So I’ve finally, finally got the Cats & Co colouring book published. This one has taken me so long to finish, what with Dad’s illness and being especially busy at work, but I’m really pleased with the way it’s turned out. The drawings are based on photos from Warren Photographic, who have some amazing pictures on their website.
So. Progress has been had with the latest colouring book, Cats & Co – drawing 18 is complete, so just two more to do and I can publish the book.
As for the pottery classes, I’ve now done four weeks. Loving it! I would love to learn to make and decorate pots with my animal pictures on. That may take me a few years to attain though.
The first week of class we stamped out tiles and decorated them with textures using a splendidly random set of objects. I made five tiles in all. Not the fastest of workers.
In the second class we built cylindrical containers formed around tubes. Mine was textured using an old jumper and a selection of embroidery flowers. Because I misjudged the cutting it didn’t quite meet at the front, so I cut a panel and pressed buttons down the front to hold it together. I made a cardigan pot!
In the third class we had been hoping that the tiles would be bisque fired, but they were still in the kiln so we made a strange assortment of textured bowls by decorating them with the textural gubbins again and throwing the result onto the bench at an angle, then draping them into slump moulds. The cylindrical pots were trimmed and put to dry ready for bisque firing.
Last Tuesday we had the tiles back to glaze. We had a selection of oxides and stains to use, with the oxides then being covered with white glaze and the stains with transparent glaze. I painted my five tiles and also a few belonging to another class member who had far more and found the process of painting boring. It will be interesting to see how they turn out.
On Wednesday it was my birthday. My present to myself was a little pottery wheel. I chose a Shimpo Aspire with hand control so I can use it on a standing workbench, as my playroom is also my rat room and it seemed best to keep the wheel entirely out of the ratties’ reach.
I didn’t get a chance to try the wheel until Saturday, when my first two attempts at centring made me realise that the clay was too hard for me to learn with, so then I spent some time learning how to damp down and wedge the clay. Today’s attempts went somewhat better. Trying to remember to brace my elbows against my sides and rest my arms on the splash pan.
Attempt three and the clay was easier to work with as it was much softer, but I still failed to centre it. I am also a very messy person. Clay everywhere!
Attempt four started OK, but as I opened it out it turned into a plate that slowly collapsed onto itself.
Attempt five produced a cooling tower pot that actually ‘looked like a thing’, as my offspring would say. On slicing it open I realised that I hadn’t cleaned up around the lower edge, so it was very thick bottomed and there was also an air bubble.
Attempt six wasn’t much better.
Attempt seven I decided to keep and try trimming later on. I’ve got the base a little squarer inside with this one.
And attempt eight was an effort to make the pot as tall as I could, which inevitably collapsed. Then it was time to pack up and go to visit my mum for the afternoon.
I think I need to grab one of the wheels in pottery class and actually get some tuition, but usually all four are in use. Time to be assertive maybe? Or just watch more Youtube tutorials.
Let’s see if we can keep blogging for a while this time, shall we?
I’ve been prompted to revisit my much neglected blog by the publication last week of my most recent colouring book, Doodle Artist Guinea Pigs. It was a lovely book to draw. I began by being uncertain how to give character to pictures of guinea pigs, which have always seemed to me to be little round balls of fluff with a leg at each corner, but I soon realised from the lovely source photos from Warren Photographic that each guinea pig has a character all of its own, and they were a joy to draw.
The book is beginning to sell well in the UK and Europe now, but has not left the starting blocks in the US. I’m hoping that eventually the guinea pig forums will discover it and it will take off.
Run, little piggies, run!
Wow. It really has been too long since I’ve posted. There sits the post for my last book, and here I am with another one. This time I’ve filled a book with drawings of dogs, and having hit the publish button last Tuesday I’m suffering from the usual crisis of confidence as I wait for it to sell. I know these are my best drawings yet, I feel I’m improving with each book, but that doesn’t mean that it will compete with the many other doggy colouring books. So I’ll just leave you with my favourite drawing this time around. The bulldog.
If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Doodle Artist – Peaceful Patterns, it’s currently on a Goodreads Giveaway offer until the end of January, with five chances to win a copy. Drawing those patterns really did help to soothe away the tension during December, so I’m hoping they will work just as well for my customers too.