Every day is an experiment!

Every day is an experiment!

Now that I have given myself permission to put up the pottery wheel for a while, it has opened up a whole slew of other creative opportunities.  Every day now is a creative experiment where I try my hands at a new medium or a new technique. Boy, am I having fun.

Please note this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase.  This is, of course, at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

Painting

My glazing table has been cleared and rearranged to be a painting table. I pulled out all my paints, from acrylics to watercolors. I bought some new sketch pads, a few new colors and even a few new brushes.

I have always wanted to paint but never had the confidence needed to express myself on canvas. At one time, my tendencies would tell me that my work had to be close to photo perfect. Funny thing though… the paintings that drew me in more were abstract, colorful and bold. I realized that I adored abstract so I decided that was the path I would walk.

I bought myself this sweet watercolor Journal that is perfect for experimenting. Its the one pictured below on the left.

Lots of experimenting happening in the art studio

Because everything is an experiment, I cut watercolor paper into quarters to give me smaller canvases. This eliminated the need to make a perfect, gotta hang it on the wall, painting. As you can see, I played with colors, texture, ink. I let my paintbrush go, made marks and saw what happened. Sometimes it was very cool and sometimes it was pretty awful but who cares. I am playing.

Macrame

Way back in the 70’s Macrame was really popular. I was in high school then and a creative teen. I, like so many others, spent hours tying knots to make into belts, purses, wall hangings and planter hangers. It was so cool and very hippy (now referred to as  Bohemian).  It took 30+ years but like everything super cool, it has made a resurgence.

Of course, I had forgotten every single knot, but I loved the idea of going back into time and make something that made me happy when I was a teen.

The cord I am using in this photo is a 4mm  Twisted Cotton. It works up beautifully and they have a slew of tutorials on their website.

Learning to Macrame

I just started this wall hanging from a tutorial when I ran out of cord.

Enameling

My most favorite medium however is enameling. This is truly “me”. I get to play with color, copper and fire. What’s not to love!!

Enameled Copper disk

Here are the experimental discs from the last few weeks. I was playing with Crackle enamels

I have sample sizes of all the Thompson Enamels, Opaques and Transparent, so the sky is the limit with experimenting with color.  Even though I don’t have an enamel kiln I have several torches for melting the enamel powder into glass. Watching this happen is my favorite part of the process.

Now that I have been doing it awhile I have gone from just getting the enamel to stick to the copper, to experimenting with Cloisonne!  In fact, I am anxiously awaiting my first order of Sterling Silver Cloisonne wire.

In the meantime, I have been playing with the silver wire I use in my wire weaving.

Here is my VERY FIRST CLOISONNE PIECE!!  Years from now I hope I can look back on this post and roll my eyes at the amateur look of these earrings but for now I am thrilled!

Cloisonne Earrings

My very first pair of Cloisonne earrings. I will keep them for myself so years from now I can look at them and giggle!

Follow Me

Dani Montoya - Potter

My name is Dani and I am the potter behind this page! I am retired and having a ball being the artist I always wanted to be. My studio is located in NW Arkansas where I live a quiet life, on a lake with my husband, 3 dogs and two cats.

Have a look around!

Macrame Cord

LET BE Macrame Cord 4mm x 110Yards, Easy Tutorial Videos, Premium Twisted Cotton Blend Cord Natural Color for Wall Decor, Wall Hanging Plant and Home Decor (4mm x 100m)
 
This is a very nice macrame cord and the one I am using currently. It has a lovely soft feel to it yet it works up well. Its neutral in Color with a slight sheen.

See it on Amazon

Miniature Paint Brush Set

MyArtscape Artist Supplies Miniature Paint Brushes, Set of 12 for Detail & Fine Point Painting - use with Acrylic, Watercolor, Oil, Gouache - for Pinstriping, Warhammer 40k, Models & Lettering White
I use these fine tipped paint brushes for all kinds of things in my studio. They hold their shape very well and with such a large variety I always have what I need at my fingertips.

Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette

Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette
This is the Watercolor Palette I use in my studio. I love that it has 18 wells so I can fill it with straight color or blends. There is also Lots and Lots of blending space in the tray and lid. My underglazes do dry out a bit but spritzing the wells with water brings then back to life!
Hanging up my Potter’s Apron (for a while)

Hanging up my Potter’s Apron (for a while)

One of the things that I have learned about myself over my 68 years is that I come to a place in my life journey where there is a stop sign in front of me with one or two roads I can follow. Most of my "working" life I had a habit of quitting...

read more
Glazes vs underglazes

Glazes vs underglazes

When I was first learning about pottery one of the things that confused me the most was "what was the difference between glazes and underglazes". Most teachers focused on teaching you wheel throwing or hand building but very few actually teach you...

read more

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Big changes in the studio

Big changes in the studio

My last post I wrote about how I was hanging up my potter’s apron, temporarily. These last few years have found me becoming less enchanted with my pottery practice.  Not that it stopped being fun, because it is totally fun. But more like I stopped learning, and it became a little bit too routine and boring.

Please note this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you click them and make a purchase.  This is, of course, at no cost to you, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

I tried really hard to revitalize my interest by learning more about glazing   It was fun and exciting to see how different chemicals would change the look, color and even the feel of a glaze. I was hoping that it would be inspiring to me. It wasn’t. I tried new designs on the potter’s wheel like chip and dip sets, Olive Oil Cruets, Wine Mugs.
Stoneware chip and dip set in beige and brown

I enjoyed making this chip and dip set

I came up with new sgraffito designs like my cat mugs and mushroom mugs.
Sgrafitto Carved Mushroom Mug

Tried all kinds of cool glazing techniques on new clay like these….

Wine Mugs But to be honest, I was bored. That made me feel rather guilty. I have all this wonderful equipment and tons of glaze chemicals, and boxes of clay but I really didn’t want to make anything. I was forcing myself to sit at the potters wheel.

One day I prepped some clay, plopped it on the wheel head and starred at it. I couldn’t think of anything new to make.

So, I decided to push my pottery stuff to the side for a short time and play with other mediums.    All my sketch pads, colored pencils, watercolor paints, acrylic paints and paint brushes were sitting in a box in a loft in my studio waiting for the day when I took them down and dusted them off. That day has come. My glazing table has been rearranged to accommodate painting and drawing. I am being drawn to do some abstract art and have signed up for some online classes to get the creative juices flowing. Wire weaving and enameling are also something I am diving deeper into as well. I have been wire weaving for years and just started enameling on copper a few years ago but there is so much more to learn and explore. Thats what floats my artistic boat Building new skills and learning new techniques have energized my creative spirit again. I dont know where this will take me or even for how long. My pottery is still in my thoughts and I will get back to it. Maybe with me letting go of it will bring me back, stronger and even more creative.

Follow Me

Dani Montoya - Potter

My name is Dani and I am the potter behind this page! I am retired and having a ball being the artist I always wanted to be. My studio is located in NW Arkansas where I live a quiet life, on a lake with my husband, 3 dogs and two cats.

Have a look around!

Miniature Paint Brush Set

MyArtscape Artist Supplies Miniature Paint Brushes, Set of 12 for Detail & Fine Point Painting - use with Acrylic, Watercolor, Oil, Gouache - for Pinstriping, Warhammer 40k, Models & Lettering White
I use these fine tipped paint brushes for all kinds of things in my studio. They hold their shape very well and with such a large variety I always have what I need at my fingertips.

Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette

Mijello Airtight Watercolor 18-Well Blue Palette
This is the Watercolor Palette I use in my studio. I love that it has 18 wells so I can fill it with straight color or blends. There is also Lots and Lots of blending space in the tray and lid. My underglazes do dry out a bit but spritzing the wells with water brings then back to life!
Hanging up my Potter’s Apron (for a while)

Hanging up my Potter’s Apron (for a while)

One of the things that I have learned about myself over my 68 years is that I come to a place in my life journey where there is a stop sign in front of me with one or two roads I can follow. Most of my "working" life I had a habit of quitting...

read more
Glazes vs underglazes

Glazes vs underglazes

When I was first learning about pottery one of the things that confused me the most was "what was the difference between glazes and underglazes". Most teachers focused on teaching you wheel throwing or hand building but very few actually teach you...

read more

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