You can often find me here

You can often find me here

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Pretty Productive Week

Know what this is?  Egg separators and wine cups DRYING OUTSIDE on Friday because it was so warm.  Saturday it was mid 40's and raining, but Friday's high of 82 was amazing.

Someone came in Thursday afternoon looking for an egg separator.  I didn't have what she wanted, and I realized that I probably needed to get busy getting some more made.

Most of them got goofy faces.

I put flowers on the wine cups.


The mugs that didn't get made last week were thrown on Wednesday afternoon.  I had a little bit of time between work and an appointment.
 Handles didn't go on until Saturday because it was so damp this week. 

I made some bowls.  These are all 4 pounds.


I also made some soup bowls.  These will have to wait until later in the week to finish.  They weren't dry enough to trim this afternoon.  

Tuesday I went to Charlotte for clay.

Because I must be a glutton for punishment, I got some more Mediterranean Mist glaze.  I'll test this and let you know.  Right now, I am not optimistic that they have corrected the issue with this glaze.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Push On!

These wine cups are the newest additions to the gallery at A Griffin Pottery.  There are a total of 4 of these.  They were in the last kiln load that I fired last weekend.  I had lots of nice things in that kiln load. In addition to these 4 cups, I also dropped off some new mugs and a utensil holder at Buffalo Creek Gallery.  Many of the new pieces went to the Arts Council for my display for Treasures of the Earth.  That show is up through March 7.  I hope that you can find the time to go by. 

I am working hard to get ready for the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival.  Treasures will be over by then, so I can plan on taking things that didn't sell here to Hickory with me. One always hopes to not have much to pack up and bring home after a show, so I am working under the assumption that I will need a booth full of new pots for the March 24th show.  What can I say, I have flashes of optimism. 

Here's what I accomplished this weekend.

Some lidded jars.


This one is shorter and wider.  It would work as a cookie jar.

I forget how much time these take!  It didn't help that things dried so slowly due to all the rain.

The last thing I made was this utensil holder.
I managed a little more height this time than the last batch of big things, but I am still a ways away from my 12 inch goal.


I still need mugs.  I planned on making another group of 6 on Saturday before I left. Sometimes though, one is so tired that it is best to just STOP and go home.  I tried the first mug and couldn't even get one successful pull.  Time to quit.  That clay will still be there this week when I get back to the studio. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Playing With the Big Boys

There's another load of glazed pots in my kiln right now.  They were fired last night and I haven't been able to get out yet to check on how things look.  There's been freezing rain today, and while the roads appear to be fine based on the number of cars zipping past my house, I have used this weather as an excuse to stay put on work on some other stuff this morning.  I'll get by the studio later today and see what the firing time and current temperature tell me about this firing. 

I packed up for Treasures of the Earth yesterday and today.  Set up is tomorrow and the opening reception, which is always a good time, is Thursday evening.  The big question for this show has been answered - How much pottery fits in a Honda C-RV?  I had no trouble fitting everything in today when I packed the car.  In fact, I think I may have been able to get a couple more boxes in if I needed to.  This is good news.  After unloading the kiln tomorrow, I may take a few more things over to the Arts Council before Thursday's opening.  I will have to see what the display looks like after I've unpacked everything and see if there is anything especially nice in the kiln that might need to go. 

As mentioned above, the opening reception for this show is Thursday evening at the Arts Council.  It will get started about 5:30.  If you don't have plans for that evening, come see us.  I understand that there are a number of new potters participating this year, and it will be nice to see what they have.  There will be good food to eat, charming artists to meet, and nice pottery to see and purchase. 

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I applied to the Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival.  Well, I got in!  Holy cow.  I am not at all sure that I belong there, but since I had to submit pictures of my work and booth set up as part of the application, someone must think that I do.  If anyone needs me between now and Mar 23, I'll be in the studio frantically working to make sure that I've got enough good stuff to go.  This one is different.  There is a Preview Party on Friday night before the festival itself all day on Saturday.  It's kind of a cool idea.  People buy tickets to attend.  There is food and music and the chance to get first dibs on the pottery.  I'm excited!  If you would like more information about this show, this is their website:  http://catawbahistory.org/catawba-valley-pottery-and-antiques-festival

Saturday, January 27, 2018

This Should Have Been Written LAST Week

I ran out of energy last week before I got to share pictures of the things that came out of the latest glaze fire.

The new Hannah's Coffee House stamp worked out pretty nice.

Soup bowls

Bowls...and a casserole. I was feeling particularly un-creative while glazing.  Did lots of the same glaze combinations.

Some small pitchers

A BIG rectangular baker

Another BIG baker...in blue

Lidded casserole

Lidded casserole - something warped.  Not sure if it was the top or the bottom. This piece had to go on the half price shelf.  It's super nice if you don't care if the lid fits.  I was disappointed.

Mugs

More mugs

Garlic keepers. I took the one on the left home.  The other 3 will be for sale at Treasures of the Earth Pottery Show and Sale at the Cleveland County Arts council in February.  In fact, most of the pieces pictured above will go to Treasurers.

I also made some pieces last weekend.  A lot of pieces really.  Bowls, wine cups, and more small pitchers.

I'm trying out a couple of new designs on the cups.  I tend to not be very impressed with my sketches, so I am trying to reserve judgement on these until they are finished. 

Here are the pitchers after the handles were attached. 

