Friday, October 19, 2018

some disappointing results

The drowned feather has been out of the kiln and I'm happy enough with it

and now the first hummingbird and the moonflower are also though I haven't even cleaned off the last two. Working on filling the feather mold and the sunflower is next. Today (yesterday) is estate sale day though so not sure how much I'll get done.

Well, I just washed off the moonflower and the hummingbird. Disappointing results that bummed me out all day. It's been a long time since I've had a piece (or two) that I considered a failure or less than great. I may do the moonflower again as I do like the design and I do have a second try at the hummingbird (the breast needs to be a little browner and the emerald color on the head is too strong). The surface of the hummingbird will smooth out once I get the finish work done.

I didn't put enough white behind the moonflower (a little more complex than that and if I do it again, which means carving the model again, I'll approach it differently and work in a higher relief) and it came out sort of mottled and the black crept into the edges.

This is the first time I've worked with low relief like this and the whole thing came out thinner than I expected so I may increase the amount of glass for the feather piece (and more white behind the feather itself) which I am still working on. The moonflower was originally intended for one of the boxes but then I thought if it came out really well, I'd have a stand made for it. I'm back now to using it on the second box which saves me having to come up with something for it if I use it at all. It may just get put aside. I'll have to see how it looks after I do the finish work. (Later in the day) I probably won't use it.

After further consideration, I'm undoing all the work I did on the feather mold and starting again so basically most of a days work lost. I used some black opaque powder and in retrospect I think that was a mistake. Not prepared for another disappointing cast.


On a better note, the estate sale proved to be better than the pictures promised and I came away with ten 7” clay flower pots, a wind chime, a glass container with a lid for leftovers, a 5+ gallon bucket, 4 old cookie sheets for putting my potted plants on when I bring them in the house for the winter, and a window decoration of hanging (plastic) crystals all for just $17. And my sister had to almost drag me away as there was a small pecan tree in the yard and the ground underneath it was almost solid with big heavy pecans and I did have a big bucket to put them in. Just seemed such a waste to let them rot on the ground.

The temperatures have warmed up as promised but today (Friday) is overcast and drippy, can't even really call it rain but it's enough to prevent being outside, which is fine since I'm going to empty the feather mold and redo it and it will probably take me most of the day especially considering I probably won't get started til about noon.


  1. Well, sometimes life is like that. Of course all of those pieces look exquisite to me. But you're the artist.
    Every time you talk about estate sales I think, "I need to do that!" and then I don't.
    Story of my life.

    1. my fellow artists think I'm being too critical as well.

  2. From the outside, I don't see a thing wrong with any of the pieces, but on the other hand, I know what it's like to have a sense in my mind of how I want something to be. Until it matches what's in my head, I'm not happy, no matter how complimentary others are.

  3. I can see what you're talking about on the pieces, but I don't see them as flaws. I love the little moon on the moonflower one - reminds me of the one sitting on our bookshelf in the living room :)

  4. Hummingbirds and moonflowers - two of my favorite things.
    It would have been equally hard for me to leave all those pecans behind!

  5. I suppose the artist knows best but all this looks beautiful to me.

  6. Your eye is so good Ellen (it is why your pieces are always exceptional)- I'm sure the re-runs will prove so. It is very interesting to have your commentary about why you're not happy - opens up the process and certainly makes me appreciate just what is involved. Happy re-versioning!

  7. I would never have noticed those flaws, but of course you know what you're trying for and you have your own expectations, and I get that. (I'm the same way with pictures!) I think that hummingbird looks beautiful. Congrats on the estate sale successes!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.