Thursday, August 31, 2006

Boys are back in town

It hasn't been all sloth and fun. Well, a lot of sloth and fun. Dragged the dogs (whilst the wife worked both days) to the parent's farm and their lake for swimming, way too much FOOD and pie and wicked good baseball at the Binghamton Mets. It looks and feels like summer's end: cooler, golden sun, certain bugs chirping and flowers doing their final thing....
You see, to be self-employed means working all the time, but taking these little mid-week vacations from time to time too....
OK, gonna cut the lawn, but before I do:

The Beastie Boys.
You gotta watch the 'Sure Shot' video. What I like about these guys is that they are OLD, like me, yet eternally youthful, like me. Blink you eyes and there you are, digging the Beastie Boys in 1985! They are also 3 nerdy white boys acting cool, and knowing it is an act, while also performing masterfully. I mean, is this where Beck got his inspiration???

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Early Birds and Verve

Gonna be tied up a bit Wednesday morning through Thursday early am, so here's a head start.
OK, sitting piggy banks . Basically, on day one I throw a fully enclosed form, like a balloon. Day 2, when half dry, I whack, cut, and add and you have a sitting piggy bank. He has a large slot in back for coins. As I say below, CUTE, but not cutesy (is that a belly button there?)

Music today and beyond---The Verve. You could say 'what a bunch of losers', because they had great talent and music and lost it all. In the early 90s Charlatans UK, Oasis and The Verve came out of England and sounded terrific. The Verve had great success with 'Bittersweet Symphony', but predictably, since they sampled a Stones tune, they lost all the money in a lawsuit then there was a sneakers ad or something and then drug abuse and arguing finished them off as a band. Great tune, great video, check out 'Bittersweet Symphony' here.


So, as I said the other day, I like elephants. I also said, at a different time, I am entering a teapot competition. Finally, if it isn't obvious, I like jokes. For example, putting all of the above together, maybe an elephant should be pouring himself a cup of tea, except he uses his trunk to pour? Elephants sitting atop a teapot, pouring tea is funny. Elephants on top of a column pouring tea are funny (pictured), but I thought today I might make just a figurine of an elephant, with his tea service. Although I spent years in school and as an apprentice learning to throw pots, I never had any instruction in sculpture. I love it. I just bumble along, figuring out animals and shapes. A real change of pace from making a bowl. It also is a different physical use of my hands, and I try to vary what I do, so I don't hurt my back or wrists or whatever. I have learned that, as Charles Schultz did with Snoopy, you can do a lot with a little line or gesture. And, as someone once said of my work, they are always smiling. Luckily, as I am a macho kind of guy, they are CUTE but not CUTESY. Big difference.
So, the guy on the left needs to be dried and glazed blue with maybe a green teaset in trunk and hand.

Billy Bragg and dancing pigs?

Bonus tunes today. My pal Alan at Gen x at 40 has all this info on Billy Bragg, so in that spirit I looked around and found this terrific and funny video of 'You woke up my neighborhood'

Sick as a actually

Awakened, as I have been lately, by Sammy horking up. Worried he is sick: it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to realize that the new crunchies we got at the store are doing it somehow: he and his sister love them, and gorge on them, and.....well, enjoy your breakfasts folks. We gotta cut down on those crunchies around here.
For myself, the snifflies are passing, but today is another soaker and I think baseball is better planned for tomorrow night.

Urge Overkill

I lived in Chicagoo several years as a grad student and teacher, meeting the missus there who was also a grad student and teacher. It worked out well. Chicago was very affordable then--cheap apartments, easy subway and bus service everywhere, cheap tuition too.
The mid-90s brought tremendous prosperity to Chicago, and rising prices for everything, but we had already left for good in 94. We returned for a visit in 1996, with a communion set I had made for Grace Episcopal Church, which had been our church. We were there the same week as the Democratic National Convention, and in 2 years, and with the nation watching, Chicago had CHANGED. The dirt, the homeless, the vacant lots, all gone it seemed, and a cop on every corner. Chicago remains prosperous, but in 96, we said 'dang, the minute we move out, the city gets beautiful and safe, and Smashing Pumpkins hits the big stage!' Urge Overkill, too, another Chicago band came out of that. They had a fab video of a boat trip up the Chicago River while performing. This is that same tune performed live, Neil Diamond's originally, right? Sounds good.
Okay, Richard in Dallas wants to know the secret to awesome mugs. Alright Richard, I make a variety of mugs, some with animals, some without. Before and after for one pictured above. I sliced and diced this one, as you can see. As much fun as it is to make a mug covered with pigs in crazy shapes, a stable cylinder is really the easiest mug to use. It doesn't have to be plain though, here I textured the handle and obviously hacked at the body, and used a two-toned glaze scheme that flows together.
Today, making little animals. I want to redo the elephant statue with teaset thing. Fire a bisque, make banana bread and potato salad too.
Dreamt of an old old girlfriend, which became a retreat from North Vietnam at the end of the war, like I was in somebody else's awful memory.....

