Tools to Make Your Favorite Porcelain Art

 

tools for porcelain art

Making porcelain is a long and delicate process, but the result is always gratifying.  To make something so unique and personal to you, and just the fact that you know you made the art from scratch yourself, nothing can be more satisfying.

The visual masterpiece all starts with a slab of clay obviously, and the rest of the tools that will come in handy include plastic bottles with different size nozzles, some porcelain slip, will need some clothes to clean up, knives to cut open things, i personally use smith and wesson knives to make the cuts quick and easy.  Also you will need some brushes, wooden skewer, and some cotton cloth.

The progress of making the art will likely take you at least the entire day, so much goes into create this piece of art, it make seem like an easy progress.  But it’s the delicacy and planning that will take up the majority of your time.  And at the very end, you will still need time to allow the clay to cure or basically to dry.

Fireplace Mantel Clocks

Fireplace mantels are one place that draws attention to the emphasis we place on our homes décor. Although there are many products for decorating the fireplace mantel, nothing quite serves the purpose as a mantel clock can. As winter draws close, one of the finest things in our homes is a fireplace. A fireplace is not only functional for providing an extra heat source it is also a place that sets the mood, such as a romantic setting As a decorative part of our home, a fireplace commands attention. Your mantel clock should command attention as well. Choosing a mantel clock is sometimes a difficult choice. It is wise to assess both your personal style and your homes design. A mantel clock is an important way that you can make a personal statement about both yourself and your home. The right mantel clock is an important key to your flow of your home décor. If you have an older home that resembles a certain era such as Traditional, Victorian style, Colonial, Federal, or European, the mantel clock should match the style of your home. If your home is more modern, the mantel clock should blend well into a more modernistic style. We have come a long way since sundials. Sundials were an excellent way for our forefathers to tell the time. However, since sundials didn’t provide a lot of help when it was raining, or at night, around1400 B.C., the Egyptians invented the Water Clock. Using the water clock, our ancestors were able to tell the time both during the day and at night. From there, around the year 1500, Germany invented the first pendulum clock. Even though this was a great breakthrough in clock development, the pendulum clocks had to be rewound constantly. Next we had the quart crystal clocks which were a lot more accurate. Which brings us to today. Today we have a vast variety of clocks and mantel clocks to choose from. Clocks today not only serve as practical pieces, but also as an integral decorative part of our homes. Choose the right mantel clock for your fireplace, and the rest of the room should fall into place a lot easier. An ornate Fireplace Mantel Clock is an enchanting way to show off your own personal sense of style. Always remember to consider your homes style and to blend it with your own.

Caring for Your Capodimonte

Capodimonte offers many home décor pieces that once set around your house will need to be cleaned, like everything else in your home, on a regular basis. Because Capodimonte is more delicate than many of your home décor items, the cleaning must also be delicate. Using a clean, dry brush that is very soft, you simply wipe gently around the piece. A soft damp cloth can also be used. It is important to remember that detergents will destroy the finish on most Capodimonte. A new soft toothbrush or make up brush can be used to reach the tight areas, like in and around flower petals and leaves. When I first purchased Capodimonte and did not know the rules of cleaning, I decided that I would just throw a couple pieces in the dishwasher. I figured that if I put the dishwasher on the “China” setting that I would be safe and that the pieces would come out nice and sparkling clean. Oops! Was I ever wrong! It was definitely a lesson learned the hard way. Now I understand that the cleaning of Capodimonte is a more serious, yet not difficult, chore. It is a chore made easier if you dust your Capodimonte pieces on a regular basis. Remember, these pieces collect dust just as much as any other home decoration that you have. Try to keep your Capodimonte out of the direct sunlight. Sunlight can bleach the colors of the pieces, just like it can bleach out carpets, upholstery and drapes. If you develop a stain in your pieces, dab a little bit of hydrogen peroxide on the stain. Most of the stain should “bubble” away. Just remember to clean the area that had the hydrogen peroxide was on with a soft, damp cloth. If you faithfully dust your Capodimonte pieces, no major cleaning should ever be needed. If you forget to dust in and around all the little cracks and crevices, major cleaning will be needed at some point. Just remember: Never, ever, ever put your Capodimonte in the dishwasher.

Never Heard of Capodimonte?

