You can often find me here

You can often find me here

Monday, July 2, 2018

Pushing Hard

I talked to my friend Vicki on the phone today and she encouraged me to use this last week of my summer vacation to relax.  She went on to describe what relaxing is since she observed that I am not particularly good at it.  Sleeping in, sitting in my recliner, snacking on nachos, reading books, watching some TV shows, etc. all sound like good ideas.  I'll probably do some of those things too. 

But there is a lot that I planned for myself for this two weeks that I've had free.  Last week, I was in the studio every day.  Every. Day.  It was great! 

I started with these smallish pitchers. Each is about 2 pounds of clay.

Over the next couple of days, I finally got around to making some bacon cookers. I still need to have more of these on hand, but this is a start at least.

I only took a picture of one leaf platter.  I made a couple of other rectangular trays with leaves as well.

Four more pitchers.  These range from 3 to 4 pounds of clay each.

I think there were some mugs that didn't get photographed.

I glazed some.

There were also a few other relatively odious tasks that I had been putting off doing that I forced myself to get done.  I have a new batch of reclaimed clay now and all my kiln shelves are scraped and have a fresh layer of kiln wash.  I. Loathe. Those. Chores. But they are done now!  For the time being, I am going to continue to ignore that other bucket of clay that needs reclaiming.  

This week will be some different.  I'm going to pick up an order of clay and dry glazes in Charlotte in the morning.  Then I'll have to unload all that when I get back.  At some point, I'll need to process the new glazes.  I spent all of today working on some stuff for Buffalo Creek Gallery and I'll need to devote a good chunk of another day to get all that finished up.  Wednesday is July 4, so I should act like it is a holiday.  Then there's some family stuff going on Friday that will probably keep me out of the studio most of that day.  I guess it is a good thing that I got some pots made last week, because it isn't looking all that great for this week.  

Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer Time, Summer Time

In June, peaches and blueberries in North Carolina are ripe.  I love peaches and blueberries! I eat them every morning with my yogurt and granola.  For a special treat, I made a cobbler earlier this week.  The recipe is EASY.  Start with fruit.  This works with this combination or just peaches.  In the fall, I make it with apples. 

The topping is equal parts Bisquick and sugar.  I don't measure it.  Just dump it in a bowl.  Add some cinnamon.  Again, no measuring.  Mix all that up and sprinkle on the fruit.  Top that with pats of butter.  No skimping on the butter here.  

Bake at 350 for about an hour.  Let it cool just a little bit and serve with vanilla ice cream.  Yum!

The baking dish that I use is one of my favorites.  It is a soda fired piece with a cobalt blue liner. I made this one a few years ago.  It was fired it at Ron Philbeck's.  It's not often that I bring things home to use unless they are flawed in some way. This one I just loved, so I decided to keep it.  It makes me happy every time that I use it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Playing Hurt

I finally had a chance to make some pots again this morning.  I'll go back and put handles on the mugs and trim the bowls tomorrow.  

I made all that stuff after I cut my self on a piece of broken pottery.  I know that this doesn't look like much, but it hurt.  It still does.  It also bled quite a bit.  I'll spare you the picture of my handful of blood.
A Band-aid will not stay on a muddy hand.  

In other news, I did some minor kiln repair today. 

I successfully switched out all 3 of the relay switches with only minimal amounts of swearing.

All fixed up and ready to go again.

I also spayed weed killer on all the little plants sprouting up in the cracks in the parking lot. I decided today that there is more cracked concrete than not cracked concrete in my parking lot.  The cracks add character, right?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Not Enough Hours In The Day

Y'all, it is a real struggle.  I haven't posted here since two weeks before Mother's Day.  I also don't think I've spent more than a few hours total in the studio since that time either.  There has just been too much going on! 

Here are some pictures of things.

This is a casserole that I showed pictures of while I was working on it.  This is at Buffalo Creek Gallery now.  

A vase that is kind of interesting.
I kind of like vases in neutral colors.  That way the flowers that you put in it are what you focus on.  This could also be a utensil holder.  This is not at either gallery right now.  If you are interested in seeing this in person, let me know.  I will make that happen.

I made this platter several months ago, but just found this picture.  I think it turned out pretty nice.  This is also available at Buffalo Creek Gallery.

Yesterday I realized that I am almost out of mugs again!  There are still several at Buffalo Creek Gallery, but I think there is only one at A Griffin Pottery right now that has a handle.  (There are lots of cups without handles though!)  
I have these 8 plus 8 more that are ready to be glazed, so I will be able to restock mugs soon.