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Deftones

Rather noisy.
These guys get my A-1 super duper award for websites. A lot of info, music and VIDEOS. Check out the video for Change. Neato.

Big Red

Well, I mentioned that I am a four-leaf clover hunter. The missus found one this morning, then got a job. 2 plus 2 equals four!

the boss for M
The missus has made a request....
Bruce, Jungle Land

Not too shabby...

Iwork at home, as my readers may have guessed, but the missus works outside the home. Or, she would have, but was laid off a bit ago from a good job so we MOVED, out of state.
Well, the missus just got a good new job, at the big enchilada in Tompkins county, a university whose name we could say rhymes with 'Cornell'.
Hot dog!

Call in show

Sometimes I get calls, questions, and emails. Being a famous potter (Har!) is a big responsibility, especially if you blog too.
Sally in Omaha writes: what's this thing with you and the elephants?
and Jack in Tallahassee wants to know: why is the world filled with boring bowls?

I know, Jack, I ask myself that every day, and try to do my part. Here is the before and after on a little blue bowl. Sally, the thing with elephants goes back to when I was four or five and saw 'Dumbo' on the big screen, and got seriously into Babar at home. I have worked on elephants for years, but only in 2005 made a simple little one that I really like. That's the guy up there in the middle, and 3 of them make the feet of the little bowl.
Dreaming last night: I had to help a princess choose her dress. I say go for the buttery yellow one.

Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions

This is the before. Yes, although my mother wouldn't like the name, she would love the Cowboy Junkies. Try Sweet Jane.
Finding this was like finding the Holy Grail of music videos. Let me give you the history, as I know it, of me and the Cowboy Junkies. Some or all of it is probably factual, my Canadian friends can correct me.
Two Timmins brothers formed a band with a friend, and asked their sister, a social worker, not a singer, to be their singer. And wow, what a voice! Margot Timmins has an ethereal, deep, haunting, quiet singing voice. I think she is married now with a mess of children, living in the suburbs, but the band still performs. Anyway, as I wrote in comments elsewhere, I had lunch at Toronto's Eaton Center (Centre?) in 1988, a huge glass and steel mall, overlooking and surrounding a tiny little old stone church. I think that is Holy Trinity. Also in 1988, the Cowboy Junkies recorded a concert in Holy Trinity, with one little microphone, maybe the most famous little concert recorded ever? I heard the band interviewed once, I think, talking about the reason they did the concert. Something about awareness of the fact that this sweet little old church wouldn't have a future thanks to the mall. My friends can correct the facts. Anyway, this video is worth getting up at 4:51 when the cat vomits.

Cowboy Junkies live in 2005

For a minite or two, anyway. This is the after.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Korn Flakes: Not just for breakfast anymore

Nobody in my family will like this one.... try the video for 'coming undone'
Well, Korn. Our old pal Celeste tells us she is going to see Korn this week, so how do we explain the appeal? I mean, I am a guy that thinks Crosby Stills Nash and Young may have been the best band ever, Eric Clapton the single greatest talent. But, as my myspace thing says, except for show tunes and country, I seem to like all music.
So what is Korn? Wiki calls it nu metal, which is where grunge met metal. Then you have rap and death metal, OK, OK, who cares. Apocolyptic, loud, noisy, NOT family friendly (and this is a family friendly blog), but their music somehow holds together nicely.

