Sunday, 5 March 2017

My first pots !

When I was in Australia last winter, Jessica got me on her pottery wheel and I loved it! A year later now, we've happened to move near a workshop / studio for artists and I have started a pottery class at Freya's Clay Club there. I thoroughly enjoy it! On top of that, Freya (our teacher) is on the Great Pottery Throw Down (on now on BBC 2)! 

It is really rewarding to see how quickly one can progress from one pot to another. On my first block of 4 sessions, I've done bowls; the first ones were small and thick, the later thinner and wider; and small vases with constricted necks. 

First step is throwing the clay on the wheel and shape it to whatever you are able to make. Then the following week, the clay has hardened a bit and we turn it on the wheel again, this time refining the shape. Then it is fired at 1000°C to become hard as a stone. We can then apply glaze on it, by dipping them in the bucket of liquid glaze. Then the pots are fired again to vitrify and fuse the glazing to the ceramic pot. Interestingly, the glazes are not the same colour at all before and after firing, so it's always a surprise to see how the pots end up looking in the end!



The studio with the wheels to turn the clay

My pots, fresh from being shaped 

My firsts vases; smaller is easier! 

Thick edged bowl; thicker is easier!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Hexagon coasters - polymer clay

This month I have finished my set of coasters in polymer clay (Fimo). The design is from Amy. They are doing well; they don't buckle with the heat of the coffee mugs and they clean easily. I like them!



Monday, 5 December 2016

Himmeli meets polymer clay

These days, I have been very much attracted to the Himmeli structures flourishing on the web. I love their geometric shapes, the symmetries within, the feeling of lightness... 
Once the structure is chosen, lengths and numbers of each part are calculated to make the best use of the tubings. I read that the tedious bit is to cut the brass tubings into those pre-calculated lengths. Indeed, the little cutting tool only makes an indent if you turn the tubing along its cutting round blade. It is especially tricky as the tubing is quite slippery and difficult to rotate. Once a small indent is made and you can rotate almost freely, you need to tighten the device and start again 3 to 4 times until the indent (making a ring around the tubing) is deep enough that by bending the tube it snaps cleanly. Fortunately for me I have a drill and by fitting the tubing in, I can just hold the tiny cutter with two fingers and voilà! A really easy and effortless way to cut all those tubings!

The tubing cutter in position on the tubing 

The brass tubing attached to the drill


The indent after 4 tightenings of the screw

And it just snaps easily

All the same size - what a happy sight !
The polymer clay dishes



I used the structure detailed by Mandi on her blog VintageRevivals
The polymer clay tiny dish is a straight copy from Laura's blog ABeautifulMess.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Blueberry greek yogurt cake

This summer I have been doing Julia's blueberry greek yogurt cake and we love it! It's light and fruity, perfect for the summer.


Here is how it goes:
Beat 50g soft butter with 125g sugar. Mix in 1 egg150g greek yogurt and a splash of vanilla. Incorporate 125g flour + raising agents. Place in an ovenproof dish, put the 200g blueberries on top (or fold them in) and bake for 25-35 minutes at 180°C. 
We add a spoonful of yogurt and savour it!


Saturday, 16 July 2016

Our trip to Norway - part 3/3

For the first part, click here.

Trollstigen - an impressive bendy road on a really steep cliff

At the bottom - the road blends in the cliff

Atlantic Road - a road that follows the West coast,
with many bridges and tunnels making a way across small islands (or just rocks)

The Lofoten islands - the last part of our trip
The Lofoten islands are home to a huge cod fishery
Cods are dried in open air for 3 months
Whatever my mom says, the smell is horrible
(fish are fermented, not just dried)

Fishermen built their cabins on top of small rocks in quiet fjords

These red cabins have a spectacular outlook



Reine - a very pretty village overlooked by mountains