NYS Sheep and Wool Festival

Here are some images that I took last weekend at the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck. Its a wonderful treat. Everything to do with sheep and wool and fibers.

The raw materials

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Critters being shorn. Not sure that is a real word/term?

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The raw materials from various animals that can be woven into fiber/yarn

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Fibers dyed and/or spun

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I scored this great book for my library

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Weaving demos

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She is weaving a rag rug

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She told me where to get one for myself.

At Primitive hand weavers.

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The dogs that herd sheep and my favorite breed of dog…The Border Collie!

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Who could resist this sweetie pie?

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And finally what every good Sheep and Wool festival needs… a sister with a goat.

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How I make my little tiles

I roll out a slab of clay on a piece of sheet rock with a thick dowel using square equally sized dowels on either side.  This ensures  the tile  has even consistent thickness.IMG_2162

Next using my stash of indian wood block prints I make ” consistent inconsistencies” all over the slab. That term is used by David Goldberg one of my former employers and creator of handmade wallcoverings.

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Here is just one of them. I wanted these tiles to have distressed antique look so both the patterns and the glaze look like they are a hundred years old, worn and distressed.

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Next I use my tile press to cut out the tiles. Its like a metal cookie cutter with a spring loaded hand pump.

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Here is a sample of the bisqued and then glazed tile. When the tiles were still in the green wear state I rubbed off and distressed the surface of the pattern. The crackle glaze was fired after I bisqued the greenware. I probably could once fire these, that means applying the glaze to the greenware and firing them in the kiln one time instead of two times. Note the shrinkage. The manufacturer of this mid fire cone 6 porcelain claims it will shrink 12%. I have not checked that yet.

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Mixing Glazes tonight at the studio

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As part of my barter at Clayworks I have added another duty to my roster, glaze mixing. The measuring part is no big deal , its the sieving and mixing thats a pain in the toosh. Honestly I feel such purpose and pleasure being there that anything will do right now. Its a wonderful studio with great artists and good people. Conversations flow, work is created and the world outside falls away. Actually not if NPR is on the radio, which it often is. The best part is the  smart women who call this place their studio. I have met some real quality women there.