Never heard of Capodimonte? Neither had I until about 15 years ago. Then one day many years ago, I received a postcard in the mail from some company who was selling artificial roses. The deal was that if you paid $35.00 per month to this company, you would, in return, receive a different rose in the mail every month. Well, I fell in love with the roses and decided to participate in this offer. Unfortunately, around the 8th month, I became short of money, and was unable to receive the rest of the year’s worth of roses. But the roses I had received were displayed in various places around my home. One day, a new neighbor came into my home, spotted one of the roses and asked me, “Is that Capodimonte?” I replied, “Huh? I don’t know”. The neighbor examined the rose and said “Yes, that’s Capodimonte. It’s worth a lot of money”. Thus began my interest in Capodimonte roses, but first, I had to find out what Capodimonte was! When I began my research, there was little to be found about Capodimonte. There was not a lot of information online, nor in my local library. Yet what I finally discovered led me to a desire to obtain more and more Capodimonte. Capodimonte porcelain began around the 1740’s when King Charles wanted to create a grade of porcelain that was the finest grade of porcelain available. At that time, the Meissen porcelain factory in Germany was producing the highest quality porcelain available. King Charles wanted to not only create porcelain equal in quality to the Meissen factory, but create a finer grade of porcelain. The King set aside some room in his Royal Palace in Italy for the experiments, but since each experiment required a lot of space, he finally built a factory in the “Royal Wood of Capodimonte”. Capodimonte simply means “The top of the hill”. I’ll spare you the entire history, which is sometimes very dry and boring, and just give you the highlights. When King Charles father died in 1759, Charles became the King of Spain. Charles moved all porcelain operations to Spain, then destroying the porcelain factory in Italy. Later, Charles son, Ferdinand, established a new Capodimonte porcelain factory. The quality was extremely high and the porcelains were used only by Royal families because of the high cost of production. In 1798 the factory was looted and destroyed by the French invasion. Once again the factory was rebuilt, only to be disrupted in 1806 by Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Guiseppe. While the French were reigning in Italy, the porcelain production was sold to a group of local businessmen. Which brings us to today A few local business men were able to keep the tradition of Capodimonte alive, providing us now with this tradition. A few porcelain factories in Italy still create these masterpieces which now include a variety of home décor items ranging from stunning candlesticks to breathtaking chandeliers.

Mantel Clocks and Dramatic Lighting

The clock was the first thing I noticed when I entered the room. Having never been in this home before, for some reason my entire focus was directed to the fireplace mantel clock. It was an ornate piece that sat in a cathedral shaped cubby just above the fireplace. Then slowly, my eyes wandered lower to the actual fireplace mantel and below it, the fireplace. A slow burning fire was crackling away in the fireplace, casting a romantic glow into the remainder of the room. The mahogany bookshelves that were on both sides of the fireplace held a variety of books, some family pictures, and a few knick knacks that appeared to be Italian in origin. My eyes wandered back to that mantel clock. It was at that moment someone in the room spoke to me. I then remembered why I was there. It was a dinner party for an old friend of another friend. My friend was sitting on an ottoman sipping a glass of wine while her husband sat on a sofa behind her. We all chatted for a few minutes, then I excused myself to take a closer look at the mantel clock that had so captured my attention. Approaching the fireplace, the mantel clock captured my attention again. I realized one reason it had captured my curiosity so. The cubby that the clock sat in was illuminated with a small light. Just enough light to bring out the details of the Italian clock. The clock itself was a very handsome and ornate piece. Yet it was just one tiny little bulb that illuminated it just enough to cause the intricate changes between the light and shadows that resulted in a dramatic effect. My memory would hold this mini snapshot for a long time to come. Begin with a beautiful mantel clock, and add the proper amount of lighting to create a masterful effect. Using just a small amount of light, you can create breathtaking snapshots of your homes special décor items, which also serves to draw people’s attention away from areas that you may not want to draw attention to.

Ideas for your Living Room Lighting

The lighting in our homes living room is expected to serve dual purposes. The general purpose is for everyday living. The second purpose is for entertaining. Many of us expect our living room lighting to switch from general lighting, to the softer lighting that we prefer when we entertain. Recognizing that we expect the lighting to suddenly “morph” into the entertainment mode is half the battle. The other half is in selecting the lighting that can actually accomplish this. When looking for the proper lighting, it is also important to consider the room’s features. For example, do you have a darker room with darker furnishings, or do you have a lighter room with lighter furnishings. What style furnishings do you have? Which features would you like to accent, and which feature would you like to draw less attention to. A chandelier is a major source of light and should always be considered in the living room. A chandelier can light up the entire room, or, with a dimmer, you can provide the glow that you would like to achieve for an after dinner party gathering. However, you need to make sure that the chandelier you choose does not overwhelm the rest of the room. The chandelier needs to be proportionate to the room, and blend easily with the style of the room. A variety of light sources seem to make people the most comfortable. So combine different types of lighting. For example, add the proper amount of table lamps with the chandelier, and possibly some candles to the mix. Candles, along with an ornate candle holder, always add to the tranquility of the room. Thus, making your guests, and yourself, feel more relaxed. With so many varieties of lighting available these days, it is difficult to choose. But when you consider that each source of light is also a work of art, your decision is easier. Or possibly, more difficult. Just remember the style that always makes you feel more comfortable and make your choices around that. Summary: Lighting plays a very important key role in the home, especially in the living room. Whether it is more for everyday living, or for entertaining, your choice of lighting can set a mood. With the help of chandeliers, and lamps, you not only establish the lighting you desire, but, also accent your homes décor and beauty as well.

