Sunday, 30 May 2010

Monday Mood

Got to be a busy bee this week to get ready for the fair in Eindhoven this Sunday.

See more Monday Mood Boards on Fleurfatale's Blog

Happy Stats

    My happy stats of a wonderful past week:
  • My baby niece got baptized, was a beautiful ceremony. She wore the same dress that her mum (my sister) wore when she was baptized and which my brother and I wore as well. I do love family traditions like that.
  • A friend, who's a writer, is going to write about me.
  • Love the color the red clay has turned after firing at 1220°C.
  • Found a shop in Leuven to sell my work: Bizart.
  • Had lunch with a friend whom I had not seen in years, sooo good to catch up.
  • Light for the garden in porcelain worked out fine.
  • My bum is not too sore after cycling a long distance for the first time this season.

Friday, 28 May 2010

My Creative Space

Playing with silk, porcelain, cord and glass today to make a piece of wearable art. I had thought of making more bowls, but once rummaging around in my atelier I suddenly found the right combination for all these bits lying around. It happens more often, suddenly an idea comes together, if I would have tried to find it I would have been strugling. So I always wait until it apperas by itself. Even if I have an idea of something I want to make the final result is never firm in my mind beforehand and appears while working on it.
How does that work for you, do you know from the start what the finished product will be?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

My Creative Space

Today I had a lazy morning with an early visit to the dentist, just the half-yearly check and luckily all was fine. Than a visit to my parents and popped into my sisters house just for a minute too. I saw them all last Sunday when my sisters baby girl was baptized, so no mayor news to exchange. No news is good news as they say. I gave my brother a hand installing some software and looked at some gold-smithing tools with my sister, she is the real gold smith in the family :-)
Meanwhile the kiln at home was cooling, it had been on since yesterday evening, but firing till 1220°C and cooling takes it's time. You don't want to open the kiln to early and give the pieces a temperature shock. By the time I got back it was getting cool enough to open. I had a peep and saw that the red clay had turned a really nice color, remember the garden ornaments from this post, well here they are after the final firing:

As you can see I fill the small places in the oven with small items, so I'll have lots of rings and brooches to make this afternoon, I made roses, hearts, more jewelry inspired by the folklore form Zeeland, little animals, and little blue twitter birds. The last I'll make into little hangers which I'll give as a present with a sale.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Happy Stats

Finally treated myself to a lovely notebook from Kreativlink

Fixed the back door, it opens and closes smooth again

Went to an interesting reading by ceramist Jeanne Opgenhaffen 

Made lots of ceramics, so I could fire another bisque-kiln

Enjoyed lots of good weather and time with family

Friday, 21 May 2010

Reading by Jeanne Opgenhaffen

Yesterday evening I went to a reading by Jeanne Opgenhaffen. She does not give much readings anymore, but Katja from Atelier K! had convinced her otherwise. Jeanne works mainly with porcelain and showed lots of pictures of her work, explaining what they presented and what had influenced her: large landscapes.

The wall hangings you see here are in real life 1x1 meter and consist of numberless wafer-tin porcelain tiles. I really like that her work is so pure and natural, that you can feel the wind, the waves and the force of nature.

Less natural, but just as impressive are the wall hangings and objects she makes using transfers. She makes her own transfers using a silk-screen print technique to add a picture or text to each tile of a wall hanging. Here is one she made for a Belgium newspaper:

 These works could take a year to make, to see some result sooner she's at the moment working on a series of little boxes which have all a different image on it, again using the transfer technique. She starts with an image she draws or paints herself on paper or on the computer. 

I liked her a down to earth attitude and she presents it as if it is all very simple and easy what she does. I guess it is once you have mastered all the skills she has. And fair enough that she did not give away all her trade secrets, but enough hints to know where to start.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

My Creative Space

On the 6th of June I'll probable be the only Dutch speaking Etsian who will not attend the Etsy meeting in Amsterdam; I got a fair lined up in Eindhoven, also in the Netherlands. Feeling a bit lonely already ;-)
Anyway I got a BIG stall to fill, it is 4 meters wide, so far I only had stalls 2 meters wide:

I'd have made this sketch for the stall set up, large frame with necklaces in the middle, ornaments on stick on either side, gift box bowls to the right and other sculptures and bowls to the left:

I'm working on some garden inspired objects, since 1.the fair is held in a garden and 2. there is plenty of room to display. What do you think of this ornament, here it's only bisque fired so the color will go darker when it will be fired for a second time to a higher temperature. You can put feeding for birds in there or a small plant. Put them in your garden or in a potted plant on your balcony. If you put the half bowl upside down and fill it with some "wood wool" you'll have a perfect housing for ladybirds or earwigs, both love eating louse.

Besides these I'll have my red devils and sculptures of rabbits for the garden.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Monday Moodboard

Still a bit sleepy :-)

Happy Stats

My happy stats for the past week:
  • Was pleasantly surprised by the color of the red clay after firing
  • Got a leather hide from a deer at a bargain price (I think), the start for a fantasy costume.
  • Spend time with friends, surprised one with breakfast, met another for lunch.
  • Had a nice day at keltfest, enjoying the sun and keltic music.
  • Was only pestered by a headache for 1 day.
  • Set up a to do list for the house and looks forward to do some painting.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Interior design

We're thinking of moving house. But first we need to get this house in good order to get a better price, basically a fresh coat of paint on the older parts, since we done up the kitchen and bathroom only 2 years ago, the rest was done about 10 years ago after buying the place.

