Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way

Lately, I'm in the mood for The Highwayman. It makes me think back to high school, back to the time when I was sitting in class, learning about this poem. We were lucky to have a good English teacher. I must have like this poem since then. I love it even more as a song (even though it didn't cover the complete version of the poem).

I was listening to this song early this morning, and I did a rough sketch for The Highwayman. For some reason I just love the part where she let her hair down for her lover to kiss it.

And here's the finished drawing of the highwayman kissing the sweet black waves (I know, she is supposed to be at her window, not right next to him).

I guess deep down, I really am a romantic person.

My Happy Place part 2

A lot of magic happens at the Desert Dragon/All The Hands Studio, especially on Saturdays when there's a raku firing.

When there's a raku firing, you get to see cool things like pottery and sculptures in flame! (LOL)


Raku firing is a technique originated in Japan. If I understand it correctly, the process goes like this: Once the temperature inside the kiln has reached a certain point, we pull the ceramic wares out of the kiln and set it on a bed of flammable material (like paper, saw dust...etc) and the heat from the ceramic wares will trigger the fire.

Next, we cover the ceramic wares (while still in flame) to deprive it of oxygen.

The fire will burn off all the oxygen inside the cover. The lack of oxygen will cause a chemical reaction in the glazes. After a while, we remove the covers and there you have it. Raku wares, emerging from bed of ashes like the Phoenix.

Here are some more pictures of raku firing, taken at the Desert Dragon/All The Hands Studio:

Raku is a wonderful and magical experience.

My Happy Place part 1

This is the place where I usually spend my Saturdays, the Desert Dragon/All The Hands Studio. If you are in Phoenix and wish to do some pottery work, this is the place to be. It's a place where good people go to get creative :)

I love spending my weekends in this studio. There's definitely a lot of good energy here. This is the table where I usually do my work.

And this adorable fur ball is usually around when I work. I think we have become friends. He seems to like sleeping next to me while I work.

And this is what my work space looks like. Yes, it's a mess. I love making a mess! Check out my muddy tools and the pictures that I spread out on the table.

Yup, this is what a good weekend looks like.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Not your usual ornaments

I like stop motion animation. Sometimes I wish I could be sitting in a studio, sculpting tiny little characters for a stop motion video.

Anyway, we recently watched Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit. I immediately fell in love with Gromit (who doesn't like a dog who could take care of its owner?). I just have to make a Gromit for my tree.

Wrap a scarf around him and he's all ready for Christmas. I love having my Gromit on my tree!

This black creature here is a Mokona. I made him because husband and I are fans of xxxHolic. Mokona is surprisingly hard to make.

And this little guy in red is a Daruma...I know, you're probably wondering what is a Buddhist monk doing on a Christmas tree...I just love Daruma very much (and kappa, manekineko, kokeshi doll...etc)!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Roast penguins and other festive animals

Last year we didn't decorate our Christmas tree. And it was also the very first time in my life that I have a Christmas tree. So this year I determined to decorate it with my own hand made ornaments. First, I started out with some roast penguins...

And a teddy bear.

My daughter likes tiger so I made her one.

She likes dinosaur too.

And I know my husband's family has a thing for pigs so we have to have a pig on the tree.

After putting these animals on the tree, I realized the tree is more about who we are and what we like. I am quite pleased with it.