Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Trend to Dye For

I like to consider myself a pretty trendy, stylish girl. Maybe not as much as Fashion Girl, but I try! This summer I’m all about tie-dye. Here are a few of my favorite tie-dye looks:
In this economy, why buy tie-dye if you can make it?? Duncan’s got you covered with Tulip® One-Step Fashion DyeTM! Check out for some super cute tie-dye projects. But why stop there? Extend the trend to your home with this awesome A Plateful of Peace project!
I’ve wanted to try this project for awhile, but I was kind of intimidated by the shaving cream technique. With a confidence boost from my past projects, I decided to go for it! Here I am rolling the plate on the shaving cream mound:
And here’s the final project:
I know, I know, not too impressive. But for a beginner, I'll take it! Duncan definitely makes it "easy to experience Creativity and the excitement of personal accomplishment", but this one takes a little bit of skill, as well. Here's a few tips to my fellow beginners: this project requires A LOT of shaving cream, and A LOT of color. Make your shaving cream mound pretty high and at least as wide as your plate. Next, don't be scared to dribble on a good amount of color! I think that should do the trick. Even though this project wasn't as big of a success as my last, I still think it’s a super cool. This whole journey is about learning. And now I've learned never to be shy with a bottle of shaving cream! I'm going to try this project again, because I still love the idea of a set of tie-dye, peace sign plates. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Clumsy ceramists (like me) beware…

A few blogs back I mentioned how the term “raku” might as well have been pig latin (or real latin!) to my non-ceramist ears. But guess what people? I’m learning! Here’s what I know so far: Raku firing is a super cool process that first involves firing pottery or bisque in a kiln to about 1900º Fahrenheit. The ware is then removed from the kiln with long tongs, and put into a container with combustible material, such as sawdust, newspaper, or leaves. When the ware hits the material, it ignites! Here’s a picture:

The container is then covered, cutting off the oxygen supply. The chemical reaction between the burning material and the glaze on the ware creates awesome and unpredictable effects on the surface of the pottery. I’m sure more experienced ceramists could give you a lot more detail, but there’s my basic understanding! Not bad for a beginner, right? The results of raku firing are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Here are some AWESOME pieces done by Duncan Ambassador Musette Young on our new Duncan O4 Bisque Tribal Vases:
Aren’t they so cool? As much as I’d love to try it, I have to admit raku firing isn’t for accident-prone people like myself. Madi + a newspaper-filled inferno = Incredibly Dangerous Situation for Everyone Involved! I guess I’ll just have to stick to my cupcake projects for now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mouthwatering Creativity

I have an obsession. I’ve tried to fight it, but let me tell you, it’s not going well. One whiff of that delicious smell and all traces of self-restraint vanish. What could it be, you ask? I’m talking about Sprinkles Cupcakes. Prepare for an intense mouthwatering experience…You’re welcome! Unfortunately for me, I’m smack-dab in the middle of Wedding Season, and these bridesmaid dresses better fit! Luckily, Duncan is here to save the day!
This “Strawberry Delight” project is a fun and easy way to feed my sweet tooth, without all the calories! What could be better than that?! I have to add that this is a momentous occasion for me because it’s the first time I’ll be doing a ceramic project on my own! I’ve been dying to use the new Earth & Sky Series Crystals Glazes. I just hope I do them justice! Here’s a few pictures, just to prove I did the project all on my own.

Drum roll please….. The final product!

Not too shabby! I had prepared myself for disaster, but I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I had considered myself a lost cause in the creativity department, but I’m gradually realizing Duncan really does “make it easy to experience creativity and the excitement of personal accomplishment!” Trust me, if I can do it, so can you! Check out all kinds of awesome projects using the new Earth & Sky Series Crystals Glazes at Now if only you had a cool job like mine where they paid you to do this… :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Not only are they creative...

I've mentioned before how creative my sisters are, but I forgot to mention how incredibly beautiful they are, as well. My older sister got married in Santa Barbara this weekend, and I just had to post a picture.As we were planning this wedding, my Mom threw out the idea of me painting chargers for the reception. I might be working on this creativity thing, but 180 bisque chargers?! Not quite there yet, Mom!


So, all of you “outsiders” may not realize Duncan Enterprises has its own secret language. It’s a language of cryptic acronyms that has taken me quite some time to crack. After flash cards and late night cram sessions (joking!), I now speak them fluently. One such “secret” acronym is IADCCT. What is IADCCT, you ask? Well, let me tell you. IADCCT stands for International Association of Duncan Certified Ceramic Teachers. A few weekends ago, around 50 Duncan Certified Teachers took Duncan Enterprises by storm for a three day IADCCT convention. Many of these people have been teaching Duncan University classes since before I was born! Needless to say, I was the black sheep in this group of amazingly talented people. Discussions revolved around “banding” and “raku” and a ton of other foreign ceramic terms. Turns out ceramists have their own secret language, too! Even though many of their conversations went over my head, the IADCCT members embraced me with open arms (literally! Apparently ceramists are big huggers), and offered kind words of encouragement as I told them about my planned journey into the world of ceramics. I showed them the pieces I’d made with David Hoff, and they all complimented me on how good my brushstrokes looked! Here’s some pictures from the weekend:

Soon I’ll attempt to paint a piece on my own. I have a feeling those brushstrokes won’t look so good when I don’t have a Duncan Certified Teacher standing over my shoulder! I would LOVE to be able to do this awesome Creativity Squared project, but I think I’m getting a little ahead of myself. For all your more talented people out there, check out how cool it is: