Friday, May 08, 2009

Almost Done

Quilters [generally] love tote bags. Our quilt guild is doing a tote bag exchange at our next meeting. Several months ago everyone who wanted to participate filled out a slip identifying preferences. The slips were put into cheap plain canvas tote bags and we each got one. Our goal was to create a bag for that person.

The person's bag I drew likes blues, purples, the beach and quilting (of course). I was stumped with what to do for a long time. I even sat near my recipient at guild meetings trying to glean helpful information and got nothing.

Then, a couple weeks ago during my morning walk, L and I were talking about our bags and that I had had no inspiration yet and it hit me. I'd hand-dye my bag blue and decorate it with a beach theme. Then I remembered the famous 1820's woodblock print by Hokusai Katsushika, The Great Wave. I used that for inspiration to hand bead the bag.

I have a few more sprays of water to add, but this is the current state of the bag. I'm rather pleased with the way it's turning out.

Here's the inspiration:

I had printed out the picture in the beginning for guidance but lost misplaced it after the first week and beaded the rest, making it up as I went along. The exchange takes place at the guild's anniversary dinner next Wednesday. I hope my recipient likes it!

I've been taking a ceramics class on Tuesday nights. After I took that parent-child class with Fern in February I decided I wanted to do more ceramics work. The class is eight weeks long and we are half-way through now. I love to work on the wheel but since my skills have not been used on a regular basis for a long time I'm having a hard time creating pieces my mind thinks I should be able to do.

I took ceramics classes when I was a kid, like 5th and 6th grades. My instructor was Bill Meadows. He taught at the art gallery in town, He also taught the ceramics part of shop to the boys in junior high. This was before girls were allowed to take shop. I'm still bitter about that. Anyway, Mr. Meadows taught us to center the clay his way. There are lots of ways to do it, but even all these years later, my inclination is to start centering clay the way I first learned.

Now it's not working for me and I have to try different methods, different hand positions to get the clay centered. We used kick wheels when I was a kid and I'm thinking I had the wheel spinning clock-wise back then. The electric wheels I use now spin counter-clock-wise so maybe that's why I'm having trouble, the force is going the other way, that whole physics thing.

OK, enough of that. If you've stuck with me this far, here is one of the bowls I managed not to ruin. I love this glaze. I love how it's a forest green where it's thin and Caribbean blue where it's thick.

There was very little glaze in the bucket the night I glazed this so I didn't get it glazed evenly. I'm happy with it anyway. Click the photo to enlarge so you can see the detail. Maybe I'll ask my instructor to teach me how to mix up a batch of this glaze on Tuesday.

This will make a good cereal bowl and cereal doesn't complain about uneven glaze.



VE said...

Quilt guild? That's a secret society...isn't it?

Anne said...

VE, yes, with a secret handshake and all. We meet 2nd & 4th Wednesdays at 7:00.

greeny said...

Beautiful- all of it!
The cereal would be so lucky to have that bowl...

Anne said...

Thanks greeny!

AM Kingsfield said...

How did you do the beading? Is it glue or stitched? It looks like meticulous work - with a beautiful result. I love it! And the bowl too. You are an artist!

Firefly Nights said...

You think quilters love tote bags? Knitters carry it into an addiction and the bags are far more involved than tote bags. I finally quit when I bought a Lexie Barnes bag at the beginning of the year 'cause it filled most of my requirements, but I have a friend who is so addicted she needs Knitting Baggs Anonymous for help with her habit.

The wave on the tote bag was a good idea and it looks nice. Learning how to make pottery is one of those items on my to-do list that I haven't gotten to yet. I've always thought it would be nice to learn. Your bowl did turn out well.