Friday, June 21, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Hiya!  Happy Summer!

It's been a while, hasn't it?  Let's see... February was the last post... March, April, May, June... four months!  Zowie!  Well- it was a busy four months.  In March, I was drawing like mad and gearing up for visiting family and a trip to Ireland in April.  After Ireland, I went back to drawing, then I attended the SCWBI children's book conference in May, in Portland, OR.   My husband and I are working on a children's book, the reason for all of that drawing (some sample pages can be seen on my website here... though from all that I learned at the conference, there will be some changes to them... eventually!).  After that, a studio re-haul (see more below!).  I had more company at the beginning & middle of June...  But now I'm back in action!  For the most part.  Actually, it will be a summer full of company for us, but seriously, who can blame them?  The Pacific NW is known for its lovely summers with temperate weather and crystal blue skies (makes up for all of the gray and rain the rest of the year!), so I welcome my hot and weary friends and family.

Okay, the art I'm working on is probably of greater interest, so I'll get to that!  I'm sculpting again- yay!  The same ol' horse I've been slooowly working on for mmmhbm months; my goal is to finish him by the end of summer.  I will share more about him soon (it is the little Levade fellow).

I want to add some more, new and exciting stuff to my Etsy store soon, well- because sculpting doesn't pay until you are done!  My new goal is to work a little on store inventory in the mornings, then sculpt all afternoon into the evening.   Actually, while that is in progress, I've decided to have a little sale on the Brightly Hude website.  I dug through my (mostly) ceramic baubles and trinkets and picked out a few that I could (slightly) reluctantly part with.  I really have more than I need to display, so they truly could go on to new homes.  Check out that sale here:

Lastly, as I mentioned to have a freshly reorganized studio in which to get creative!  Nothing like a clean space. :)  Sadly, it won't last, but before it fades, here are some shots of the newly redone areas (you can see the "befores" in this post from last year: New Studio- A Little Tour).

Okay!  I hope to be blogging a bit more here as the rest of the year progresses.  I wish all of you a very happy summer & look for more to come!


Friday, February 22, 2013

I Can Hear You

The Ravenhill progress continues!  Just a little bit this week- it has been a busy one (aren't they all, though?).  I'm happy to say that he has his missing ear back; it's not quite finished yet as I ran out of super-glue, but it is getting there!

It needs a bit of carving down & filling, and then the whole broken section of his neck will get primered, and then painted to match the rest of his coat.  I do like the color/pattern he has, so I'm going to work with that.  I'm looking forward to adding in more details & fiddly areas though, because I can!  That will also include a fair bit of mottling on his nose, etc.  Can't wait to get to that part!


Friday, February 15, 2013

For My Next Trick...

Of course, I had to put in a reminder for the auctions!  
Check them out before they end tonight at 5:54 pm, 6:08 pm & 6:14 pm PST!

And for my next trick... putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again!  Yes, I felt it was finally time for me to pull out this poor bone china Ravenhill (sculpted by Hilary Hurley), that I broke back in 2010, while trying to work in too tight of an area in my parent's garage.  It was just a couple of weeks before my wedding (I was trying to go a bit too fast).  I did find another body & do a similar glaze job for the friend I for whom I was painting him (after the wedding!), but seeing as it was only his head that fell off, I figured I could do something with him someday.  And that day is now!

As Joan Berkwitz always says (though maybe it was Kristina Francis who originated it),  
"It was fun until the head fell off."

So here he is thus far!  Lots to be done to him (including re-sculpting an ear that got lost), but I hope to make him a beauty once again.  He will be finished with cold-paint, like a resin.  Here's hoping it all works!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

China Painting- Before & After

Hi there!

Whew- I'm getting back into the swing of china painting (a.k.a. over-glaze painting).  I've done it so seldom in the past I find myself always having to turn to a couple of pros (*thanks Joanie & Karen!*) with questions every time I try it. 

I decided to let my Little One...  she needs a name, doesn't she?  Let's call her... Lizzy*.  I decided to let Lizzy be my guinea pig when it came to me getting back into china painting.  When last we left her, she was all shiny and ready for over-glaze.  This type of pigment gets fired on at a rather low  temperature for ceramics (in this case, around 1300-1400... really, that is low for me!).  You can't tell in these photos, but I've been firing a bit this week & actually still tinkering to find the sweet spot for my kiln.  I last fired to cone 018, but it wasn't quite high enough to fully set the paint (it still looks slightly matte in areas), so I'm going to have to go up to cone 017 (the smaller the number past the "0," the hotter, believe it or not!).  But I think that'll work! 

I thought I'd share one of the area's I'm working on- adding in faint spots and 'halo' markings. 

Here is Lizzy before:

Here she is after:

I might add a little more yet, since I need to fire her again!  The Dantes are coming along- I hope to get their 06 (glossy glaze) firing in this weekend, so I can start china-painting them next week.  Can't wait to finish them all!


