Monday, May 18, 2009


I have survived another trip to Idaho for Mayhem. I think I even managed not to bring home any extra pounds, which wasn't easy. Sarah's husband Chris makes a really, really good pina colada! (Though perhaps trying to use them to clean my brushes may have helped limit the calories!)

I did bring home a few shiny things, like the "Brownie" pictured above, and molds to make more shiny things. And, as usual, I came home with a head full of new ideas and inspiration in abundance.

Unfortunately what greeted me was a very, very sick husband. We took Alan to the emergency room the day after I arrived home, and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The poor guy is now bedridden, so needless to say he is even more grateful than usual to have me home again! So I will be handling that, and getting things back in order in the studio, for the next few days. I do have a lot of things to share from the trip, but I'll probably spread them out over several posts.

In the meantime, I will share one of the "formal" pictures of the first glaze Imp, the grulla pintaloosa "Butterbean".

A friend also pointed out to me that I should include something to show his scale, since my hands - which are really small - could be misleading. The original Imp was small enough, and earthenware shrinks another 6%, so he is smaller still.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


My first glazed Imp, "Butterbean" is finally done. He wasn't cool enough to pull from the kiln until it was dark out, so I won't be able to get proper studio pictures of him before I leave for Boise. But I had to share, because he's just painfully cute!

It's hard to tell in this photo since there is a lot of glare (no photo cube!), but he's a grulla pintaloosa. I was a little worried because almost all his detailing was handpainted, and that's always a big chance when working with underglazes. But it all fired just as I hoped it might. Perhaps he picked up on all the good Mother's Day karma floating around!

He'll be flying out with me in the morning, since I want to show him to Joan and Sarah. I'll post "real" pictures of him when we return. In fact, it will probably be a bit of a baby boom around here when I get back, since the others will have Imps to work on, and I'll be glazing a Brownie or two.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ruining my eyes

Because I started out working with small-scale horses, I've heard that I am ruining my eyes for years now. Since I've been horribly near-sighted since childhood, I never took it very seriously. How could someone not see something - even a really small something - that could be held up close?

Of course, age has humbled me on that score. In recent years, I've learned that I need to paint really small things early in the day, before my eyes are too tired to do close focusing. I also have progressive lenses, which help a bit, as do Ott lights. I know that the day will come when I simply cannot work on really small horses anymore, but I'm not there yet.

But I'm pushing it with Imp. I'm not there, but Imp is telling me I'm closer than I'd like to be to having a lower limit on what I can see.

And I can say that he sure is hitting below the limit on my precision airbrushing! Of course it doesn't help that I decided to paint my first one ("Butterbean", pictured above) in one of the no-see-it-when-raw color mixes. But even with a more visible underglaze, I'm coming to believe that this little guy is going to require a lot more hand painting on my part. It will also change what types of colors are likely to work for him, and which ones aren't. Chances are he'll present the kind of glazing challenges that lead to new techniques, just as his mother ("Vixen") pushed the envelope on mold-making.

I plan to finish him up (inbetween the endless scritching on my insane sabino Voltage) so I can take him in his finished form to Idaho. Since Joan is a far more precise airbrush artist than I am, having her paint one will help me to see where the limits are based on tools, compared to my own limit on skill. That will help me make the call on whether or not he goes into "official" production, or is limited to a handful of specialty pieces.

In the meantime, Joan tells me that the Taboo mold is finished and that he is suitable for production. (At least, suitable for the smaller scale that I typically produce!) If that's the case, I'll probably announce the two adult molds as official releases shortly after I return.