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Butterflies by lisaluera Butterflies by lisaluera
Butterflies, August 2007

- Wheel thrown porcelain
- Crystalline glaze
- Fired to cone 9 in an electric kiln

This is one of the pots I made in the most recent workshop I attended. It was a crystalline glaze workshop. You can see it bisqued with all of it's friends here. [link]

This pot did not get many crystals, but I think it actually suited the form really well. I couldn't have placed the crystals better myself, and they look like little butterflies flying around. The pot exudes a certain serenity that I just love.

I actually got a brand new digital camera, a little light tent, and a couple of lights to help with my photos. Even so, this proved to be one tough pot to photograph! That transparent, celadon like glaze acted like a perfect mirror! Gah!

Not for sale
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:iconskimlines:
skimlines Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013
OMG CRYSTALS want
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:iconpurplerose:
purplerose Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2008   Photographer
That's really pretty.
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2008
Thank you!
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:iconthriftstore-betrayal:
Thriftstore-Betrayal Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2007
this is fabulous, i love the mouth and the colors
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2007
Thank you! :)
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:iconhopeclimbswounded:
HopeClimbsWounded Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2007   Traditional Artist
How lovely and spare and elegant.
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2007
Thank you, it's one of my favorites.
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:iconorientalna:
orientalna Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2007
:aww:
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:iconosa-art-farm:
Osa-Art-Farm Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
Do you mind if I use this photo for my desktop for awhile? I love it!
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
I'd be honored if you used this as your desktop! Thank you for the compliment! :love:
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:iconosa-art-farm:
Osa-Art-Farm Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
omg. Your work is perfect (lol that word again) for this type of glaze. You make consistant smooth surfaces and beautiful shapes. I loved the look of cystals the first time I saw them. They very first time, I was blown away. Since then I've encountered hundreds more and you know, they all do look kinda similar after awhile. This one is different and far far far from a failure. The sparseness and small size of the crystals is the best part! It's drop dead gorgeous!
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
I'm trying my best to not always do smooth surfaces, but it is something I really love to do. That was one of the reasons for this particular workshop. The others were to try to learn things that were out of my comfort zone, and this one was to see if I wanted to try this technique on the pots that I already make. It was funny though... after a summer of surface texture, surface texture, surface texture, I almost felt like I was being bad throwing the pots for this workshop.

I've gotten a really good reaction out of all the crystal pots I brought home (one actually went to the state fair today... I'll post it a little later), but I'm now trying to decide if it is worth the wear and tear on my kiln. The firing schedule for these is brutal on elements. It's definitely not something that I would solely focus on, because I agree with you that they start looking very similar. It might be a nice edition to my body of work though if I can get a few glazes that are some what reliable (which is somewhat of a joke when it comes to crystalline glazes).
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:iconosa-art-farm:
Osa-Art-Farm Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007
Are the crystalines always fired in electric then?
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007
They can be fired in a gas kiln but it would be labor intensive. The instructor fires in a gas kiln but apparently it has a computer controller just like an electric that allows her to program a very precise program. Crystals are extremely picky about the firing program. They have to get to the highest temperature extremely fast. The program is fired with a ramp of 9999 (as fast as the kiln can possibly go) from 250 degrees farenheit all the way to cone 9 or 10. Then the cooling is where the crystals begin to grow. Just 50 degrees can make huge differences in the appearances in the crystals. The cooling segments are held for long periods of time so that the crystals will get bigger and bigger.
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:iconosa-art-farm:
Osa-Art-Farm Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007
Sounds like something I won't get to do uless I take a workshop....
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007
Yeah, I don't know that I will do it on my own. It is really rough on kiln elements, and I don't know that I want to subject my personal kiln to that kind of wear and tear.
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:icongz12wk:
gz12wk Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
wow!

if you were to sell this how much would you ask for it?
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
I sent you a note.
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:icongz12wk:
gz12wk Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
thanks
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:iconlefauneparisien:
LeFauneParisien Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007   Photographer
Very delicate and sober. What size it is ?
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
I was wrong. I just measured it. It's 6 inches tall and 5 inches wide.
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
Thank you. It's about 8 inches tall.
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:iconsauriamami:
SauriaMami Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007   Photographer
very pretty....i so love this type of glaze...i never have yet gotten to use it....the expense of it i guess was too much for my college instructors way back when and i've not been able to do much clay work since i got out.......~sigh~
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
Thank you! I'm finding that it's not just the expense.... it takes very special firing schedules, it runs a lot so you have to make very good glaze catchers so you don't ruin your kiln shelves, and a very scientific approach to glaze formulation to get a successful pot. It's just something that most shared studios can't handle. You would have to fill up an entire kiln of just this glaze when you fire it, etc.

