After a great deal of excitement, work, painting, anxiety and education; I am so excited to share that I have officially FIRED my Skutt kiln for the first time and I am READY to go.
It all started a few months back. Being a Creativity Contributor for i Love to Create , a Duncan Enterprises company, led its way to developing a passion for ceramics and a friendship with a whole new hobby (or should I say lifestyle even). I flew to Fresno, CA and trained alongside the beautiful Kathy Cano-Murillo (aka Crafty Chica) under the famous David Hoff. Here we are in class on days one and two with our leaf pieces.
He is SERIOUS about the art of ceramics and while I am a bit quirky and whimsical, he found the patience to teach me. I don’t think it was easy because to be honest, Kathy’s style is unique but similar in method to mine and I am pretty sure he earned his money on us! I feel so fortunate to have learned from him as he is incredible talented and experienced. I have to state for the record that his studio is amaze balls awesome and so super organized!!!
I am pretty sure the friendship goblets we made for each other were not using skills from any manual! However, it was super fun and I LOVE mine that she made for me.
Not too many weeks after that, it arrived. It was huge, shiny, powerful and beautiful. It was my SKUTT kiln and it was love at first sight.
In these weeks (months) of becoming a ceramics artist, I have learned SOOOO much. I want to share my top 5 lessons with you.
- Teamwork Makes All the Difference – Being a part of the teams I am on makes this adventure so much more fun. My husband Ryp has been the most amazing support. He helped get the kiln set up. It is HEAVY and getting in from the driveway in the front to our basement around back was just the beginning. He has been super helpful with every step of preparing and making my space perfect for me. My Duncan team is beyond fabulous. They have cheered me on and championed me through my ups and downs which include creating my family on a platter as my first piece. I did it untrained without supervision and sadly, all of my peeps turned blue. I learned that all underglazes don’t mix and don’t cover each other that way. Kathy Cano-Murillo has become my friend through all this. We spent an evening in Fresno set up in our hotel painting, chatting and getting to know each other. Being friends with her and growing in this ceramics passion is such an honor.
- Patience Is My Friend – there are steps to creating ceramic masterpieces and there aren’t really any shortcuts. From painting the underglaze colors on the bisque to the drying, glazing and going into the magic of the kiln; I get to access a new level of patience. If I rush through any step, my outcome is not the best it can be.
- All Underglazes (and Glazes) are Not Created Equal – There are LOTS of different kinds of “paints” that go on ceramics before they go in the kiln and they DO NOT all work together. I have learned that some are made of clay and others glass. Mysterious things happen when they get fired in the kiln and they don’t work like the paints (acrylics or watercolors) I am so used to in the DIY and crafty world. I get to research and practice and grow with this hobby. It is an adventure.
- Having a Kiln is Like Getting A Puppy – It is true. When people find out that I have a new kiln and ceramics and underglazes and brushes and all of this great stuff (IN MY HOUSE), they want to come over and be my friend. It is like getting a puppy. I get to make new creative friends in my new home of Aurora, CO and it is as easy as letting people pet a new puppy.
- The Results of a FIRING are like MAGIC! – It is simply amazing. From the moment you put your ceramic pieces in to the kiln to the moment you take them back out, magic happens. The final pieces are so much brighter and shinier and well, they are just AWESOME. It is a gigantic reveal!
I can’t wait to keep going, exploring and learning. As I grow, I will share. I am learning techniques, playing, practicing and making mistakes. Some of them are awful and some turn out beautiful Thanks for joining me on this new creative adventure. It is going to be a fun ride!