December 23, 2010

Guerrilla knitting

Occasionally I see examples of guerrilla knitting popping up around town. Always makes me smile! Here is the last one I happened upon - a city tree got a fancy sweater on before Christmas. (Appologies for the poor picture quality, as it was taken with my mobile camera)

December 14, 2010

It is getting closer to Christmas, and some of my ducks have mysteriously started sprouting antlers!

November 17, 2010

Shaping up

When I first started making these porcelain bowls they would consistently come out warped and deformed. Great fun sometimes, but mostly very frustrating, and most of them ended their life in the bin. But lately they have been holding their shape a lot better, so now I can start consentrating on how to decorate them. This should be great fun!!

November 16, 2010

Small things

I have been making mostly smaller items lately, mainly buttons and pieces for jewellery. Perfect fits for a kiln already overloaded with large Christmassy stuff. 5 of my studio mates are attending the Christmas market at DOGA this year, which is pretty exiting. Others have other markets and exhibitions coming up, so the whole studio is in the middle of the usual pre-Christmas frenzy.

My buttons are hand shaped and are pretty wonky and rustic looking. I used a clay with iron speckles, and glazed them with a matt cream glaze, giving them an oatmeal kind of colour.

I have also been experimenting with my plaster cast, to see what other uses I might find for them. Still don't have any finished products to show you, but above are parts of my 'deconstructed duck', which might end up as jewelry.

November 06, 2010

Cool new ideas

While I have been laying rather low lately, other people have been really busy. A couple of crafty designers have caught my eye this past year, and last month they were both amongst the designers presented in the '100% Norway' section of the 100% Design Exhibition in London.

Kristine Bjaadal has designed a table cloth with a hidden pattern in the mesh, which only appears when wet. So what could have been an ugly spill, will now bring out a pretty pattern. Clever, eh?

Siren Wilhelmsen has created a clock that knits the passing of time. In her own words: "It is knitting the hours and the days and shows the time as something that is constantly moving, changing and developing. Every passing of a half hour is marked by the knitting of a mesh, a full day is registered as one round around the clock and a year results in a 2-m-long scarf. After one year the yarn has to be replaced  with a new one and a new year can be knitted. The year that has past is this year's scarf. And the coming year is the thread still unknitted."

October 08, 2010


It has been pretty quiet on this blog lately, I know.....It has just been one of those months. Super busy at the job that pays all my bills. None of the ceramics I have made have come out right. A very dear friend was killed in an accident....and blogging was suddenly not high on my agenda any more.

But the times they are a'changin, as someone older and wiser than me once said, and I can feel the urge to make and write stuff brewing. So keep watching this space.. :-)

September 01, 2010

Card swap II

Postcard swap update. Here is the lovely card I received from JezzePrints, together with one similar to the one I sent off.

August 26, 2010

Cast ceramic bowl

The first bowls made from my own plaster cast are finally through the final firing. They were not a complete success - three out of the four of them had glaze issues, one had a crack and all four had a surprisingly warped shape....they looked like they were trying to do the figure eight! They were perfectly round and smooth inside when I finished them, so I think it must be a case of the infamous clay memory at work here. Will have to do a bit of a science experiment on the next ones I make, to see if I can figure out what makes the most difference. Could it be the way I pour the liquid porcelain into or out of the mould? How long I let it drip off or how long I let it dry in the mould before taking it out? The clean-up afterwards? The porcelain type?... I think the list might get very long before I truly figure it out...

And here I thought casting would let me churn out perfect replicas, conveyer belt-style. Not quite the case, or at least not yet. And to be honest I’m quite pleased to find that there is still so much that goes into it before you get it right, so that it still feels like a 'proper' handmade object.

The duclings keep turning out ok though...

August 20, 2010

Paper birds

At work out in the North Sea at the moment, so not much making of things going on.

Today the rig was suddenly full of small birds - I counted at least five different species. Not sure why they were all here, maybe migration has started already? And maybe the wind changed and they decided to stop for a breather and a bit of sightseeing..? I was not able to take any pictures of them, but I have found some great paper bird species online that I thought I might share in their place.

This little fellow is by the British illustrator  Kate Wilson, from her series 'The little birds'. Her stuff is delightfully quirky, and crack me up on a regular basis.

