Thursday, April 24, 2014

Painting for Profit, What Drives An Artist

My first paid mural. Each wall meticulously painted with a detailed fantasy of a jungle. I was paid $300.00 to do it, and glad to do it too! Now that I look back at it, I was trying to prove something to myself. That I could complete the job of creating a fantasy painting all out of my head, all by myself. Nothing to do with the money, until after I saw what I could create.

I had a job teaching art in a jail. Long story, but the thing was, it brought me experience. I had very little painting and drawing experience before I started teaching. I always say that my students taught me. One, to practice, I did so many portraits of my students, a reward for them, practice for me. I also, talked my way into projects by saying I knew more than I thought I did. I built some confidence in myself. 

I had to make other people believe which made me believe in myself. I had to prove myself to my higher ups that I could do the job. I was so worried I would fail, but grateful for the challenge. Here is the first mural I did with the help of my students in the East Max Facility at Pitchess Detention Facility.

This is the only picture I can find of this mural. It was at least 60 feet wide and 20 feet high, That little box in the corner is a 2 foot x 3 foot speaker, and the reflection at the bottom is a stainless steel table the inmates use in the dining hall. My students did the under painting and I did the detail. Thanks to a certain Deputy for loving the murals in the facility, he talked the Lieutenants and Sergeants into allowing my students to come in and paint this with my instruction. I never told them I had never painted a mural, how hard could it be, right? 

Reminds me that's how I got the job in the first place, boy, did I need a job, only wanted to do art, studied art, and with just small fabrications, and little experience, I was allowed to have a job where I could learn as I went. In fact, that is what all my first jobs were all about. To learn life and to make a living. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Motivation of an Artist, Where it Begins

Haven't been posting for awhile, 

I am thinking of changing direction of my blog to promote more websites and artists.
along with showing you what I am doing. 

What am I doing, well after a short vacation, of which, on the last day there, I broke my ankle. It gave me time to pause and rethink where I was going with my art, my life, my blog. Not in the same order, and more than what I mentioned... I want to reflect about my other artist friends art, they are amazing artists.

And also, to give you insight to what motivates an artist, like me, to pursue their art. 

I have a love hate relationship with my art, as, I think, most artists do. We are our own worst critic, at least I am to me. I believe some artists try to hide this from the public until they make it. Then they say, I knew it all along, I knew I would be great. 

Artists don't do art to make money, but it is always great when we can make a living out of what we do. I made my living through teaching art, I always had to have my thumb in it somewhere. Now it is a great supplement income only through perseverance and hard work. 

Warren Scherich, click on his name and you will see my favorite piece so far, made by him. He is a sculptor, and a painter, but I believe his passion is sculpting. He works endlessly in his yard sculpting, You can find him on face book, too! Warren's page, follow him, you won't be disappointed!

Here he is showing his paintings at an upcoming event

Master at work, He has his own rock garden. Wonderful abstract sculptures in his garden. He loves to share his work and his ideas, here is doing a short video of his work. You tube video of his process here....

What motivates an artist? Passion, pure passion, we can't help what we do, we are driven by our passion.

I find his process fascinating. In the mean time, I am going back to working on my art next week, 

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Moon Cups, Moonshine is on the Rise

Being the New Year, and having January start with a new moon was so wonderfully rare, that it inspired me to make some wonderful moon mugs for your moonshine! Well the moon shine is optional...

My favorite is this one, so far. Also, I learned something, when customers are interested in your items before you put them out in there shop, make sure you post ALL of them before you tell them that you put them out! I posted just a couple, and then emailed a customer to tell them I was posting them, and they started buying them right and left, before I could get all the cups out. It was a frantic morning. I think she was thinking they would sell out. They are a hit! Thanks to all my customers for their support!

New Year, New Stuff, Husky Ring Dishes

A new year and I am so behind of myself. I am busy making moon cups and ring dishes, the most popular items in my shop. I am learning to follow my customers in their wishes and the new items are paying off.

Now in the works are various ring dishes, not yet fully made. Here's a peek

Huskies are now part of my line of ring dishes, and it all started with a Teddy Bear.
Also coming are my nature filled cups, air plant pods, and a little surprise.

I am also trying out making little animal charms for a necklace. Hope it works out they way I want it to be. Not too fancy, they will have a ball and chain. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday is Today, Black Friday is here to stay

I never participated in Black Friday until just the last two years....

Now I know why people love Black Friday, everyone loves a good sale, especially me, so....

I am offering 30% in my shop tjCervantesArt just click my name and it will take you there. Remember though, it is only for items that are available now, not for made to order items.

Here are some items available.....

Moon Jars and Moon Beams, Man in the Moon Faces, Glowing Translucent Porcelain

 Featured on the Etsy Blog about Moons, these moon jars are available in my shop now made with a translucent porcelain. Hard to achieve, but I have been working on finding this kind of porcelain where I live.

Clay is different all over the country, even the world. There are some porcelains that cost  because of the scarcity. The is some porcelain found in Norway that is Limoge porcelain

I tried to get some porcelain some potters were using in the midwest and east coast, but it isn't available here, and I wasn't sure it was translucent.

Well my favorite clay store, which is really just a warehouse of ceramic supplies, I found the clay I wanted, it is called Frost 6 at Laguna Clay in the City of Industry, CA.

Well here is what it does which made me so excited...

See this wonderful glowing moon!! and of course you can use it as a trinket jar too.

I made some ring dishes and jewelry bowls with clay as well. It just makes the piece look so refined. And it helps that I throw so thin. That is probably key in the creations

So now my new goal is to make the carved letters I do stand out through sheer light. 
This piece the lettering just glows when it is in the sunlight. 