*After Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennett, of course!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Almost there...


Well, I'm getting closer and closer to finishing the pieces I've been working on for some time now!  I must say I've gone through an unusually high number of bisque fires with them, making sure things were just so.  Here's where we are now:

We're getting warmer...

Even warmer...

So close!

This wee Little One is almost there!  I decided to glaze her first that I might practice a few china-painting techniques on her before I work on the Dantes (the appy Dante will especially have a lot of work done post-glaze).  Stay tuned for more shininess to come!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Baby Steps

Hey there!

This week's clinky feature is Little One!  Sculpted by Kelly (née) Savage and produced in earthenware by Joan Berkwitz of Pour Horse Pottery, this dainty foal is too darn cute and quite fun to paint!  She too is becoming an appy, as there are a couple of things china-paint wise I want to test on her before committing them to the shiny appy Dante I'm concurrently painting.  She has a ways to go (including some UG pencil work to be done), but it isn't too hard to see what I've completed on her thus far, so I'll leave it to the pictures to do the talking!

Like I said, she has a little ways to go, but she'll get there soon!  And if anyone has any technical questions about her painting process, please feel free to post here & I'll do my best!  She, like the 2 Dantes, will be up at auction upon completion.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Spotty Dante


Whew, I nearly forgot to blog today!  And I'd promised pictures last week of the other Dante* & everything!  I'm so glad I remembered.

This guy is going to be a very spotty bay appaloosa.  Believe it or not, he only has about 50% of his spots right now.  Many of them will be china-painted after he's glazed!

He started out with no spots at all:

Then I started scritching in some & added in much fainter ones with ground underglaze pencil (right side):

I added a bunch of hand-painted ones, and many more underglaze pencil spots:

Next, I tackled his legs- I sprayed & scritched!


Now he still needs his mane and tail worked on, a little touching up here & there, some eyes, hoof-stripes, etc, glaze and many more spots!  But hopefully it won't take too much longer.

Last week's dapple buckskin guy is progressing, as is the "Little One" I'm working on (also spotty!).  I'll share her next week.  As there have been inquires, I'll mention again that I plan on auctioning these pieces when they are complete, and I'll be sure to give y'all a heads up.

That's all for now!


*Dante was sculpted by the fantastic Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig, and cast in ceramic by the amazing Joan Berkwitz of Pour Horse!  Just in case you didn't already know....

Friday, January 4, 2013

Projects for the New Year

Hey there!  First off, I've gotta say (of course)...

We'll see if I can keep up with this blog a little better in 2013!  It helps that Christmas Day is past, and I'm done with travel/guests for a while now... time to buckle down in the studio!

Since returning from Memphis, TN where we went for Christmas, (it was great fun & we even had a little snow!  Snow is always* a novelty to a native So. Cal gal) I picked back up on three ceramic pieces I set aside when things got crazy last month- two Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig "Dantes" and a Kelly née Savage "Little One."  (My ceramic break is over!  Well, maybe 'hiatus' would be a better term, hmm?)

Here, for your enjoyment is one of the Dantes-in-progress (I'll save the other for next week!).  I'm trying something a little different from my usual dappling technique.  It is a combo of my normal airbrush dark/erase-away method combined with ceramic underglaze pencil (its kind of like a pastel pencil in feel).  My crazy looking start:

I'm only 95% it will all work out the way I imagine in my head, but I figured that was a high enough chance to take a shot at it!  I'm trying it this way ultimately, because I'm looking for a little more control with fine lines.  I've never been able to do a dark dapple buckskin that quite lined up with a great reference photo I have, and I think this method will help.  Here's the other side- I'm blending the pencil with a rubber tool:

Here he is with the first coat of black over the pencil.  I'm gradually building up the layers and I've been erasing & even adding in more pencil, as needed.   

Now he has almost all of his layers; I imagine there will be areas that I'll want to (or need to!) add black china-paint over the top of the glaze when he's done, to give it the final effect I want.  I've seen some neat things done with china paints of late, and I'm very inspired!

He will get his golden coloring, nose/eyes, hooves, legs, mane/tail when the dappling is all done.  The lighter colors will sink down during his final firing, allowing the black to show through.  Pretty cool that it works that way!

Sooo... what else do I have planned for 2013, I hear you ask?  Plenty!  As far as sculptures go, I'm really going to try to push myself to get my little Adagio/Spiritoso historical horse in Levade all done before the year gets too far along.  I'd like to add some art prints to my Etsy store (I've a few ideas in mind, but ceramics will come first!), finish my Jeanie Cat book before a conference in May, get further along on my animation project, earnestly work on my Native American horse...  yeah, I don't think 2013 will be boring! 

Okay!  I wish y'all as safe, happy, and creative New Year!

*Well, nearly always.  I say always, unless I have to drive in it, then it loses novelty right quick!