This folded bird is by British illustrator/designer Rae Welch, who uses a mix of recycled and found materials.
Claire Brewster makes these intricate yet simple cut-outs of birds from old maps. I love the way they are mounted, and the shadows they cast.

And lastly this 'Southern white Face' is made by Anna-Wili Highfield, who just makes the most amazing specimens from torn paper.

August 15, 2010

Postcard swap

I have jumped in on a postcard swap, arranged by Jesse of  JezzePrints, which means that at some point I should be receiving one of these beauties!

Prints by JezzePrints

I have not been printing much lately myself, but managed to put something together to send off in return. Will not show what it was yet, so as not to spoil the surprise :-)

I love snail-mail!

Inger Waage

Continuing on the theme from the previous post, I would like to present another great Norwegian female artist from the previous century: Inger Waage. She was a designer at Stavangerflint and Figgjo Fajanse from 1953-1979. Her work was incredibly popular at the time (and still is), and I think absolutely every Norwegian home has at least one item by her. But although her work is well known, very few know the name of the designer behind it. This web page has collected a lot of information about her and some of her fellow designers at the time, and there is a fair amount of information also in English. There are also an impressive collection of pictures of her work scattered around. If you follow the top entry under 'Linker' you will find examples of almost everything she made. There is also a video showing some of her work on YouTube.

August 13, 2010

Agathe Hjelvik

I found this great hand drawn poster at a second-hand shop today, and it was love at first sight. It is signed ‘Agathe Hjelvik’, but is not dated.

The shop had no information about where it originally came from, or who the artist was. But it was one of a total of four posters by the same artist, and one of them had the year 1928 on it, so we assumed that they were all from about the same period. I have made a few inquires to try and find out more about her, but so far I have come up with nothing. It seems there are very few records of artist from this period, especially if you did commercial work, not to mention being a woman. So I'm imagining she must have been one cool chick - a creative working woman at a time where this was less common. Drawing inspiration from Art Deco, the Far East and Bauhaus...?

July 30, 2010

Porcelain bling

A new batch of porcelain rings with letters fresh out of the kiln. If I now could fiure out their sizes I might try and put some of them in my Epla shop.

July 29, 2010

Spoon frustrations

Sometimes the distance from initial idea to finished product is longer than anticipated.

I had visions of making a white porcelain spoon, wafer thin and elegant. A few weeks ago I went to work making a plaster cast from a spoon found at my grandparents. It is pretty thin and delicate, so I added clay to the back of it to make it a bit thicker. In the last couple of weeks I have been trying to cast the spoon, but it has proved to be a tough nut to crack - they keep breaking at the ‘neck’! I think the profile of the spoon I picked is just too curvy, so that the weight of it creates a weak spot right there. I have tried pouring and pressing, drying on its belly and on its back, drying in the mould and building small scaffoldings underneath it, but after eight broken ones I am about to throw the whole thing at the wall. So in an attempt to try and get at least one spoon through both firings, I press molded a very crude one in sturdy stoneware. And ta-da! Here it is: one finished spoon! Not at all what I set out to make, but still - a spoon in one piece! Will keep trying on the porcelain one, and eventually I’m sure I’ll get there. But in the mean time I’ll enjoy this small victory.

July 26, 2010

Viruses, Holidays and Shrinkage

I’m back! You might not have known I was gone, but last week I got a nasty virus on my laptop, so for the last five days I have been without a computer. It has really brought home to me how many parts of my daily life involves being online. How do you find a computer-repair-man in a hurry without doing a quick search online? And when I found one, how I wished I could have searched for the address on a map to find their offices out in an unfamiliar suburb. And that was just within the first five minutes ... But of course there are upsides to it as well. Without a computer I had to postpone some of the work I was planning on doing, and could go here for a few days ..

Today I also picked up the first ducks made using my new plaster casts. I have tried out two different types of porcelain clay, and if you look closely you might see that they are slightly different in color. They have also shrunk a lot in firing, so now they look like little ducklings next to the original duck.

July 19, 2010

Printers blocks: Snakeoil

Today I thought I'd show you two more of my old printers blocks, this time with a medical theme. The first one is a bottle of milk of magnesia by the Philadelphia Magnesia Co.

