Etsy Shop

Q & A with Silver Lining Ceramics

If you have scrolled through Etsy in the last week, then you have noticed the fabulous creations from Silver Lining Ceramics. Katie Marks, the creator had the honor of being one of Etsy’s featured shops. I decided to reach out to Katie and find out more about her amazing work!
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I love how your mentioned in your about page that living in Seattle has been an influence on your pieces. What inspired you to create the gem growing series? I was playing with this idea for a crystal series for quite a long time in my head while I was working on my other items. Since quarts crystals are made of the same stuff I use in my glazes I began thinking about how silica and feldspar would react given enough time and heat and pressure in nature.
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When I fire my glazes they melt and turn into a solid glassy surface. I thought it would be fun to use MY hands to create crystals. I love the idea that I am using the same materials that would occur naturally and forming them in new ways to express myself as a human. I am mirroring a natural process and bringing a little bit of me into it as well.

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Those pops of gold really bring your work to the next level, have you always been using accent colors in your work? Thank you! That is so sweet of you to say! I haven’t always done anything haha I just started making work I felt proud of last year and I am still very much learning as I go and trying new things. I like to use color in a way that compliments the forms and carvings and illustrations that I spend so much time on while the clay is wet. I love the way the gold looks so I keep exploring new ways to use it. I have a few new glazes I am working on and look forward to using as accents in my work in the future along with the gold.

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And how exactly do you add the gold luster? Is that after the glazing process? Yep! The gold luster is fired on for a 3rd firing after they come out of the glaze firing. You paint right on top of the glaze where you want to add gold and then fire to cone 018. its really that simple! It smells horrible, the fumes it gives off while firing are highly toxic and it costs about $45 for a teeny tiny bottle but the results are so amazing I can’t stop using it! If you are going to try it out (and I recommend you do) wear a gas mask and try to paint it on outside or in a very well ventilated area. After it is fired it is totally safe! All the toxins that are used to make gold ‘brushable’ burn out when you fire it so no worries!

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What really first drew me to your shop (besides that it was featured – congrats!!) were those little cats! Growing up I had an obsession with tiny porcelain animals – have you always made these figurines as well? Funny you should ask this! in short YES I have made so many tiny animals in my life! I made things out of polymer clay from are 4-18. Instead of getting a job as a teenager I made highly intricate polymer clay fairies that I sold on ebay before etsy was around.These little porcelain kitties in my shop were kind of an accident. Sometimes while in the studio Ill just be chatting away with my mentor about life, the universe, and everything and I’ll have a small chunk of clay in my hands and I just mess around with it mindlessly and something cute happens haha.

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I made the first little kitty this way and posted a photo on my personal facebook page and the response was so unexpected I decided to make more 🙂 I still have the very first one though!etsy-blog-featured-shop-silver-lining-ceramics-final
And have you ever made a custom order and fell in love with the piece and decided to keep it?! I feel like I would if things I made looked like your work!! Out of the hundreds of pieces I have made in the last 2 years I think I only have 3 pieces that I intentionally kept for my self.Two especially nice mugs and a 12″ tall vase that is highly carved and the glaze dripped like a waterfall perfectly and I love putting sunflowers in it. It is my favorite piece Ive ever made so I kept it 🙂 Its funny as soon as I make something I am just happy that I got it out of my head and I want it to go live somewhere else haha. sometimes I hold on to pieces for a while and stare at them until they get boring or all I see is flaws and then I have to make it go away. There was a sugar bowl with a spoon that I almost kept once but I know the person who bought it loves it so that makes me happy too. I just know I can always re-make something so I dont feel the need to keep many of them. Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 12.19.20 PM

 

Thanks Katie for sharing your story and your work! If you want to see more check out Silver Lining Ceramics page on Esty.

Is it Spring Yet?

SPRING

I am always cruising around Etsy to pine over their goodies and now that Spring is on the horizon, I’ve got green on the brain! These were my favorite pieces for this Spring season (so far)!

Photograph by anamercedesphoto
Pocket Planter by sewZinski
Watercolor Painting is from FrancescaLancisi
Hanging Planter Zillpa

Tea for Two

New England is still trapped under 5 + inches of snow, so with that in mind… I thought this post would remind us how to stay cozy!

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1. Macarons! In honor of valentines day one should pick some of these up – or do it yourself! (See how I did here).
2. Tea Pot from Ebenotti
3. Sweet Neon Tea Towels from Clumsy Colour
4. Tray for Macarons from Ebenotti
5. Tea Cup from Ebenotti

Woven Art: For the Body & Home

In the gallery I work at there has been a recent change in media on our walls, woven fabric and textile materials have taken over where photography and abstract painting once dominated.  And it has inspired me to go and explore for more on Etsy, that is when I stumbled upon Heddle And Needle.  I had the chance to ask Rachel, the creator of Heddle and Needle some questions about her weaving work, which ranges from woven tapestries to jewelry.
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Look Out Tapestry, is currently for sale in Heddle and Needle Shop

Rachel has a background in illustration and has been a painter for 15 years. Where “those projects have to be very carefully planned out and take ages to finish. I like the weavings to be spontaneous as a break from that mentality, so I tend not to plan them out ahead of time. I’ll just look in my cabinet full of yarns and grab ones I feel like using that day. Sometimes I have a general idea of what I’d like it to look like ahead of time, but it’s rare.
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I haven’t been weaving that long, actually, only since last summer. I started after using some linen thread to make a necklace for my sister (it wasn’t woven) and it got a good amount of attention from strangers so I bought some more thread and sheet brass and started to play around with it.
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It dawned on me that they would look great as little weavings, so I created a makeshift “loom” out of a piece of board and a row of nails. I still use it; the nails act as the bottom part of the loom, and the brass pendant as the top part. I thread the warp in between the two, then just trim it up when I’m done.
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Shortly after I started with the jewelry, I bought a very small frame loom and some yarn, then a larger frame loom, and then a Schacht Wolf Pup LT floor loom after taking a class at the Brooklyn Textile Arts Center. I’m still very much a beginner and still learning by trial and error.

Tools: It depends on the project, but for the jewelry I use brass stampings/sheet brass, an awl & hammer, a dremel, waxed linen thread and needles. Sometimes I also use horse hair. For the weavings, I use various looms, wooden needles & boat shuttles, plus all kinds of yarn; mostly fingering, sport or DK weight for the warp and pretty much anything I like for the weft.
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I like creating both ,(jewelry and tapestries) obviously, but there’s something so gratifying about a finished weaving, much like a painting that you can hang up on the wall. I decided to open up an Etsy shop when people I knew pestered me enough to do it. I really needed the extra money and decided it couldn’t hurt!

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Click here to see more of Heddle and Needle – Thank you to Rachel the creator, for taking the time and sharing her story (along with her imagery) with Munro Shea Designs!