Sunday, 8 August 2010

Glazes and Garlic

Over the past couple of days I’ve been sorting through a selection of small accessories that came out of the last glaze kiln. These included buttons, brooches, pendants, rings and miscellaneous ‘blanks’. All of these little pieces require some finishing touches. First I usually smooth them all using sandpaper to soften the edges and make sure they don’t snag on clothing or feel rough against the skin. After sanding I add the fittings like brooch backs and ring findings (I use Araldite as a ceramic fixative and the fittings come from my local bead shop). I also thread the pendants onto lovely new suede thongs and individually attach each button onto card in singles or matching pairs to keep them together. All in all it takes a day or two to go through all the pieces - choosing which items go best with which fitting (and also trying not to glue my fingers together). But it’s all worth it in the end I think – especially now I have a new selection of jewellery and buttons (with brand new glazes!) for my next show.

Talking of which…our next show is coming up very soon. My sister Sue and I will be sharing a stall together again (as Osmosis) at this year's Isle of Wight Garlic Festival next weekend (14th and 15th of August). It’s our second year at the festival. Last year was very good for us and we had lots of interest in our work, so we hope it will be successful again this year. We’ll be exhibiting in the Arts and Crafts marquee on site with lots of other local artists and craft makers - and there’ll be plenty of other attractions over the two day event including live music and lovely food stalls with garlic to eat of course! So if you’re in the area, please do drop by: here’s a link to their official site.

And I just wanted to thank Helen again for featuring my bowl on her lovely blog last week: here’s a screenshot, and here’s a link to her blog too. Thanks!


  1. Thanks for the link to my blog! Good luck at the weekend, I'd love to be there.

  2. Hi, love love love your little buttons and brooches - mine look so ridiculous in comparison. I did ceramics for a few weeks last term at college. I wanted to make buttons for my sewing but found it really hard to get them to sit flat and had problems glazing them .. can you give me any tips? I'd really like to make some more but kept getting told off about my glazes sticking to the kiln :o(

  3. Thanks for your lovely comments guys!

    Michelle: I have some tips for you about how to glaze buttons in a previous blog post of mine which you can read here:

    glazing buttons

    Since then I now brush wax resist inside the holes to stop glaze getting in; this really helps to stop dribbles onto the kiln shelf!

    I too used to have problems with my buttons curling or warping. But Winchell Clayworks kindly suggested I use plasterboard to lay them onto (I use a slab of plaster). It helps if you sandwich them between two flat layers when you've made them (from wet), rotate them as they dry (turn them upside down and back again at intervals) and also make sure they don't dry out too fast. Anyway, here's the blog entry for this:

    making buttons

    Hope that helps Michelle! Good luck making more buttons!