You should definitely find a way to get back into clay. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to touch clay until I decided to take my first class a year and a half ago at a local art center. I work full time, but go to the class once a week, and now work in my studio at home in my spare time. I love it and it provides a really nice balance between my technical day job side, and my creative side. Go find a local art center in your town!
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:iconsauriamami:
SauriaMami Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007   Photographer
we've no local art center....and the nearest place that probably MIGHT would be about an hour and 15 min's away at one of the big college towns. ~sigh~ i wanted to try and talk my dad into letting me build a kiln on his property...he lives up against a very nice rocky hill.........but......him and i don't get along much and i can't imagine him being much entertained by the idea of a huge hole gutted out on the side of his property and me standing there at all hours of day and night. lol
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
That's a bummer. I'm sorry to hear that. I drive about an hour to get to my art center. I don't mind since it's just once a week.
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:iconsauriamami:
SauriaMami Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007   Photographer
would love to be able to do the drive? but i've no sourse of sure income NOR am i really supposed to be driving due to health issues. ~sigh~ . can't wait till my son is old enuf to drive so HE can drive ME everywhere..lol
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:iconnorelineas:
NoreLineas Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007  Professional General Artist
I don't believe I have ever seen crystal work... that's really cool! I like the glaze color too! A beautiful teal
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
Thank you! You should do a quick google search on crystalline glazes. They are pretty amazing.
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:iconnorelineas:
NoreLineas Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007  Professional General Artist
WOW! All those colors and metallic shines! Thank you so much for your suggestion! That's definately something I'll be asking my professors in a week.

I am sooo happy I decided to make Ceramics a huge focus of my art major. There's just so many different things you can do with it!
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
You are welcome. There is a lot of eye candy with crystalline glazes.

Good luck with your major. I'm so jealous. I wish I had majored in art.
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:iconnorelineas:
NoreLineas Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the luck wishings =) You didn't major in art? . . .I think the art world missed out terribly.
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007
I actually never got to take an art class during middle school, high school or college. I moved around a lot and seemed to always miss out on the art classes. I've always played with stuff on my own, but never got any formal classes. Therefore I didn't even think that an art degree was a possibility. I thought I needed a degree that would get me a "career." I majored in computers, and do have a nice career that makes decent money. Fortunately, it also pays for my ceramic habit, but I am envious of those that got the formal art education. I decided to take classes at my local art center last year. That's when I touched clay for the first time and fell in love with it. I've been taking the ceramic and glass classes there every session since then, and have a studio set up in my garage now. I'm trying my best to make up for my lack of art education by researching all I can on the internet, and I traveled to 5 different workshops this summer where I learned a LOT. I have an AMAZING teacher at the art center that has really taken me under her wing. I call her my Clay Momma. So, hopefully I can still find my place in the art world and someday not have to rely on my "day job" to pay the bills. I really appreciate your compliment. You have no idea how much it means to me as a newbie struggling to learn all I can on my own. So... make the best out of your art major... look how lucky you were to find your passion while it was still early enough to go to school for it. :)
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:iconnorelineas:
NoreLineas Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2007  Professional General Artist
I have to say, after reading your story there, that you are in a sense 'an art major'. Just like most titles, it's not really that important. It's the determination, the perseverance, and the will to learn something new and fail that makes us artists as much as our creative ability. And now I sound like a philosopher! Anyway, I hope you get my meaning =) A paper degree doesn't mean anything unless you have the artistic drive!
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2007
:hug: Than you!
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:iconcatchacan:
catchacan Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2007
This is a beautiful piece. Well done!
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
Thank you!
Reply
:iconsentimentalfreak:
sentimentalfreak Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2007
hey that's really pretty :D nice shape, i think crystals are a bit overdone but yours have come out different to the usual ones and really nice :D
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
I agree that some pots that are just fully covered with crystals can be way too much. I have one pot from the workshop that is almost entirely covered with large crystals. I do like that one, but in most instances I agree with you.

