A sharing of ideas, techniques, successes and failures in the volatile world of pottery and family life.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Back to the Blogosphere

I'm back to my blog.  Sorry for the lapse.  I have no excuse.  Just wasn't feeling it I guess.

We had a great Fall & Christmas show season despite the temperamental weather, saw many old friends and made some new.  It never fails to thrill me when people react to my characters.  This Pig yarn bowl got glazed pink and I displayed him holding a ball of green yarn with the end coming out through his nose.  People were hootin' and howlin' at him!  Needless to say, he sold before I realized that I never took a picture of him finished.  Bummer.  I guess I'll just have to make more.

Clay stamps drying for the bisque firing.
In addition to the yarn bowl critters, I'm onto some new projects!
These little beauties are part of it:

I'm also trying my hand at mishima which is applying glaze or under glaze to a textured surface and scraping it off before firing leaving the color in the texture.

I LOVE this guy!  He's a watering can prototype but I need to redesign him a bit because he's not well balanced.  The glaze I used on him blistered a little so I ground it down a bit and re-fired him.  Disaster!  Totally blistered and I ended up chucking him out.  It's so disappointing but that's how pottery goes.  I usually don't get attached to my pieces but I had him in my home and smiled every time I went to water my plants with him.  Now he's gone.  So sad.  I'll just have to make him a brother.

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Only Mud

Where did the summer go?  What summer?  Being business owners can limit many things including summer vacations.  Time and money are always diverted to keeping the store open and profitable.  So, no Jersey shore, Dorney Park and not too much pottery going on either.

 I've been continuing with my pottery classes.  We've been working on throwing taller.  This week one student made her first closed form.  We were both so excited!  Teaching is reminding me of my fears as a new student and I'm trying to eliminate those fear in my students much sooner in the process.  The biggest one being fear of failure on the wheel.  In pottery, like in life, you learn more from what goes wrong than what goes right.  Thin walls, thick bottoms, uneven lips, air bubbles are all things that can be overcome with practice and experience.  Mistakes on the wheel often turn into disasters in the kiln.  The most important thing to remember:

"It's only mud and as long as it isn't fired you can reclaim it."

 We had a pigeon mosey into the studio
then it just moseyed right out again.

 I was very late getting my show applications in again so I'll probably get crappy spots but I did get accepted so no wait list for me.  =/

Here's where we'll be:

October 20 - Wayne Valley High School
Wayne Valley Fall Craft Show
Wayne, NJ

November 9-10 - Whitehouse Fire Co.
Whitehouse Fire Co. Holiday Craft Show
Whitehouse Station,NJ

December 7 - Warren County Technical School
Crafts in the Warren Tech Holiday Craft Show
Washington, NJ

December 15 - Wayne Valley High School
Wayne Valley Holiday Craft Show
Wayne, NJ

Mark your calendars and make a point to buy something handmade this holiday.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Enough of the Cicadas Already!

What's all the hoopla? The big cicada invasion's been all over the news and everyone's been bracing themselves for....

...listen for it...             ....wait...             


Except at my house!  We've had a full blown infestation in our neighborhood. I'm not sure how far it extends but my friend, who's about a mile away, has them and they're not at our shop which is about 3 miles away or anywhere else in the area that I've heard of.  When they said the not-so-little buggers would be localized I didn't expect them to be this selective.  Lucky us!

So for the past several weeks, from dawn to dusk (unless it's raining) we get to hear this:

It sounds like constant static!

Unfortunately, our dogs are fond of them and we've had to watch them more closely in the yard so they don't snack too much (bla-a-a-ahgug)!  The cicadas aren't toxic but their exoskeletons aren't digestible and can cause intestinal issues.  Enough said.

On a more humorous note (because that's how I roll!) quite a few years ago one of my sons (not mentioning names here, you're welcome!) mispronounced cicadas.  So their official pronunciation in our household is sik-uh-duhs (emphasis on the sik).  So for the first week it was amusing using "our" word for them but honestly I'm more than sick of the sik-uh-duhs and they can go away now.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sucked into the mudS

Spring is SO distracting! Everything is blooming in abundance and all I want to do is play in my other favorite kind of mud: my garden!

Oh, my bleeding heart!

There are so many blooms on the azalea that it's sagging!

Lily pads ripe for pickin'!

We also had a couple of big orders that have been time consuming and I'm still giving lessons which is so much fun it's criminal to get paid for it!

I've been wanting to show you how my stamping adventure turned out but I wanted a pic of the Japanese ikebana vase.  I keep forgetting to dig out the epoxy to glue the flower frog in but you wouldn't know if it's glued down or not, would you? So here it is...

And the stamped mugs that didn't sell at the Wayne Valley HS show...
This glaze was too thin but shows off the stamps very well.

This glaze was a little thick and filled the stamps in too much.
And, of course, the ones that came out just right were sold!

I continue to struggle with my photography. My latest set up is on the front porch in the afternoon when the sun's on that side of the house. That might have something to do with why I haven't posted here or added too many new items to my shop lately. Timing is everything and who's home that time of the day?

I did get some birdhouses posted though.  Even after photo editing they still look too dark to me.  Any one have any tips they can share? 

I made a bigger sign for my show display. It's a bit heavy but much more visible.  What do you think?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Inspiration from Gary Jackson

I've been following Gary Jackson's blog for a while now.  The textures he gets from stamping clay is amazing.  He has hundreds of stamps he's made himself and uses different combinations to get beautiful effects.  So after oohing and aaahing over his work for ages I thought I'd have a go at making my own stamps...

...and having a go.  Getting the spacing down was more challenging than I expected.

 Can't wait to see how they come out glazed.

Monday, March 4, 2013

New Items

These are from the latest firing.  Some are listed in our Etsy shop.  I really need to get a better photo set up.  I know, I've been saying this forever but I'm kinda at a loss.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Victims of Crack

Unfortunately, I didn't notice the birdhouses were cracked until after I glazed them.  Another result of unloading the kiln to quick because I was freezing and didn't inspect the pieces properly.  Then when glazing time began I just switched on auto-pilot.  Big bummer!