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!
Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

It seemed for a while there that I was losing my artistic motivation to work in clay. There comes a point in my life, and I am sure I am not alone in this, that I burn out in whatever medium I happen to be working in. My previous mediums included...

read more
Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

As creators, makers and artisans, the months leading up to the Holiday Season can be quite stressful. We have holiday shows to participate in, customers who need special gifts made, on-line shops to fill and tons of trips to the post office. For me...

read more

Address

9306 Southshore Dr
Hackett AR

Call Me

918-413-2820

PRIVACY POLICY and TOS

©2020-2024 All Rights Reserved. Dani Montoya ~ Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dani Montoya and Yellow Cottage Studios with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Yellow Cottage Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as well as other Affiliate Advertising programs. This is a way for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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!
Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

It seemed for a while there that I was losing my artistic motivation to work in clay. There comes a point in my life, and I am sure I am not alone in this, that I burn out in whatever medium I happen to be working in. My previous mediums included...

read more
Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

As creators, makers and artisans, the months leading up to the Holiday Season can be quite stressful. We have holiday shows to participate in, customers who need special gifts made, on-line shops to fill and tons of trips to the post office. For me...

read more
Making life more simple and more creative

Making life more simple and more creative

Having less space has given me room to be more creative.

This last past year, 2022, was quite the roller coaster for me, and my creative path.

As I walked into 2023 I reassessed how I wanted to live my life. Afterall, I am not getting any younger and everyday if a precious gift. As we age it seems like time moves much more quickly.

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.

Having sold the Studio in Oklahoma last May, my expenses were greatly reduced making it not so necessary to produce so much pottery. While I had that studio, it was just me, working on one piece at a time and it took every second of every day to make enough to pay the studio bills. Now my studio is greatly reduced and so are my bills which means I now have a greater opportunity to really express myself in my art.

Crazy thing though, is that it took over 6 months to finally calm down my crazy making attitude and relax into creating just for the love of it.

At first, I was a bit worried about my much smaller studio. I sold off a lot of pottery equipment and just kept what I knew I would use. But I still had so much stuff that I was tripping over it all the time.

Now, almost 8 months later, I have finally found a system that is working, allowing me to not only make pottery but to create using other materials.

A snowy day in Arkansas.

We had a very cold week in Arkansas which was mostly an ice storm.

Introducing Torch Fired Enameling

Pottery has always been an amazing medium for me to work with and I love it to pieces but lately my attention has been on learning how to Torch-fire enamel.

Torch-fired Enameling

The heat of the flame will melt the enamel glass powder on this copper disk.

In my opinion, there here is nothing more fun than learning something new.  It can also be quite exasperating too!!  But for me, it’s an instant gratification artform. I still get to play with Fire, color, copper and wire!!  It’s an artistic Match Made in Heaven for me.

My first thought was to have a separate website and Social Media accounts to share my new passion of Enameling. After all, that’s what the experts suggest, but I am trying to simplify my life not complicate it more.

I chose the name Yellow Cottage Studios many years ago because it would encompass anything I decided to make or do. That still hold true today.

From this day forward you will be seeing more stuff from me than just pottery, not only on this website but on Facebook and Instagram.  They only separation will be on Etsy where i will have two shops, Yellow Cottage Studios and Twisted by Dani

I also decided to go back to Etsy for the same reason, to uncomplicate my life.

,

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!

Beginner Copper Enameling Kit

Copper Enamel Starter Kit
 
I started my Enameling Journey with a Kit similar to this. What I like about this kit is the book. I have it and it's a great way to learn.
View on Amazon

 

Phone Arm for Overhead Videos

I bought this so that I could record video while I am making stuff. It works great.  The arm attaches to the table with a thumb screw. The part that holds your phone is spring loaded and almost too strong of a spring. I pinch my fingers a lot but I know the phone won't fall out into my clay water!!
View on Amazon

Phone Tripod Mount with Remote 360 Rotation

Phone Tripod Mount with Remote 360 Rotation Smartphone Holder Adapter Compatible with iPhone 11 Pro Xs Max XR X 8 7 6 6s Plus Samsung Nexus
 
