throwing yarnbowls

[igp-video src=”http://chasingfirestudio.com/wp-content/uploads/throwing-a-yarn-bowl.-note-the-technique-using-a-piece-of-scrap-paper-to-seal-the-opening-creating-a.mp4″ poster=”http://chasingfirestudio.com/wp-content/uploads/throwing-a-yarn-bowl.-note-the-technique-using-a-piece-of-scrap-paper-to-seal-the-opening-creating-a.jpg” size=”medium”] Throwing a yarn bowl. Note the technique using a piece of scrap paper to seal the opening, creating a vacuum to keep the pot stable as I take it off the wheel. Don’t have bats? No problem! . #yarnbowl #ceramicart #ceramicarts #ceramicartist #modernceramics #ceramica #keramik #wheelthrownceramics #pottery #handthrown #potterybowl #potteryprocess #pottersofinstagram #potteryvideo #potteryvideos #claylife #pottery #functionalpottery #potteryprocess #pottersofinstagram #potterytip #oddlysatisfying


prepping steins

[igp-video src=”” poster=”http://chasingfirestudio.com/wp-content/uploads/stages-new-gamer-steins-in-progress-far-left-are-handled-medallioned-and-drying.-middle-are-just-tri.jpg” size=”medium”] Stages // New gamer steins in progress! Far left are handled, medallioned, and drying. Middle are just trimmed, waiting for handles and medallions. Far right are in line for trimming as I wait for the clay to reach perfect balance of consistency. Next when bone dry, they will be into the first kiln firing, then glazed and into their final firing. All the while, hoping these new experiments work out after all the stages come to pass. The process cycles on and on. Do you have a project that keeps you humble? . . . #ceramics #potteryprocess #wheelthrown #pottery #artpractice #d20mug #calgaryexpo



[igp-video src=”https://chasingfirestudio.com/wp-content/uploads/and-again-working-back-on-the-wheel-after-a-long-three-months-working-through-shoulder-injuries-cent.mp4″ poster=”https://chasingfirestudio.com/wp-content/uploads/and-again-working-back-on-the-wheel-after-a-long-three-months-working-through-shoulder-injuries-cent.jpg” size=”medium”] And again // Working back on the wheel after a long three months working through shoulder injuries! Centering clay on the wheel is normally quick but I’m savouring hands on clay before opening for a mug bottom. 🌶️ Some great successes, some really funny fails, and I did work too long because these shoulders were hot and SPICY when I finally called it for the night. But it felt GOOD to be back out. 🌶️ And now back to sorting kiln accessories while these shoulders chill. The New Baby arrives next week and we are selling our tried and true 7 cu foot Duncan Kiln and I want to send lots of goodies with the new owner (details with link in stories until it sells). 🌶️ Are you back to something you love as the Ides of March approach? . . . . [Accessibility text: white woman’s hands on a metal pottery wheelhead filmed from overhead, centering grey clay. At the end of the clip, she uses her fingers and then a sponge to push down into the center and then pull the clay outwards to create the bottom of the future mug.] . . #potteryvideo #centeringvideo #throwingvideo #mugthrowing #ceramics #pottery #wheelthrown #ceramicvideo #potteryprocess #yyckiln #yyc @albertapottersassociation



Tools // We talk so much about tools in studio, in our videos, with other artists and ceramic artists and potters. We all have our favourite ride-or-die BFF tools. Jason and I regularly hoard red ribs (the red rubbery tool with a hole in the middle of it, seen in photo). I have a metal bit from a disassembled scotch tape dispenser glued to a chopstick that makes my heart flutter. As a family, the bin of round sponges at our supplier, Ceramics Canada, is a joy – our son once ended up face down and feet up in that barrel as he yearned to reach the bottom through the thousands of sponges. We do like the things that we like. 🖌These days of glazing and painting, we have favourite brushes and chairs as we work through the backlog of pots. The chill in the air is reminding us that we should appreciate every warm day we have, so we are achingly behind our own schedule. Lucky for us, our priority to enjoy these moments outside the studio before the snow flies is something we can take without guilt. Our tools will wait. They are wonderful that way.🖌What are your priorities this week?…[Image description: a charcoal black work surface with clay dust, covered in a variety of pottery tools: ball tools, brushes, a round yellow sponge, a red rib, a silver carving tool, and a small piece of clay.]..#creativeprocess #creativelife #handmademovement #artisanmade #makersmovement #makersgonnamake #etsyartist #ceramics #pottery #AlbertaMade #yycarts #canadianceramics #ipreview via @preview.app Posted by Intagrate Lite


throwing while distracted

D i s t r a c t e d // throwback to throwing while distracted. Jason and our friend and neighbour, Tony, were in studio as I made the forms for the kitchener mugs. Our meandering conversation danced from the upcoming January 2020 ACAD market (we would have 9 days to prep. Ceramics needs weeks, not days), then to the resurgence of vinyl (enthusiast @lyleaspinall received a shout out). We argued about the existence of a comic book store on Southland and MacLeod Trail in #yyc. Hot flashes in men with empathy for women after a bout of medication side effects, and our suspected senility with not a good memory among us on this sunny day rounded out the convo. I was more focused on the chat than the pot, and I acquired a wobble due to my lack of focus. I should know better, but I enjoy companionship in the studio, and your mug will sometimes show the evidence.?Happy 2020! May you have the companionship you want, the laughter you need, and the good health we all desire.#ceramics #wheelthrown #wheelthrowingvideo #plainsmanclay Posted by Intagrate Lite


Doublespeed throwing

D O U B L E S P E E D // Throwing mugs and cups on this very chilly day, working down my to-do list while really wishing that this studio had a fireplace (and was surrounded by palm trees, while we're wishing…)#wheelthrown #ceramics #potteryvideos #ceramicvideo Posted by Intagrate Lite



Speed-up video, trying to find just the right curve on the bottom of this mug. ?#ceramics #wheelthrown #plainsman #pottery #albertacraftyyc #albertamade #canadianceramics #wheelthrowing #AlbertaPotters Posted by Intagrate Lite


my weekend

First I made the bowl: Then I carved the bowl: What did you do this weekend?



