Several months ago I attended a one on one class with master Raku ceramicists Lynn Dee. My initial motivation for the session was to hone my sculpting skills. The first project I tackled was a surprisingly intricate antler. From there I took the clay and ran with it. Lips, and horseshoes, and hashtags, oh, my!
"Raku is a process of taking pots, while they are still glowing red from the kiln, and placing them immediately into containers filled with combustible materials such as sawdust, dried leaves, newspaper, etc. A reduction or carbonization process begins once the red hot pots ignite the combustible materials. Lids are then put on the containers to create a totally smoke filled atmosphere. The result is that any unglazed areas on the pots will absorb and turn black from the smoke. During this extreme temperature change of cooling down, cracking occurs on many of the glazed areas on the pots." Bill Herb
Further explanation of the metallic end result via Wikipedia, "[Raku] gets its color from deprivation of oxygen. The reduction agent is a substance from which electrons are being taken by another substance.The reaction uses oxygen from the atmosphere within the reduction tube, and, to continue, it receives the rest of the oxygen from the glazes.This leaves ions and iridescent luster behind. This creates a metallic effect. Pieces with no glaze have nowhere to get the oxygen from, so they take it from clay minerals. This atmosphere will turn clay black, making a matte color."
On Sunday after an initial firing, came the exciting task of glazing and firing. Lynn is a masterful instructor and the process was captivating.
Altuzarra for Target, hitting stores September 14th. I'll be completely forthright, the primary reason I was initially drawn to Joseph Altuzarra's collection was due in large part to the inspiration of malachite reflected in his designs. "Among the potpourri of images rattling around in the designer’s consciousness and finding their way to the board were shots of a Claude Lalanne rhinoceros, a slab of malachite, a Romanian peasant blouse and one of Richard Serra’s monumental sculptures." as told to Ruth La Ferla in a New York Times article.
Beyond the malachite inspired pieces though, the collection as a whole is really stunning.
I've been envious of all the girls on Instagram posting their gorgeous manicures of late. Not to mention my obsessive following of the crème de la crème of nail artists on social media. Then I discovered a local uber talented artists who uses gel polish as her medium and nails as her canvas. She's up for any challenge I've thrown at her, from leopard to palm fronds. She's even game to attempt a malachite pattern at my next appointment. If you're local to the Northwest region of Washington state, make an appointment with her stat. She's even well worth driving hours for!
August's installment of 'Behind the Scenes' highlights Ali from the fashion blog, In Jackie's Shoes. Ali and I met in the lobby of The Grand America hotel in Salt Lake City last January. We were both attending Alt Summit and instantly bonded.
I adore Ali's M.O, don't you? "I believe that chic is forever and inspiration is everywhere. Following in the footsteps of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, women can be stylish, worldly, and fascinating all the days of their lives. With an eye toward design, fashion, food, music, pop culture, and so many other things, In Jackie's Shoes is about cultivating a beautiful life."
Ali resides in San Francisco with her adorable family. Follow her on Instagram to keep abreast of all the adventures she goes on while always looking super chic.
Collects snow globes, magazines from all over the globe
Admires women with full lives and chutzpah
Daydreams of laying on a beach (but never really do, even when I have a chance!)
Guilty Pleasures handbags, shoes, and nachos
Weekend Pursuits trying new restaurants in San Francisco (the food scene here is incredible), hiking with my kids and husband
Libation of Choice sparkling water, champagne, red wine
Coffee or Tea coffee (I didn't become a coffee drinker until relatively late in life, but I'm making up for lost time!)
Blooms of Choice peonies, all white bouquets
Favorite Book Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
Where I’d Rather Be Paris-- this might be the year! I haven't been since I visited at age 16 with my grandmother.
Lipstick or Gloss of the Moment Nars Tasmania
Nail Polish Du Jour I'm about ready to start wearing Fall colors again. Perennial favorites are Essie Chinchilly and OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
Scent My all-time favorite is Hermes Eau des Merveilles
Style Icons Carolyn Bessette, Jenna Lyons, Julia Sarr Jamois, and, of course, Jaqueline Kennedy (my blog In Jackie's Shoes is named in her honor), especially during her Onassis Greece period
"I am a feminist. I've been female for a long time now. I'd be stupid not to be on my own side." Maya Angelou
This month I'm crushing on
Kling Kling is a pop-iconic fashion brand born in downtown Madrid with a hearty dose of girlish, sixties and cartoonish style. Kling's unique collections are full of beribboned and Liberty-style floral dresses, cute shorts and princess-like coats. Kling’s wide selection of bags hats and shoes add a vintage twist to the brand. A mix up of sweet with street for girls who just want to have fun.