The last thing I made last weekend - Four large utensil holder/vase things.  I gave myself an assignment to see how tall I could get 5 pounds of clay.  The answer was roughly 9 inches.  I feel like I should have been able to go taller than that with 5 pounds, but this was the best I could do.  I'll try again another time and see what I can do.  

Many of those things made it in the bisque fire that I loaded up today.

We had a really great time in the studio today.  Almost everyone was there at some point.  We talked and laughed and some of us even made some pottery.  I wasn't really productive, but I am pooped after having to work a full week this past week.  I got the kiln loaded and ready to go and made a few mugs that I'll finish up tomorrow.  Other than that, I couldn't really get going.

I would like to introduce you to Linda Brown, the newest addition to my little pottery family! She has a lot more experience than I do, and I plan on learning a lot from her. Today, she was throwing cups off the hump.  OFF THE HUMP! I can't do that...yet.
Linda is delightful and is fitting right in.  When I asked her how she felt about appearing in my blog (I would never include pictures or mention anyone by name without their permission), I also told her how great it was to have her there with us today.  She responded with, "It was great. Just like my dream." Well Linda, it is my dream as well to continue to have such a "Happy, Busy Place."  Thanks for adding to the joy.

Monday, January 15, 2018

An Extra Day In The Studio

With the 3 day weekend this week, I got to spend extra time in the studio.  A good thing since Treasurers of the Earth is only 3 weeks away.  Seriously? How did THAT happen?

I am in full out pottery panic mode.  That translates to: 

"I need another soup tureen!"
"Glaze all the things!"
"Mugs!  I need more mugs!"

Here's the next soup tureen.  I just realized that I forgot to cut a hole in the lid for the ladle. It's wrapped up right now, so I hope I can take care of that tomorrow. 

 I started with 8 pounds of clay again.  Actually I tried to throw 9 pounds and that kind of got away from me, so the next try was just 8 pounds. 

Then because I didn't want to move the big bowl, I used one of the other wheels in the studio to throw the lid. Managed to make a lid on the first try this time. 

Checking the lid fit before trimming.

Forgot the hole for the ladle, but I didn't forget the ladle.

I had a lot of work in the last bisque fire.  ALL of that got glazed this weekend.  This is part of it.   Believe it or not, it didn't all fit on the table at once.

After finishing all the glazing and the tureen making, I threw six mugs.  I'll get handles on them tomorrow between work and the gallery meeting at 6pm.  At least that is my plan.
That big bowl back there is the 9-pound bowl that ended up not being the soup bowl. Who needs a huge bowl?

Next week, I expect my pottery panic to translate to:

"Fire the kiln!"
"Soup bowls!  I don't have enough soup bowls!"
"Still not enough mugs!"
"OMG - what else can I make?"

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Hello, 2018

If I said good bye to 2017 last week, it is only fitting to say hello to 2018 this week, right?  Don't get your hopes up, I still hate New Years.  

Might as well lead with the finished product.
Tah-dah!  Soup tureen.
I did that with the variations in the glaze on purpose.  Didn't want you to think that I'm a total slob even though that is more or less the case.

It has been stupid cold here for the last week and my studio is not well insulated.  This means that as long as the heat is running and pumping out warm air, it's ok.  But the instant that the fan cuts off, all the heat immediately leaves the building and the people inside are cold. 

This is a picture of the fountain across the street.  I mention all this to explain why I didn't spend a lot of time in the studio this week. I also had to go back to my real job, so I didn't have much free time anyway.  Compared to the end of December, I didn't do much pottery work.  

I did get all my bisque ware glazed and fired the kiln.  I have several commissions that I wanted to get completed as soon as possible, so my focus was on that rather than making more pots. I do need to get on the make more pots train ASAP though.  Perhaps this week that can happen. 

The soup tureen is obviously one of those commissions.  I can't wait to get in the studio and make another one of these!  I am tickled with how it turned out.  Firing the ladle was a bit of a challenge since I wanted it to be glazed all over.  This is what I came up with.

Pretty clever, huh?  It's ok.  You can be impressed with me.  I sure am.  I was very nervous about this falling over during firing or something.  

I love kiln before and after shots. 

Here are a few of the other things that were in this load. 

Third honey pot.
I enjoyed making those. If they sell, I will work on making more.

I have an order for 4 bowls and 4 mugs like these.  I hope these will be acceptable.

 A few more shots of the mugs. I think they are cool.

 I'm trying to make mugs to go with that small tray.

In other weird news, I am STILL trying to get more of the Mediterranean Mist glaze that we all like so much.  I bought more this summer, but when I mixed it up and tested it, it was not the same color.  When I inquired about this at Carolina Clay Connection, I was informed that there was a problem with the glaze they had been sent in the summer and they arranged for the company to ship me some replacement glaze that should be "right."

Well, what they sent is the same as what I purchased.  You can see that they are definitely different in the bucket.  Good glaze on the right, bad glaze on the left. 

Good glaze on the tester on the right, bad glaze on the tester on the left.

Sigh.
So the saga of blue glazes continues.

This time last year, I ordered merchandise bags.  Since I was almost out of the medium size bag, I ordered some more.  This is how they arrived at my house.  Is this not the most interesting packing job you've ever seen? 

I used a different company, so I got bags that are a different color (oh well), but I was able to get some that are in between the medium size and large size bag that I had.  I think they will be very nice to have even if they don't match the others.