OK, Gnarls Barkley again. I couldn't get 'crazy' to play from the website, this works well and is totally clever.
Dreamin' today: something where I am back in students days with a broken down old apartment, which is OK, and life on a bike and the parents come over and all the other guys in the apartment are a lot of fun too.....that's it.
makin' today--well, what with all this rain, all the drying pots are behind schedule and not drying after all. I have to consider if those sugar bowls and the others are too damp to fire. Making? Mugs and piggy banks.
Before I devolve into a typical blog, talking about what I saw on TV, let me tell you what I saw on TV. We don't have one, but part of cat/hamster sitting involves hanging around playing with the cats and hamster, while watching Animal Planet. It was Animal Heroes last night, animal EMTs in Phoenix. Hard to watch, some of the condition pets and strays are in. Phoenix ASPCA is incredible though, with a mobile ambulance and clinic financed by donations. We have a house full of strays (well, 3 plus Jack) and love those stories.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tunes for tomorrow: Gnarls Barkley!!!!

The missus was saying the other day 'ugh, Gnarls Barkley everywhere I look! I hate them!'
I said 'no no no! you have never heard them!!!!'
If you like classic Motown like I do, and you took something like 'Heard it through the Grapevine' and sped it up 50 percent, and fast forwarded to 2006 you would get Gnarls Barkley. Is this the tune of the summer?? So happy, so soulful at once! The missus loved this video too, she is converted, but she did say 'well, there is no wall of sound like Motown'. Picky, picky. This links to their website, which is generous with video, music and color. Look at the 'Smiley Faces' video. It is a funny video and wicked catchy tune. MORE SUNDAY! Tune in then.

Buttery yellow

OK, this little guy looks great. From wet thrown, to whacked, pulled and pushed to glazed, now fired and done and ready for Oolong or Irish Breakfast. Remember, this guy is for a teapot competition. What do judges look for? One guess is clean, simple, beautifully constructed. The rest of the spots likely go to NEW and innovative. I have a flamboyant style, what with dancing pigs, or in this case: I did about everything I could think of to it. The fun part is the little crevasses and channels which this yellow glaze and the contrasting glazes turn into a tie-die effect when they melt.
Fablulous. The five entries pictured next week, before they ship out.

Fab little teapot

Plasmatics: not for mom

The Plasmatics: I remember before MTV a live performance on some variety show in the late 70s. They were something alright. Wendy O Williams was wearing a little whipped cream here and there, and nothing else, and she used a chain saw on her guitar, which had that sort of apocalyptic sound that wakes you up. I liked The Specials more, and other bands, but to an adolescent boy, a lead singer wearing just whipped cream.....well anyway, I just got one of their albums for a quarter at a garage sale. Course, I don't have a turntable but...

Happy birthdays!

Sammy was born, according to the vet he had then, in late August 1990. He was a little dirty furball of a kitten found in a box on the streets of Chicago in December, with a much larger cat also in the box, beating on him. I am pulling your heartstrings. He is the best creature in my life and has been for SOOOO long, and now he is 16. He predates my wife, whom he met when he was about a year old. He liked her right away, crawling into her skirt, and vomiting. That's how he woke me up today, horking up a hairball on my feet, but I love you anyway Sam.
Of all our dogs and cats, and we have a few, Jack is the only one whose birthday we were around for and know exactly. It is today. He is a sweet black lab, very playful, smart and loyal. 2 friends of ours were engaged and each had a lab, and well, the dogs didn't wait for the wedding to get it on, and the result was 10 puppies in the kitchen, Jack was #9. He does not have the sad stray on the street story the rest of our pets have, but he was born with epilepsy, which we manage, and for him to reach eleven....!!!! Cool. Love you Jack.

Dreams o' the day times three

I have said before that maybe creative people dream a lot, because they can't turn it off. As I wrote a couple days ago, sometimes I work on pots in my sleep.
St Dickeybird is a creative guy, he has a lot of dreams too, but I had 3 last night.
In the first, I was to meet Celeste at that huge mall in downtown Toronto, whatever it is called and please remind me, but I couldn't find a drink. You would think in a place like there would be beverages, wouldn't you??? Never got around to meeting up with Celeste......
Then I dreamt I was back in high school and the school had a policy of handing out valium to all the students (maybe that is a clever idea?) except I didn't want any, much to the teacher's surprise, stating I was a mellow enough guy to begin with. Happy too.
Lastly, I was to marry a young Queen Elizabeth. I got pretty disgusted with the whole thing, just plain BORED with life at court, and I told her so. I didn't want to marry her, but there was this other handsome young guy hanging around named Philip, so I figure things worked out OK for the Queen.
I may lay it on thick sometimes, exaggerate even, but I do tell the truth, honest injun, so those are my dreams.

