Thursday, 13 June 2019

It's Been So Long... I'm not sure where to start!

I've no doubt lost some subscribers over the last year due to my infrequent postings... and probably more so due to posting so little about tatting!

I'm on summer break now and needing to catch up on all the things I've not had time to do during the year.  I'm afraid I'll disappoint people again however as there's still not been much tatting going on!  But I do have some "tatting-related" items to show you.

I've really enjoyed ceramics throughout the term and finally got some pots on which I like the glazing.  Not only is throwing pots difficult... but glazing is such a mystery!  When you're inexperienced like me, every pot that comes out of the kiln after glazing is a bit of a surprise.  And not always a good one.  But I like the mix of colours on the ones below.

I made my own stamps out of clay which I used on the shallow bowl and the small pot leaning against is was decorated using a rubber mat which I laser cut with a design drawn from a piece of lace (though not tatting this time).

For this little pot, I used a piece of piece of embroidered and sequined fabric
that I pressed into the clay before the first firing.

I made a CNC-machine milled rolling pin from my Regal snowflake design.  However, I had to modify it somewhat as the design was too complex for the machine to mill so it's not as detailed as I would have like it to be.  It was an interesting experience and a great learning curve but my conclusion is that using the laser-cutter for designs is much better and so much more detailed.

I made a mug from the design but it's a bit rough!
It's now come back after glazing but I'm not happy with the result sadly.

Still related to tatting, I cast one of my tatted snowflakes in pewter!
Not perfect but something that could be explored further.

I went a bit crazy decorating one of my bowls (it's upside down on the turntable)
with filaments of clay, using a fine nozzle-tipped bottle.

I liked the look of it best like that,
before firing and glazing.

And lastly I knitted and unknitted a sweater three times over the last couple of months!  I wasn't happy with the first pattern I chose and the fit.  So I unknitted and re-knitted another pattern but found out near the end that my gauge was off and the sweater was smaller than I would have liked.  So I unknitted again and re-knitted with larger needles and finally!  The sweater is done.

(Top in photo is the first design which was being unknitted to knit the bottom design)

(Lines across the middle are from having put it to dry over the radiator!)

Summer is slow to arrive here in the UK.  It's still very cool and we're expecting rain for the next seven days!  I hope it's sunnier where you are.  Please let me know what you're up to!  I've missed hearing from you through my blog.

Best wishes,

Monday, 8 April 2019

I'm Still Here!

Wow, this must be one of the longest time between posts, is it?  I'm still here, making more pottery, researching and writing at the moment and also doing work placements.

(if you're here to see "real" tatting, scroll further down the post!)

As you'll see I'm incorporating tatting with ceramics!  I have laser-cut some rubber mats that I use to press into clay.  The first little green cup is made with my Snow Crystal design.  It's a hand-shaped slab cup (not thrown on the wheel).

The second mat I made has two designs on it, one drawn from another type of lace (which you can see a bit of a the top of the image below) and the other drawn from my Flocon d'Or design.  The lines on that one are much finer than the Snow Crystal design and I wasn't sure it would work with clay but I was delighted to find that it worked great and the detailed design imprinted very well.

I made a bigger slab mug this time to test the new design.
I glazed it a few days ago and I'm waiting for it to be fired.
Cross fingers, it comes out well with the glaze!

And lastly yes!  A bit of tatting in thread too!
I'm working on a hanky edging with my one-shuttle edging pattern
which can be found here.
It's the second time I've made this edging.

There's also a video on how to make it here.

I do like a one-shuttle edging, simple and relaxing to make.  

I hope you are all doing well.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Why I Love Tatting

There are many reasons... but one of them is how easy it is to carry a little shuttle in your bag or pocket and when you have any time to spare, are waiting, or are travelling, you can get your little shuttle out and tat.

I was on the train and grateful that I had a shuttle in my bag and worked on trying to create a new one-shuttle edging (I only had one shuttle).  I  felt maybe I was getting somewhere... but then ran out of thread!

So really a minuscule amount of tatting but just so you know I'm still thinking about it and miss having more time for it!

Best wishes,

Sunday, 17 February 2019

A Bit of Beading for a Change...

I had a gift to make for someone's birthday... so I went for a beaded bracelet.  I had not done any beading for a while and I really enjoyed making it.  It didn't take very long to make at all.

