This month I’m celebrating SEVEN years with iLoveToCreate (woot woot!) and one of the things I love best about my job is that I’ve discovered the fun of ceramics! I took a ceramics class in high school and never received a decent grade, even though I loved the course. Maybe because it was because I had my own style that didn’t jive with the teachers, I don’t know. But the very first time I visited iLoveToCreate’s HQ in 2007, they asked if I wanted to paint something. I eagerly jumped at the chance and painted a fabulous plate. I lost it only to learn my Nana has had it all this time, LOL! Anyway, it was at that time that I knew ceramics needed a second chance in my world, so I went for it and here we are!
My advice: If you love a certain craft or hobby but don’t feel like you are very good at it, keep going. Do it because you love it and find your own groove to make it work. Add your own spin. Things will come full circle. My ceramics story is proof of that!
Painting bisque with underglazes and firing the pieces is now part of my regular lifestyle on the clock and off. It’s been a year-and-a-half since I started my venture in painting mugs and selling them. Even outside of ‘hot drink’ season, business is growing! I have about six accounts around the country where I sell my mugs! I’m happy with that number because it allows me to put a lot of TLC into each piece. I listen to a book from Audible and get happily lost in the process.
Here are some questions I’m often asked:
– I use Duncan bisque.
– I use Duncan Concepts Underglazes and sometimes Duncan Cover-Coat Underglazes.
– I use Duncan French Dimensions
– I use Duncan Pure Brilliance Clear Glaze
– I’m just now starting to use Duncan Shimmer Glazes (glitter that can be fired in the kiln!)
I don’t have a kiln at home (I’m saving up to buy one!), so I’ve used different avenues to fire my pieces. I’ve used a wholesale ceramics store, a local community arts center and now I’m using a kiln at an art studio where I bartering for promo work for the studio. My point is that if you want to do this, you’ll find a way!
You should try ceramics too! It’s so relaxing and there is nothing like having a fired piece that you made and/or painted. It’s also a great feeling to give a handpainted piece. Especially when you see how expensive they are at the store – you can make your own!
Here are ways to try this craft:
– Check your local arts centers for workshops. You can take a one-time class or sign up for a series or semester. Once you get going here you can order your pieces and paint and do your firing.
– Visit a local paint on pottery store. This is how I started. It’s a great way to learn all the 411!
– Check out sites like eBay or Etsy for Duncan bisque and underglazes. Then find a local studio to fire them for you.
I think ceramics is the ultimate “big reveal” craft. You spend all this time decorating your pieces with the pastel-underglazes, not knowing what they’ll look like after they are fired. Then you coat them with this wild mint-green glaze to make sure they are extra shiny, and you lock them up in the kiln overnight. Then it’s like Christmas morning when you raise the lid! They go through the purification process and go from matte pastels to brilliant shiny works of art! Transformation!
Look forward to some more ceramic tutorials soon!