Posts by Jake

Ceramic and wood combos as ideal holiday gifts

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Art | Comments Off on Ceramic and wood combos as ideal holiday gifts

Ceramic and wood combos as ideal holiday giftsEven ceramicists, commercial or expressionistic, and good old-fashioned cabinet makes need a break. At around this time or in a matter of days for others who can’t seem to stop doing what they love, most artists will be downing their tools for a good cause. The celebration of Christmas is probably more traditional than religious for most secular Britons today. Also, British urban society, particularly in and around London, is through heritage and history more multicultural than most urban centers and cities from around the world. Invariably, non-Christians also willingly join in the festivities and cheer.

A reflection of culture

The UK’s diverse cultures are generally reflected in the woodcrafts and ceramic works of art produced by both amateur and professional artists. That being said, these same artists are willingly taking their holiday break, not just to rest and spend time with family and friends, but also because they have met their targets in supplying the general public with more than enough inspirational ideas in that other challenging art of giving. The artists are also able to observe the festivities up close, and the moment they return to their studios, they will have already begun chiseling and molding while their new set of inspirational ideas are still fresh in their minds.

Because time was always a factor, wood sculptors have been able to successfully adapt to the turning mechanisms of the sculpting wood lathe which was manufactured with art and creativity in mind. Never sacrificing their integrity as artists, they nevertheless managed to mass-produce for the holiday shoppers, perhaps making it more difficult to make discerning and considerate choices when it comes to buying gifts for loved ones.

Popular choices

The same criteria have applied to the British ceramicists for centuries now. Today, no-one needs to be reminded of the legacies and traditions of ceramic art left by the master craftsmen of old. Today, remnants of British culture and history can still be seen in modernistic and sustainable constructions, from marbled halls of state of the art apartment complexes to the high-rise office blocks. On more intricate levels, this is seen in the way something as small as a bathroom tap has been finely crafted and coated.

At this time of the year when folks finally go out to do their Christmas shopping, they are spoilt for choice, and no matter what they have in mind to buy, the influence and impression left by ceramicists and woodcrafters is seen in pretty much everything on the shelves before the shoppers’ eyes. Something as humble as a wooden salad bowl with accompanying spoon and fork for tossing leaves is always a popular choice for those who have practicality and usefulness in mind. For those who only have love in their hearts, ceramic vases of all shapes and sizes are also popular.

They say Christmas is a time for giving. Ceramicists and their fellow-artists can put their feet up for now because they have given more than enough this time around.

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How Blog Members Delivered Beautiful Ceramic Plant Pots

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Pottery Decoration | Comments Off on How Blog Members Delivered Beautiful Ceramic Plant Pots

How Blog Members Delivered Beautiful Ceramic Plant Pots

As you know, this blog is dedicated to all things ceramics and in this blog post I want to talk about how excited I was to receive about three boxes of ceramic plant pots from my favorite retailer, Plantozoid through their blog members. It didn’t take long for the plant pots to be delivered and once I received them, I got right to planting my vegetable and herb seeds with my teenage daughter’s help. The ceramic plant pots came in a variety of patterns ranging from floral to animal print, and I ordered ceramic plant pots of different sizes since I wanted to plant tall and short plants in my hard along with small herb plants in the kitchen.

We First Started With The Tomatoes

The first thing we planted using the new ceramic plant pots were our Roma tomatoes. We fertilized and watered the tomatoes over a period of weeks and then we transferred the plant from the pots to the ground. A few weeks later, I went out in the yard to check on the Roma tomatoes and I saw the abundant harvest of them on the vines. My teenage daughter took plenty of photos of the newly planted tomatoes. We collected the tomatoes and spent the rest of the day making tomato preserves and canning them.

Moving On To The Green Onions

We then got a few of the beautiful ceramic pots that were delivered by the blog members and my teenage daughter is crazy about green onions since she started learning to cook entire meals by herself. She painted the outside of the plant pots in geometric shapes then we patted down the soil and added some water and fertilizer before adding in the green onion seeds. Within months we harvested about four bags of green onions to last us through part of next year.