In fact I liked it so much that I made another one in different colours...

I used magnet clasps...
but then ended up changing it for a lobster clasp on the second bracelet.
Any of you use magnet clasps?
They are so easy to attach...
but I find they are also easy to just knock as you wear them
and then the bracelet comes undone!
Is it just me or has anyone else had that experience?

Back to the topic of ceramics,
I glazed several of my pieces.
Not all successful.
But it's such a learning curve!

One little pot has now become our butter dish:

I'm continuing to practice with throwing.
Here are the last couple of pieces I made last week.
I was particularly pleased with the round pot:

And I had a special order from my son for a handle-less tea mug
with the specific shape as per below:

I'm happy I'm finally managing to make thinner rims.

Tomorrow, I'll turn and tidy the bases and send them to the kiln... And then try some more!

Best wishes,

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Ceramics (and a tiny bit of tatting!)

Still busy enjoying ceramics at the moment.  Throwing is getting a bit better though very inconsistent!

The little cups at the back have tatted snowflakes stamped into them (like the vase from the previous post).  I have now glazed them and they are waiting to be fired again.

First time throwing "off the hump"

The pieces below are waiting to dry
before finishing off the bottoms
so they can then be bisque-fired.

I also attempted a pot with lid.
It turned out looking very "pearish".

So I tried a second time...
to make a pear...
And even shaped the top like a leaf.
This one is waiting to dry enough so that I can cut the lid.
Can't wait to see what it's like inside
and if I've managed to make the walls thinner.

And to finish,
I'm trying to make moulds of lace to use in pottery.
This was one attempt:

It's not going to work for what I wanted...
but I can still press clay into it and get a pretty good imprint.
I'll try it when I'm next there and show you.

See?  Lots of pottery... but still tatting!  :-)

Best wishes,

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Snow Crystals Ceramic

I got to glaze the pots I made just before Christmas.  I tried three different glazes.  When you dip the pottery in the liquid glaze and pull the pieces out to dry before firing, they look rather similar.  All three of those colours looked like various shades of pale grey... but what a lovely surprise when they come out of the kiln!

If you remember from the previous post about this, I'd pressed one of my laser-cut snowflakes into the still soft clay.  The laser-cut snowflake was drawn from my Snow Crystal tatting pattern.  I like the thought of combining pottery and tatting.

And here's a close-up of the flower pot
glazed in "apple green":

This week I'm planning on making plaster moulds with some of my tatted lace so that I can make lace pieces out of clay which I'll then apply to the surface of the pots.  That's the plan anyway...  we'll see how that works out!

I've also had a go throwing pots on the wheel... very unsuccessfully to begin with but I'm improving.  I have a few pieces waiting to be fired and can't wait to see how they come out.  My thrown pieces are still a bit too thick and chunky but I hope that with more experience I'll improve and be able to make better ones.  I didn't have much time to play with ceramics last term so I'm enjoying it now.  But it's also time for research and writing this term so I'll have to try to get the balance right.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Other Lace

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday and that 2019 is off to a great start for you.

I've been asked to do a presentation on my lace so as part of that, I've been digging out other types of laces I have made over the years.  This is just a small sample I'm taking with me tonight but I thought it might be interesting to show it here on my blog as well.

The little bits of tatting need no explanation but here are some close-ups of the other types of lace and what they are:

These are some Irish crochet flowers, leaves and scrolls.
These elements then need to be linked together with a background stitch...
but mine never made it to that stage!

This is some needle lace.
Experienced needle lace-makers would no doubt use much finer thread than what I used here
but these were some practice pieces.

The roll of lace you can see in the bottom of the photo is
a length of torchon lace which is the very first type of bobbin lace
I learned to make when I was a teenager.

This is Bucks Point lace (bobbin lace)
with a shadow-embroidered bow and little bullion knot rose on the fabric above.
This is the lace I used to hem the sleeves of a christening gown I made for our 4th child.

And finally the pieces on the right of the first photo
are Honiton lace (bobbin also)
This is definitely the finest lace I ever made
(fine in the meaning that the thread is the finest I have ever used to make lace).

I know many of you tatters, will also be other types of lace-makers too, I'd love to hear what other laces you make - please leave a comment!

Best wishes,