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Pure Imagination…sigh!

Hold your breath… make a wish…. count to three.  This scene, from this movie, with this actor (ahem, sorry Johnny Depp)… has always been the essence of movie magic for me.  Enjoy. (you will have to agree to go to YouTube but it’s worth it!)  While you’re waiting for that to happen, check out these beautiful hand-made candy canes from a girl on Etsy I just came across;  http://www.etsy.com/listing/63639440/4-artisan-candy-canes-chunky-10-size?favorite_user_id=11702165&show_panel=true

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More pictures of pots from 2010-2011

These were made in my backyard, sitting at the awesome concrete faux-bois tables and benches that some long-ago denizen left behind.  Considering our house was built in the 30’s, these might be very old indeed.  They serve a perfect purpose as the support system for yet more concrete adoration. 

 

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Do you like modern pottery?

I think if you found my site, you must have at least a passing interest in modern, handformed, artisan tablewares.  After hours (days?) cruising craft shows and Etsy sites, as well as design blogs like DesignSponge, I would like to share these amazing folks with you now: 

Adam for Heath Studios:  http://www.atwaterpottery.com/21.html

Jonathan Cross: local Dallas/FW artist: http://jcrosscactus.wordpress.com/

This place is a shop in CA but love it:

http://www.pottedstore.com/

I promise to post several more in the coming days, so check back!  Thanks.

Chris

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How to work with Hypertuffa, Part 1

Have you, like me, admired the naturalistic look of mosses and succulents growing out of rocks in an alpine garden?  There’s something magical about the way the plants find their roots in the cool, chalky spaces inside the rocks.  The plants themselves look so appealing in their architectural growth patterns. 

So I decided to learn how to craft these rocky dwellings in my backyard, using items from the dollar store and even plastic trash that gets thrown away (or at our house, recycled).   Hopefully you’ll find this activity fun and relaxing – and immediately rewarding.

First you will need to gather these items:

Portland Cement – this comes in a large bag, and it’s very heavy.  You might want to enlist the help of a nice weightlifter to get this baby home.  Note:  Do Not buy anything that says it’s premixed concrete.  You want pure cement.

Perlite – those little white pellets made of styrofoam that are used to aerate the soil.

Buckets – I use two; one for mixing and one for holding a ready supply of dry cement since the bag resists moving.

Pitcher – old ratty pitcher for keeping water handy

Scooper – anything can be used for this, from a garden trowel to an old cup from the kitchen

Forms – this is where you will go to the dollar store and start scoping out the various bowls and storage containers.  Try out one form inside the other.  TIP:  Always allow more than a half inch for the walls of your vessel.  IOW, if your outside bowl is 10″, your inside bowl will need to be at least 9″ or less.  If you try to make them look like they are nesting, the walls will end up too thin and will crack, if you manage to get the vessal loose from the forms at all.

Now, think about all the neat forms that veggies and fruits arrive at the grocery store packed in.  There are small square boxes for strawberries, blueberries, and tiny tomatose.  These can even be very decorative.  I love using the fluted round box that my grape tomatoes arrive in.  So cool!  

For the interior, think about water bottles,  small juice bottles or boxes, and the like.  The easiest to work with are really the cardboard packages, and plastics should be straight sided (Imagine trying to remove an interior with groves… it can be done but can be difficult and even dangerous.  Cutting your fingers on rough plastic is super gnarly!).  Don’t even try to use glass on ANY of these – not as interior nor exterior.  Trust me, it just doesn’t work.

Now we’ve got our stuff and a few forms with an idea of how we’re going to set them up.  All we need are some plugs to create the hole in the base of our hypertuffa pot, if it’s going to do duty as a planter.  These can be cut from plastic or rubber tubing.  You can buy this by the foot at any hardware store and then snip it into .75″ pieces that will be placed vertically at the bottom of the outside form.  You will see what I mean when you make the first one.

Next I’ll discuss mixing the tuffa and pouring the mixture.  Following that, we’ll remove the interior form and eventually the exterior form, do a lot of cleaning up and routing out the bottom hole.  Then we’ll plant our new creation after it fully hardens (about two weeks).  Voila!

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Green Spot Market!

We arrived at the Green Spot already hot and sweaty on Saturday morning around 7:00, but set up our new PopUp tent from Sam’s with high expectations.  After a few hours of looky-loo’s, we were feeling a little depressed about the whole deal.  Then luck fell out of the sky with a big sale!  And from there the little sales started trickling in.  Overall, a pretty good net for a four hour show!  (note to self; try to make lighter, less fragile items for sale next time – like jewelry!)  Pottery with live plants is just craziness.

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Chris Makes Crazy Stuff, Part 1

Having so much fun in the backyard of this fabulous house we rented!  Someone was kind enough to leave two wonderful concrete tables in the backyard (complete with benches) which makes for perfect workspaces.  For the most part they are sturdy and out of the sun, until around noon.  Then all bets are off.  The only thing good that comes with the increased heat (99 degrees and up, folks!) is that the mosquitoes slow their full frontal assault on my person.