Most people in my workshop considered this pot somewhat of a failure because it barely got any crystal growth but I was really happy with it.
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:iconsuedollin:
suedollin Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Wow, love the delicacy of this one. The colours and the shapes certainly make it serene, an oriental feel.
Such a beautiful shaped pot too, and the photography is very good too.
Wow, again!
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
Thank you! I'm glad you like the photography part of it too. I probably snapped over 100 pictures of this silly pot in tons of different lighting/backdrop/flash/camera setting combinations. That smooth mirror finish gave me fits!
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:iconsuedollin:
suedollin Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi Lisa, I understand your dilemma with the studio type of photography. I'm trying to learn still life and light box techniques. Its hard to get it right. Yours look very professional.
I would be interested in seeing a picture of your light tent. I want to make one, so it would be good to see one in the flesh.
But the pottery is to die for. Absolutely beautiful.
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2007
I just bought this kit at my local camera store: [link]

The tent pops up easily and is easy to use. The lights are very sturdy and you can put them together very quickly. I like the fact that it uses compact fluorescents that are easy to replace. My frustrations with the kit.... the background fabric they provided was very wrinkled and that showed up in my photographs. I already had a backdrop paper that faded from black to gray, but it is a lot bigger than the tent and was really expensive, so I really don't want to cut it to put inside the tent. I tried using the backdrop that the tent came with, but the wrinkles were just really ugly. Plus, this particular pot was so shiny that you could see all of the seams in the fabric, and the piece they have in the front that zips around your camera lens to help with shiny subjects... you could see it perfectly in the pot.... it was a square with the zipper going down the middle and you could see the circle for the lens. It was just a disaster. I finally ended up using the tent to hold up my backdrop paper, and then just using the lights directly. I was using the small LCD screen on the back of my camera to help me place the lights. It told me better than my naked eye when I was flooding the pot with too much light. So I just played around with it until I got results I was happy with. I still have everything set up from taking pictures last night, so I snapped a quick picture of it for you to see. [link]
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:iconsuedollin:
suedollin Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Lisa, this is fantastic. Thanks for going to all that trouble to show me. The set up is fantastic and I will search around for tents, or make one myself. I could easily buy a couple of cheap lamps and put the fluro bulbs in them. I can see the problem with the backdrop, you really don't want to detract from the detail or clarity of the pot with distractions in the background.
You can get coloured cardboard they use to make mats which are mounted around painting and photos. It has a very flat finish and is stiff. Although I guess you want something that bends around smoothly in the background, not create a horizon with a fold.
You've inspired me to start experimenting again. Its very disappointing when things don't work when they should. I am very impressed with what you are achieving, let alone the magnificent pottery.
Thanks again.
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007
Thank you. Your comment makes me feel really good since I'm a complete newbie at photography. It never occurred to me when I first started with pottery that you have to become a good photographer to have a successful pot. :)

Yes, I really wanted a smooth bend in the background so you just see a fade and not a horizon line. I could always cut down my background paper to fit the tent, but I'm not totally sold on the use of the tent exclusively. So I'm not quite ready to cut my expensive paper.

I really wanted to get rid of the light bulb reflections in this particular photograph, but they showed up even through the light tent and as I've already told you the light tent caused even more problems on this particular pot. The reflections ended up being the lesser of the evils I was dealing with. Do you have any suggestions on how to get rid of them?
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:iconsuedollin:
suedollin Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hi Lisa, I got into the photography so I could take decent pictures of my textile art! I was never happy with professional photos or my own using a point and shoot camera. And now that I post photos and the fibre art on DA I've started to paint and draw again. Funny how one thing leads to another. A wonderful creative journey. You will probably find photography will open up new creative ideas which can be translated into your designs on pots and glass.
I had an idea, maybe place some sort of white cloth over each lamp. Like a medium weight cotton weave. Nothing too thick, it may cut down the light too much. You would only need to buy 1/2 yd to do the trick.
I'll ask my son tonight, he is a very good photographer. Not that he's done much studio stuff, but he seems to know a lot from reading.
Great talking to you.
Sue
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:iconlisaluera:
lisaluera Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2007
That sounds like a great idea. I will try it out!
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Submitted on
August 17, 2007
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Aug 17, 2007, 11:13:55 PM
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