Here is the top of the ring dish, for marriage, a ring pillow, and it holds the wedding rings in the dove tails

Friday, September 27, 2013

Under glazing and Seashells

A new endeavor of mine is making porcelain bowls that look like abalone, I am becoming a fast friend of Laguna Clay in the City of Industry. I browse through the web for things to use in my pottery. I have come across Amaco underglaze watercolors and Amaco underglaze pencils. In this photo I use the watercolors but I laid into it a little thicker on the one and got better results. I glazed with a clear glaze and fired to cone 5. I think this temperature holds the color the best. I am making a whole set of dishes like this now, and today is bisqueing day. I have more wonder creations just waiting to post.

 Underglaze pencils at work, but I found the spraying with a solution of 1 pint water with one tablespoon gum solution works best. I found this information from The Big Ceramic Store.

I don't know which to work on first, so, I am working simultaneously on both. The drawing can get tedious but the abstract abalone design is so much easier and mind freeing. I do love to draw, but it is nice to just let go and be free in your design.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The New Ring Pillow, a Porcelain Ring Dish for Weddings

I have been designing ring dishes. I love the jewelry bowls that I have been making but I was asked to make a ring dish for a wedding. The person had seen the jars and the teapots I make using small animal forms of a fox, and a bird. She requested a teddy bear, well two since it was going to be a ring pillow for her wedding.

Well I decided to make a one with a fox...

and then a platypus...

and then someone contacted me and asked me if I could make a Mr and Mrs Fox ring dish, well I couldn't disappoint her, it was a rush job, but I think it came out okay...

The one thing I learned in this is that, nothing is ever perfect, the Mr. and Mrs. Fox ring dish wobbled so I discounted it. And of all things, I guess rushing, I left out the - for the "F" in Fox when I put the name on the bottom, or it burned out. I am not sure which. But  what I do know is that every firing is learning curve. And check, double check and check again, each item before firing. Then cross your fingers and hope for the best.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ceramics, Crazing can be fixed!!

I haven't been here in awhile, but something happened that I have to share. I have been getting what is call crazing on my pottery off and on through my pottery rebirth for the last three years. I was told there was much you could do about it. But when my whole kiln came down with crazing I thought I would look for a solution on the internet.

Lo and behold, one of my favorite potters who is on Etsy had a blog where she discusses just this thing I was having trouble with, Crazing. I talk about it in a previous post, Ceramics, a Lesson in Crazing. Well she had the solution to my problem, fire it again and it will all go away, and it did!!



Can you believe it not a crack, anywhere. 

So you ask, what was that potters name? I will even give you the blog where she explained the soluton. She has a lot of good ideas, books to read and solutions with more that just this one. Here is the post on crazing from her blog, Suite One Studio.

I will be trying to post some more interesting things about my art experience, I just had to write this down. This is wonderful to me!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Process of Making a Pot on a Potters Wheel


     I make the bowl on a potter's wheel, then I wait until dry enough to trim the bottom.

               After trimming, I sometimes add a slip painting with a black mason stain.

                   This bird was attached after the pot is trimmed, including the lid.

                       I carve the names in the leather hard clay after it is trimmed too.

 After trimming, I hand sculpt the birds and attach. I then carve the names in when the pot is still a leather hard (not dry but not wet, it acts like leather thus the name) I then wait for it to dry, that takes about 5-7 days.


Then I fire it in a kiln - this is the first firing called a bisque firing. the firing takes a day, and another day to cool, two days in all. Okay, now we are at the 9-10 day mark.

Back out it comes. I will then draw with the underglaze pencil if I am making moon faces.

 I then glaze the top and the birds if it is a ring dish. I wipe excess off the bottom and apply iron oxide on the outside and bottom and wipe it off so it is just in the carved areas and a         
stain on the clay. 

   If it is under-glazed with a painting or drawing I just dip, very carefully. in clear glaze. Then I fire it to a stoneware temperature, 2185 degrees. 

After waiting a day for the firing, again, and another day for it to cool, again. And if I am really lucky, ( I am getting luckier and luckier with experience, lol) the piece comes out looking gorgeous.


                                                 And that is how each piece is made, 

just thought I would share, my husband thinks people would be interested in knowing this. I am going to make a video someday of the process. Someday.....

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Children are the moon and the sea

Children ARE the moon and the sea, and so you see, you will also see the sea floating with the moon

This is custom pottery that I have been influenced to do. The moon has always followed me so why not make moon plates and bowls! The perfect solution, having useful and functional art that is also quirky and fun. 

I just made this bowl and plate on the potters wheel. I use Hagi Porcelain from Laguna Clay. The white clay looks so good white and the moon just called out for me to start making this.

I like the way the swirls are on the plate; it becomes more subtle after the glaze. This is done on once fired or bisque ware. Then the drawing begins.

I love to draw, just with minimal materials, and then the potting. I enjoy being in both worlds. 

 I know you could take a picture, fiddle with it in photoshop, which takes a long time, then print it out as a decal.  And, which goes over the glaze and will wear off eventually if given time.

This will last indefinitely on the clay.  Even if broken the drawing will stand the test of time. The drawing is done with an underglaze pencil. Then I glaze it to a stoneware/porcelain temperature called cone 5. Stay tuned for the finished results.

That's the other thing about pottery, after the glaze firing, the piece can be absolutely beautiful and just what I wanted or.... something can go a little to a lot wrong. So, wish me luck, as I love how this looks so far. I have learned not to like it until it is done, but this part looks so good that I had to share.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I have been busy catching up and having shows and making moon bowls. The question is craters of no craters, I can't decide. You can find these in my Etsy Shop. The link is to your right.

I am making seashell bowls and rock bowls, (stay tuned for the pic) even though people seem to like this moon bowl idea. I will do some lady bowls before I stop, and some lady face plates. Then let's see what happens.