Handcrafted Ceramics by Swan Whigham

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2264 Fahrenheit

Say a little prayer because my art is being burned at 2264 degrees Fahrenheit! That is temperature of cone 6. I'm looking forward to being reunited with my little treasures. I'm also a little nervous because I tried some new glazing techniques and once they are fired, it's permanant! Hopefully I'll have them by this weekend.
On a side note, I forgot to mention what time my workshops are. The Mommy and Me workshop is Wednesday, November 4th, from 10-11:30 at my home. The fee is $15 per child, and accompanying adults are free. Children 1 and under when accompanying another child and adult are free (of course). The adult workshop is Saturday, November 7th from 9-12pm. The fee is $20 per person and includes all supplies. Please email me for Mommy and Me workshop before November 3rd and for the adult workshop, before November 6th. swanwhigham@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Glazing and workshops

Tonight I am going back to Wild Child to finish glazing some ware. Two more starfish pots should be bisque fired by now too. It's very time consuming to glaze but it's important. Although glazing is my least favorite part of the creating process, it has become more interesting of late. I used to just glaze the inside of the pots with a water green or blue, then accent the outside of the pots with iron oxide then put them in the salt kiln. Now that I don't have access to a salt kiln, I've had to experiment with cone 6 oxidation glazes. Cone 6 glazes have really come a long way, even since I was in college.
I haven't built anything in a while, but this week I will get a few things built. Next week I am having two ceramic workshops at my home. On November 4th, I will be directing a Mommy and Me workshop. We will be making Christmas ornaments. I am really looking forward to creating with the kids and other moms. I have in mind to make some 3D animal ornaments and some slab ornaments with painted on animals. Fun! The next workshop will be November 7th for adults. We will be making boat vases and cups/mugs from slabs. I am really looking forward to that too! On a side note, something else I am excited about is Nov. 10th I am going to a friend's house to make some scrumptious soap. We have a great trade set up- she is teaching me to make soap and I am teaching her children how to make pottery. Great things are happening!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Snail's pace

Last night I went to Wild Child Arts to glaze 6 tumblers and 4 covered jars. I worked for 2 hours and still did not finish glazing! I did glaze the insides of each piece in a lovely "crazed copper" glaze- I'm really excited to see how it turns out. "Crazed" means the glaze has a nice crackled effect throughout. It is still food safe, though. The outside of the pieces I accented with black under-glaze to bring out the drawings and sculpted surfaces. I also have two starfish covered jars to glaze over at Sparkle Plenty studio.
Life definitely revolves around my family, so pottery is moving along at a snail's pace. I am actually fine with that, and will kick it up a notch from time to time if I need to. I'm just happy it is going and that I have my foot in the door. And yes, I have made a sale on Etsy! Woohoo! Sure, it was from my mother-in-law who is giving it as a wedding gift, but I am still thrilled! Thanks for your support, Faye!
I've also been thinking a lot about what it takes to be really successful in pottery. I've following some blogs of other potters and I am learning a little about how much time and effort is really needed to make a living off pottery. It's not easy. I came to realization that I may never be that successful- as long as my kids are at home. I also came to realize that if I have to sacrifice this lovely family lifestyle when circumstances don't drag me to work full-time, I don't want it. I am striving for balance, and I feel good about how things are going right now. I have a great supportive husband, two of most beautiful children in the world (ahem), a cute house (yes, cute...even though the ceiling is caving in in some places...new roof, new roof, new roof), friends and family, service through church, and a fun little Etsy shop. And I've managed to work out here and there and bake some fun food! I feel alright working in pottery at a snail's pace. Slow and steady wins the race! Anyway, it's working for me right now.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shop Announcements

Today until 12pm, my items will be showcased on Etsy. I have also made a new shop policy and welcome. The prices on my items are also reduced so check them out! I also have some green-ware that is going into the kiln on Tuesday (four covered vessels and six barnacle tumblers). I am currently accepting custom orders. If you would like to make one, go to my Etsy site to make one or email me at swanwhigham@gmail.com. These ceramic pieces make wonderful presents for the holidays!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I think I have beat the system! I needed a graduated backdrop to take pictures of my ceramic pieces- but the backdrops cost no less than $ 35.00. Although I may get one in the future to take even better photos of my work, I decided to take things into my own hands. I made a graduated backdrop by taking black- out fabric, turning it over to the white side and painted it black fading to white. I then made my own "light -box"by setting up two blank canvases on either side of the backdrop. I mounted the camera on a tripod (with the help of a clamp because the screw is missing on the tripod), and set the spot light with a piece of white paper over it just behind and above the camera. Viola! Semi-professional pictures! I really don't know a thing about photography, but theses pictures satisfied my expectations, for now! See these and more postings on my Etsy site!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New on Etsy

The Hippo-Pot is posted for sale on Etsy. I posted it last night and so far 10 people have looked at it. Cross those fingers a say a prayer for me! Next week I will post 2 more items for sale. Tuesday I completed building two star-fish covered vessels that I am really excited about! The firings should be done in no more than 2 weeks.
So far I am producing about 2 pieces a week- which is double my goal! I'm having a blast! I love LOVE building my ceramic pieces and I'm learning to love promoting them. Since I'm so new to selling my work online, I would love any advice, comments or well wishes :). Hope your days are blessed!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Work in Progress

The new pieces are coming, I promise! My goal at present is to finish building one piece a week. I have more than accomplished that goal so far. It takes several days for a piece to dry (especially in this humidity!). Then it takes about 2 weeks for the two firings ( I fire at two different locations and firings are dictated by their schedule). Here is proof that more is coming....
Barnacle covered jar
my studio...quaint isn't it? :)

I have several covered jars adorning squids, a hippo, an ibex, a whale and more! I also have some barnacle tumblers on the way! I am accepting special requests also. I am busy working on my website trying to get everything squared away. It is a chore!

Monday, September 7, 2009

New Ceramic Pieces

Hello folks-
I've started making pottery again and have completed a few pieces with a few more in the works. I've found some great places to fire my work and I hand build the pieces at home, often with the company of my eldest son. It's been a few years since I have worked with clay, but as before my pieces are inspired by nature. Animals in particular are found in my work, especially sea creatures. To make a purchase or a commission, go to my Etsy website found on my links. I truly enjoy making pottery, I hope you enjoy them too!