Phone Tripod mount. I bought this to convert my camera tripod to one that will hold my phone. It even comes with a Bluetooth remote that allows you to take a photo with your phone without touching your phone
View on Amazon

 

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

It seemed for a while there that I was losing my artistic motivation to work in clay. There comes a point in my life, and I am sure I am not alone in this, that I burn out in whatever medium I happen to be working in. My previous mediums included...

read more
Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

As creators, makers and artisans, the months leading up to the Holiday Season can be quite stressful. We have holiday shows to participate in, customers who need special gifts made, on-line shops to fill and tons of trips to the post office. For me...

read more

Snow Day in Arkansas

Snow Day in Arkansas

Yesterday we had a snow day. For those of you who live with snowy winters you will roll your eyes and call us babies but here in Arkansas, snow days are a rarity and we just can’t handle it.

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.

e don’t have snow plows to clear our roads. Most likely mittens to keep our fingers warm are in the house somewhere but we may still be looking for them come springtime. Most us us don’t have snow shovels to clear a path to our cars, or clear our driveway. And while we may have “all terrain tires” they are mostly used to guide us safely through our pot holed country roads and not snowy conditions.

Ghost Fireplace

We have the coolest ghost fireplace on our property. Max and Emily love to play on!

I was raised in the north, with long winters. In my 50’s I lived in the mountains of Southern California where having 15 feet of snow on the ground was the norm, but that doesn’t mean I like the snow.

Nope…..I dislike it immensely!

So yesterday when we had 5 inches of wet, sloppy, heavy snow fall at our home I was not a happy girl. Top that off with the electricity going out at 11 pm and not coming back on until 11 am, and I could only be described as a zombie.

I wasn’t the only one who was not happy about the snow and cold. Max and Emily may love being outside but yesterday they didn’t leave the house. In fact, I am pretty sure Max slept for 48 hours straight on our bed, curled up in a tight ball, cushioned by all the throw pillows. I joined him a few times, but he had me beat on sleeping!!

The saddest part for me was that I finally, after 5 years, decided to let a professional cut and style my hair. The appointment was yesterday. I had to cancel.

So when I said zombie, I meant I sat in my chair all day just pouting. I couldn’t go out to my studio because there was no electricity and therefore no heat.

We were able to stay warm in our all-electric house because last year we bought a portable propane gas heater and installed it in our living room for just this scenario. But the rest of the house is all electric and that meant no cooking and NO COFFEE.

I did play around a bit with Procreate on my iPad, beat my iPad playing Scrabble, organized my receipts for taxes and ate all the chocolate chip cookies I made a few days before.

Purple Cat Created in Procreate

This was my first attempt at really making a painting in Procreate. It is by far not my best work, but I got to learn a lot about how Procreate works.

But today is another day. The sun is out, the snow is melting, and the heater is back on in my studio! I keep it on 61 degrees when I am not in it just to keep it warm, plus that is the lowest temperature my Split Unit will go to. I say it’s too keep my clay from freezing (it is) but its also to be just warm enough in the studio to be comfortable when I first get in it.

Happy Creating!

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!

Phone Arm for Overhead Videos

I bought this so that I could record video while I am making stuff. It works great.  The arm attaches to the table with a thumb screw. The part that holds your phone is spring loaded and almost too strong of a spring. I pinch my fingers a lot but I know the phone won't fall out into my clay water!!
View on Amazon

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil (2nd Generation): Pixel-Perfect Precision and Industry-Leading Low Latency, Perfect for Note-Taking, Drawing, and Signing documents. Attaches, Charges, and Pairs magnetically.
 
