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Category Archives: ART

Finished!!

All good things must come to an end and so today I post the last pieces fashioned with antique doilies. I really enjoyed doing something different creatively for a few weeks and I have a nice selection of them ready in my studio for folks looking for unique gifts. Maybe a nice Valentine's Day gift? At any rate, there is a very limited supply and they are priced just right...(from $25 to $45) so now is the time to choose your favorite!!

I really love this pretty red with the tea stained doily in the dark frame and double tan matt

A trifecta of wee pretties on blue

A large lacy blue and white on a painted canvass paper background

Snowy white on light blue and green combo

A larger sized lacy white doily on a muted golden background with two toned dark frame

A delicate tatted doily and two smaller crocheted ones framed in a deep, burlap backed, hinged shadow box frame with pretty blue flower and button accents

This is quite a nice selection of beautiful pieces!!!

 

Antique doily “art”

I have a few more antique doily creations completed and several more in the design process. I love that I already had everything I needed already to do these beautiful works of art. I guess that tells you how over-supplied most home art studios are!! I'm so happy that I am using frames and matts and papers that I purchased long ago. I probably got them because they were on sale or I had a coupon that was burning a hole in my pocket which accounts for why I had so many on hand!! At any rate...here are the new designs...

Blue and off-white on a red plaid backdrop. How cute would this look hanging in a kitchen?

This one is so dainty and quaint against this paper that almost looks like old fashioned wallpaper.

This one looks great vertically or horizontally !

I'm ready to get back to "work." It's a tough job but somebody has to do it!!

More beautiful antique doilies….

I was lucky to have more time last night and today to continue working on the antique doily project and I am so pleased with what I've created so far....

This beautiful pink doily is the star in this floating frame with a polka dotted background!!

This pair of tea stained beauties look great with a muted floral background and light wood frame.

Another polka dotted background is just right for this wonderful tatted doily.

The sunny orange background is perfect for this bright white snowflake-like doily framed and matted in white as well!

I may have to keep this aged looking pair for myself. I backed it in brown, matted it in tan and framed it in brown with gold flecks...yummy!

Oh yes...there will be more to come......

A creative idea…

So this afternoon I just felt the NEED to create something!! I remembered this bag of antique crocheted and tatted doilies that I have so I set to work creating some beautiful "art" with matts, frames and decorative papers that I also had on hand to feature these beautiful doilies. They really are beautiful pieces of art!! The one that prompted the whole project was this one which I created because I wanted one more piece of art for my living room. The background is a deep navy blue so the white doily looks wonderfully crisp on that backdrop!!  

I did this smaller white doily on a pretty patterned orange paper...

And I'm playing around with a few others that are a tea stained shade of off-white with a brown patterned paper and a tan matt...

I also love these doilies that are done in pastel colors though they will be a bit more difficult to stage just right...

All in all it was a fun afternoon and I look forward to getting back to this project.

So stinkin’ cute!!

For day 27 of AEDM I give you 3 little guys that are so stinkin' cute I laugh out loud when I look at them!!

Can't wait to see them when they are finished!! I made each one of them to go with another already completed critter.

YMCA….

Well, at long last I have finished my second wood pallet art piece! I made all these mini ceramic busts of different men and I had an idea for a brick sided apartment building. Then I thought of the old time YMCA buildings where they housed only men so that became the name for this piece. Here we have a glimpse into the rooms of the surfer dude with his muscular physique and his posters on the wall, the professor in his smoking jacket and bow tie lounging in his extensive library, the artist with his red beret in a loft-like room with a brick wall full of his paintings, the bare chested nature lover looking out his bathroom window with the shower in the background and lastly, the pastor in his clerical garb saying his prayers in front of stained glass windows..It was fun to design this piece and work on the separate parts but as with any multi faceted art installation it was a real challenge to put it all together! But like my first pallet piece, it is fun to look at all the details and it really makes me smile....

let's peek into Pierre's loft....

Here are the two pallets side by side

I have one more of these small pallets and already have a design in mind for it so stay tuned!!

Something different…

My neighbor down the street has an air conditioning business out of a small commercial building. Sometimes he puts wooden pallets out by his dumpster for trash pick up and recently he put out a small pallet that kept calling my name whenever I walked my dogs. Soooooo.... I asked if I might have it and he said yes I could have whatever I wanted there so I ended up with 3 of these smaller wood pallets. An idea was brewing in my creative mind because this was like a "frame" to me as an artist and so I couldn't wait to get started!! I made a sketch of my design and fashioned the clay components that I wanted for the project and after they were bisque fired I brought them home to paint with bright acrylic paints instead of glazing them. The installation was a bit tedious but in the end my design prevailed and I'm pleased with the outcome. It is an art installation/shadow box/mobile "Whatchamacallit" and I even added some fairy lights and battery operated votives for a different effect. What do you think? I call it "Under the Sea" ....

