Tuesday, 23 February 2010

MONDAY PHOTO-A-WEEK - I made this!

As the post title implies, our photo theme this week was to photograph something that I've made.

I've made many things over the years. In my early adult years, I would sew and knit clothes for my kids as well as my Mum, my sister and her kids. Then around 1994, I found art, and sewing and knitting quickly took a back seat in my life.

So, for today, I thought I'd share some of the Native American ceramics that I made between 1995 and 1997.

I would buy the greenware which is an already shaped clay piece which has been cast from a mould and air-dried. The greenware pieces have seam edges and flaws which need to be cleaned up with special scrapers and stiff brush tools. Greenware is very, VERY delicate and easily broken so must be handled with great care.

Some people hate cleaning greenware and see it as a chore but I used to love cleaning greenware. I found the process relaxing and quite therapeutic. The cleaning process required the gentle scraping away of all the rough seam edges and any surface flaws, then gently sanding the surface...then wiping it over gently with a small, damp sponge to bring it to a lovely smooth finish.

Once the greenware was cleaned up, I would take it back to the place I bought it from and they would fire it in their kiln. Greenware can be various shades of grey before firing but, after firing, it is white and much more sturdy. Fired greenware which hasn't been glazed is called 'bisque ceramic' and it's as fragile as any other breakable. The next stage is painting and finishing it.


In keeping with the Native American theme of this post, here is a pic of a counted cross-stitch I did back in 1996. The frame size is 17"x21". This was only my second cross-stitch and I was so pleased with the results. My first cross-stitch was a couple of Pandas and it now resides at my parents' place.

Counted cross-stitch is where you start off with blank material, no pre-stamped design, and then you count your way to the required spot. The count is determined by the holes between the weave. I used 18 count Aida cloth for this piece which means there are 18 holes to each linear inch.


I actually pulled all of the above pieces out of storage a couple of weeks ago in preparation for this week's photo theme and it sure brought back some wonderful memories. Aaron quickly grabbed a ceramic golden eagle for his room because he collects bird ornaments. I'm so happy that my kids enjoy my art too.

Love, light and peace

24 comments:

  1. These are so beautiful!! You are full of surprises. I've been thinking of painting a native american lady next and your post has inspired me so much, wonderful!!!

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  2. You did beautiful work Serena. I remember walking through ceramic shops when I was young (12-ish?) wishing I could try painting one of the pretty statues. My taste ran more toward horses, foals, and puppies in those days, LOL.
    This week's blogs have been so much fun.

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  3. Wow Serena, they are beautiful and oh your talent never ceases to amaze me.

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  4. Amazing, Serena. You do beautiful work, so detailed and with such heart. :)

    I wish that if you ever get the chance, you could visit the Southwestern American desert and the remnants of tribes who live there; when we visited some years back, our Native tour guide let us climb down the mesa with an ancient village perched atop. We placed our hands and feet in these depressions in the sandstone that had been carved by generations of Native Americans traveling to and from their village. It was amazing, and so was discovering the petroglyphs on a hike -- my personal symbol, the spiral, prominent among them.

    The medicine man within the tree trunk really speaks to me; you've painted him and his totem skins with such depth.

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  5. Wow! I am amazed at the statues you made. And I just love the counted cross stitch. 18 was my favorite. I didn't like 14 because I thought it was too big and 26, I couldn't see to do it. Anyway, it has been years since I've done any cross stitch. I pull it out from time to time, but it never sticks anymore. I still love it though, because it is always perfect.

    Thanks for sharing your Native American Indian work. It's just beautiful.

    Hugs,
    Tamerie

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  6. Your ceramics pieces are fantastic!! They brought back some good memories. Back in the 70's I used to do ceramics! I liked the cleaning process, too. I don't think I have one single thing I made back then but I enjoyed creating all kinds of vases, beer steins, cookie jars, and statues.

    And I also love doing counted cross stitch although I haven't done any for awhile. I have several pieces with a Southwestern theme that I did in the 90's. We seem to have some of the same interests.

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  7. Lovely! both the ceramics and the counter cross stitch. I did ceramics back in the day. Nothing as beautifully painted as yours, tho. I liked cleaning the greenware, too. So exciting when they were fired and you could start painting. What kind of finish did you use? We just used a matt spray sealant of some kind. Did you ever glaze anything? I did a lot of flower pots. :)

    My sister does counted cross stitch. I never had the patience or the eyesight-hehe! They are wonderful! Thanks for sharing these. I loved your description of how to do ceramics--it brought me right back there. Could almost smell the shop. :)

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  8. they are perfect! keep creating!

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  9. Your are a woman of hidden talents. This week is turning out to be wonderful. Everyone is coming out of the wood works to share their wonderful acheivements. Not that I didn't know you were talented but when you show something like this it just puts the iceing on the cake. First Vee and now you. How cool is that.

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  10. Serena, Your ceramics are beautiful. Native American pieces are so colorful and detailed. The work you do is amazing. I have done both greenware and bisque ceramics. I think I liked using stains on bisque the best...for detail work it's much easier to control. I have one crosstich piece that I am proud of...it was my first and last..Ha.....Shelly

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  11. Beautiful ceramics and it brought back lots of memories for me as my best friend and I tried our hands at this..You do such good work..always Judy

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  12. all of those ceramic pieces are gorgeously painted :D all the colours go so well together

    and that cross stitch is amazing to look at

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  13. I didn't know you used to do ceramic work! Beautiful work! I'm surprised you haven't gotten into sculpting with air dry clays if you enjoyed cleaning greenware. Your description of cleaning greenware sounds so much like how I clean up my air dry clay sculpts.

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  14. Your ceramic pieces are just terrific, Serena! I did some of this kind of thing when I was much younger and might have done more it we had had pieces like this available. Love your counted cross stitch, too. That takes sooo much patience!
    I'm delighted with the photos this week and especially for this theme. So nice to see what all you talented people are, or have been, doing!

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  15. Very beautiful work Serena. I so enjoyed seeing your earlier stuff.

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  16. Hi Serena,
    Wow, Your ceramic pieces and stitchery are fantastic.
    There is something about American Indians that does really catch my eyes.
    Have a great week.
    Hugs,
    Anna

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  17. Ooooh! Scraping! The thought of that makes my teeth hurt! I could never use sandpaper either. Makes me feel icky! Lovely work though!

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  18. Serena -- These are lovely. The detail is wonderful. I like the one with the Native American man dancing:~) The cross stitch is also very well done and I love the saying.

    It is so nice that your children enjoy your art, as they should:~)

    p.s. I like the Monday Photo of the Week:~)

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  19. Oh I love them all and the painting of them is gorgeous. I have never done ceramics myself but my oldest sister did, but her's were never as well done as your beauties!

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  20. great job on the ceramics Serena.....I did a few waaaay back in the day. As a matter of fact I think it must have been another life it seems so far away...

    And... cross stitch...yours is lovely. I began one... once....it is still sitting around somewhere...I got confused !! Those poor chickadees... every so often I see them when I tidy..and I absolutely refuse to toss them.... maybe some day I'll try to sort it out...

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  21. Fantastic Serena.These are beautiful. You did such a nice job on them. I sent you the native designs we spoke of on Monday. Usually it takes about 10 days for something to get to Oz from Az...so maybe next week some time.
    xx

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  22. Serena, thanks for your kind remarks. I always enjoy visiting your blog and seeing the wide variety of your talents.

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  23. Hi Mum,

    This is a great post! I remember the days of you painting ceramic pieces as if it were yesterday! Seeing those pieces does bring back memories, especially when we're looking at home videos!

    Love Brad!
    xoxox

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