I made these bowls a few weeks ago.  It was probably the only Saturday that I've been working in the studio since early May.

It was really hot that day, so I got them dry enough to trim the same day!  These are also ready to glaze.

Today is the last day of May.  I am off in the morning to go grade AP Calculus Exams for a week.  I always feel like summer doesn't really start until I get back from grading exams.  This year, I'll have a week at home and then we head out for our family vacation.  I guess the reason I'm telling you all this is to let you know that I'm still not going to be around to do pottery much for the next few weeks. 

It would make things so much easier for me if I could figure out how to be in two places at once. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Did You Realize?

Mother's Day is about two weeks away!  Handmade pottery makes a very nice Mother's Day gift.

Stop by A Griffin Pottery or Buffalo Creek Gallery and check out all the nice things that are available.

Here are some of my favorites:

Wine Mugs
I have a large selection of wine cups available both at Buffalo Creek Gallery and at A Griffin Pottery.  

Egg Separators
I keep these little guys in both galleries, so you should be able to find one no matter which place you are able to visit.

Soup Tureen
This large soup tureen is at Buffalo Creek Gallery.  There are also soup bowls available that will coordinate.

Vase (or Utensil Holder) and Cookie Jar
These two items are at Buffalo Creek Gallery.  This has become one of my favorite glaze combinations.  There are several more pieces at the gallery in these same colors.

Small Tray
Like the turtle on this tray?  He is available at A Griffin Pottery.

Vase or Utensil Holder
This large vase is one of the latest items out of the kiln at A Griffin Pottery.

Small Casserole
This casserole is perfect for two and is available at A Griffin Pottery.

Small Casserole
This one is approximately the same size as the tan dish pictured above and is also available at A Griffin Pottery.

Monday, April 16, 2018

And Almost a Month Later...

After the Catawba Valley Pottery Market back in March, I took a short break.  Spring Break started the week after. I don't remember what I had going on that first weekend, I am pretty sure that it did not involve clay.  Then there was Easter weekend and family visiting followed by our annual go to Charleston for the Cooper River Bridge Run weekend.  Last weekend was the first time that I spent any time in the studio.  

Boy, was it good to get in the clay again!  Here are some of the things I made.  

Between all these pieces, an extra smaller casserole dish without a lid, and the 8 mugs that I didn't manage to take any pictures of, I worked through 50 pounds of clay.  I'm not sure I've ever done that much in one weekend before.  I know I was pretty tired by that last piece!  

Soon there will be news of the next bisque fire followed closely by a glaze fire and I will have more finished things to share.  

Thursday, March 22, 2018

See This Plant?

That's a 27 year old house plant, folks.  My mentor teacher brought me this tiny little plant for my classroom sometime during my first year teaching.  I kept it in my classroom as long as I had a classroom, and then when I moved to the community college 9 years ago, I brought it home.  It has been near death a time or two due to neglect, but every time, I've given it a new pot and some fresh dirt, and the poor little thing rallied.  It has grown over the years.  In fact, it looks really different than it did way back then.  It occurs to me that I too have grown over the years in lots of ways and I look pretty different than I did back in the fall of 1991.

Yes, my plant is currently living in a Susan Jones pottery pot, but that is not why I'm sharing this with you now.  My mentor teacher during my first few years of teaching was Betty Lohr.  She taught Language Arts at Shelby Middle School where I began my teaching career.  Betty is long since retired and she moved to the Hickory area several years ago. I saw Betty this past fall at the Carolina Pottery Festival.  She gave me an application to the Catawaba Valley Pottery Festival when she stopped by my booth to say hi.  I doubt Betty will remember this plant, but you better believe that I plan to tell her about it tomorrow if I see her. 

All the pots, able drapes, plates stands, rack cards, and business cards are packed in boxes.  All I have to do is get it all in the truck in the morning.  I still need to decide on clothes, but that may wait until the morning too.  This enormous pressure that I've felt ever since I found out that I was in this festival is finally beginning to ease. I'm sure there are things that I haven't done, but you know what?  It will be ok.  I have pots.  I have change.  I have shelves.  I will have something to wear.  The cat has been deposited at her grandparents across town and the dog will go to the other set of grandparents in the morning.  I have money to leave for Sarah who comes to feed the horse when we are out of town.  We have a hotel reservation for tomorrow night.  I think we are good.  Now to rest.  The next two days are going to be long ones. Here's hoping they are really fun too.