Typography is so fun. New items in the shop – custom orders for monogrammed mugs. Here is a preview of mugs that are in process:


the new girl in town

I love my husband. Today, if it’s possible, I love him even MORE. As we feasted in honour of our 13th wedding anniversary: J: “I made a decision about what to do with that extra cash” (selling stuff on kijiji is lucrative) C: “Oh?” (this was in a tone attempting to be casual without being “oh crap, what the heck are you buying? A taxidermied duck? A boat? Gun? Hookers?) J: “I want to buy a new wheel. Happy Anniversary.” C: (stunned silence) J: “Yes, really” C: TEARS OF TEARS WITH MORE TEARS I’m awestruck. A new wheel is better than any diamond, especially after the drama of my current wheel going off level and my intense emotional reaction to not having a wheel for even a few days (reminder: my reaction was panic and attempting to use socket wrenches and lots of prayer to every god/goddess I could think of) I wasted no time and I quickly found a thrice used wheel that needed a new home.  We brought her home last night. Introducing my new (still nameless) Shimpo VL-Whisper: She runs in near silence. I mean, SILENCE. I wouldn’t know it was running if I wasn’t sitting right there with hands on the wheel-head. I tried her out last night and after having the rattling and humming of my current wheel to intuitively judge speed and power, the Silent Queen was a big change – I was zipping way too fast, not realizing the speed or sensitivity. It will take a few pots before I adjust to the power, the silence and the responsive pedal action. I am so excited that I’ll be able to listen to audio books while throwing. Jay pointed out last night that the wheel just looked familiar . Well, duh – she’s destined to be mine so of course she looks familiar! On second inspection, sure enough, this is the style of wheel that I learned to throw on so many years ago. It’s fate, people. Can I cancel our family vacation to stay in the studio and play with her? Every two year old would rather play with clay rather than go visit dinosaurs, right? So today while I daydream of my new wheel, the bisque kiln is started and I can’t wait to get this load glazed and up for sale. There will be  some really cool mugs looking for a new home and with the new wheel, much more functional pottery produced in the next little while as I completely immerse myself in my new girldfriend. I’m off to find a Giffin Grip – is there any place to find such a thing used? -Cara


there was a crooked wheel…

I am passionate about working in clay. Passionate. I use it as a meditation, creative outlet, to show love to others, to show love to myself. The calm I feel when on the wheel is sometimes all I need to center myself during a stressful day. When people ask me what I make on the wheel, I want to say “peace” (and then I want to gag because that’s pretty darn cheesy). I tell you this because something pretty serious happened on Saturday. My pottery wheel stopped working. Well, it didn’t so much stop working as… well, I couldn’t throw. I struggled so much when making the first in this new tea cup series last weekend. It was wonky and I had to work longer and with more concentration than I have in years. I thought I was having a Bad Day or had low blood sugar or the moon was in mercury so I focused on other things for a week. Then I came back and tried again and when the next two were even more difficult to throw, I realized that Something Was Wrong. At first I thought I was succumbing to fumes since I share space with my husband and he had been working on something smelly the night before. I opened the overhead doors and took a break but upon returning, my mugs were still wonky and hard to make and I was starting to think maybe, just maybe, I was having an aneurysm. Or I’d forgotten how to throw. Midway through Saturday, neighbours came by to visit and while standing across the room, I glanced back and WOW, that wheel was hella crooked. The difference in height on each side of the wheelhead was almost a quarter inch. “Hallelujah! It’s NOT me!” I said to myself. And then it dawned on me. Or more like hit me like a bullet. THE WHEEL WAS BORKED. My first reaction? PANIC. My second was to call everyone I know for help. Unfortunately, that “everyone” was a writer, an accountant, an office manager and my husband who, although mechanically inclined, was having one of those back-pain episodes that is best described as incapacitating. My mom was out of country but I didn’t think calling her would help because I’d just bawl into the phone. Telephoning sometimes does that to me. I called the only ceramics dealer in the area but they were already closed. Once everyone had left, I did the only thing I could think of and I marched into the studio, grabbed a big bin of metal thingies and I started taking my motorized kickwheel apart. With TOOLS. I used a rubber mallet at one point. It was liberating and terrifying but I thought “self, it’s completely borked. It’s rotating off by at least 5 degrees. You can’t break it any more than it already is”. I then took a bit of a break to cry. I’m not ashamed. I was so angry and panicked and generally out of my comfort zone by about a lifespan that I just had to sit for a bit. I stared at my wheel and knew she was dying. That didn’t make things any better so I imagined I was the ambulance crew and dammit, she’s not going without a fight! (plus replacing her is a minimum of $600 and that brought me to tears again so I really really needed to figure out how to save her). I did find out what was wrong and we all scratched our heads. The entire wheelhead and flywheel mechanism was tilted in a way that the wheel didn’t shudder or wobble – it was evenly tilted but crooked enough to make throwing a struggle. But how to fix it? The husband had recovered enough by Monday to figure that the entire frame of my wheel had been twisted rather severely. Was there a tornado we’d missed? Was there a mosh pit in the studio while we were on vacation? No matter – his welding magic had my baby leveled in time to try it on Monday evening. Throwing is easy again. The wheel is fixed. So let me introduce my new line of spiral lotus flower tea cups – born from struggle and surviving in peace. They’re in progress here while I decide what colour they want to be: