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Baleia Blu Ceramics

Handmade by Adette Contreras in Brooklyn, NY. Inspired by a big blue whale and our little blue planet.


Getting Braver

Getting Braver

Work has been a doozy lately. Every year since TINSEL has started, Q4 has been a four-letter word for us. It's tricky because "busy" is a great word, especially as a business owner, but man, I can think of a few other four-letter words to use during this time of the year. It's just insane, and it feels all-consuming.

So, I've tried carving out time during the day, since the ceramics studio is empty, and I'm technically supposed to be part-time TINSEL (but how can you really be part-time in your own company?). Inevitably, something comes up that prevents me from being able to spend some time in the clay studio. Fine, fine. Days are tough. Let's try evenings then. I'm trying to carve out time "after work," but work never really ends. There's always something that comes up–an event, a networking thing, drinks w/ friends and colleagues. So, evenings are out. (Or "in," since sometimes, all a girl wants is a blanket, a book, and cat/dog snuggles, and an escape from the outside world.) The ceramics studio will have to wait again. I thought I finally figured it out this morning. I thought, "OK, my ass is going to the ceramics studio at 7:30 AM. Early morning will be quiet, and nothing will pull me away today. Nothing, I tell you. NOTHING." Sure enough, an emergency email comes in at 7:04 AM. Come the fuck on. 

And isn't it interesting how when things are most stressful and you need to release that energy the most, those are the times where you don't have time to release? You don't have time to do something other than stress? It's a cycle, and it will consume you if you let it.

So. I handled it, and I went to the ceramics studio, even for just an hour or two. I can't let it consume me again.

In my solitude, I was a tornado.

I ended up taking a sharp tool (several sharp tools, actually–looked like a medieval torture scene) and just started to experiment. Marring the pretty little bowls I've spent so much time on was pretty terrifying, but I'm getting braver. Starting just slicing and poking that thing, until one of the tools yielded some facets that were pretty interesting-looking. So, I just went for it.

The result so far has been fun to look at. I'm hoping that the unique little two-angled look will be event better when the glaze comes on, especially if I go with the same glossy white + seaworld combo for that delicious navy-gray color I've been obsessed with this season. I carved 2 out of 4 of the bowls because they were the right leather-hard texture, and the walls were thick enough that could handle some of my experimenting. Sent all 4 to get bisque fired, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing how they turn out.

Meanwhile, I'm also trying a new signature at the bottom. The seigaiha pattern is fun, but I feel like some text would be useful, especially when folks are trying to figure out what the brand is... or who made it. I carved "baleia" in Baybayin, so it reads "bah-leh-yah." We'll see if it sticks.

Also ended up throwing 4 bowls, trying to mimic the Fat Cups, since I think they're so fun in their stoutness. Lost one, but these 3 are pretty fun. They sit along various points in the bowl-to-cup spectrum. With the cold weather, I'm dreaming of hot tea and mulled wine in these cuties.

Designing Time

Designing Time

Studio Time

Studio Time

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