Everybody loves....

...the Beatles, even my mom, so this tune is for her and all the rest of you. Thanks to our friends at AOL
We noticed last night that The Killers have updated their look these days, as many young guys in Hollywood have, such as Heath Ledger, to sport nice big hairy beards. EEEW! Are we nostalgic alreay for their clean cut looks of 2004?

Friday, August 25, 2006


This is like when the wife and I realized we loved that band from the late 80s, early 90s "James"
We are totally digging The Killers. Here's our FAVE FAVE FAVE video and tune, 'Smile Like You Mean It', down the page a little, and it WILL play over and over and over....
OK, so this one is for Denis and Celeste too.

The Killers, Again

Talk about over the top! This one is especially for Denis and Celeste.
Go to the video of Mr. Brightside, version 2.

Sugar Bowl Redux

Ok, one maxim this particular potter lives by is 'close enough'. Here is the finished replacement sugar bowl for Sharon Arts, (see broken one a couple posts below if you are lost), and next to it is a body for a second one. The one I just finished looks a little fatter than the one it replaces, but so what. As you can see, I threw a balloon, which is sometimes stronger when you have a lot of altering to do, cut a top opening, hacked at the sides and bottom, whacked it a bit, added lid with ring and 2 handles: done. The 2nd one is not pictured finished yet, but has an elephant on top now and slightly different handles, and I will post pics after the glaze firing in a few days.

Bonus Tunes o' the day

Here's a killer bee video from The Killers
Check out 'somebody told me'--once again, there may be a popup and an ad but well worth it!
I know nothing about this band. It seems to have a semi-nerdy front guy with a strange voice, sorta like a more confident and less whiney David Byrne of the Talking Heads. I think their music holds together beautifully, and can appeal to a huge listening audience, except for maybe my mom and dad. Maybe something for them tomorrow.

The little yellow teapot that (hopefully) could

People may not realize what a crapshoot making pottery is. You follow procedures, and hope for the best. Glaze firing is especially tricky. I select my glaze recipes, all of which I developed, because they are reliable. Some glazes are tricky and do crazy things in the firing and fail. My glazes are a bit like the banana bread recipe in Joy of Cooking: slap it together, slap it on the piece, bake it, turns out perfect 99% of the time. My electric kilns are all reliable too, but the big one has a computer to fire it: I give it speed, temperature, warmup, cool down, about like microwaving some leftover soup. But you never know. It is also true that the unfired glazed pot looks nothing like the fired--the piece shrinks, the glazes flow, things get shiny. So here is the little teapot I have been showing you all week, 9 am, headed into the kiln, fired up to about 2200 degrees by about 9 pm, cool until about 3 pm tomorrow, unloaded and pictured here. Check back.

At our table

Like I say below, I am pleased with this mug and need to make more. A blue and celedon multi-textured mug, sans (GASP!) pig or other animal. In my language, a plain mug. Also shown, 2 dessert/muffin plates for the missus avec pig and dog. I don't make plates often, although easy to do, they like to warp and crack. The piggy one here is a little warped, but they look pretty good and the missus is pleased. So, as Jane my instructor used to say 'make more'.

Travels with Toni
Toni at Travels With Toni is pretty cool. A fantastic writer, her original blog ‘Strong Coffee’ was the first blog we had ever seen, ever ever ever. We got a new computer years ago, and wanted to find our old Chicago free weekly "Strong Coffee" with Madame Sosotras wicked horoscope, and came up with Toni’s blog. She and her husband and kids live outside Chicago, she is a writer and attorney, maybe more Mom and writer at the moment, photographer too. We didn’t meet, but Maude, Toni and I were all at Univ of Illinois Chicago at the same time. The blog these days is tres chic and high tech. Toni can be quite bawdy and funny, check it out.
Dreaming last night: back in college, taking adolescent psychology, which I never did take, but I aced the first test and got a 20 on the 2nd and not much better on the third...I have to wonder, if I am dreaming, why am I giving myself tests and grading them and not doing better? I suppose I need to dream myself studying a little harder, and why did my two dogs live with me in my dormroom, except they kept getting out into the hallway? Have a field day with all this, Dr Freud.
At the store the other day I was poking this Green Mtn Coffee bag with cinnamon cream swirl coffee. People nearby wondered why it smelled like French toast. Man, its good, but leads me to today's work: obviously glazing and making sugar bowls as mentioned below, but I like this mug here so much I should make a whole bunch. More on that later.