This is the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil that works with the iPad Air 2 5th generation. It easily pairs and draws beautifully. You can even write in text boxes and it will change it to type.
View on Amazon

 

Apple Ipad Air 5th Generation

Apple iPad Air (5th Generation): with M1 chip, 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display, 64GB, Wi-Fi 6, 12MP front/12MP Back Camera, Touch ID, All-Day Battery Life – Space Gray
 
The iPad is a great solution for organizing your pottery or art life. Couple it with an Apple Pencil and an art App like Procreate and you can also work out design issues before committing to clay. Plus its a whole lot of fun.
View on Amazon

 

Phone Tripod Mount with Remote 360 Rotation

Phone Tripod Mount with Remote 360 Rotation Smartphone Holder Adapter Compatible with iPhone 11 Pro Xs Max XR X 8 7 6 6s Plus Samsung Nexus
 
Phone Tripod mount. I bought this to convert my camera tripod to one that will hold my phone. It even comes with a Bluetooth remote that allows you to take a photo with your phone without touching your phone
View on Amazon

 

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

It seemed for a while there that I was losing my artistic motivation to work in clay. There comes a point in my life, and I am sure I am not alone in this, that I burn out in whatever medium I happen to be working in. My previous mediums included...

read more
Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

As creators, makers and artisans, the months leading up to the Holiday Season can be quite stressful. We have holiday shows to participate in, customers who need special gifts made, on-line shops to fill and tons of trips to the post office. For me...

read more
Making pizza dough like a potter.

Making pizza dough like a potter.

​I know, that’s a really crazy headline but I was making pizza dough the other day and realized that I used one skill I learned from being a potter and it made all the difference in the world.

When the pandemic of 2020 hit hubby Ben and I decided that instead of having a date night out, since all the dine-in restaurants were closed, that we would start having a special Pizza and Svengoolie Night!

Four slices of homemade pizza
We started out by ordering Pizza from the many take-out places around town but that led to arguments about toppings. I like Pesto Sauce, mushrooms, olives, and Ben likes Shrimp and Pineapple on a traditional pizza sauce.

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.

 
Since I had been making pizza for years and years it was only a matter of time before I took on the job of making our Saturday night pizzas, including the dough. I have a dough recipe that I have used for years but it seemed that it was never consistent in how it came out. Sometimes it was dry, sometimes it wouldn’t rise, sometimes it would rise too much.
Like many of us when we were shut inside our houses for months on end, I decided to learn how to make sour dough bread. Most of the bakers I followed didn’t measure their ingredients with measuring cups and spoons. They used a gram scale.

In the Pottery Studio, we use a gram scale to weigh out our glaze material so I knew ALL ABOUT grams but I had never used it in baking.

I actually had a kitchen scale at home that I used for some stupid diet I was on. A tiny button on the bottom changed it from ounces to grams.

Once I began making bread by measuring out the ingredients in grams, I began to have consistent loaves of Bread.

Weighing (vs measuring) does that.

The other super, awesome part of baking using weights is there are so many fewer dishes to clean afterward.  When I make my Bread dough and Pizza Dough I only use ONE BOWL!!  And you can do that by Taring between ingredients.

To Tare or Not to Tare. That is not the question.

When you cook with a scale, like when you make a glaze, you TARE the bowl before you put in the next ingredient. Tare means setting the scale to Zero, no matter what is on it. All of the cheap $15.00 kitchen scales I have, have this ability but double-check just to make sure.

So you set the bowl on the scale and hit TARE and the scale shows 0. Add the first ingredient until the scale reads the desired weight. Tare again, add the next ingredient, Tare again, add the next ingredient, and so on.
 
When I make glazes I weigh the chemical, dump it into another container, weigh the next chemical, dump it into the container, and so on. Lots of the material I use when making glaze look alike and I just want to make sure it’s spot on. You can do the same thing with baking if you want but I find I don’t have to.
 

So give it a try. I will share with you my two recipes. Everyday Sandwich Bread and Pizza Dough

Making Pizza Dough

Originally, I made dough by measuring out in cups and teaspoons, but my dough was inconsistent. Once I recalculated my recipe in grams my dough is SPOT ON every week.

 I use pizza screens but this recipe will work for any way you want to cook your pizza. Just monitor the cooking time to make sure the bottom gets nicely browned.

