Monday, June 25, 2012

The last week...

It's the last week that our show at Kindred is up and available through bookhou shop in Toronto!  Please do stop by if you are in the neighbourhood- things have become a little more sparse then when we opened but it's still a beautiful show to see! 

I was so pleased with how this show turned out- it felt like a real treat to be able to plan it with Krystal and Arounna- I look forward to more of these types of collaborations and special projects down the road. Thank you to everyone who has come by already, to those of you who purchased and supported the show- a special thank you too!

Until the next Kindred show... hopefully out west this time!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Kindred in Blue & White Show

The show is up!
Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the opening night- it was so lovely to meet you all. The work all looked so beautiful together at Bookhou! The best part was unpacking everything and both Krystal and I being so excited about each others' work.  I couldn't have been more pleased with how it all came together.  Since the show is all about a shared kindred spirit, we displayed it just this way- with a bit of Krystal's work, and then a bit of my work- side by side in small groupings.  It all looked so pretty together- I'm really glad we were able to take the opportunity to create this show.

These photos were taken by Arounna at Bookhou.  Arounna and John have such a fabulous shop and home- their work is so stunning too.  I managed to bring home some pieces I had been admiring for quite some time, although it was hard to choose.  They are really such a talented pair.  And of course, their children are absolutely beautiful!

There was a bit of talk about some 'Kindred' work being available online, but we will be sure to post this if it is going to happen.  There are a few more photos on my blog if you are interested!

Monday, June 4, 2012

A blue and white preview

 From the most subtle blues to the darker blues and just about everything in between, I think I've managed to fall in love with blue in a whole new way.  As is always the case when making new work, I had a few glaze issues that rose up out of the wood-work for me.  It's a good reminder that after 18 years I still haven't managed to master the medium.  The mere act of working in clay keeps me humble.  That said, there was lots that did turn out- beautifully too! 
The best part about this show will be seeing it all come together at the opening.  I can't wait!

Don't forget- the opening is Thursday from 6-9pm! See you then!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We're quickly approaching June 7th! Just wanted to post a quick preview of some of the pots that recently came out of the kiln. Working in a blue & white palette has been such a good change of pace for me. Sometimes creative restrictions can actually bring about refreshing changes. I'm loving this return to a more "traditional" colour scheme, yet have tried to approach it with a more modern & graphic sensibility and the response has been very positive! Another change is that I've been firing in my new studio, in a kiln that is more low-tech than I'm used to, but found that the firings have been very good.

Thank you to all of you who have already rsvp'd on our Facebook event page. We'd love to see you there. If you know of anyone who'd like to see the work, please pass along the details!

Okay, can't wait to see you all at the show & welcome Heather to our fair city!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Step 1, 2345 and done...

Here's a little glimpse of some of the steps of glazing and a finished platter that turned out oh so pretty for the Kindred show!  I've got the photographer coming tomorrow and then the work will be shipped from Vancouver to Toronto by Wednesday! Fingers crossed- it's all coming up really close! See you soon TO, Heather

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sneak peek...

Hi there!
 It's Heather here with a little up-date and sneak peek at what I unloaded out of the kiln today! Lots of pretty blues in all sorts of patterns! I was playing around with the sizes of patterns and shades of blue this past firing- for the most part I'm really pleased with what I took out of the kiln!  I ended up doing a bit of 'blind' glazing this last time around as I have been working with a new porcelain that is beautiful, white and translucent, however the glazes tend to be quite fuzzy where they meet the white glaze.  In spots it can look really nice, but occasionally I feel like it messes with the patterns a bit, so I'm going to have to watch out for how thick I apply the glazes the next time around. I also was hoping to expand my deep blue glazes, but am still working towards this.  I have quite a few pale and mid-range tones, but only the one deep indigo.  Hopefully this will change by the time I ship off the work!!