Kitchen was functional, but very out of date, horrible 70's green and orange tiles, we had repainted it years ago to at least not get a headache everytime you'd walk in there.

The bathroom was "lovely" 70's green and dark brown, but at least no orange and functional, so we lived with it. The lay-out of the kitchen, scullery and bathroom was awkward. Entrance to the scullery was through the bathroom. Bathroom had a door or a window in each wall, leaving no corner free for a proper sized shower. There was no heating in the bathroom, so we used a small electric heater, which is not very efficient. There was lots of worktop in the kitchen but hardly any between sink and hob, where you need it. There was only a small under counter fridge and storage space was ok, but could be more efficient. Having designed kitchens since 1997 it should be easy you think, but it wasn't. I think there is nothing harder than designing your own house, you are too involved in a way. But after lots of months of sketching a final design was there. We considered moving the kitchen to have a better view of the garden, but that left only a dark and strange place for the bathroom. We considered adding a bit to the house, but than hardly any garden was left to look at. In the end we kept the outside doors and windows were they are, only replaced them to be double glazed and made the back-door turn outwards, something which is not common in Belgium and not handy at all, I think. We moved two internal doors, so there was not too much structural work involved. We replaced the plastic ceilings by plasterboard.

We installed central heating, such a comfort. Now we had a nice warm bathroom with a good sized shower 90/120cm, a view to the garden and a very functional kitchen and scullery. The bathroom has a little fan which automatically switches on when there is too much humidity. The shower a recess for shampoo's and gels, there used to be a door, so when blocking this opening we kept the recess. Just behind the door from kitchen into the scullery is a pantry, which is just great for extra storage. The kitchen is compact but still easy to work in with 2 people. The hob is placed diagonally from the sink which works very well, rinse food, chop it, turn around into the pan. The fridge is diagonal to the other side from the sink, making the clockwise work triangle in the kitchen complete. The island is very sociable and has a great view to the terrace, which is nice when chopping vegetables and preparing. Lots of people want a hob in the island, but you don't spend that much time staring at your pots that you need a view there. And a hood or fan in the middle of the room is usually a pain too. The end of the island is rounded, maximizing worktop space without feeling blocked off, makes it flow. It also provided a place for the cats food. All in all, very practical, lost of storage, warmth and comfort. So here's the finished project:


If you are in need of some interior advice, feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Apple and left-over-Biscuits Cake

Such a rainy day here, perfect for pottering about the house. I've done some work in my workshop until I ran out of black clay than did some fiddling around with the lay-out of this blog as you can see. Finally I made a cake, so we have something nice for dessert this evening. It is a variation on a recipe which I got from a friend, she adds carrots and gingerbread-biscuits. I had some crunchy biscuits which were not longer so crunchy, lots of eggs and a few apples to get rid off, so I made this variation. It worked out fine and is rather edible else I wouldn't share this with you :-)

Ingredients: 4 eggs, 250gr soft butter, 250gr flour, 250gr sugar, (so far the traditional "quarte-quarts"- 4 quarters, easy to remember recipe ;-) vanilla sugar, 2-3 apples and left over biscuits.
(or as original: add 250gr grated carrots and 250gr broken ginger biscuits)
Since I had only 150gr of butter in the house I adjusted it to suit.

Start with buttering and than coating your tin with flour and put it in the fridge, this helps to get it out easier after baking. Mix the sugar and the butter till creamy.

Add in egg by egg.

Followed by flour.

Peel and grate the apples.
Mix the apples and the crunched biscuits in.

Ready to go into the preheated oven (165°C for 60-80min) or whichever time/temp you are used to for baking cakes.
Take from the oven and leave to cool.
Eet smakleijk!
Bon apetit!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Monday Mood

Happy Stats

Here I follow in the footsteps of some of the bloggers I follow, Artmind, Huismus and I'm sure there are others too, by looking back at this week and noting my happy moments. Something which also is advised by Cynthia Morris, a creative coach, I met her last year (or is it 2 already ?) on a creativity day near Antwerp. I had a great chat with her and found her stories and talk very inspiring. In her last newsletter she writes: "... celebration is vital to the creative process, and people often overlook or even avoid this step. Why would anyone avoid celebrating? It isn’t just fun; it’s empowering." So I will from now on look back at the end of each week, celebrate my happy moments and share these with you. 

  • Nice walk in the orchard with my family, enjoying the last sweet apple blossom.
  • Found another shop who will sell my bowls (and maybe later jewelry too :-) MIX-Art
  • Working on new design for ceramic ornament and lights in the garden.
  • Found and bought a great but small antique cupboard.
  • Planned a day to do a pit-fire with fellow-ceramists.
  • Got some fresh eggs from this lovely lady:

Monday, 3 May 2010

Monday Mood

My Mood this Monday is influenced by my weekend. It started with Queensday on Friday, which was rainy but fun and very orange :-)
Other highlight of the weekend was yesterdays fair: Marché Bricolé in Bruges, which went really well. Al in all I'm in a very happy sunny mood despite the weather.