Ceramic Plant Pots Are Not Just For Gardening

Flower Pot

These plant pots are also great for other purposes besides gardening. Since it was close to Easter, my teenage daughter and I laid some artificial grass in the bottoms of the plant pots and then we laid down pieces of dyed cloths before adding some packaged candies. Another thing we did was use the pots as storage for our garden supplies and it made for a less cluttered yard.

Check this video for some tips on how to make a ceramic flower pot. This is the same technique as we used.

Conclusion

Ceramic plant pots are sturdy, durable and can be used to plant just about anything. I use them for outdoor and indoor planting and these plants inspired my daughter to do more gardening of her own during the summer. The pots can be painted or marked on for decorative purposes and they are of high quality. With these pots we can also create crafts and I even gave a few extra plant pots away to neighbors who were planting for the first time. The ceramic pot plants are affordable and I buy them in bulk a few times a year. Finally, I enjoy them a lot and it makes my gardening more efficient.

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Going back to our roots to create great works of art

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Art | Comments Off on Going back to our roots to create great works of art

Going back to our roots to create great works of art is actually an essential tool of trade for artists in general and no less so for ceramicists. Being in touch of who you are as an artist and culturally tuned in human being is a continuous source of inspiration and new modeling ideas. As creative people say; the well never runs dry.

And when the urn is dry on a given day, it may well be time for the ceramic artist to begin worrying. Has he lost his creative spark? And does he need a new lease of life to reignite the old flame?

The well never runs dry

This dilemma is an occupational hazard that does at some stage or another in the artists’ lives affect any one of them. But, this does not happen often. Ceramicists, in particular, know what needs to be done next. By nature, they are also entrepreneurs, so standing still for long periods of time is not part of their job description. Arbalist Zone is just one of the many other places that artists like ceramicists find themselves at. In the case of this website, it turns out that the practice of using crossbows is very much part of their cultural landscape.

In fact, we can go as far as to say that it is an important part of their cultural heritage. We have mentioned this before; standing about in wonderment is also not part of the ceramic artist’s workmanlike scheme of doing things. Rather than admiring the ancient hunting tools that their forefathers once used, you can expect them to actually try using the instruments as well. As artists, it’s essential to truly immerse themselves in what they are observing, touching and, in this case, using.

Legends as a source of inspiration

To explain the artist’s involvement, say, getting to the root of whom they are and where they’ve come from, we can also take a different path and describe the process another way. Let’s also use the example of an avid writer, worth the words he puts to paper.

Like ceramic artists, research and story development is an important process for the astute writer. Like ceramicists, the writer will be poring over volumes of other written works as part of his extensive research. And like these pottery experts, you can also expect the writer to actually involve himself in some role-playing to help him get to know his fictional characters.

Finally, we can also make a direct correlation with UK writers and their pottery peers. Their countryside is a rich reservoir of cultural inspiration and fresh ideas.

Let’s close this post inspirationally then. These writers and ceramicists will have thought about this along the way; think about legends such as King Arthur and Robin Hood. And think about how many stories have been written and pots have been crafted bearing the mark of these legends.

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Never limit your artistic and creative range

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Creativity | Comments Off on Never limit your artistic and creative range

The best most experienced and creative ceramicists will tell all new potters and molders not to limit their artistic and creative range. The same principle applies to the practice of writing, painting and playing musical instruments such as pianos, classical guitars or maple-wood violins. The most creative online article writers will be applying their mind to generating new short stories or working on poetry. Painters experiment with as broad a range of colors and brush techniques as possible in order to find a new outlet from their tried and tested commercial niche. To lighten their moods, classical pianists can play jazz or pop tunes as well.

Varying the scenes and settings

Commercial ceramicists will continue to build a variety of structures that enjoy appeal with their regular clientele. The most reputable ceramicists are always pushing new limits by working with new materials, varying the size of their models and testing different drying techniques, processes and times. These examples demonstrate just how important it is for artists in general to continue varying their repertoire in order to keep their creative minds fresh and stimulated.

