You can often find me here

You can often find me here

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.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

I Think I'm Going To Make It!

As you know, I have been working hard since early February to get ready for the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival.  That show is next weekend.  If you are interested, here is a website with more information about the festival: 

Today I finally feel like I'm probably going to be ready.  

These bacon cookers didn't get drain holds drilled in them, so I didn't feel like I could sell them as bacon cookers.  I've had them since way back in the fall and finally yesterday got some succulents to plant in them.  I think they turned out pretty nice.  If they don't sell, I might keep one at home because those little plants make me smile. 

I fired a glaze fire on Thursday evening.  Friday morning when I stopped in the studio on the way to work, I realized that I had forgotten to close the peep holes and to put the bricks on the lid of the kiln.  I may have explained this before, but the lid doesn't sit down really tight unless I put something on top to give it a little more weight.  Without the bricks, there's a crack between the lid and the sides. Because it wasn't closed up tight, it took about an hour and a half to two hours longer to fire than it should have.  Most everything turned out just fine.  I was a little disappointed in a couple of my pieces, but they are OK.  Just not what I expected them to look like.  

I brought all those new pieces home yesterday and got them priced this morning.  
Everything of mine from this firing.

I've also go bowls like this that are solid blue and some that are tan and red.

The soup tureen turned out pretty nice.

But the ladles didn't make it.  They shifted in the kiln after I closed the lid and ended up stuck together.  Before you ask, the answer is no.  I was not able to separate them without destroying them both.  The soup tureen will just not have a ceramic ladle with it.

 Some mugs.
 More mugs.
 Still more mugs. 
They don't look blurry in person.  Bad photographer
Even more mugs and a few other things. 

With these things on my shelves at home plus some things from the gallery at A Griffin Pottery and Buffalo Creek Gallery, I am going to have a full display of things that I'm pretty proud of for the show next weekend.  Phew!  

I also loaded up one more glaze fire today that has the last few things that I hoped to get completed before the show next weekend.  Big thanks to Gail and to Vicki who worked hard yesterday to finish their glazing so that the kiln would be full.  

The rest of this week will consist of unloading that kiln, pricing all those pieces, gathering up the pieces from the galleries uptown that I want to take with me, packing up newspaper and bags and table drapes and shelves, borrowing my father-in-law's pickup truck, packing everything up on Thursday evening so that we are ready to head out to Hickory on Friday morning.  

I actually managed to make a couple of small casseroles this weekend too.  

And I replaced the seal on the bottom of the garage door at the studio. It was super easy, but I'm feeling very handy today.  Maybe now more of the leaves will stay outside the studio.  Maybe not.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Feels Like Zero

I didn't start any new pots this week, so it feels like I made nothing.  Weird.  I loaded and fired a bisque fire on Monday afternoon.  My friends unloaded for me on Wed, so I didn't have to do that, but I did fix a minor plumbing problem that afternoon.  Thursday, I worked on getting all my pieces ready to glaze.  Then on Friday and Saturday I glazed all the things.  The kiln got loaded up and fired Saturday afternoon.  How does this feel like I didn't do any pottery last week? 

Here's a (bad) picture of some of the pieces that I glazed.

I am a crazy person.  Is it a good thing that I can at least recognize it sometimes when I am a crazy person?  Please tell me this is a good sign. 

I finished up these tan wine cups,
(I really like how these came out!)

these white wine cups,

eight egg separators (two don't have faces),

and this big whopper of a bowl.

There are actually more things that didn't make it in the glaze fire, so I will have even more finished work to show off in a few more weeks.  I think I may have even timed things correctly to have maximum finished work to go to the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival in Hickory.  

I also finally did some much needed cleaning out of old, bad pots that couldn't be sold.  Yay for me!  

Someone has actually asked for broken, glazed pottery, so I'm doing what I can to supply some.  It was really hard to smash that first piece with the hammer.  Really hard.  Even though it was awful crap, it was still hard to destroy it on purpose. At first.  Then I kind of enjoyed it.  For the record, I did wear "these safety glasses" while breaking things up.  Norm Abrams would be proud.  If you don't know who that is, please look up This Old House and/or The New Yankee Workshop.  I recommend binge watching.