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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Animal Egg Cups

It has been a while since my last blog.

I planned to write regularly, but life got in the way,  a good life and I forget. Oh well, best laid plans......

As a child I would eat a boiled egg in an egg cup, which I thought was mine.  It looked like a chick.  My sister's was Mickey Mouse pulling a wagon.  They had always been there and where old.  When I moved out of my parents house, many years ago, I went to pack it and Dad said, "no, that is mine".  I never knew that.  After Mom died, 21 years ago, and Dad remarried, he let me have 'my' chick egg cup.

A few years ago I made an elephant egg cup, which sold.  Then I made an R2-D2 and a chick for my two oldest grandchildren.  Three more grandchildren have arrived since then. Last winter my daughter informed me her soon to be 3 year old daughter needed one.  I made her a turtle.

I was on a roll. I made two turtles, one lion, one elephant, one chicken laying and egg and a duck, who's tip of her beak got nicked. She'll need another dip in the kiln.
The other grandchildren will have to wait until they are old enough for them.  

I posted them on my facebook and Etsy https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/TheButlersCreations, and received a custom  order for four Holstein cows.  Despite the gorgeous spring weather, after a long cold winter, I stayed inside and made 6 cows and 2 pigs. They are drying, waiting to be fired. 

Clay must be bone dry to fire or the trapped moisture boils and the piece explodes. 

I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did making them. 




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pottery Studio Clean Up Time

I was in my pottery studio and could smell clay dust.  Clay dust is has silica which can lead to lung damage. 

It was time to clean up my studio.  I started by cleaning my tools.  The interesting thing is when I use my tools I clean them after each use.  I was amazed at how much clay dust was in the bottom of my containers.  Despite my best effort to keep my clay tools and brushes clean the clay was there. 

I wondered how it got there.  Then I remembered. 

When I turn pottery I start by gathering all the tools I need.  Occasionally I forget one.  With clay coated hands I rummage through my tool box for that missed tool.  Clay from my hands easily makes its way to the bottom of the container and stays there until I clean it.

My brushes and stir sticks are a different story.  My hands aren't covered in clay when I use them.  Of course the container wasn't as dirty and my wheel turning tools.  I assume the dust gets in the bottom over time. 

I was even tracking the dust onto the carpet in our family room.  I have to go through this room to go upstairs. 

Today I wanted to make pottery but resisted. I did some clean up yesterday.  If I get it done today, instead of making pottery, I can start fresh and not have the cleaning job on my mind. 

I'm glad I made the right decision.  My After two days of washing a cleaning I now have a clean pottery studio.  I should do this more often. 

Tomorrow I can make more pottery and begin the process of spreading clay dust again.

Monday, January 19, 2015

By Faith

Chapter 11 of Hebrews tells us about people who by faith followed God. 

Following God is not easy. We can't see him. He's not in front of us telling us what to do. How do we know we are following him? 

Some one once told me that it's in my knower that I know I am following him.  He pointed to his gut. 

I get a warm peiceful feeling when I know I've done good by God.  Other times I get very agitated and I know God wants me to stop doing what I am I doing even to stop going to a natural path and a bible study. 

I rarely get these strong feelings.  How do I know that I am following God the rest of the time? I don't know 100% for sure.  I follow the same way the people in Hebrews 11 did, by faith. 

By faith I trusted God to diagnose the bipolar I had, then by faith I trusted him for 8 years that he would heal me.

By faith we followed God from Sudbury to Bracebridge. 

By faith I put my short leg out for prayer and God grew it. 

By faith while at a healing retreat when the leader asked if someone had dilexial I went forward and by faith he prayed and I was healed.

By faith I took a folk art painting course which began my adventure into the art world.

By faith I bought a box of clay, glazes and a kiln which began my adventure into pottery.

By faith I took drum lessons and found I have rythim.

I could keep listing the things I've done by faith, but you get the idea. 

By faith we follow God or by faith we follow the world or ourselves. 

My life is a joyful one instead of a depressed one because I choose to follow God by faith.



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Enjoying What God Has Called Me To Do

I am very thankful that I follow Jesus. 

I took the general course in school.   The only subjects I liked were history, without the dates, just tell me the story, math, music and drafting.  I didn't have to work at these subjects.   The other subjects I skimmed through and didn't apply myself.  My sister studied hard and I floated through. 