This recipe makes four 10″ Pizzas or two 14″ Pizza

 
 
 

Ingredients
  • 667 G Flour (4 1/2 c) I make mine with 300 g of whole wheat and 367 g of white flour)
  • 24 G Sugar (3 tbsp.)
  • 11 G Salt (1 tbsp.)
  • 7 G Yeast (1 tbsp.)
  • 35 G Olive Oil (4 tbsp.)
  • 367 G Hot Water (120 F Degree) About 1 2/3

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Mix all the dry ingredients together and mix well.
 
-Add Oil and blend into dry ingredients

-Add water and knead in machine until a smooth ball forms

 
Kitchen Aid mixer with Dough attachment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

OR if kneading by hand  Stir the ingredients as much as you possibly can. Then dump the dough and remaining flour onto a clean counter. Hand knead until all the flour is incorporated into the dough.  Continue kneading until the dough is smooth.

 

For 10″ pizza, make it into 4 equal balls. Knead each one and form into a small oval disc.  Lightly dust with flour, cover and refrigerate until an hour before needing it.  Remove from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before rolling out and using.

 

 
 
TO FREEZE: This dough freezes very well.  As soon as the dough is made, divide it into the sizes you need.  Put into a floured covered plastic container or ziplock bags and immediately place into the freezer.  When you are ready to use it, remove it from the freezer in the morning and let it thaw in the refrigerator.  An hour or so before making your pizza, remove it from the container and the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
 
 
 
 
 
When ready to use:
Roll out the dough starting from the inside and pushing out. Use a rolling pin if needed.  Place the rolled out dough on the pizza screen and cover it with your favorite toppings.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cook pizza in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.

Remove, cut, and enjoy!

I would love to hear if you try making these using the weighing method and what you think!!

A loaf of hot homemade bread

Everyday Sandwich Bread

There is nothing better than freshly baked, just out of the oven hot bread

 

This is an excellent, soft, slightly sweet bread that bakes beautifully and slices perfectly when cool.  ( I left the cup measurements on this recipe )

Ingredients – Makes two loaves

  • 440 ML (2 cups)  warm water 110 degrees F/45 degrees C
  • 110 G (1/2 cup) white sugar
  • 11 G (1 1/2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
  • 8 G (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt
  • 44G (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
  • 750 G (5-6 cups flour) You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour!

Instructions

In a large bowl, dissolve the 13 G of the sugar in warm water and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam, about 5 minutes.

Mix remaining sugar, salt, and oil into the yeast.

Slowly mix in flour. The dough should be tacky and clean the sides of the bowl. Don’t add too much extra flour or your loaf will end up dry. If you think you added to much flour add a bit more hot water until you get the correct consistency. It should be slightly sticky to your hand.

Knead in a Mixer with a bread hook OR Hand Knead dough adding flour as needed until it’s no longer sticking a lot and is smooth ( 7 minutes.} I find myself kneading the dough like I wedge my clay!!

Place in a well-oiled bowl and turn dough to coat.

Cover with a damp cloth.

Allow the dough to rise until its doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Knead for 1 minute and divide in half.

Shape into loaves and place into two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans.

Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30-40 minutes.

This bread cuts beautifully when cool but who can resist it hot out of the oven!  Of course, having soft butter ready to spread is a plus. Check out my Butter Keepers!!

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!

Digital Scale

Etekcity 0.1g Food Kitchen Scale, Digital Ounces and Grams for Cooking, Baking, Meal Prep, Dieting, and Weight Loss, 11 Pounds, Black
 
This is the scale I use for both weighing out glaze material and to weight packages for shipping. I love that the display is angled away from the weighting tray making it easy to read. Metric and Imperial weighing.
View on Amazon

 

Pizza Making Kit


If you are new to Homemade Pizza Making you might want to start with something like this. I bought these as gifts for my kids and they looked like really nice quality. 
View on Amazon

