Friday, December 20, 2013

Pottery Shop Dressed and Ready to Party!

The pottery shop and studio is 99% finished. As in real life, there is always some tweaking to be done. Here is the Shadyside Potter as she stands today. (Click on the photos for a larger view.) The driveway has been completed, stepping stones made from terracotta air dry clay have been installed, the turf has been roughed up to show some wear from foot traffic, and tea leaves and coffee grounds now masquerade as dirt and mulch.
     The kiln still has a bit of a shine after several sprayed coats of matte-finish artist's medium. I've accepted that it is what it is and won't fiddle with it any more.

I discovered that there is a subtle difference in the shade and texture of tea leaves. Earl Grey has a slightly larger cut and is lighter in color than English Breakfast tea. Coffee grounds are more granular and are much darker than either of the teas. I used Earl Grey for the mulch around the stepping stones, coffee grounds for mulch under the bushes and trees, and a combination of the two teas with a touch of coffee grounds next to the driveway. For the path between the door and the kiln, I scraped off some of the grass and sprinkled a mix of all three mulches to indicate some footworn spots.

On the shop side of the building, there is less going on. After this photo was taken, I added a couple more pots on the ground next to the porch. The stepping stones here are also made from terracotta air dry clay. (Note to self: that bit of stone wall is crying out for a ceramic wall sculpture.)

The photo in the next picture was the inspiration for the driveway. I went to Walmart and bought two dozen eggs just for the cartons; the grocery store we usually use offers only plastic foam trays. The arrow is pointing to an inscription in the stepping stone. While the clay was wet, I used a pin to scratch KB 2013 into it. :) 
     The tea leaves, coffee grounds and loose turf were sprinkled onto diluted white glue that was brushed on the base. The top layers didn't touch the glue and had a tendency to blow around. I hit them with a good dose of hair spray, which keeps them in place while remaining invisible. Another part of the 1% tweaking that needs to be done is aging the stepping stones. They look uncomfortably new. 

Inside the shop, I added some posters and signs for a bit of color. I copied them from the internet and printed them on matte-finish photo paper.

I see two more spaces for ceramic wall art -- above the door and below the shelf.  I like this shot because it shows the skylight in the studio area.

One sign is posted in the studio. It reads: Keep Calm and Throw Something. This photo shows the back of the garage doors, which are perfectly flat. I faked the boards and cross bars by drawing them with a woodburning tool and doing a bit of shading with the paint to mimic the front sides.

Okay, so maybe the pottery is closer to 95% than 99% complete. There is still the potter himself or herself to make. Stay tuned!


  1. As always your houses are amazing, such detail everywhere.

    Mini Hugs and Merry Christmas,

  2. That's an amazing pottery shop. I love it. The kiln is fantastic, the pottery pieces are gorgeous! The indoors, outdoors are just perfect. With or without a potter it looks complete.
    Merry Christmas and Happy 2014 to you.
    Hugs, Drora

  3. It looks fantastic!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours. :)

  4. Thank you! Happy holidays and a grand new year to you all.