Thursday, January 30, 2014

custom cat pendant/figurine

Life is sometimes a struggle for even the tiniest souls, but they will live forever in the heart of those who loved them dearly and cared for them til the very end... 

I painted this kitty recently for a woman who has lost her dearest to cancer, and their moved me deeply. It is always an honor for me to contribute to sad event with a positive gesture and help the memory of a wonderful life live longer through my custom pendant or figurine replicas.

simple living

from here via here

looking back at 2013, I may have entered into the "go-go-go" mode of rushing through life, perhaps forgetting or loosing sight of my mission to lead a conscious and simple way of life. I'd like to recenter my soul again keeping in mind my priorities and goals, but not forgetting to always be present.

Friday, January 24, 2014

the studio and the kiln

... snow has covered everything and the weather is getting chillier again (they say it's normal for winter, but what do they know :P ), but at least indoors the kiln is nicely releasing the heat. Glaze firings are the best, as  the kiln is hottest with this type of firing.

On a not-so-very different note I am searching for a smaller kiln for myself. Trying to explore all the possibilities... I have big plans for this year, very big steps for me, that is for sure. Though they might not seem that huge for someone with 20 years of experience behind their shoulders.

To share just a couple of hints: Jasmin Blanc is moving, not just me, but my studio is too this time around. Within the country though, so this seems a little more doable. I am leaving behind the shared studio and hoping to find one that is my own alone, not having to "fight" for who gets to cast on which table and so on. Oh what am saying here? I am going to miss that terribly.
Another key word is porcelain right after the word kiln. The kiln I am planning to own has to be one that can be heated up to cone 10 firing (high fire), so that porcelain can enter the conversation (and my collections) too.
And this leads us to the final keyword, metal. Which I literally need a fortune worth of tools for. So that is why this last one takes a little longer to come about, but I am getting there with cute little baby-steps.

So I might have to entitle this year the time of fabulous changes and serious investments, and the year in which I might have to (yet again) kiss that -long desired- summer holiday goodbye. Oh well.

How do you see this year ahead? Any special resolution you might want to keep to? Or perhaps this may be that year in which you will do that one thing -however small- that you've been putting off for years now?

You know, I think boundaries are there to be pushed a little further every time, so go for it! Whatever lights that spark in your heart, just do it! You know what they say, if it scares you, it's probably a good thing.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

two for thursday

My little Mazsola sleeping in the studio, while I was glazing. The little painted figurine is not M's replica. His name is Sweeper and he left to the US this previous week along with his orange cat friend, Pepsi.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Current loves

I would not call them obsessions, rather loves. There are constant colors and shapes in my life, I do not follow trends and I am certainly no fashion freak, but from time to time I fall in love with some of the influences that later may have an impact on my vision.

Here are some of my recent loves.

At one point my closet was filled with stripes: red, black and blue in all its galore. A couple of days ago I had to realize that somehow all these clothes have vanished. Some went to charity, some I had to throw out, and now I am left with almost nothing. I have got to do something about that.

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In everything from home design to winter-wear. And an intricate pattern is always a plus.

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I absolutely love the thought of extending our little family of three (G, me and M, the cat) with another member or two. Gaspar dreams of smiling Staffordhires Terriers and I long to hug a grumpy looking English Bulldog... And if we ever move out of the apartment to a house with a piece of land, well, we'll be sure to adopt about five aditional lovelies too.

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I was thinking about this the other day. I wanted to settle one thing with myself, one that I am often accused of. Am I just afraid of strong colors or is it possible that they are simply not to my all? And that is the thing, I simply just don't like them. I hate mixing all sorts of colors especially when it comes to my home. I like firm, yet calm, nude colors...the ones that relax me and bring me down to Earth. I like to surround myself in waves of the same color in different shades and perhaps a pop of one other color, but that is as far as I like to go with that!

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Polka dots.
I have always loved them. But now I love them more in metallic colors.