Pizza Baking Steel


Since writing this article I have changed from using Pizza Screens to a Pizza Steel. The steel cooks more like a wood cooked pizza. It takes a little more practice since you have to slide the Raw pizza from the Pizza Peel to the Hot Steel but its worth it!
View on Amazon

Pizza Screens


When I need to make several pizzas at the same time, I go back to my very loved, very used Pizza Screens. You can build your Pizza right on the screen and bake several at the same time. With a screen you  don’t have to worry about sliding the pizza off the Peel onto a hot Pizza Steel Or Pizza Stone
View on Amazon

Pizza Peel


The Pizza Peel is a necessity if you are using a pizza Steel or Pizza Stone since both those need to be preheated before you can bake your Pizza Pie. If you are using screens a pizza peel is optional.
View on Amazon

Kitchen Aid Mixer


I love my Kitchenaid (I wish it were Red like this one!) and use it constantly not only for Pizza dough but for bread, tortillas and even making pasta. I bought the optional pasta maker). The less expensive models attach at the base of the bowl. Mine attaches with the side arms like this model. I think its more stable when kneading dough.
View on Amazon

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

It seemed for a while there that I was losing my artistic motivation to work in clay. There comes a point in my life, and I am sure I am not alone in this, that I burn out in whatever medium I happen to be working in. My previous mediums included...

read more
Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

As creators, makers and artisans, the months leading up to the Holiday Season can be quite stressful. We have holiday shows to participate in, customers who need special gifts made, on-line shops to fill and tons of trips to the post office. For me...

read more

Address

9306 Southshore Dr
Hackett AR

Call Me

918-413-2820

PRIVACY POLICY and TOS

©2020-2024 All Rights Reserved. Dani Montoya ~ Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dani Montoya and Yellow Cottage Studios with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Yellow Cottage Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as well as other Affiliate Advertising programs. This is a way for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

Cabin Fever & the pottery glaze that goes with it!

Cabin Fever & the pottery glaze that goes with it!

When dreams become reality

In 2018 my hubby excitedly showed me a Facebook Marketplace ad for a lakefront lot on Sugarloaf Lake in Arkansas.

It was always my dream to own a place on a lake. To set the record straight, I am not a swimmer, or a boater nor do I even like the taste of fish, but the thought of having a place on the lake was just something I knew would soothe my soul.

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The lot wasn’t a big one, I believe its .75 acres but it was a mess. The original house had burned two years earlier and although most of the debris was removed there was still a lot of cleanup needed.

An old stone fireplace is all that remained.

One thing I fell in love with was this stone fireplace. I have always been intrigued with ghost fireplaces. It stayed!

The clean-up was mostly cinder blocks….and there were a lot of them. And broken glass ripped out carpet and leftover roof trusses. What the lot did have was electricity, septic, water, several concrete pads, and a privacy fence surrounding the lot. It also had a run-down dock and a boathouse!

It was hard to pass up, so we bought it.

We bought it as a place to leave our very small travel trailer (21 ft) and spend weekends there with our three dogs. It was only 30 minutes from home (and 20 minutes from my studio) so that worked out perfectly.

Quality time in a tiny camper with another Human and three dogs

Chilling outside of the tiny camper is great when the weather was nice but rainy days were hell!

The First Year

The first year we spent cleaning the lot up. It was an awful lot of work for these two old folks but we incorporated the 20/40 rule. Work 20 minutes, rest for 40! (See above Photo of Ben during that 40 minute period)

It worked and eventually we got all those damn cinder blocks gone. The land was leveled out, old timber was burned and trash loads of broken glass and tile were hauled away. Three years later and I am still picking up glass after a rainstorm.

Sunrise over Sugarloaf Lake, Hackett Arkansas

The Gorgeous sunrises were not something we were expecting. But they are amazing

As soon as the place was cleaned up enough we moved the travel trailer into place and started to enjoy all our hard work. It did not take us long to figure out that, although we loved the lake lot, two adults and three dogs in a 21 ft camper on a rainy Arkansas day, was not going to work.

In 2020 we made the decision to build a small one-bedroom cabin.

