Monday, May 31, 2010

The Trip so far

Kim and I are having a grand time and will be ready when the movers show up tomorrow morning to carry all we've boxed up and her furniture to her new apartment.
My trip up was just lovely. The weather was picture perfect! My drive takes me through the Shennandoah Valley - well, that's by my choice the Garmen I borrowed from Jason (I call her Gretchen) would have me go another way, but she kindy recalculates when I go on little side jaunts. On this particular day, I decided to stretch my legs in the Sky Meadows State Park which appears in these photos. There was tons of traffic on the main roads as folks were traveling for the Memorial Day Holiday.
Dear Russell - my bear that Kim claimed shortly after his birth several years ago, surveys all our packing efforts and gets ready for the move to his new home tomorrow!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Heading to "The Burgh"

Tomorrow I'm driving up to help Miss Kim move to her new apartment which is closer to Pitt where she'll be starting grad school in August. I'm taking my camera and laptop along so will post the fun along the way! Happy Memorial Day to All!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cleo's Fountain

Always a fan of dripping water, Cleo approves of my completed fountain. The glaze selection produced some realistic
"mushrooms" and the reservoir appears treelike. The water progresses the way it should for the most part and Cleo has dubbed it a good first effort.
Coming soon - next butterfly bear will be purple!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Miss Rose and the fountain in it's final stages!

I think I forgot to mention another very important engineering feature. There must be a hole large enough for the Fountaineer to get his or her hand inside to place the pump and tubing to make it work. Luckily I didn't forget to do that and if I were to swivel the log around, you'd see it. On the left is the fountain after the first firing (bisque) and on the right is how it looked just before the final firing. I have applied glaze to the "mushrooms" in a color called oatmeal with the edges touched in pippin green. Oatmeal has little flecks in it giving much dimension to the piece. I stained the "log" with red iron oxide so that it will have a log-like appearance with no shine. The final episode will contain the results!
Now, in order to give equal treatment all around the furry people in my house, here's sweet Rose. She loves to play along the fence under the honeysuckle vine and smells sooo sweet when she comes back inside.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rocky's Video and more of the fountain saga

Rocky has complained that he hasn't gotten as much Blog space as Cleo, so let me share a video my son Jason made of Rocky playing with his favorite plastic cup. You can tell he's really grown a lot since those kitty photos!
Now - back to the fountain!
Slab construction was used - this means that the form is cut from a large "slab" of clay. The studio has a contraption which rolls out the clay similar to those old ringer washers that preceded our modern ones. After I wrapped the clay around the form, I used a hair dryer to stiffen the clay so that I could slip it off the form. As the clay dries, it shrinks and would crack if left on the form. I textured the clay with an old log which I rolled across the clay before it went on the form. The "mushrooms" were then attached and proper holes cut for the water to come out the top and back in the reservoir at the bottom muchroom. At this point, it had to dry before bisque firing. Next time we'll look at how glaze and stain was applied.

Here's Rocky!! checking his daily email

Friday, May 21, 2010

Let the fountain begin!!

And here is how my fountain began! The Plan: I visualized a fountain which looked really organic - something looking like an old log with mushrooms growing out of it. The water would come out of the top and drip down the mushrooms. Pictured here is a form covered with newspaper and a paper patern for cutting the slab of clay. As is most everything planning is essential. There are some very important things to keep in mind when planning and executing the fountain. A tiny pump must have a place to hide and the tubing which carries the water to the top must have an exit point. As the water reaches the bottom of its route, there must be a place for the water to return to the resevoir. Check back to see how I did that!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Yep, that's what our instructor called us - "Fountaineers!" Four of us came together at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, VA, for several weeks (once each week) to create fountains out of clay. Here are my classmates and a shot of the class just before the fountains were activated!

Here's Joan! Then there's Debbie and next is Trish. I'm the one behind the camera! In the next few postings, I shall show you my fountain as it progressed from, well, a lump of clay, to a fine toy for Cleo the kitty, who loves to play in dripping water.
In the top photo, instructor Susan points the way to our success!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The Golden Teddy Nominees have been announced for 2010. In previous years, an artist could only be nominated for one bear in a category. For some reason this year, more are allowed. I am totally overwhelmed and delighted to say that I have 5 nominations! Two in each of the under five inch categories - Hattie and Marc Andre, Flower Elf are in the undressed category and Beezer and Lady Buggly are in the dressed category - and one in the Tableau category called "Trimming the Tree."  So here are the Golden Boys and Girls!!
Thanks a million to
Teddy Bear Review and to the judges who selected by bears!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Penelope debuts on Etsy!

I've just listed tiny Penelope in my Etsy shop. I hope you'll take a look!
Here are some photos of the little girl.  Penelope has been adopted! Thanks Rebecca!!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Who's That Playing in the Vincas??

A tiny bear pink of color and purple of nose is having a swing in the hanging basket of pink and lavender vincas. She'll be getting some lovely wings soon and will appear on Etsy sometime over the weekend.