It's been a while since we've made a blog post so we thought we should put something together to let you know we haven't been slacking. Okay, maybe we've been slacking a little but in those slacking hours we've come up with some fun new things we're excited to unleash upon you when we start doing this years shows. After a sleepy but equally dreamy Christmas and a party rich New Years we decided it was high time we get back to work on our bathroom renovation that's been in the works for more years than I care to count right now. What's been holding us up is the hundreds of little round and half round tiles we've had to make for the borders of our bathtub surround. Sure they're pretty simple to make but in the thick of craft fair season it just wasn't an option. Now with a bit more time on our hands we've managed to fire a kiln load of tile and are ready to get back to the mortar. The promise of being able to have a shower is so seductive that after we fire the last of our tiles (which need to be fired separately in a special matte firing) we'll leap to our project with enthusiastic glee! Another seasonal joy we've been indulging in is drawing. These dark chilly nights are perfect for stoking up the fire in the wood stove, sitting down at the kitchen table in our jammies and pulling out the pens. My delight on these nights has been bonding with my spirograph. This truly is a remarkable machine that once you make friends with it offers near infinite creative possibilities. Lately we've become enamoured with four fold symmetry. Being more of a pentagon man myself I've often found squares to be a bit boring but with the square grids we've been playing with on pottery I might yet become a convert. Adding colour to our decalled pottery has been something we've been considering for the last year or so and now after a few tests we think we've found something we really like. Because our decals are a little finicky it's been a bit tricky finding glazes that they play nicely with that don't require a whole new kiln firing schedule. Pixie has persevered though and now coloured pottery with decals seem to be our oyster. As many of you likely know, we're serious audiobook junkies. Whenever we're at work in the studio we let some incredible voice actor tell us a story. Lately we've been listening to Moby Dick. Yes, Moby Dick. This isn't a book we'd really go out and read on it's own but because the actor who reads it, Frank Muller, happens to be one of our favourite voice actors of all time we couldn't resist. So perhaps Moby Dick is partly responsible for the series of large boat plate step-down stamps I made last night . These, we hope, will be a larger version of our sushi boats. I say hope because I have yet to actually make a plate with them. I interrupted my studio time today to bring you this lovely blog post. When we actually get some made you can be sure that you, faithful ShprixieLand fan, will be the first to see them. As if Moby Dick hasn't inspired us enough already, we spent a night experimenting with this pile of old commercial decals we picked up years ago. To my great delight I found these cheesy whale decals. This was a cup with a cracked bottom so it was perfect for the test. To our surprise the decal didn't burn out even at the relatively high temperature we decal fire to. What's even better was that I was able to layer one of our homemade decals over it and both ended up turning out. Now we can't wait for another decalling day. And the thrills don't end there. Oh heavens no. While I had that woodworking shop heated up I took the opportunity to make this series of hexagon shaped step-down stamps so that we can add six-sided plates to our collection of wee dishes. In the summer we built a platform for Pixie's wheel to sit on so that she can stand and throw pots. There has been a bit of a learning curve for her as she's been getting use to this new position but finally things have really started to flow for her. After watching a few demos on the internet she decided to challenge herself a little and to make this new style of goblet. These just came out of the bisque firing so now comes the challenge of how to glaze and decorate them. A few years ago I spent most of my studio time casting doll parts and attaching them to various polyhedra for comical, if not spooky effect. As we get ready to do an overhaul on our kiln room I started cleaning off the shelves only to find these two treasures that have never been finished. Too fun to be added to the smash pile, I figured the time was right to get some glaze on them and to fire up the raku kiln again. Again this is just a teaser so stay tuned for a future photo of the finished pieces. So with much Moby Dick adventure still to be had and all of these little avenues to be explored I'd better wish you a lovely day and to get back to doing my best at not slacking.