I scoured the internet for floorplan ideas and eventually found a floorplan blueprint on Etsy that was really close to my vision. There is only so much you can do with a one-bedroom, one-bath and this floorplan fit the bill, both space-wise and budget-wise. This was the plan we purchased. It was well worth the $30. We did not build exactly like the plan but it was a place to start and a way to find out if it was something we could afford to do. We started this process well before lumber rates went haywire due to the pandemic so it WAS something we could afford. If it was a few months later, I doubt we could!

After a few hand-drawn modifications, our very handy house-building friend built our little dream place.

Our Lake Cabin

It’s simple but absolutely perfect

Once the shell of the cabin was built it was now up to Ben and me to put “us” into the place. Ben was tasked with building the kitchen and bathroom and I was tasked with wall painting and decorating.

Which meant POTTERY!!!!!

One of the things I wanted to do was make all my kitchenware. I knew that was going to be a challenge when it came to plates because they are all that easy to make. They warp, crack, out of round, and all kinds of weird things. But I was going to try.

Ben Building the Kitchen Cabinets

Ben built the entire kitchen in the kitchen!!

And to match the rustic look that Ben was putting into the cabin with his shelves and counters, I needed something equally as rustic looking!

Cabin Bathroom

We wanted the cabin to look like a cabin so Ben built the cabinetry rather rustically.

Plates have never been something I made a lot and they are not as easy as they look like they would be but somehow I managed to get some through the “making” process!!! I really only wanted 4 plates of each size but I made 5 of each “just in case”.

Pottery Plates waiting to be glazed

Pottery Plates getting ready to be glazed

Now came the REALLY HARD part… finding the perfect pottery glaze.

I have never really felt good about traditional pottery glazing and am pretty much self-taught.  Since I make my own pottery glazes in my studio I don’t have the resources available that the commercial pottery glaze users have on what glazes look like when layering, so everything right now is experimental

I knew I wanted rustic and I also am someone who loves spontaneous and unique. After experimenting around I found a pottery glaze combination that I loved. It’s comprised of three glazes and they look wonderful together!!

Finished Pottery glazed Plate

The Perfect Pottery Glaze. I love how the three glazes all look together and flow into one another

My experimental Plate above came out beautifully and I was super stoked. I moved forward with the rest of the plates and ran into a WHOLE LOT OF pinholing with the pottery glaze. It was so disappointing. Pinholing is a bane to potters and I got a lot of wonderful advice from other potters which I am working through now. That will be the subject of another post.

Meanwhile, we are using and enjoying our cabin and our plates. My hubby has finished the bathroom and the kitchen, and I have everything painted, the walls are full of my artwork and my kitchen is filled with my pottery.

This cabin is all about US!

 

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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!

Diamond Hand Pad for sanding

This diamond sanding pad works very nicely to smooth out the bottom of those pots!  You can use it wet or dry. I bought the 200 grit but they have several other grits to choose from
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Phone Arm for Overhead Videos


I bought this so that I could record video while I am making stuff. It works great.  The arm attaches to the table with a thumb screw. The part that holds your phone is spring loaded and almost too strong of a spring. I pinch my fingers a lot but I know the phone won’t fall out into my clay water!!
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LED Shop Lights


Do you need some extra lighting in your studio? I bought these and I couldn’t be happier. They are lightweight but really bright. There is basically no installation. You can hang them or screw them into place. You can even plug them into each other so they turn on altogether. Plus they are LED which means they will last a really long time and use little electricity. 
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Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

Artistic Motivation – Lost and then found

It seemed for a while there that I was losing my artistic motivation to work in clay. There comes a point in my life, and I am sure I am not alone in this, that I burn out in whatever medium I happen to be working in. My previous mediums included...

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Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

Goodbye 2022, Hello the rest of my life.

As creators, makers and artisans, the months leading up to the Holiday Season can be quite stressful. We have holiday shows to participate in, customers who need special gifts made, on-line shops to fill and tons of trips to the post office. For me...

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