklaces that I have already made.

These were supposed to turn out more purple, but in addition to the luster, the frit also created a chemical reaction that resulted in a nice bluer tone. I truly like it, and will create necklaces to coordinate, but my first batch of necklaces did not include this tone. I also intend to create additional necklaces that work better with the other pendants that I now have. It's all an ongoing, learning-while-playing process.

In the meantime, I have found some time in the past week to go play in clay. I am still wanting to work on the jewelry, but I have found that it is impossible to run a full kiln with only itty bitty jewelry components. I would need hundreds, if not thousands, to fill up the kiln! So, I still created some new pendant designs that I love, but I also worked on some new birdhouses.

I love birdhouses! I have made many and even sold a few. My designs are always changing so each batch comes out differently. My last batch was designed using Laguna SBRed clay because I wanted a nice woodtone and the SBRed comes out a very warm brown. They are gorgeous, but almost too dark. So this time, I have altered the design. Firstly, I am now working with Laguna BMix5 which is a white porcelaineous stoneware and I will be applying the SBRed as a washed slip, but I have also changed the actual design a little.
Before, I designed the lid to look wooden with the leaves settling on top. Now, I have the leaves layered to create the whole lid. An improvement or simply a difference? I don't know, but I like the way it looks with this clay. I intend to make a few more birdhouses, although each one will still be a "OOAK" because they are designed individually with their own leaves and character. The two that I made this week were designed with grape leaves because I am fascinated with the detail and texture in the grape leaves. I want to create some more birdhouses using different types of leaves too and also in different sizes.

I am looking forward to finishing all these up and hopefully having new items listed on etsy soon. I will only be displaying my pottery at one craft show this year, the Ft Leonard Wood Spouses Club's annual fall show, just like in past years. I am aiming to have a significant display of new birdhouses, jewelry, and ornaments this year along with bringing back previous work.

Hmmm, my choice of creations don't exactly bring about a unified theme...I'll have to think on that. I know these are the items that appeal to me to make right now. I have reached a point in my life and my artwork that is more focused on "me" than I have ever been before. Although my husband has always spoiled me, I have always been somewhat self-sacrificial, often defering or adapting my desires for others. With my children grown and living their own lives now and with me being out of the standard workforce, I have found a freedom that I have never previously enjoyed fully. I am doing more of what I want to do and not so much of what I feel pressured to do. In relation to my artwork, this means that I am making what I feel like making whether it is a unified theme or not. It may not be the best business direction, but I am enjoying what I am making and that joy always shows in my creations. I still have the leaves as an overall theme. I will just have to figure out how to display the varied items in an attractive manner. I believe I can make it all work out. I truly love my pottery and my world! Life is good!