Tag Archives: Jadeflower

Teeny Mushrooms

After assembling my own little moss terrarium (made from a 69 cent bowl from Goodwill and moss from the backyard), I was inspired to make some super cute little accessories, and now I’ve put some of them in my Etsy shop!

I think these little guys are so adorable! The tall skinny ones are modeled after enoki mushrooms, which are so cute.

I had a lot of fun making them, and I hope to make more soon. We’ll see if they get any attention on Etsy – I know there are quite a few sellers who are already very established in Terrarium Accessories. But I haven’t seen any Enoki-styled mushrooms. Here’s us giving it a try 🙂

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Filed under Etsy, Jadeflower Ceramics

A weekend summary

We had a very fun weekend, with lots of driving for me. Here are some of the highlights I was able to capture with my lil camera.

We got free tickets to the Muse show at Key Arena on Friday, thanks to M’s awesome coworker who had the hook-up! Our seats were so great (we were in the fancy XO Boardroom in the box-seat level!) and the concert was a fantastic spectacle. Those Brits do know how to put on a memorable performance!

Complete with 50-foot moving stage towers, lasers galore, and a finale of giant balloon eye-balls filled with confetti.

Compared with the concert, the rest of the weekend was pretty low key 🙂
I fired a bisque load in my kiln, which now needs to get glazed. I made an Anthropologie-inspired set of mugs for M and me. I love their Monogrammed Mugs, but wanted to see if I could make my own version with a different font. And since I don’t plan to sell these on my Etsy site, I don’t feel guilty about it 😛

Also from that kiln load was a set of bowls I DO plan to put in my Etsy shop, but they’re not quite ready yet. I made these super cute little bowls, which I glazed in Celedon Green, and put shards of glass from a Sapphire Gin bottle at the bottom (such a gorgeous blue color!). I’m not quite happy with them yet, so I think I’ll be firing them one more time before they go in the shop.

And for Easter I made Hot Cross Buns for a breakfast treat – so yummy, chock full of raisins, lemon zest, cinnamon and nutmeg, topped with a sugar glaze. And I read about the interesting history of the Hot Cross Bun – there is more to this pastry than the song you learn on the recorder in 5th grade.

M had to work on Easter, but we were still able to get to my parents’ house for a lovely dinner in the evening. All in all, it was a great weekend.

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Filed under Day to Day, Events, food, Jadeflower Ceramics, Music

My process with ceramic sculpture

In regard to ceramic sculpture, I am a hand-builder – generally using the coil method. It’s a very methodical, slow-paced way to work, and I enjoy it for those reasons. I love seeing a piece grow slowly – first as an idea in my mind, and then built layer by layer into reality.
I thought it would be fun to document how I work, and show the progression here on my blog! I recently finished building another spiky sculpture, which is drying now and waiting to be bisque fired. I used about 20 pounds of clay and built it to the height-capacity of my kiln. Take a look at the pictures below to see how I do what I do. 🙂

I start with a rolled out slab of clay, from which I cut my base shape. Then I began building up the sides using coils.

I continue to add coils to build up the walls, smoothing as I go.

I usually add about 2-3 rows of coils at a time, and then smooth them together. This slow process lets me see where my shape is going and gives me control in shaping its growth.

Here I am transitioning from a solid base shape into 5 separate arms. The cross sections inside help give the sculpture stability and strength without being visible from the outside.

The arms grow ever taller with successive rows of coils, spiraling clockwise ever so slightly.

The final form is finished! The arms are closed off at the top, each one coming to a point and almost meeting at the center.

The next step is to finish the surface with a dramatic texture of spikes. I keep the base form from drying out by spraying it periodically with water. To add the spikes, I score the clay in a pre-determined pattern where I’ll join the spikes.

To make the spikes themselves, I cut each one from a coil of clay, and then shape it into a cone.

Here is the first arm, complete with the spiky texture. The spikes add SO much to these already-interesting shapes.
(In the background you can see my rough sketches for this lovebird birdcage wall-hanging!)

Two arms down…

The final sculpture! A very cool top-view.

And here is the final sculpture, completed with spikes. The next steps are letting it dry slowly, then bisque-firing, then glazing, then high-firing for a finished work of art! (And here you get a glimpse of my dungeon-like studio space, haha. It’s not much, but I would take this setup over nothing any day!)

So there you have it! This is how I work 🙂
A sculpture like this one will take about 20 hours of work from start to final spike! That doesn’t include drying time, kiln time, or glazing time. It is a time-consuming process, but I love it, and when you have a final piece of artwork come out of that kiln, it just feels worth it! 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this virtual journey, and I’ll be sure to share when the sculpture is ALL done (i.e. glazed). ^_^

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Artwalk Recap

I should have given an update on how the First Thursday artwalk went…on Friday…but I didn’t get around to it, haha.
Better late than never!

Anyways, we had lots of people come through the space, which was great! It was lots of fun, chatting with people, drinking wine and sparkling oj. By the end of the evening, most of my business cards that I had put out had been picked up, so I hope that folks check out my Etsy site!