Like I said, Limp Bizkit
Ahh, Linkin Park yesterday, Limp Bizkit today. Go to ‘Nookie Neptune remix’ I think the missus is a little tired of this tune, but this video of ‘Nookie’, although not really family friendly, is a popified version of the original. I have heard that Fred Durst always wears those caps because he has gone bald. I have to say, the missus and I danced along with this especially at the disco end.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sharon Arts and Sugar Bowls

Sharon Arts and Sugar Bowls
Back to work o’ the day. I am tossing in a couple pics here, one of a sugar bowl mentioned before, broken by the bride. Sharon Arts Center needs a replacement from me, no problemo, check out their link down their somewhere, then go on vacation to Peterborough, NH and eat and drink at Harlow’s and shop at Toadstool Books and get your fine art, including my pots, at Sharon Arts.
This sugar bowl is from around a year ago, when I was, as I do, messing around with wild shapes. It has a nifty little creamer and teapot, cups too and they are a lucky couple to have that teaset. I made a bunch of sugar bowl bodies just now, pictured. The little slugs on the middle/left are 2 bodies for that sugar bowl, which undergoes a massive transformation when it is half dry: cut an opening, trim the lid add a ring, slice and facet the sides, and trim and whack the foot and add the little wings, I mean handles, on the sides. I will make 2, but I think one will have an elephant rather than a ring for a knob. I will show pics of step 2 tomorrow. The kiln is chugging along now with that soon-to-be yellow teapot (you saw it being made down in the previous posts). It is bisqued today 1800 degres f, cools overnight, glazed early tomorrow YELLOW etc, glaze fired about 2200 degrees f, then out Saturday about 3 pm.

More tunes of the day: Linkin Park!
Linkin Park, Aug 24, 2006
OK, I can’t stand it: what if I don’t want to post in the morning? And it is afternoon? The heck with it! Work is done, and Linkin Park is on my mind. This is where my dad says ‘what is this noise?’ and my mom says ‘what kind of music is this?’ and my sister says ‘I don’t think I want my kids listening to this’, but here it goes anyway.
MTV promised videos on their site, but millions of teens around the world are messing with the site, so go to this fantastico link at AOL and look at the ‘From the Inside’ and ‘Numb/Encore’ videos. It may come in as a pop-up and have an ad, but worth it.
So, why are these guys on my mind? Thinking of my niece this afternoon, who received a dvd she didn’t want of Linkin Park Live in Texas, and I was like, hey, I wanna see this! It was good. As a matter of fact, what happened to all those noisy bands of a few years ago, Limp Bizkit, Godsmack and Creed? The number bands like Powerman 3000 and Blink 182 and the others? Coldplay is like sugar-free ice cream, yuck, you want something more rich sometimes.
I think it was Run DMC around 1990 or so who sampled Aerosmith’s ‘Walk this Way’ and introduced the world to heavy metal meets rap, (and suddenly Aerosmith was big again) and Cypress Hill took it and ran with it, then Limp Bizkit came along in the late 90s and it was a big thing all right, and Linkin Park did it better than any of them. I mean, they have a dj, and not one but TWO rapping front men, one with a matter of fact approach, and that other guy, kind of wailing and whining.
I mean, I don’t go out of my way to listen to either rap or metal, but together, these guys can perform. Like raw eggs and flour baked into a chocolate cake.

These dang pictures go down THERE!

Blogger and I are having some problems this morning....

it better get things right this time...