This approach invariably sparks new ideas worth exploring. And while working in their studios or studies, artists also make a concerted effort to broaden their creative work-shopping exercises outside of the studio. For instance, potters may derive most of their inspiration from their own gardens, provided that they are extensive and rich in its variety of plant species. Those who do not have the benefit of such diversity will move further from their domestic environment until the right inspiration is felt. Some artists on the other hand, writers in particular, correctly argue that routine is the best medicine for them.

The importance of using all the senses

Routine in general has been found to be beneficial psychologically, but the creative minds of artists are usually restless and never entirely satisfied with familiar surroundings. Ceramicists, sculptors and painters continue to cross-pollinate their work in order to maintain the highest artistic standards possible. For instance, before beginning the molding and kilning process, the potter will have made up a series of sketches. Painters, on the other hand, push their skills of observance to the limit by using all of their physical senses. The same goes for creative writers.

Musicians are primarily motivated by sound but will always make use of literature to source new lyrical and song-writing ideas. From an early age, children are taught to make extensive use of all their senses. Coincidently, they are given bowls or boards of clay to experiment or play with from their earliest school grades. Parents who have the best intentions in regard to their children’s development often do not wait for them to receive their next lesson and introduce them to new outlets of artistic expression such as the instruments listed on this website.

So, whether you are young or old, experienced and gifted, or just starting out as a potter, do not ever limit your artistic and creative range to what you are comfortable and familiar with. Always push new boundaries.

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Decoupage On Pottery Items

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in Ceramics, Pottery Decoration | Comments Off on Decoupage On Pottery Items

The most beautiful thing about self-made ceramics is the ability to create usable, useful and unique work from beginning to end. Whether you’re making a plate, vase, candlestick or anything else, they are completely your work from start to finish. Some ceramic objects do not need additional embellishment. For example, a vase of an unusual shape. However, some simple shapes and objects made of ceramics require little embellishment. One of the easiest ways to decorate your masterpiece made of ceramics is the use of decoupage techniques.

Decoupage is an old technique of decorating hard surfaces that give you endless possibilities. You can use it on any solid surface – from ceramic objects to the wood. It implies the coating with paper pictures or napkins. Before you start to decorate your pottery, it is best to study it. Observe the edges, assess absorption and roughness. Prepare it with sanding and paint in appropriate color. Only then you are switching to decoration.

For decorating with decoupage techniques you need the following:

  • The thing that you want to decorate. This can be a ceramic object that you have created, or even ceramic tiles in your bathroom. Simple monochrome ceramic tile or a board with regular or irregular edges can become an interesting wall painting. You just have to decorate it, make a simple frame that will not distract the attention from your masterpiece and hang it on the wall.
  • Tools. It is impossible to do anything with bare hands. You need a tool for decoupage. In this case, these are various brushes, sponges for application of glue and collecting of excess glue, scissors and scalpels for cutting, a small roller with which you will flatten a surface that you decorate. To make objects that will decorate, you will need other tools. Let’s say, for making the frame in which you will put your picture made on the ceramic tile, the practical framing nailer can be of great use. It can significantly save you time and effort.
  • Motives that you will use for decoration. You can cut them from newspapers or paper napkins, or use the images that you find on the Internet and print on paper.
  • Glue and varnish. To put a paper to ceramics, you must first apply a glue. Today, you can find a special glue that is used for this purpose. When you’re all done, you need to apply the layer of varnish. The varnish will give a shine to your work, but also to protect from scratches the image that you’ve put on it.

There is not a thing that you cannot embellish in this way. And best of all, it is almost impossible to make two identical things, especially if you’re creating your own pottery. Human hands always make mistakes. However, these mistakes are not flaws, but the seal of uniqueness. Decoupage is an easy, inexpensive and very effective way to show your imagination and creativity and to make ordinary things in a real pottery masterpiece.

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