Candle Hill Farms

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Blog posts January 2017

Experiments = experience part 2,,,,,

January 30, 2017


I am finally back to talk about my experiments.  It turned out to be very interesting.  The glass millefiori chips on the plate did not fare too well but that was a total experiment that I had no idea what the chips would do when they melted.  What I learned was it would not be worth trying to do design work with them because they lost most of their designs when melting.  They did melt well and it might be worth using plain glass chips to add color much like they did when using the old crystal glazes that had glass chips in them.

The kiln load was also under-fired a bit and I had to re-fire them.  That was a mistake on my part because I should have used one cone cooler than what I had.  When I re-fired I substituted another glazed plate for the one with the glass chips, no sense re-firing a piece that was not going to be usable or sellable.

The etched wares came out great once retired!!  Over-all, I am a very happy potter.


The one on the left you can see the plate with the glass chips, they just look like blobs of color, LOL.  The one on the right is a shot I did for instagram @candlehillfarms  it is 3 pictures combined and it was taken after the second firing.


The snow flakes on black really look pretty and remind me of snow flying against a night sky.  The zentangle design on the purple mug, (it's actually a dark purple like a grape color, picture does not do the color justice) has become my favorite mug.  I love the design work.  There are a few minor mistakes in it as it was my first time doing it.  And lastly the deep green plate came out awesome!!

I am really enjoying the etching, known as sgraffito.  It is time consuming but well worth the effort.  I love all the various designs that can be done.  I love it so much I kept going.


This is a set of 6 teacups and saucers.  First I penciled in the design, then etched it.  Then it will get 2 coats of clear glaze and be fired.  All my glazed items are food, microwave and dishwasher safe.  This will be a light green color, similar to a victorian green.

The last several days I finished the teacups and saucers including glazing.  And I glazed several of the dish set I had on the table just waiting for glaze.  I should have 2 kiln loads ready to be fired and will get that done some time this week.  Up next on my agenda of experiments is to make some simple drape molds.  Drape molds are used when working with slab clay to form shapes.  Some will be of small bowls and dishes.  I have so many ideas flowing through my mind right now and I am excited to tackle each one and see how they come out.

Until next time,,,,,,,,


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Experiments = experience,,,,,,,

January 19, 2017


I had planned on writing this blog earlier in the week but I have been busy experimenting in the shop.  Experiments equal experience.

My first experiment came about when I was going through some things in the basement and came across a bag of glass milifiori chips.  You'll see pics below.  Anyhow, if you buy crystal glazes they have glass chips in them.  Usually a solid color and milifiori chips have a pattern to them.  I know the glass chips will melt when I fire the piece in the kiln but what I don't know is how far they will spread during the firing and how much of the design I will lose in the process, if any.  So I took a small bread plate and clear glazed it.  Then I placed the glass chips on the plate while the glaze was still somewhat wet.  I added a drop of clear glaze to the bottom of the chips to help hold them in place.


On the left is the clear glaze in a cup, the plate, the milifiori chips and a bowl of water with brush.  In the middle is a close up of the chips.  You can see the neat designs in them.  And finally the plate, drying before being ready for the kiln.

So, my next experiment I wanted to try is actually two fold.  First is called sgraffito, (the scratching in) in this case scratching into the underglaze to create a design.  Sgraffito has been around a lot longer than I have but for some reason I have never tried it before. The tools I am using are not really sgraffito tools but they are working well so I will not complain.  They are actually the same tools I use to etch my polymer clay stamps.  The second part to this is called zentangle.  Zentangle is a type of art work typically found in pen art or drawing but it is crossing over to other mediums.  So the first attempt at this is a mug that I started calling "my crazy purple zentangle mug", LOL.


On the left you will see I have 3 coats of purple underglaze, (the color will look different after firing) and I am just starting to work in a design.  The second picture shows more of the design being added.  And the final picture shows the full design etched in.  It does go completely around the mug.  Not shown is a shop of the mug looking green with two coats of clear glaze over the purple and sgraffito work.

Then I moved on to another plate.  This one also has sgraffito work done on it.  I found although it is time consuming, I really like doing sgraffito work.


On the left, penciled in the design and started a light etching.  In the middle the etching is compete.  And the one on the right shows me starting to apply the clear glaze.

I have also been busy trying to get a full load of glazed items ready to go in the kiln.  So, I have several items not pictured that will go int he kiln with these experiments.  I decided I had room for one more mug.  So my final piece is a mug underglaze in black and I am etching in snowflakes.  It is not quite finished yet and then will also need two coats of clear glaze.  I do think it will look pretty when it is done.


On the left I started marking in a rough guide as to where the snowflakes will go and on the right I am in the process of etching in the snowflakes.  The pattern goes completely around the mug.  It will also get 2 coats of clear glaze.  I was hoping to be firing the kiln by the end of this week but I still have a long way to go on the mug yet so it is looking like one day next week.  I'll share pics once it is completed.  I can't wait to see how things turn out, if they turn out!!

Until next time,,,,,,,


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Where have I been????

January 13, 2017


Where have I been??  I bet you thought I got lost or fell into the kiln, LOL.  It's been a combination of things that have kept me away from the blog these last 10 days.  I switched from making clay stamps to starting on some polymer clay jewelry.  Pendants and beads to be specific.  And I took a couple of days to just rest.  Much needed rest!

I must admit I am really out of practice making polymer clay jewelry.  I made it years ago, but have not done it in a long time.  I am also trying to decide if I want to sell finished jewelry or just the beads and pendants for you to make it into jewelry.  I think I enjoy making the beads and other pieces more than I like making them into finished jewelry pieces, so I am still kicking this around.  Any suggestions?

I still had a lot of clay from years ago so it is great being able to use some of that up.  But I also have a good supply of new clay for new and different projects.  I have some pictures below of what I have been working on.

After I get a decent start on this work I want to start on pottery again.  I have a ton of ideas running through my head that I want to give a go at.  You'll just have to wait to see the pictures, LOL.  Just a little teaser there for you, ha-ha!!

Forming small beads from some old zebra cane that I had.

Making a pendant with a solid black base and using some really cool cane.

Pendants and possible earrings going into the oven to bake.

More pendants, beads and possible earrings going into the oven.

I love the pattern in this cane, so bright and colorful.

Starting to drill holes in all the beads I made.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,


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Parker House Pottery,,,,,,,,

January 2, 2017


I am so happy, I finally have the Parker House Pottery web site now up and running!!  You can click on the tab at the top of this page or the web site is  I sure hope you will all visit the site and let me know what you think of it.

I will be adding new items as quickly as I get them made so please visit often!!  I will keep all other hand made crafts on this site but ceramics, pottery and clay related items now have their own home.  :-)

By the way, did you see the hats I added for sale to this web site?  And the price on the chalk board signs have been reduced.  Check them out!!

Until next time,,,,,,,,

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