Different ideas, similar approach

wheel work_test forms

It’s Tuesday and I’m taking a ceramics day. The garage is finally clear enough to set up the wheel and pull out tools. On Monday I watched a nice piece on printing lithographs onto clay. The ingredients were quite straight forward: Linseed oil, Gum Arabic, Mason Stains, water, sponges, and toner based copies of artwork. Hmmm, this is an area I’m quite familiar with and I’ve been wanting to place blockprint images on clay vessels. Lithographs will solve the problem.

So I proceeded to pull out bats, wheel pins (I’m surprised I could locate them!), bucket, tools, the folding table and a chair. An extension cord was found for the wheel and an extra light clamped to the canoe hanging overhead. The day was warm enough (60F) with a few sweatshirts on under my apron. The clay from last term, about 10#, was still workable, but stiff. I’ll be making yet another trip to Eugene on Thursday so I can potentially pick up extra clay for this test. It would be nice to fill most of the kiln before firing.

test vase

I’m very rusty at wheel throwing. Back in school, it was my main focus. I would spend hours in the studio, depending on who was also there working. Trying to place myself into a different studio (the local community college) after 10 years made me uncomfortable. The Benton Studio is amazing and full of tools I didn’t have access to back in my school days, but I wasn’t comfortable. I even knew the instructor and one of the helpers, but it didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel like I could really experiment with my ideas without having other people staring over my shoulders. I guess working on my own for so many years makes me guarded.  Fortunately, the garage feels settled and I can watch netflix as I throw!

I had always wanted to combine prints with ceramics and now is the time to experiment! The first print I’ll work with is the below camas image. It will be a black and white image for the lithoprint process (depending on the stain I choose to print with- black or blue), but with practice, I might be able to dab something into the the petals or stem. Mason stains are pretty amazing stuff. Maybe even the glaze pencils. There are options.


Forms are coming together and I need to get some xerox copies made of the print. Both dogs seem to be enjoying spending time with me as well. Moby has taken over the cat’s chair in the space and Hazel busily runs about and eventually curls up on a rug. Not a bad afternoon!

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

14 thoughts on “Different ideas, similar approach

    1. I get bored easily. Actually I became very frustrated with working clay at home. After almost 12 years since graduation, I’ve been trying to push myself back into this field. There are so many potters in Oregon, it’s amazing. Kinda hard to find a niche in a flooded market.

    1. Ha! I bet she’s fuming! I can picture her giving me a “look” with her tail flipping back and forth in anger!
      Meme isn’t living in the garage anymore, so it’s up for grabs.

  1. Is there no artistic endeavour you have not undertaken? More importantly is there no equipment you do not have in your Alladin’s cave. I think I have studio envy! Seriously this sounds like a great idea, layering up your talents in one piece of work. Can’t wait to see how it was done. I had to bribe my ceramics lecturer to pass me at teacher’s college, only after promising to never try to teach ceramics, ever.

    1. I come from a long line of tool lovers and experimenters. If you don’t have the right tool,then you better get it to finish the job. My grandmother was an oil painter but also did metal work, enameling, jewelry, knitting, printing, photography and a lot of other media. Her son, my father, also painted, designed and built houses, bronze casting, furniture making, stained glass, some printing, and other things as well. Our garage holds the wood working tools and ceramic supplies. The downstairs has the printing and everything else. Not much room remaining for us to live in with the critters. Our next home will be required to have a specific studio space for everything. I would love to have a home where we don’t live amongst all the art supplies….

      1. Wow, what am amazing heritage Gale. How lovely that the generations are keeping up the tradition. I know what you mean about living among art supplies, I can’t wait to set up my studio when we move.

    2. I should also add that all the tools from my father and grandmother have passed into my hands plus a lot of their art. I’m just carrying on the tradition.

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