Sunday, August 21, 2011

Consider it a Classic

Kri Kri Studio: Celebrating 20 years of production in 2011

 Still in use! Sake cup from 1991  
pinched by hand with date inscribed

         In the beginning I pinched all the sake cups, rice bowls and mugs by hand! 
Today, all my originals for the plaster molds are still fashioned in the same way, but slip casting multiples is far more efficient and the results are lighter in weight and more uniform. 
        Over the years I've acquired tools to facilitate production, yet it is surprising how many steps and how much hands-on work still goes into each individual piece. Once upon a time, there were employees at Kri Kri Studio. Today, it is only me. Fortunately, I have come to enjoy the strategy of producing large orders and, having gained a pretty good understanding of the processes involved, become quite efficient at it. Equally important, the quality of my work has gone up. My designs and products are continually evolving. Creating at Kri Kri Studio remains my passion and I still think it’s still fun.

Here you see my pouring table full of mug molds that have just been filled with slip, and tipped out. They are sitting on the wooden  rails of the pouring table. The table is designed to let the slip drain from the molds, through the rails and through a hole in the basin, into the bucket below. That slip can be re-used and recycled.
waiting to become firm

After the slip has stiffened up enough not to tear, I have carefully removed these "skins" from the molds and will later trim them to mug height.
notice the wooden measuring block and palette knife for cutting

While I was waiting, I made the handles which are rolled out from a damp ball of clay. They will need to firm up before they can be attached to the mugs.

Timing is critical each step of the way. Moving too fast will cause things to warp. Wait too long and your pieces will crack or break when you do the final shaping or attaching.
painting 3 coats of under glaze

It will be a few days now until these pieces are dry enough to sand and sponge so that they can be painted with under glazes and then be decorated.
At last, they are ready for the bisque firing which will remove the chemical water and make the item hard. I've painted the black trim on handle and rim as well as decorated the mug with a kri kri creature by trailing black slip with a squeeze bottle.
mug without trim or decoration and decorated, unfired mug
The firing in my electric kiln takes just inder 24 hours. This includes cooling down time.

this green coat will become clear gloss when fired!
 The final step to a finished product is the gloss glazing. I dip items like mugs and bowls into a bucket of glaze. For the flatter things, such as plates,  I brush 2 to 3 layers of gloss glaze onto each side. The glaze layer should dry overnight before firing the item. 

 Glaze firings take slightly less time but are similar to bisque firings. They must cool down even more slowly to avoid cracking. Opening a glaze firing is always exciting. One unloads the shelves layer by layer and if all went well there is a new batch of juicy ceramics to behold!  Now, how long did that take? I'm not sure either. But one would be hard pressed to make a mug in a week!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

image conscious

take a look behind the door
venture to put on someone else's shoes

and explore!

experiment with a new you
enjoy trying to shape oneself...
a reflection of something imagined!
but it gets complicated

tangled images, ideas, ideals;
meaning and true beauty
are found tucked inside
so, remember to sparkle!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


How does one go about selecting colors for a new set of dishes?! 
Start by choosing the color of the dinner plate. This will be the foundation of your set.
would you like warm?
or cool?
Add spice by changing the color of a bowl or a cup
Your collection of dishes is something you can build on.
Be creative!
Enjoy it!
For tips and advice, contact me at kRI kRI sTudio

Sunday, May 15, 2011


One winter day, crisp and clear

 Reflections became the focus of an otherwise routine outing.

Only the slightest breeze tickled the waters surface, effectively altering the ordinary.

Ships' shapes, like bolts of fabric, unrolled.
An Ikkat weave from Java...
Also remembering a painting I saw once in New York.
Thinking how sometimes when I'm in a museum, I'm reminded of paddling.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Canal Du Midi

 This past September, Nigel and Kristin did a kayaking trip across the south of France. Is it possible to kayak across the south of France you may wonder? Mais oui! But of course! Using the Canal du Midi, the Canal Lateral, and the Garronne River and Gironde estuary, they managed over 150 locks and many portages.
Not only that, they did it in the "Doubleshot", the tandem kayak that Nigel designed for Point 65.
It was really a fun way to do the trip, being close, observing and chatting as well as working together to reach their goal of over 600 kilometers. The scenery was rich, as were the fantastic cheeses they were able to sample along the way.
Tent pitched on the canal's bank, they enjoyed some lovely wines, Gigondas, St. Emilion and Chateau Margaux to mention a few.
Carcasonne, with its medieval city and the Cloisters at Moissac were two of the historical highlights that they took time to see.
After the confines of the canals, being on a river was expansive and exhilarating! There is a large tidal bore, or "mascaret" which makes its way far up the Garonne and is surfable at spring tides. At neaps, it is still rushing along at 10 to 12 mph!
Nigel and Kristin got to experience it in the evening from their camp beside the chateux and vineyards at Portets.
On their way again, current assisted, they reached their final destination, Royan at night. By then, the wind was blowing and Altantic swell was smacking the Doubleshot from the side. Once in the harbor, they could hardly see because the rain was pelting down so hard. But as they had come to say to each other over the course of the trip, "Its better to be lucky than smart". And once again, they were lucky. Nigel and Kristin will be doing presentations about their vacation in the south of France in the coming months and in 2011. No dates yet, but Portland Kayak Co. has put in a request.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Robert Tatin

After paddling across the south of France with Nigel, I thought about where I had been. This visit to The Musee de Robert Tatin, in Cosse le Vivien, France, came as a gift to us the day before we left France.
Maria, Camilla's sister, had seen my work and was so insistent that we should see this unusual place that she stopped everything she was doing and, despite the fact that it was pouring down with rain among other things, offered to take us there.
We could not refuse.
Trusting her enthusiasm, we hopped into the car and sped along narrow roads and through torrents of rain to this personal shrine.
Robert Tatin lived here for the last 21 years of his life. He is buried on the site. Though she moved out of the house so that this special place can be shared by many, a place is waiting for his wife, Lise, to join him when she is ready.
Tatin traveled widely and his imagery reflects this. Figures reminiscent of Incan gods and Indian goddesses populate the meditation garden. The figures all seem happy and content. Harmony reigns. One will see strong influences of great, early 20th century artists like Picasso, Miro and Klee, but the over all effect of the environment is quite original.
   The glowering day could not dampen our delight. Heavy skies enhanced an aura of magic here as we wondered through the arcades, literally entering the world of Robert Tatin.
Cement and wire armatures were used to construct the sculptures and buildings on the land around a centuries old stone farm house. With in the labyrinth of the Meditation garden, one will visit numerous chambers and see displayed paintings, prints and ceramics also by Tatin.
A tour of his house was the cherry on the cake.
The space was small, yet so well organized.
White plastered walls with shelving sculpted into them and chunky wooden furnishings lent the place a doll house/caveman like ambiance. Unfortunately no photos allowed inside.
Though it was Sunday and the weather was inclement, the museum was packed. It was so easy to spend time there! One wanted to absorb as much of the positive energy generated by such an out pouring of creativity as possible.

Thank you Maria,