The weather in Frederick started out this past week in typical Washington DC fashion: hazy, hot and humid. By the weekend, everything changed. Even though the temperatures were still hot, the humidity dropped significantly and the skies were deep, deep Carolina blue. It’s early July and we turned off the air-conditioning and opened up the windows.
Barry and I took a spur of the moment drive to nearby Gettysburg to visit the battlefield and witness a reenactment of the anniversary of our nation’s bloodiest battle here in the US on Sunday. The history is gruesome and so sad, but this national park’s treasure felt like a sanctuary. All history, good and bad, needs to be learned and studied and reexamined and remembered.
In the studio recently, I’ve felt in a bit of a rut. Luckily, customer suggestions spurred some imaginative ideas, so I was able to break out of my own norm. I’ve acquired several new texture tools and had a chance to experiment with them too.
Sometimes it's necessary to work out a design flaw in a familiar shape. This napkin holder is a good example of that. The house-shaped walls often warp as the piece dries. I added some supportive sides to help prevent that from happening. So far, so good!
My friends Lori and Lisa suggested I make a crab-themed paper towel holder. Brilliant! If you've ever feasted on freshly steamed crabs, you understand the importance of a handy roll of paper towels nearby.
"Can you make..." was the opening request from a customer of The Little Green Store in Huntsville. I quickly 'sketched' this oyster tray in clay to show them my idea. I'm waiting to hear if they like it.
Since my almost son-in-law and co-inlaws hail from Alabama, I am now well-versed in the outline of the state. I have been playing with all sorts of ways to use this versatile shape in clay in the studio. The textured stamps (top right photo) will be used on a variety of ClayByLaura creations. I like the serving plate pictured in the lower right. I'm not sure about the shape of the little bowl to go with it. Click on the photo to give me your input!
Small flat trays can be used in a variety of ways. Corral cooking spices and a bottle of olive oil next to your stove. Organize your beauty routine essentials next to your bathroom sink. Serve a quick snack to enjoy while watching your favorite television show. What else? Click on the photo to tell me your suggestion.
I'm thinking of these as 'fancy plates.' Use the divided oval dish to serve two sides at the dinner table. I like the scalloped edging on each version. That's what makes them 'fancy'!
It feels good to break out of the norm and shake up the routine. What have you done lately to break from your day-to-day?