Mabel+Ivy Designs

My name is Laurie V, the human behind Mabel+Ivy Designs.
I am an artist specializing in wearable fabric art; stoneware and porcelain pottery; and paintings in oil, acrylic and watercolor.
@mabelivydesigns

Oct 30

I haven’t worked on any fabric art for a while.  My work is going to be featured in a show on Thanksgiving weekend, so I figured now would be a good time to start again.

I tried out a tutorial I saw on Dharma Trading Company’s website for dyeing fabric using ice cubes.  First, I soaked six scarves — two silk, two rayon, and two cotton — in a bucket of water and soda ash fixative for 15 minutes.  I rang them out and placed them inside two plastic containers with lids.  I pleated three scarves in a pattern and randomly bunched the other three. 

I arranged ice cubes from my refrigerator over the top of all the scarves and sprinkled Procion MX fiber reactive dye powder directly over the ice cubes.  As the ice melts, the dye comes in contact with the fabric and mixes in unexpected ways.  I closed the lids on the containers and let the fabric sit for 24 hours.

The bottom two pics are the finished scarves.  I’m happy with the results.  The silk really sucked up the color; there’s not much white space left on the fabric (blue and yellow, bottom left).  The cotton has the best effect, I think (bottom right).  I’m going to cut those into strips and turn them into necklaces.


Oct 29
My pottery appeared in an art show this past Saturday in New Haven, MO.  Here’s my table.  The flowers are there to demonstrate what bouquets look like in my larger vases.  I sold 14 pieces.  One less box to pack up and take back!

I have another show coming up November 23-25 that will feature my fabric art.  I tried a new dyeing method yesterday using ice cubes.  Everything will be ready tonight, so stay tuned for a tutorial after the unveiling.

My pottery appeared in an art show this past Saturday in New Haven, MO.  Here’s my table.  The flowers are there to demonstrate what bouquets look like in my larger vases.  I sold 14 pieces.  One less box to pack up and take back!

I have another show coming up November 23-25 that will feature my fabric art.  I tried a new dyeing method yesterday using ice cubes.  Everything will be ready tonight, so stay tuned for a tutorial after the unveiling.


Oct 24

This is what I’m working on now.  It’s a stoneware pitcher with an autumn leaf design.  I used a sponge to apply underglazes to leaves I found on my porch and pressed them to the surface of the clay.  There’s a story behind this…

I was disappointed with the results of my finished work (see my previous three posts) and feeling inadequate when I was in the studio yesterday.  If that weren’t enough, there was a new artist throwing *gorgeous* pieces that put my work to shame.  This guy was throwing complex bud vases off the hump and drying them with a hair dryer before detaching them with his bare hands.  I watched him facet a 12” vase by gently hitting the sides with a canvas board, and then listened to him educate the studio owner about lead-free green glaze recipes.  I tried not to cry while I trimmed my pitcher at the wheel next to his.

I spent about an hour decorating the pitcher with leaves.  After I was finished, the studio owner complimented it and called the amazing artist over to look.  They both asked about my technique and said they’d never thought of doing something like that.  So…I felt a little better.  Unfortunately, as I was leaving, the new artist said he’d see me next Tuesday.  Dang.


This is my finished pineapple vase.  I had a hard time getting the glaze to coat the surface evenly.  There are a few bald spots.  I had high hopes for this piece since I spent so much time carving and painting it, and I was disappointed at first with the result (as you can see in the bottom pic).  But morning always brings light.  It’s starting to grow on me.


Some of the other finished pieces I’m bringing to the art show this weekend.  These came out a little better than the mugs, but the underglazes still faded more than usual.  At least the garlic jar is cute.


I picked up 19 finished pieces yesterday.  Most are mugs that I’m planning on selling in an art show this weekend.  I can’t say I’m 100% pleased with the results.  I’m painfully aware that clay shrinks when it’s fired, but some of these mugs are downright dinky.  I always throw mugs slightly oversized, so I’m surprised that they came out this small. 

I’m also puzzled with the underglazes.  These were fired at Cone 6, and the colors don’t normally fade this badly at that temperature.  The pic on the bottom is of a mug that I’m pretty sure used to be orange.


Oct 17
The fruits of last night’s labor.  Everything here is unfinished.  The pitcher is still naked, and I’m not sure how I’m going to decorate it yet.  It also needs to be trimmed.  It was still too wet by the time I was ready, but I’d already made the handle so I stuck it on anyway.  Never say I don’t use my studio time wisely.

The fruits of last night’s labor.  Everything here is unfinished.  The pitcher is still naked, and I’m not sure how I’m going to decorate it yet.  It also needs to be trimmed.  It was still too wet by the time I was ready, but I’d already made the handle so I stuck it on anyway.  Never say I don’t use my studio time wisely.


Oct 10

This is my pineapple vase all glazed up.  I’m a little worried.  I should have poured on the glaze instead of dunking the vase into a bucket.  You can see how uneven the surface is.  The bottom pic is the unglazed vase for comparison.

I don’t usually make pieces this large, so lesson learned.  In the meantime, please join me in a prayer that this ends up looking OK.


This is why you should never leave glazing for the last minute.  You end up with 19 pots to finish.

I started with a motley crew of stoneware mugs, plates, and vases.  Two hours later, all the babies have a fresh coat of glaze.  The good news is that I only needed a matte clear glaze on all of them because I painted them with underglaze first.  I’d still be holed up in that little studio room right now if I used different colors.

These are all for my art show in two weeks.  I hope some of these mugs move or else EVERYONE I know is getting one for Christmas.


Oct 9
pissedoffpretty:

OOTD. 10/8/12. Scarf by Mabel and Ivy Designs. (Taken with Instagram)

A gorgeous example of a gorgeous babe wearing one of my gorgeous scarves.  Yes.

pissedoffpretty:

OOTD. 10/8/12. Scarf by Mabel and Ivy Designs. (Taken with Instagram)

A gorgeous example of a gorgeous babe wearing one of my gorgeous scarves.  Yes.


Oct 1
The first of my two art shows is 10/27, and I’m furiously making pieces that are likely to sell.  These are unfinished stoneware mugs and cat food dishes.  I have nineteen pieces total that have to be bisque fired this week so I can glaze them and fire them one more time before the 27th.  I’m unfortunately at the mercy of the guy who owns the studio; he fires up the kilns when the mood takes him…
…therefore, I’m considering investing in my own kiln.

The first of my two art shows is 10/27, and I’m furiously making pieces that are likely to sell.  These are unfinished stoneware mugs and cat food dishes.  I have nineteen pieces total that have to be bisque fired this week so I can glaze them and fire them one more time before the 27th.  I’m unfortunately at the mercy of the guy who owns the studio; he fires up the kilns when the mood takes him…

…therefore, I’m considering investing in my own kiln.


Sep 26
This is my pineapple/fish/owl vase looking a little more like a pineapple after a fresh coat of underglaze.  I’m not quite done painting it yet.  After the bisque fire, I’ll touch it up with more underglazes, then finish it with a clear glaze.

This is my pineapple/fish/owl vase looking a little more like a pineapple after a fresh coat of underglaze.  I’m not quite done painting it yet.  After the bisque fire, I’ll touch it up with more underglazes, then finish it with a clear glaze.


Sep 24

Note to self…

…acquire a slip trailer.


I spent 4 hours in the studio yesterday, and this is the result.  These are unfinished stoneware mugs and a garlic jar (dramatic lighting in the second pic).  I’ve been accepted into two art shows happening in October and November, so the pieces I’ve been making lately have to be somewhat commercially viable.  I still have my pineapple/fish/owl vase to finish, which I’ll do sometime this week.


Sep 13
pissedoffpretty:

OOTD. 9/12/12. Scarf made by my girl @mabelandivydesigns.tumblr.com (Taken with Instagram)

Another example of how my rayon shibori scarves work with a fall look.  Lookin’ gorgeous, grrl!

pissedoffpretty:

OOTD. 9/12/12. Scarf made by my girl @mabelandivydesigns.tumblr.com (Taken with Instagram)

Another example of how my rayon shibori scarves work with a fall look.  Lookin’ gorgeous, grrl!


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