One In & One Out

table

spongebob squarepants end table

This last weekend I finally had time to bring in my SpongeBob end table from out on the deck where I had lacquered it.   I had sprayed it down and let it set for several days since the can of lacquer said not to use it for 4 days and it was going to be sunny all week.   I never used a paint sprayer and it turned out to be quite the learning experience.  The spraying was fine, however the wind liked to blow up the tarp I had put down on the deck.  Even with it being weighted down it got loose and stuck to the legs of the table.  Ugh!  So the backside is not as great, but who cares – it’s the backside after all.

finn and jake coffee table

I brought SpongeBob in and took the coffee table out.  Again, I lugged out the sprayer and got to lacquering the table.    Then, I ran out around the second or third coat, and I didn’t feel the coverage was great.  The wind was blowing a lot of the spray away and this table is going to get plenty of use, so I wanted to make sure it was coated well.

This time, I got the same brand of lacquer but in aerosol form.   Easier right?   Nope.  When I came back the aerosol coats were all spotty (the picture was taken before this point).  Some parts glossy some parts satin.   It was supposed to be semi-gloss, so if by semi-gloss they meant some parts glossy and some parts satin then I guess they were right.   So I gave it another coat … how many coats was this going to take???   When I returned it was still spotty.

It’s staying out there and not coming in until it understands why it’s bad!

… or until I decide what to do about it.    I think I may just go get some gloss lacquer and go over the top where it’s spotty.   I think gloss should hide it pretty well, but I haven’t decided yet.  I may just go get some Plexiglas and cover the top so I don’t have to worry about it getting dinged and scratched from usage.

Besides that I still have to make the themed coasters and stuff to go on it.  It never ends.

Taboret

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I may have snuck off this weekend and bought a taboret with easel.   I may also have snuck it into the house and right into one of the art rooms while no one was home.

It’s solid wood and heavy, but lighter than you’d expect it to be.  As you can see from the picture I need to remove some items in the room so the table and fold out without a shelf or door in the way.   More cleaning, YAY.   The room needed to be cleaned and organized but I was planning to keep pushing it off for a while.  If I want to use my new easel I guess I better get on it!

Hopefully, I’ll get to use it soon so I can tell you how much better the Becky Taboret is over my stupid little metal tripod easel that falls apart whenever I use it.

Ho Hum Plates

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I took a peek at the test plates in the kiln and I was not overwhelmed by the results.   They are alright, but they are not what I hoped for.  This is what I get for working off the colors in a brochure instead of physical test tiles.  This is also the reason to do these tests before committing to a whole dish set.   So I think my next project will be to take all my colors and make small color chips out of them.  I already made a few but there is a whole shelf of colors yet to be made.  It will be a project all by itself.
The next test plate I think I will stick with bright colors instead of trying to tone them down.   The colors that came out bright on the plates are the ones I like the most.   That and the purple came out a bit too close to the color blue.

Loading up the test kiln

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loading the kiln with test plates

After another week or working late and a weekend full of yard work and chores, I finally got around to glazing the test plates.   I ended up creating 4 plates and loading them into the small test kiln.   Last night I fired it up and I am hoping by the end of the day to be able to open it up and see how the designs came out.   I checked on it before leaving the house early this morning and there was still 900 degrees of cooling left before I can open it up.  Hopefully, one of these designs will end up being the new design for the household plates.

Even after firing up the kiln, I started thinking up new designs that might be cool.  Who knows, I may make another batch of designs before deciding on one!

Unfortunately, I glazed the plates with clear glaze before taking this picture (dries white).  So super boring photo, I know.  But there is a design under that white coating.

Auditioning Plate Designs

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Last night, I was using some of the small saucers as testers for a new plate design.   These will be used in my house and I want them to be colorful, but muted.  So I selected a rainbow of underglazes but toned down each color.  Instead of Red, I went with a Ruby.  Instead of Green, I went with a Forest Green…. you get the idea.  Some of these colors I didn’t have a darker shade so I made my best guess and will just hope for the best.   I also rearranged the colors so it wasn’t such an obvious rainbow.  Hopefully, I like the outcome and can move on to the dinner plates and glasses.

The test plates were bisque fired in the kiln last night to set the underglaze.  Tonight, I should be able to glaze them and shove them right back in for the final result.

Stay tuned.

I Hate Varnish

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Every time I finish a mini-series of paintings I get the brilliant idea of vanishing them.   And it never fails,  I let completed paintings sit overnight or for a few days then gently brush varnish on one.   And every time it becomes a smeared mess. This time I noticed it right away and stopped, so it’s not as bad as some of the past ones.

I need to try spraying varnish instead but I don’t have a great place to spray things.   And Seattle weather rarely cooperates with taking things outside

Now, I need to repaint this one.   I don’t have any of these mixed colors left over so it’s going to feel like starting over.

Madame Buttercup

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I’ve been working late every night and I think I’m coming down with something.  So in the interest of keeping the blog moving along, I thought I’d post some recent projects that were finished just before this blog started.

Looking around my house it’s pretty easy to see I’m a fan of Adult Swim and adult animated sitcoms.  I love the solid colors and black lines.   Recently, I finally got around to finishing another Roger Smith painting, a scene where he is trying on a new dress and Stan Smith names him Madame Buttercup.   I love his over the top costumes.

This one took over a year to finish… mostly because I took a break from painting to work on other projects.  I’m glad I came back to it and finished it up.

 

Using the Cookie Cutters

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I took my cookie cutters off the 3D Printer and got to work on making some clay slabs to use them on.  Everything did go off without a hitch.

If you’ve never used cookie cutters on clay, here’s a hint to great results:

Yup, that’s all, plastic wrap.  I keep a big Costco roll of it in the workshop and it makes all the edges of my clay perfectly rounded.   You can still muck things up trying to pull the wrap off the clay, but generally, it’s pretty easy if you take your time and go slowly.

I’ll make a whole bunch of these while I’m at it.  I just hate that I have to wait so long for them to dry out and be fired.   I want the project done NOW and that just isn’t going to happen.   Though I may go set these out in the sun today which will dry them out pretty damn quick.

I’ll also play with thickness.  These are only a 1/4″ thick, but they seem a little too thick now that I’m looking at them again.  The look I’m going for is cartoonish, so this may still work out just fine.  I’ll make thinner ones tonight and see which I end up liking more.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, these are going to be coasters for my newly painted tables.   Lumpy Space Princess (the cloud looking cookie cutter) will go on my Finn and Jake table and the Hamburger shaped ones will be Krabby Patties for my SpongeBob table.  I still haven’t figured out my third table, but eventually, I’ll make some for that theme as well.

Cookie Cutters

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For an upcoming project I’ll be making use of cookie cutters…so why not make my own?

Does that shape look familiar? I’m making a few different shapes which take about 2 or 3 hours each to print.

Big thanks to cookiecaster.com for making it so easy! I uploaded an image and moments later I was printing.

Yarn Bowls

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I couldn’t wait to fill up the large kiln so I threw some items in the small kiln and fired it up.  I had heard Mayco’s yarn bowls were recalled due to cracking.  Yarn bowls are cute and all, but they aren’t very stable.  While I didn’t experience any cracking the top of the bowl did bend inward a bit.  I tried showing that in the picture above.  Also, I fired this because I wanted to try out one of the new glazes, Lime Shower, SW-148, which turned out great.

I also threw in a second bowl to try out this Amaco glaze combination…

 

Pretty, right?  It’s a little disappointing in real life…

Meh, right? Plus, there are spots that didn’t stay covered… I’m strategically not showing them in the photo.  This one will be reglazed and refired.  Hopefully, this will come out better.