Panopoly: Ceramic art and craft, by Lynae Zebest

…And, the Redesign Is Now Live!

That’s right, the long-anticipated spiffing-up of my blog is now (mostly) complete! Thanks so much to my boy Orin Zebest for the redesign and for all his help and patience.

Speaking of Orin, he has lots of new photos from my last two craft fairs!

First there was the Renegade Craft Fair: San Francisco, where I, along with many other SFEtsy members, helped to stock the Etsy booth with lots of crafty goodness.

Here’s my display, with handcranked‘s also visible in the background. We were right by the entrance–it was so exciting!

A close-up of my bead and button display. I used a vintage half-sized letterpress drawer.

My ring case. It’s a modified cigar box.

A close-up of the rings, on their bed of rice in the box.

And next. only two weeks later, there was the SFEtsy Handcrafter’s Faire, at the home of Linda Davis Designs.

Some of the members of my new line of Animal Friends, which will be going up in my shop any day now.

Napkin rings — more goodies to watch out for in my store!

I made a lot of new beads for this event, only some of which are seen here. There are also lots of new buttons, slightly to the left of what you can see here.

And probably my most exciting new project, this is a display of my Poem Drop Pendants–wee little ceramic droplets stamped with phrases or lines from poetry. These should start trickling into my shop today!

And there are already some new things in my shop today, including this new ring:

Desert Sage Ceramic Ring

These last two craft fairs were fun, but I will be taking a break from public events for a while, to finally make time to organize all my small business registration gobbledegook. I will be doing some fairs in the fall/winter, hopefully, and in the meantime, I will have more time to devote to my online shops!

(“Shops”? Yes, there’s a plural now, because although I pretty much opened and then ran out of time to devote to it, I now also have a shop on the Euro-based site Dawanda, which will hopefully make my items more accessible to international customers, as well as those closer to home!

Back from the Break

I have returned from my short reprieve from blogging and internet shenanigans! Unfortunately my break from the internet as a whole never happened–there’s always one more thing that comes up, you know? But, well, it’s not all that unfortunate, and I still managed to get a lot of offline work done. I am sooo excited about the new things I’m working on! Meanwhile, there are lots of new(ish) things in my shop that I have been meaning to show off here!

Ring Things

When I first started thinking about and experimenting with making handmade ceramic rings, I couldn’t find anybody who did it, so I pretty much had to work from scratch to figure out how best to construct them, glaze them, fire them, etc. There were a lot of kinks to work out, such as how to make the rings as round as possible (you can’t just wrap a strip of clay around something, because the clay shrinks as it dries, so it’ll just crack; plus, ware often deforms slightly in the kiln), how to glaze them (do you just glaze the outside or the whole thing?), and how to fire them (if I glaze them on the outside only, I can do it the same way I fire my handmade beads, but if the whole ring is glazed, I’ve never found a good way to do it). But most of these difficulties were, in the end, easily solved.

[Woodland Ring, Size 4.5]

I found that a ring doesn’t have to be perfectly round to be comfortable to wear, for one thing. A certain level of roundness is required for aesthetic purposes, of course, but beyond that, the wearer’s fingers don’t mind. Unfortunately, without a perfectly-round ring (such as what you’d get with a metal or glass ring, where it’s actually formed around a round shape and hardens there) it’s much harder to size it properly. This was possibly the most challenging thing for me to figure out–math has never been my strong suit! What I basically ended up doing, after finding a list of ring sizes and their equivalents in millimeters, was figuring out my own ring sizes, and then trying on the rings I’d made. I discovered that the most accurate way to do things was to size the ring based on the smallest (diameter) measurement I could get from it. I found that if a ring was the right size on at least one part of my finger, it didn’t matter if the ring was otherwise a bit big–and contrariwise, if the ring was too small in one place it didn’t matter how big it was in others–it was still uncomfortable!

[Wavy Orange Ring, Size 7.5]

The next thing I had to look to was glazing. I had made a few successful prototypes in which I glazed the entire ring–however, I had to construct my own kiln furniture on which to glaze them, and even with that I usually had to sand off stilt marks from wherever the furniture had touched the rings. It was very time-consuming and not very satisfying. Aesthetically thinking, I thought that having the whole ring glazed looked prettier. However, when I actually started wearing some of my rings to check the comfort level, I found that for some reason having the inside glazed made my finger feel constricted. If I frequently got my hands wet while wearing the ring, I sometimes got a rash similar to what I get when I wear metal rings with wet hands.

So in the end I decided not to glaze the insides. It not only saves me a lot of trouble but I think the end product is more comfortable for the wearer–and nobody else sees the inside of the ring anyway, unless the wearer shows them. After all that time I spent fiddling, I am very satisfied when the line I’ve put together, and I hope you will be too!

[Lemon Cream Ring, Size 6.5]

Coming soon to my shop…

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Newly Added to the Shop

Orphan Handmade Ceramic Bead Set
Orphan Bead Set

World-Weary Blue Handmade Ceramic Beads
World-Weary Blue Beads

Light Aqua Teardrop Handmade Ceramic Beads
Light Aqua Teardrop Beads

Orphan Handmade Ceramic Bead Set
Orphan Bead Set–SOLD

Matte Purple Handmade Ceramic Ring Prototype
Matte Purple Ring Prototype