Gift Giving Guide for Men Part II

In part one I talked about how to pick the right gift for your woman and I used the football – golf story remember? As an example I said that you are a big fan of sports, with, let’s say, football being on the top of the list and golf being on the bottom of the list. This is simply hypothetical, I hold nothing against golfers, it is only meant to be used as an example okay? Now your lady knows that you like sports so when your birthday comes around she goes out and get you the finest golf clubs that money can buy and gives them to you. Are you going to be overjoyed with the gift? Wrong! The trick here is to find out what your lady wants as a gift. And here is where it gets easier than you might think. Simply pay attention. Yes gentlemen, I know you have probably heard that statement a few times already from your lady. But when I say pay attention, I mean a specific type of attention. During the time that you and your lady have been together, how many times has she seen something, whether it is on TV, or in a store, or anywhere, and made the simple comment, “I like that.” Or, “Isn’t that pretty”, or, “I wish I had one of those”. You get the idea. Now how many of you guys can remember what product she was talking about? Not too many of you huh? This is what I mean when I say pay attention. Over the period of time, your lady will almost always tell you what she likes and what she doesn’t like. Your job is too hear what she says, remember what she says, then, put it into action. If you are in a store with your woman and she comments that she likes a particular item, make a mental note of it, you can then go back later without her and buy it. Then just hang onto it for the next time you need to get her a gift. This will save you a lot of time and stress, and you will also know that you have bought her something that she really likes. Now gentlemen, I do not mean that when you are shopping with her and she tells you she likes the new brand of A/C filters, or the latest coffee maker, that you go back later and buy a dozen of them for a gift to her. God gave you enough common sense to figure that one out. But, even those items could be used as an advantage to you. If you are in need of a new coffee maker in the home you share together, you could surprise her by bringing home that new coffee maker as a gift to you both. Even though it would not directly be a gift to her, she would appreciate your thoughtfulness just the same. Simply put, pay attention. Your lady has already told you what she likes and wants, either directly or indirectly. The question is, have you “heard” her. The next time you hear your lady say “I like that” or “I wish I had one of those”, make a mental note of it. Then go back without her, buy the item(s) and simply save them until the time comes for gift giving. Also, make sure it is something she would feel is a “treat” rather than something she is prone to buy on a weekly or monthly basis.

Gift Giving Guide for Men Part I

OK guys, how many times have the holidays, or a birthday come around and you have nearly trembled in your boots because you had no clue what to buy? If you are like men I have known, it was almost every time! Most men are just lost when it comes to selecting a gift that the women they love will love and appreciate. So here are a few simple tips to knowing what your lady wants and buying it for her.

First, an expensive gift is not always required! Some men seem to think that if they buy an expensive gift for their lady she will instantly be overjoyed. Then when you give that expensive gift to your lady, she does not react with as much happiness as you expected. And you end up thinking to yourself, “I spent a lot of money on that gift, she should appreciate it”, or, “See? Even when I spend a lot of money on her she is still not happy.” Now, do not misunderstand me, expensive gifts are great, but if it is not something that your woman likes, how can she appreciate it?

Let me give you an example. You are a big fan of sports, with, let’s say, football being on the top of the list and golf being on the bottom of the list. This is simply hypothetical, I hold nothing against golfers, it is only meant to be used as an example okay? Now your lady knows that you like sports so when your birthday comes around she goes out and gets you the finest golf clubs that money can buy and gives them to you. Are you going to be overjoyed with the gift? Wrong! What happens when she thinks to herself “I spent a lot of money on those golf clubs – he should appreciate that fact!” Or, “See? No matter what I do for him it is never good enough!”

Like yourself, receiving an expensive gift does not always mean it will be liked or appreciated. Now like I said earlier, expensive gifts are great, but, they have to be something that will be appreciated.

Let’s go back to the football – golf story. You like sports. As a reminder, football is at the top of that list, with golf at the bottom. Let’s say that one year your lady did not have much money to spend on a gift for you, so she went out and bought you some golf balls and a few golf tees. Would you appreciate that gift? She did not have a lot of money to spend on your gift but at least she made the effort, so you should be very happy about it right? Wrong! Some of you are probably already thinking that if she had just bought you a lousy football tee-shirt or a football hat you would be happy right? Some of you are thinking that if she bought you tickets to the next Super Bowl game, complete with round trip airfare and a fully paid for room in a 5 star hotel you would really be happy right? Yeah well, now you are just beginning to get the right idea.

You would be happy with either gift. Even though the more expensive one would make you happier I know! But why would you be happy with these gifts? Because they relate to something you already enjoy. The same is true for your woman. Get her a gift that you know she will like.

Now I can hear many of you already saying to yourself, so, how do I figure that one out? Well, it’s easier than you think.

Men, just because the gift is expensive does not mean it is the right gift. Yes, it is very true that women love expensive things. Yet when it comes to receiving a gift from the man she loves, she would rather have it be something that she has an interest in instead of an expensive gift she doesn’t like. If you can get a gift for your lady that she really enjoys, it not only shows her how tuned in to her you really are, and this gentlemen, means a lot more.