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Throughout the years I have alternated silver, gold and copper. One has always been more important than the other. Now I feel that I have grown to love all three of them equally and I see some serious metal obsession, work-wise, in the near future.

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I decided to sew a nice extended collection of bed linen myself, due to my disappointment in the market.

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Herb garden.
I am so making one. I wish I could make an outdoor herb garden, but at the moment that is not possible. So I decided to make an indoor one. I will start working on the terracotta pots next week in the studio, and I have already made a list of the herbs I want to grow in my kitchen. So the growing process has sort of started already.

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But not just any kind. Classic rugs, Persian rugs,weaved rugs, crocheted rugs, Moroccan rugs. Which are your favorites?

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What shapes, colors, textures inspire you?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reminiscence - 2013

Now at the very start of 2014 I feel like taking a deep breath and reminisce on the past year's happenings, the ups mostly, not so much the downs. The magic in the passing of time lies in the fact that it slowly fades the bad memories in our hearts, leaves us with the good ones.

2013 has been a highlight on its own. And though I have felt this throughout the year, perhaps I didn't fully understand until now that I have spent some time looking in retrospective. It is a year to remember.

January: I knew it. Oh I knew it from the very beginning that this would be a special year in my life, as well as in Jasmin Blanc's history.

February: a wonderful journey in the heart of Transylvania.

March was the month of weddings in my studio, many cake toppers, wedding jewelry and favors have been made in these 31 days.

April was beautified due to this tiny soul. I used to babysit her all the time, and she had me forget all my worries... I am a cat person, no doubt about it!

May was a difficult time for me. It was that artificial silence before the storm. I now understand it.

June, the month of small and large miracles. Perhaps I could call this month a turning point in Jasmin Blanc's life. And through that in mine. We've relocated. And after a long journey, we have arrived to a place I call -  yet I might not have always recognized as - home. London was a struggle for me. It is a fantastic place with infinite opportunities that I have never seized, I admit. But I knew with all my heart that England was never the place for me.
These hills are where I belong, my beautiful Transylvania! I have arrived home!

In July I've painted lots of faces and spent a couple of weeks with Gaspi and a friend of his in a summer camp for kids. Great memories!

August was about good food (cakes included), feminine wedding jewelry for amazing clients and a fabulous summer fair in my home town.

There is absolutely no need to put down a lengthy description about September. I will only say: I have adopted a kitten and a gap in my heart has been filled!

October, October, you've been my favorite month this year. I am a summer kind of girl, but this year autumn had sure slipped itself into my heart with all its beautiful cliches. The fading colors and calm mornings, the sunshine in the studio and the curious eyes of my little kitty cat as he first steps on the dried grass in the yard... Oh that's life. October is so honest. Yes, that is what I love most about it.
On a more personal note, in the end of the month we packed our bags and headed out for a few days of sweet adventure. Our families have finally had the chance to meet. Those few days have filled me with so much positive energy, I loved it!

November in the studio was about preparing the upcoming month. Those of you who work in this domain are very well aware of how much work it takes to get one product done. For those of you who are not connoisseurs: it takes long weeks to even prepare for making new items. And in this period, the idea/designing time is not even added. I mean strictly the modelling-cast making-drying out- creating the prototype product process. And this goes for each and every product in part.
On a different note, Gaspi and I, we've renovated our new apartment with the enormous help of my parents. There is still A LOT to be done, but I guess there always will be. :)

December was all about ornaments, presents and fun. But what you might not have seen was all the late night's work, dark circles under my eyes, absolutely no free time and extremely hard work. Do not get me wrong, I am not complaining, I am just acknowledging facts. Despite having ended up being exhausted by the end of the month, I can truthfully say I had a blast and I would not trade these times for anything! Not even for a vacation on a sunny beach. I am in love with the preparation time before Christmas!
And then of course came the best ending I could think of: Christmas with family and friends around. For me, it could never get better than that!

It is good to take a moment to acknowledge and then make peace with the bad. But never forget to be truly grateful for the good! And now... Let's do this 2014! Let's see what you've got :)