" For relief of acid condition. An effective but gentle laxative".

Yep, every home should have one. I think this block was a genuine advertisement for the product, and it is really detailed and in pretty good condition.

The second one I was more unsure of. It says:

"German Liquor Cure. Sure cure for drunkenness. Stop drinking. Sold only by Sears Roebuck and Co".

The rest is kind of hard to decipher. Because of that, and the whole 'cure'-thing, I thought this might have been an advert for a novelty product, for instance some kind of sweets? But then I found this online, and what do you know, in 1902 there really was a cure for drunkenness!

July 18, 2010

Summer morning walk

Below are a few snaps taken this morning, on my way from from my apartment to my studio. On a lovely summers morning like today it does not feel like you are in the middle of a city at all. It is all greenery and the smell of linden trees and old roses.

July 13, 2010

New Font

Still no sign of the roller runners I ordered a month ago. The little Adana is sitting idle on my kitchen bench, and it is becoming very frustrating not to be able to do anything with it, just because of one tiny missing part. But, something else came in the mail today: a new set of wooden fonts!

It is from the Stephenson Blake foundry in the UK, but I do not know what font or how old it is. But it looks lovely!

July 10, 2010


I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to use these for, but they followed me home, so I guess now I have to keep them...

July 04, 2010

Concrete Poetry

A definition of concrete poetry from Encyclopædia Britannica:
'Poetry in which the poet’s intent is conveyed by graphic patterns of letters, words, or symbols rather than by the meaning of words in conventional arrangement. The writer of concrete poetry uses typeface and other typographical elements in such a way that chosen units - letter fragments, punctuation marks, graphemes (letters), morphemes (any meaningful linguistic unit), syllables, or words (usually used in a graphic rather than denotative sense) - and graphic spaces form an evocative picture.'

'Silence' by Eugen Gomringer

'Stability' by Clemente Padín

'Subtraction (Startling)' by Tauba Auerbach

'Archives' by Edwin Morgan

'Obstacles and Impediments' by Mary Ann Sampson

June 26, 2010

Making plaster casts

This weekend we had a plaster cast workshop at the pottery studio, held by plaster-caster-extraordinare Kjersti Lunde. Great fun, and a lot more to it than what I in my ignorance had thought. Pictures of my evolving projects below.

The finished production, which now has to dry out for about a week or so before I can start using them. Can't wait!

June 22, 2010


This is one of my favourite grafitti walls in Oslo, at Blå -in an old industrial area by the river, which has been convertet into a private art school and a music venue, amongst other things. The piece has been there for quite some time, but now it has started being painted over, so I thought I'd better take some pictures before it is all gone...

(For a closer look, you can click on the pictures.)

June 11, 2010

An Adana 3x5!

It will still be a while before I get the Adana 5x8 I ordered a few weeks back. Refurbishing takes time. And while impatiently waiting for it, I did something I promised myself that I wouldn’t: I impulse bought one on Ebay! And a 3x5 to boot!! I had already decided that it would be too small to be very useful, and that I was going to spend my hard earned cash wisely on essentials only! Right. Redeeming factors are that it was very reasonable, and the very nice seller was kind enough to include a full starter kit for me.

Today it arrived, and I have to say it is lovely to finally have a press, even if it is a Mini! It looks to be in good condition, and it came with all kinds of great extras.

I had to give it a quick test run, just to see if I still remembered anything from the workshop. And I remember some, but certainly not all of it. Hopefully it will all come back to me as I continue working with it. It generally seems to be very similar to the 5x8 Adana, with a few minor differences. For instance there is no typeman padding bale, and the chase is held in place inside the bearer chase by screws.

The rollers moved very awkwardly over the chase, roller bearers and bearer chase, and it took me a while to realize that I am missing roller runners. In the mean time I had covered everything in ink, but luckily I did not ruin the rollers, and all the ink can be cleaned off. I have now ordered roller runners, and don’t think I will risk using the rollers any more until I get them. And then I guess there will be a lot of tinkering and tweaking until I, hopefully,  get a good, even impression. But at least I’m on my way! Hurra!!
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