I wasn't used to working hard at something to learn a new task until I started to make pottery.    Now I enjoy it, but many times in the first few years I wanted to quit.   I also wanted to quit selling on my Etsy site.  I opened the shop 4 months before we moved to Bracebridge.  and did not have time to learn Etsy or promote it. I was only selling a few items a year.   I wanted to quit so many times.  I  wondered if I was wasting my time.   The same thing happened when I started to play drums.  It was frustrating.   I was learning all sorts of rhythms but I wasn't using them in the music. I played the same beat over and over.  Was this also a waste of time?   You can see efficiency of my time is important to me.



I knew God had called me to make pottery so I persevered and kept running the race until I got better at it.  I am still improving but now when I sit at my wheel, what I want to make turns out instead of a simple bowl.  The same thing with the drums.  I know God has called me to play drums so I persevere.  I am improving and one day it will become as easy and joyful as my pottery.  I don't think it will take as long as the pottery did,  as the joy is beginning to come. 

Staying on Etsy was different.  I don't know I if I was called to sell on line.  When I began my pottery journey someone told me my pottery would reach the world.  Online makes this happen.  I kept praying and asking God if I should stay online.  I kept hearing 'Keep at it, stay the course', so I did.  Two years ago I had time to devote to it and this year I rejoined the Etsy Mud Team.  This team and my promoting has increased my sales a lot.  

I am thankful that not only do I follow Jesus, but that He guides me in the paths He wants me to go.  Doing what Jesus has called me to do is way more fun  and easier than following my own path.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Angels From Cards.

Before I made pottery I would make crafts of all sorts.  My mother-in-law had this cute angel made from a Christmas card. I decided to make one.  I might make more. 
First decide your design then cut out three angels the same from your old Christmas cards.

Fold the angels in half, fronts together.  Staple or glue half of one angel back to another angel back at the fold mark, matching the wings and body. Then glue  the third angels back to the back of the two angels. You can put sparkly pipe cleaner on the head for an halo.  Sew or glue a thread on the head to hang it on the Christmas tree or stand them on your shelf.


Use your creativity to decorate it. 



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Creating A Large Bowl

I find it hard to turn large pieces on the wheel,  but I wanted to make a large bowl. 


First I made a mold for the bowl.  I lined a large cardboard box with plastic and put a hard plastic bowl upside down in it.  The bowl came from the dollar store.  I lightly coated the bowl and box with Murphy's oil soap which made it easier to come off the plaster.

The mixed plaster needs to be poured slowing into the box mold to limit air bubbles.  The plaster was bought at a pottery supply place.  Follow the directions on the plaster bag.

I put enough plaster to cover the bowl then put a coat hanger shaped in a circle over the plaster. The wire reinforces the plaster.  A second batch of plaster was made which was poured over the first plaster in the mold.  Plaster sets up fast so only make small batches.  I was too slow with the first batch and it set up in the bucket.

Let the plaster cure for a day before taking it out of the mold.

My mold is quite heavy so I leave it on a shelf to make the bowls.

Making The Bowl

I first turn a bottomless cylinder.  This becomes the base.

I roll out a large piece of clay that has been wedged, with no air pockets.  It is laid in the plaster mold. With a soft rib I smooth the clay into the plaster mold.  By this time it is dry enough to flute the edges, if desired.


The plaster dries the clay quickly.  When the clay is leather hard I take it out of the mold, turn it upside down on foam, for protection.

When the base is leather hard cut the top of the base at an angle and place it on the bowl.  This gives it more surface to attach it to and fit the bottom of the bowl.  You might want to place a bubble level on it to make sure it will sit level.  Mark where the base will fit.  Slip and score the bowl and base. Attach the base to the bowl.

You can put a coil on the inside of the turned base to secure to the bowl.   Flip it over and dry it under plastic.  

Decorate it any way you want to. 


Family and Christmas Visits

Christmas and just being busy, mostly selling my pottery has kept me away from my giving thanks. 

Lets see how this year goes with it.

I am thankful for all the sales of my pottery at local Christmas craft shows, local people and my Etsy account.

I am thankful that we were able to visit our daughter, son in law and grandchildren during Christmas and my father, his wife, siblings and Dave's step mother after Christmas.

Now I am thankful for peace and quiet to re-corporate for all the visiting and eating.