Here are some pics from the space:

Jadeflower Ceramic Sculptures

Mixed Media Paintings by Annette Melton

Enoki Designs Jewelry - by Kimi Haraguchi

Another view of my Spiky sculptures

The amount of foot-traffic we got through the evening was very encouraging. Now that the warmer weather is approaching, many more of the artwalking crowd will come out. Kimi and I hope to continue doing the First Thursdays in this location, along with other artists who may rotate in or something. In any case, I’m going to make this an monthly event for Jadeflower Ceramics! So on the first Thursday of each month, you’ll know where to find me 🙂

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Filed under Events, Jadeflower Ceramics

Some new items in my Etsy shop

A few new listings in my Jadeflower Etsy shop; click the pictures below to see more!

Make a Wish Heart Pendant

green dandelion pendant

Ceramic Shamrock Pendant

I have a whole slew of ceramic pendants stock-piled in my studio, it’s just so time consuming to post them on my site! This month I plan to step it up a notch, and really put the effort in to posting more of my items on Etsy. After all, no one will see this stuff if I don’t put it out there, right?

And really, it’s completely up to me whether I make my shop a success or not. So, here’s to the goal of running a successful Etsy shop!

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Highlights from the weekend

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine’s Day!

M and I had a pretty low-key evening – he had to work all day, but had promised to make me dinner (gasp!), so we walked to the store when he got home to get ingredients. We had a delicious meal of paprika-seasoned baked salmon, asparagus sauteed in a butter sauce, and garlic mashed potatoes! (M did a great job, with only minimal help from me ^_^)
For dessert, I had made two little brownie cups using this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, topped with whip cream and blackberries; I halved the recipe and substituted agave for the sugar and they still turned out great! Very dense, but hugely satisfying brownies.

Valentine hanging centerpiece

I made a bunch of crimson felt flowers that I hung from the light fixture above our dining table for a whimsical Valentine centerpiece. Simple but fun!

wedding shoes ^_^ bleached

I think I have found the shoes I’ll wear for the wedding – a thrift store find!! These Report peep-toe wedges are super comfortable and uber-cute (they go with my dress style perfectly). I had to modify them slightly, however. When I bought them, they looked white to me. Turns out they were more cream-colored than I thought. But, no problem! I decided to try taking a cotton swab of bleach to the little crocheted flowers to make them whiter. It worked like a charm! You can see the original color in the picture on the left, and after being bleached on the right. I love a cost-effective solution 🙂

DS carrying pouch

Another craft project from the weekend was something I did for M. He recently bought himself a new toy – a Nintendo DS. He asked me if I could sew him a sharp little carrying pouch for it. We went to the fabric store, and he picked out a soft black faux-suede fabric, and three thread colors – which I used to “embroider” 3 stripes – the Motorsport BMW colors. Ahhhh we are dorky ^_^

bisque-fired kiln

Lastly, I bisque-fired a kiln, and everything looks good – ready for some glazing!! A very fun little thing I’m doing in this load is some ceramic mustaches, heehee! The mustache trend has gotten hold I me; I do think they are very fun. These are actually intended for my wedding – we are thinking of constructing a Photobooth, and I think some mustaches on sticks are definitely in order 🙂

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Filed under Crafts, Day to Day, food, Holidays, Jadeflower Ceramics, sewing, Wedding

DIY Sewn Bench Cushion

Most people who are not from the Pacific Northwest have no idea how beautiful our summers are. Summer in Western Washington is in a word: ideal. The temperature ranges from the seventies to mid-eighties, the humidity is very low, everything is lush and green, and the mosquitoes are few. This is why we chose to have an outdoor summer wedding – because we know how gorgeous it will be, and we want to share that especially with our out-of-state friends & family (local folks already know how good they have it, haha).

This means getting my parents’ yard to idyllic condition will be key. Slowly but surely we are planning our course of action. Not many things can be done far in advance, but I’m tackling the little things that can.

One small detail is a wrought iron bench, which sits under some shady boughs at one end of the property. I want to make that spot inviting. I had found a very cool length of upholstery fabric at a thrift store that I didn’t know what to do with, and my mom suggested a comfy bench cushion. Genius!

This project took very little time and was also very cost effective. Here’s what I did:

First, measuring is important. The benchseat measured 48″ long by 18″ deep. And I wanted a thick comfy cushion, so I decided 2″ thick would be good.

To get the fabric cut to the correct lengths for this end result, I would have two panels of fabric measuring 51″x21″
(Take your length and add 1.5″ to each side – the .5″ is for seam allowance)

Next, pin your 2 panels together, good sides facing each other, and sew all the way around, leaving about a 6″ opening so later you can turn it inside out and stuff it.

Once you’ve sewn the perimeter, put your hand inside the corner and lay it flat – this is how we get square corners. Here’s a little diagram I whipped up:

(you may need to click to enlarge the diagram!)

Here’s what your square corner will look like:

square corner detail

Once all four corners have been squared off, turn the case right-side-out, and you are ready to stuff it! ^_^

When your cushion has been filled (I used about 52 oz of poly-fil) the opening needs to be sewn closed. I just did this by hand – pinned the two layers together and then stitched with a needle and thread.

So at this point, I had a big mound of a cushion, so to tame it, I sewed three buttons to pinch the pillow down.
And the buttons just happened to be 3 of my own design and crafting, so it’s extra special 🙂 You can check out more of my ceramic buttons at my Jadeflower shop!

button detail

So there you have it! I can’t wait to bring my finished cushion home and try it out on that bench. Oh my mama will be so proud 😛 haha
Maybe some coordinating throw pillows are in order, too!

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Filed under Crafts, projects, sewing, Wedding