This is the humble beginnings....

This is the unlighted version...

This is what it looks like with the addition of 2 strings of fairy lights and two battery operated votives which I think give it an under-water effect! What do you think?

Stocking up!!!

The studio shelves are getting full as I stock up for two big summer events where I'll be offering my fairy houses for sale. I'm enjoying putting a new twist on older designs and coming up with new ones to tempt the discriminating fairy family. There is literally something for every taste on these shelves and I can't wait to see the reaction of folks shopping for a garden fairy house this summer!!     

The process….

  Someone recently asked how long it takes to make a fairy house. It's not a cut and dry answer or process but basically this is how it happens:  I get an idea first and then turn that idea into a template or pattern. I then use a slab roller to compress and flatten the clay to the desired thickness and length and width. I have a small slab roller in my home studio but the one at the Clayworks Studio is very large so I can do bigger pieces more easily there. After the clay is rolled out, I cut out the individual pieces using my templates. I  use a drafting square or t-square to get even edges. Once I have all the components of a house cut out, I sometimes need to let them set up a bit before I can piece them together otherwise they may sag. This part is tricky as you can't let them get too hard or they won't form a good bond when you join the pieces. I score the edges and moisten them with "magic water" (a simple chemical solution which melds the clay together) and press them together. There's a lot of evening up and squaring of edges at this point if the house is angular in nature. The round houses must also be joined at the edges and roof line but it's not as critical to get the edges as even as it is with the square or rectangular houses. After the basic piece is assembled, I let it sit a while before I work on the details otherwise I would disturb the integrity and strength of the piece. Usually I will start on another house at this point and go back to the first one when it is stable enough to work on again. There is a point when the clay becomes "leather hard" when you can actually carve into it without causing any (or much) damage. This is when I get to do the tiny details like carving out a doorframe, inserting a doorknob, cutting out windows and lastly...affixing tiny details that I have created separately to adhere to the basic structure. These might be vines and flowers, a flowered garden lattice, cats, lamps or vases for the windowsills. Sometimes I add a window awning, shutters or flower boxes complete with tiny flowers. These details take a LOT OF TIME!!!

This leather hard fairy house is ready to be bisque fired

I always carve my name on the inside of the front door of the house while the clay is still pliable. Next, the assembled piece will sit for a day or two to dry out. At the Clayworks Studio, there are several shelves for pieces that are awaiting the bisque (first) firing in the kiln. That's where the house stays until there are enough pieces on the shelves to fill the kiln.

These figures have been bisque fired and are pinkish in color now

The bisque firing takes a few days to accomplish because the kiln reaches a very high temperature and then must cool down slowly before the pieces can be removed from the kiln. At this point, the piece turns a sort of pink color if built with the regular earthen clay. The porcelain clay will turn completely white during the bisque firing. So it depends on which clay you are working with . I mostly use the dark clay but I like to use the porcelain clay for lattices as they won't need to be glazed since they are already white. So after they are bisque fired, I glaze (paint with special clay paints) the pieces. This part takes the most time as my pieces have so many tiny details. Sometimes after I glaze a certain detail, I must then cover it with a thin coat of liquid wax to protect it from the next color bleeding onto it......very time consuming!! Once the piece is completely glazed (painted) it goes onto another set of shelves along with other pieces awaiting the glaze (final) firing.

The glaze (paint) has been applied to this piece and it will now be glaze fired

Depending on how much work is being produced at any given time, it may sit there a few days before going back into the kiln. Once again this process is all about reaching high temperatures and slow cooling so again...a few days are involved. When the glaze firing is completed and the kiln is emptied onto our personal shelves at the Clayworks Studio it's like Christmas morning for each of us as there is always a degree of mystery as to how the colors will develop....no matter how many times you have used that color!! So that is how long it takes to make a fairy house!!

This is the final product after the glaze firing!!

Basically potters make about 3 cents an hour when you consider all that goes into creating a beautiful bowl, mug, vase or yes...a fairy house...but we do it because we love to do it and if we can sell our pieces for a wee bit, we can make enough to buy more supplies to do it all over again....now that's LOVE!!!!

Something new…

There were three new houses on my shelf tonight when I got to the Clayworks. They are all really cute and of course....different than any others I've made.

This pretty woodsy sided house has a row of Black-Eyed Suzies on the roof and one blooming in a flower pot on the windowsill. A little lamp sits in the front window.

($50.00)NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Front, sides and back all have wonderful details on the Chrysanthemum Cottage. The roof is one big flower and the colors are so yummy!

($50.00)NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Lots more real estate is on the way in the coming weeks so stay tuned!!

Creative Point of View

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copyright notice

All images and writings presented on this blog are copyrighted and are the property of Maron Craig Bielovitz. As such, it is unlawful to use these images or material without her express written permission