Category Archives: Clay

Trees in Shapes and Sizes

I like trees and I like depicting them in my own way. Which is what you will see below, trees a la Claudia McGill.

These are tiles, 4″ x 4″, Velvet underglazes on terracotta tiles, fired at cone 06, October, 2017.


Moon Moon Moon Moon

Well, here are some more moon tiles.

From December, 2017.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending January 12

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

I started off the art week on January 7 with some collage. Oh, it’s messy.

I finished up, set a painting on the table for some other time, and cleaned things up. Ready for the next session’s work now – though all I am planning to do to this painting is paint the edges black. It’s pretty much finished otherwise.

I then went downstairs and worked on some tiles. I’m now addressing 4″ x 4″ commercially-made terra cotta tiles – I have a case of 80. I don’t need to do all of them, just maybe half, but that’s ok – I won’t need them until May.

I work on tiles in my basement. I have a little area set up down there just for tile work. I continued with more tiles on January 8.

On Tuesday, January 9, my husband and I went to Allentown, PA, to pick up unsold work from the holiday show at the Baum School of Art. I took a few photos of the area around the city center while we were there.

Allentown is undergoing a lot of changes – there is a new arena there and lots of new construction or renovation of downtown buildings. It’s nice to see. The areas near downtown are in transition too – new buildings, older ones awaiting development, and many blocks of fantastic row homes and traditional cityscapes.

I think these photos could make nice inspirations for paintings or tiles or ???

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On January 10, more tiles. And take a look at my brushes. Clay work is where my acrylic brushes go to live out a retirement that is more stressful than their original roles, because the clay items are so rough – they just eat up brush bristles.

The table is filling up. I will have a kiln-load soon. Normally I store tiles in process on shelves in the other room, but I’ve been too lazy to make the transport when I know pretty soon I’ll be taking them to the kiln. They might as well wait here.

You can see the difference between fully-dried underglaze and that just applied and still wet – the colors in the latter case are bolder and resemble the finished results.

The newest tiles are at the bottom of the picture below. You can see the more intense wet colors on the tiles in the above picture.

AD 1-10-18 #2001

On Friday, January 12, I had a treat for myself – an art visit with my friend Martha.

Martha 2 1-12-18003

We got together to catch up on our art and our personal lives. She presented me with some collage materials, we looked at selections of her collage and assemblage work that she brought with her, and then we did some art ourselves. We chose to paint papers for future collages – here is a sample of book pages painted with very watery acrylics that I made.

AD 1-12-18002

I also took the opportunity to paint random colors all over the remaining 12″ x 10″ masonite boards that I want to turn into more odd-people portraits. This is the first step in my painting process – I do not like the look of white backgrounds and I need several layers of color, any color! on a painting before I can start to feel the painting is actually in play.

AD #2 1-12-18001

OK, that’s it until next week.

Nuts and Seedpods

I made these tiles from photos I took in the fall of 2017 at the Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, PA, about 15 minutes from my house.

The green nuts are walnuts before they fall from the tree. The other one may be from the button ball tree, but I am not sure.

If you want to see the real-life examples that inspired these tiles, look here for an account of our visit to the arboretum.

The tiles are 4″ x 4″, Velvet underglazes on commercially-made terracotta tiles, fired at cone 06.

I Like Cats

so, I made some cat tiles. Velvet underglazes on lowfire clays, December 2017, fired at cone 06.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending January 5


Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

It’s been hectic – the holiday, a snowstorm. And remember I go to a Day Trip Poetry Marathon session each week – this week I did it on Wednesday.

This week I did a lot of work on limited topics. On January 1, I devoted the afternoon to collage work. I have a big project I’m working on and I wanted to make some progress.

On the same day, I also glazed the “artifact” tiles I mentioned in the previous Art Diary post. I put three coats of the breaking glaze on each tile, letting each coat dry before I added another one. It’s the kind of thing where you run in, slap on some glaze, and then come back later to do it again.

The glaze is the pale color you see. It will turn turquoise/shiny when fired. Glaze is different from underglaze in that underglazes remain the color you see coming out of the container, while glaze colors have no relation to the finished result when you apply them. It is obviously easier to “paint” with the underglazes, because you can see what things will look like.

On January 4, snowstorm day, I spent the afternoon finishing up the handmade tiles I had previously bisque-fired. Here you can see all the tiles I currently have ready for the kiln.

Now I am going to work on a case of 4″ x 4″ terracotta commercially-made tiles that I ordered a while back. I have 80 tiles to work on. I’ve used these before and I really like them – they are thick, smooth surfaced, and accept the underglazes very well.

Here I have applied Velvet underglaze Jet Black, which I use for the undercoat. I’ve left one tile natural to show you what they are like.

And on Friday, I spent the day inside again – brutal cold outside discouraged me from leaving. I put in some painting time. Two larger pieces and more smallish faces, in acrylics. When I went in the studio, everything was in such a mess.

Nice view outside!

And here’s what I worked on. They are all getting near the finish, I think.

OK, that’s it until next week.