Friday, July 30, 2010

Vintage Illustrations

I really enjoy old illustrations. There's something about diagrams, dictionary pictures, and old advertising images that get to me. I've been noticing a lot of items on Etsy that utilize these images. A while ago I started collecting these items in my favorites. Sushipot makes a number of items with vintage images adhered to them - above and below, light bulb pendant and pharmacy jars pendant. She also makes art blocks like this bird diagram below.
I've also taken note of SixthandElm, who woodburns images onto wooden boxes. Here is a vintage bike ad box.
And a spencerian peacock with magificent plumage.
Then I started stumbling into vintage images printed onto vintage dictionary pages. I didn't even know this was a thing! Pocketwatch by BlackBaroque.
Badger by owlstudio.
Garlic by Winterberrycottage.
Octopus from VibrantWaters.
I cannot explain my adoration for frogs in suits. I found this dapper frog at numberninedream.
The rhinoceros is my most favorite animal (after canis familiaris, of course). Find this one at memorydust.
So with all that background, here's where my brain has been percolating... there is a technique to attach decals to ceramics, pottery, etc. It involves a third firing with the decal attached. For example, you can attach decals to existing ceramics, like this upcycled plate by metalandmud. The possibilities there blow my mind...
And by now we all know I can't do a post without including some Mudstuffing. The genius behind this work takes vintage graphics and alters them to his own (often delightfully bizzare) taste. Take this wood and soda fired yunomi, for instance.
Or this yunomi with the chickadee, which makes me weak in the knees.
Some of his designs are quite elaborate. This lovely teapot, for instance.
The applications of this additional level of surface decoration have been keeping me up at night. You could label your canisters, like this one from fetishghost.
Or help your utensils harken back to a simpler time with this utensil holder from dkpottery.
Okay, okay, most of you are probably thinking "but she hasn't even fired her kiln yet!" I know. Maybe this weekend, if the power looks like it won't blow out in a storm. And I would need to get the right kind of printer, and then order some decal paper. But I'm already collecting images. (I highly recommend the graphicsfairy; I have a hard time getting the pages to load, but I suspect that's due to high levels of traffic.) Today is my wedding anniversary, and despite promises that we would not buy each other gifts, my weasel left me a note in my carseat this morning, telling me to look in the trunk. He had stowed a scanner back there. (I told you I'd been percolating [and rambling] on and on about this.) I already have a few images in mind to play with - I like the idea of changing the vintage images to suit your own needs... maybe rhinos in suits...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Find of the month! Two vintage drafting stools, found at the Big Flea market this weekend. I got a pretty good deal on them, and they're in great shape. Their new home is in my kitchen.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pulley Fixation

Lately I've had a fixation on vintage pulleys. Heavy, rusty, metal, wood, useful... how could I not be fixated? (Above pulley from twoartdirectors.) I saw a ton of old pulleys this weekend at the Big Flea, and managed to come home with a few, which I added to my small collection gathered from Ruckersville several months ago. I will have to sit down with them, and decide which ones I can't bear to part with, and will list the rest in the shop. I've been thinking about useful purposes to pull these workhorses out of retirement. String a light fixture through one, rig up a line for hanging clothes or fresh artwork to dry, suspend a potted plant with style... Most of these ideas involve hanging them from the ceiling, which got me to thinking about sturdy ways to install a pulley. This thought experiment led me down another favorite path - ceilings with wood beams. I found a few examples on the Etsy There's No Place Like Here pool on Flickr. Below, Maya's kitchen. Below, mosey handmade.
Below, johnny&stacie.
Below, from absoluutly.
The next image is our den. We have a slanted ceiling in that room, and I've long thought that I would like to install some wooden beams in the ceiling, running left to right. Then I would have the perfect mount for a pulley or two.
I've collected my favorite vintage pulleys from Etsy, in case you can't wait for me to list mine (assuming I can let go of any of them!). CampHobachee, below.
Thinking about all of this has gotten me inspired to even throw some pots that can be paired with a vintage pulley. Handmade and vintage together, for the purpose of using nature to decorate - perfection!

Faucet Rack

Yesterday I finished a project I've had in the works for years. A long time ago I found these faucet hooks, and knew I would use them to great effect. Our laundry room/mud room has been in need of sturdy hooks for the dog leashes. I saved a few pieces of the wooden pallet my kiln was delivered on, thinking I would use them for something.
Combining all the parts, plus a few screws and a molly bolt (most of the screws went into studs), and ta da! we have a faucet rack!
The hooks accommodate the leashes nicely, and I can even hang my saddle bag.
I'm pretty pleased with the results, and feel justified in holding onto the faucet hooks for so long, waiting for their perfect purpose. I'm also thrilled that I was able to repurpose some of the pallet, to which I have an irrational sentimental attachment.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chuck Sunday

I'm starting a new weekly feature: Chuck Sunday. I plan to take pictures of my chucks, to give a slightly different perspective on my travels and activities. This week's Chuck Sunday photo was taken at Wolf Trap, an outdoor concert venue in Vienna, Virginia. Last Sunday, Brian and I went to see B.B. King, and of course, I wore my chucks.
Stay tuned for future Chuck Sunday posts, for a chuck's eye view of my life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Raku Rainbows and Fish

On Saturday I had the opportunity to raku fire some pottery. This was the best raku session I've had (see previous results here). I thought I would post pictures of the best two pieces. This first piece was textured with "Steve's Tool," and then I glazed it with Dan's Blue. I got some great color from the glaze. I glazed the fish vase with white crackle, and sprayed it with ferric chloride to give it the coppery orange color. Then I smoked the piece with saw dust to bring out the crackle.
He turned out pretty nicely, huh?
I accidentally broke the stopper I had made, but I think the fish is okay alone.
I found it interesting that the ferric chloride went to the edges and extremeties. The lips, fins and eyes, for example, are darker.
We had a great time on Saturday, even if it was incredibly hot with the sun and the gas kilns firing through the morning.