Friday, November 29, 2013

Rebuilding the Kiln

The brick-printed paper on the kiln has been bugging me. It didn't measure up to the level of realism I've been aiming for, so today I pulled it off and replaced it with a dimensional brick veneer made from terracotta colored air-dry clay. The paper peeled off rather easily as it had been stuck on with rubber cement.

I was able to use the paper as templates to cut the clay. I rolled the clay to about the thickness of the "real" bricks I had on hand.

I made the brick veneer in slabs. A skinny stick cut lengthwise was used as a guide for making the rows. Its squared end (tapered with an emery board to a chisel edge) was used to make the brick indentations. The bricks are a bit larger than the "real" bricks in the stack (which will be used to seal the kiln when ready to fire), but my claim is that they are hand made and subject to a few irregularities. This was much faster than gluing individual bricks.

A generous amount of Aileen's Tacky Glue on the surface holds the slabs in place. There are a few irregularities where the slabs meet, but I believe they will be minimized when the bricks are painted to match the stacked bricks.

Meanwhile, the manikin I bought to use as a reference for making the potter got out of his box and started playing around in the pot shop.

 Now on to something else while the clay dries! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Big Things and Little things

The parchment hinges seem to be an okay fix. The one of the left swings freely. The hinge on the right door came loose at the top. It has been reglued and taped to dry. It will be fine, too.

 While waiting for the glue to dry, I printed out an illustration of potter's tools and made a few. Here they are shown on top of the printout. The box was made from popsicle sticks and stained. The circle at top left with the black blobs is supposed to be a yellow sponge. The blobs are silver scrapers cut from aluminum foil. (Printer cartridge needs to be changed.) I'm going to make some sponges out of Fimo.

If you enlarge the picture, you'll see that the tools are a bit rough. In real life, they look just fine. And glued on the bottom shelf, it will be difficult to see how crude they really are. The tools will be glued in the box. 

Will be heading to Michael's this afternoon to get the materials to make the potter while waiting for the landscaping materials to arrive. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Doors Hanging

The big garage doors were originally glued ajar. They popped off during the time of great upheaval. I want them to be able to open and close. The questions was: how to hinge?

Not enough room for pin hinging. Pieces already glued, so unable to use tyvek or ribbon for hinging. What would be thin enough to be nearly invisible yet crisp enough to take a knife edge fold and strong enough to withstand some flexing back and forth? How about parchment paper, the kind on hand in the kitchen?

I cut two thin strips, folded them lengthwise, and glued one half to the hinge side of each door. You're looking at the outside of the door on the left and the inside of the door on the right. When I put this together, I didn't feel like making braces for the inside, so I drew them and then used a wood burning tool to outline them before painting. The colors are closer together in real life. The table lamp faded the one on the right.

The first step was to glue one side of the fold to the edge of each door, as you see here.

After the glue was well dried, I added some masking tape to the loose edge, put on glue with a toothpick, and slid the doors into place. The masking tape is on the inside, holding them in place. When the glue dries and the masking tape is removed, we'll see how well this worked.

I thought about using tyvek, which is about the same thickness as the parchment, but I was afraid the slick plastic surface would not adhere well to the wooden doors. The Aileen's Tacky Glue that I used soaked into the parchment a bit, and I know it holds well on wood, so I think this will work just fine.

Today I ordered some grass and other landscape materials this morning. The too flat and pristine ground is bugging me almost as much as the brick-print paper on the kiln. *sigh*

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weathered Roof & Stacked Kiln

Work on the pottery shop is hopping all over the place. The roof has been weathered. I used Caran d'Ache watercolor pencils with a damp brush to blend the colors. Also note the smaller logs in the woodpile. They look much more to scale now.

A couple dozen new pots arrived yesterday. Some are lined up below the porch. Some have been painted with gesso to resemble unfired glaze. 

The pots to be fired have been stacked in the kiln.  

Now the landscaping is bugging me. It is finished with a stone-look spray made to resemble pea gravel. I don't believe this little stone studio would have such a pristine setting. Do I want to add some rough grass and dirt? Stay tuned!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Back to the Workshop

The pottery shop, that is. When we experienced the leaking roof earlier this year, the pottery shop was in the condo. It didn't suffer direct damage from the water, but the handling by painters and others didn't help it any. When I made the pot shop for the Greenleaf contest, I didn't quite get finished. The other day I decided to do the rehab and add the finishing touches.

A lot of the contents were glued in place, but a few pots fell out and were lost or broken. The big doors were broken off but not damaged. One of the doors was missing for several weeks and turned up packed with real life kitchen stuff by the idiot cleaning service. (click on the photos to see details)

The kiln suffered more from humidity than anything else, I think. It is made of foam core covered with brick-printed paper that pulled loose. I can't remember what kind of glue I used originally. I used rubber cement to fix it. I've ordered some more pots to load inside the kiln. I'll post a photo of the renewed kiln when the pots arrive. (I'm not sure why the King Cake babies are lying in a heap. They don't belong here at all.)

The back didn't look quite as bad. One part of the removable roof needed a new brace, and the whole thing got a good dusting with a soft brush and canned air. 

I made a new table for the display/sale room. The middle of the room was crying for more merchandise. The pot on the top is one that has a face peering out the side. 

After cleaning out the dust, I dry-brushed some ivory acrylic here and there to simulate clay dust.  

Another small adjustment is the wood pile. The original logs are on the left. I used the Easy Cutter to break them down into smaller pieces. They're much closer to scale now.