In other news, I up-dated my current website today to include a new video that has been in the works for the past little while.  One of my goals this year was to create a video of my hands at work in the studio.  I felt it was a good time to open up about how my work is made and just some of the steps taken to create the work I make.   I have a process that I have spent a few years developing to glaze and it's a method that really informs my work in a strong way.  Please take a moment to watch the video to catch a glimpse of my low-tech, time-intensive method of glazing.  It will make sense then why I'm so inspired by paper-cutting, quilts stripes and graphic, bold patterns reminiscent of textile prints.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

happy making mode

Part of my preparation for kindred included moving to a new studio. I'd advise against doing this before a show if at all possible, however I had no choice. And I found myself a great new home. Ceramics always seems to involve problem solving at every pass, doesn't it? I bisqued all my pots prior to the move and packed them in bubble to transport them just a few blocks down the street to the new space, which I love. There's lots of natural light and we're in a building that is full of other creative types & my new studio mates are fantastic. My shelves are filling up with pots ready for glazing. I know Heather is about to shift into glaze mode, too -- I can't wait to see our work together in June!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inspiration in blue

There are all sorts little bits from around my home and garden that have me embracing this blue phase. The little russian teacup, an ink bottle, rick rack trim, sun prints, watercolour swatches, washi tape, not to mention all the little blue flowers blooming in my yard right now.  The photograph is one I found from our 4 month stint in Spain 11 years ago. Blue tile under a balcony with french blue windows.  I love all the patterns- both simple and ornate, that blue and white makes.  It just feels as though it's a colour for me to embrace in my work right now.

Monday, April 30, 2012

a little bit of process

Hello! It's Krystal here. When Heather & I began planning kindred around a blue & white theme, I immediately began sketching out my ideas. I always seem to approach making in this way. First with pen & paper, then translating my line drawings into their clay forms. As the forms take shape, my thoughts shift  to pattern and surface design, figuring out how each pattern will correspond to the form. This is my favourite part of the design process. As most of my pottery is decorated with floral/plant based motifs, I couldn't help but think of the classic 'blue willow' china pattern each time I sketched a leaf or vine in blue. It's such a ubiquitous pattern. Yet adapting my vines & flowers to a blue and white colour scheme has been a refreshing change. I've been experimenting with more lines & geometric patterning as well (photos of those pieces to come!)

As Heather mentioned in her last post, choosing a favourite blue isn't necessarily as easy as you'd think. And once you have it, now try creating that perfect blue as a glaze. I've been searching for a variety of pleasing blues: teal, a juicy pure cobalt, a deep blue/black or blue/grey. In a glossy semi-transparent base glaze. One mixture I really love is a combination of cobalt & chrome. And another, a combo of cobalt carb & nickel made a speckled grey/blue with a tinge of green to it. The testing process has been exciting!

shades of blue

My favourite colour since as long as I can remember has been blue.  In grade school periwinkle blue stole my heart as the perfect blue, then it was Robin's Egg blue in High School, then a bright cobalt blue in the 90's.  It's hard to find a blue I don't like, but I've taken searching for the perfect blue quite seriously for the Kindred in Blue show.  The painter in me feels the need to pull out all the stops, so above you see my most thorough selection of blue stains currently in my studio.  Yeah, I have a bit of an obsession.
A little bit of clay geekery for you- the little bits of powder above are nearly all commercial stains- (mostly Mason Stains) used for ceramics to colour glazes, slips, and underglazes.  The cobalt you see up there is Cobalt Carbonate, which is the milder form of Cobalt oxide, which turns an incredibly deep blue when fired to high temperatures.  It may look rather mild- all pinky purple, but don't doubt for a minute that even a small smudge of this  stain on a pot will show up as blue. 
So what I've been doing is creating glazes either from just one of those stains, or a mixture of 2 of these with my 2 base glazes (one shiny and one semi-matt).  I've come up with some pretty shades of blue so far, but of course, there will be a few more that I'll reveal in my next glaze firing. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hello and welcome!

As this first blog post gets started we are pretty much 1 month away from the 'kindred' show at bookhou.  It is a show that has been just over a 1 year in the making, although the real work towards it, along with the actual pieces that will be exhibited are being made now.  This blog will be a place to document this process- the work leading up to the show, the inspiration behind the show, and some sneak peeks of the actual work that will be exhibited.

Krystal and I (Heather here) have both have had a really busy spring, but always in the back of our minds was our show and how we were going to link our work together in a cohesive way.  Both of us had been thinking about blue and white on our own, separately for a while, when it became a little more obvious that it could be a larger theme for our show.  An exhibit is often a good excuse to make new work, develop new ideas and processes along the way.  Some of the work we hope to exhibit will be similar to our usual work, others will be a departure from the usual.  We are almost ready to launch our promo and press for the show, which is really exciting.  Here is a glimpse of inspiration with some familiar work (my striped bottle vases) with some exciting new blue glazes on the way.