Jammed up blogger
Blogger and I are at each others’ throats this morning. I wonder if 75 million other bloggers are jamming in pictures of their puppies and what they had for dinner last night? I mean, can’t they stay out of my way, I’m doing something important here! Good thing I save first.
OK, went to Cognoscentea yesterday, so here is a plug. Good teashop on State St Ithaca, my work covers a whole window. Pictured below, link here.
Making today: well, you see the picture of the kiln opening below, it was a good firing and my dad was there when it opened and snapped this. You read about this stuff as I made it. Usually making a piece to firing a piece is only about a 3-4 day thing with me, pretty fast. A bit slower lately....
Got a message from one of my New Hampshire stores, that a bride’s new teaset had a broken sugar bowl (I didn’t do it) and could I replace it? Its a nice store, and I will make a replacement today and send it in a huge wad of packaging.
So, interesting stuff in the dreams dept. Mamabear and papabear were over yesterday, obviously keeping me from making a million mugs, but hey, the sun was out. Their dog Abby, pictured with me and the missus below, ran out across traffic on the state highway, and I tackled her behind somebody’s house. That flutter in my chest was NOT a heart attack, and I wonder if cats have 9 lives, how many does Abby have? She sure used up one yesterday, and all is well. Anyway, I dreamt of my college studio and dad was there working on a special ceramics project and then cleaning the place--it was a filthy studio as pottery studios usually are. My dad has become a watercolor painter of some note in recent years, which will merit its own post and pics another day.

Tunes o' the day, Nicola
So if you are involved with myspace, sometimes you get sales come ons, sometimes friend requests from women in bikinis with links to...., and sometimes a real live friend request from a little band. Nicola sounds GOOD, and her band wants folks to check the schedule and go see them play. ‘Don’t take it personally’ sounded especially good.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

David Makar


My old pal David stopped over yesterday to play with the dogs and work on the crossword. David is an unusual guy, which I can explain further one day, but for now I will say that he is very generous and civic minded, unusual qualities. He helped Maude get a job, has helped me find stores, and he is a volunteer fireman and now Democratic Party activist (good boy!) and candidate for town board. Vote for David. He is a good guy, and promises a full piggy bank on every table. No, wait, but he can help you find a guy that makes them then you can fill it yourself. Anyway, David blogs above. Check it out, nice blog, great pictures. The missus and I were driving around yesterday noticing the organic dairies nearby, and wouldn't you know, he posted on that very topic? We have a psychic connection now or something. He has seen this blog, and was in the unusual (again with the unusual) position of seeing the works in progress pictured and described here. He has made an order, last time he was here and again. Now, I make a lot elephants because I like Dumbo and Babar, but there is a political party, which I shall not name, that uses elephants as a symbol. Our man David keeps asking for a donkey. I couldn't understand why, after all, who likes donkeys? Pigs are more interesting and cute, really. Finally though, I put two and two together and realized that my own party.....ahhh! Donkeys!
OK, I can try that, after all, I have seen the 2 'Shrek' movies.

Pigs Ahoy!

People who know me a little bit get used to my quirky little thing: I love piggies. When I say that, I mean the pigs we see in illustrations or hand made. I made my first piggy bank around 1989, and have made thousands since. I can keep track easily, because the corks, like the one in that fellow's snoot above, come in bags of hundreds, and I once kept track of how many hundreds I sold each year. The guy on the upper left has become standard and is not too different from my first, just better feet, bigger ears, and in my quest to make a red glaze several years ago I stumbled over pink--perfect pig color. The bank second to left is a most recent type, small, sitting, and holding its own piggy bank--yes, that tiny thing is built to hold a dime. I have made smaller, non-functioning piggy banks for the doll house trade, each bank about the size of your pinky's fingernail, and perfect in detail. Banks also come in jumbo size, or as for banks, maybe 16 different animals, like dogs or penguins etc. On the right, two little pig figurines are on each side of the bank. I put those on mugs, teapots, pitchers, or just as they are.
Two reasons I discuss this. One, I need to make piggy banks as they all seem to be out in stores and there are none available, and two:

DREAM O' THE DAY: Well, maybe you're not surprised to hear that I dreamt that I was showing Heidi next door how to make a piggy bank and I got an idea for a new style of piggy bank that I thought was kinda brilliant and I woke up all excited and realized that it was close to a variant I already make. That's self-employment for ya: you even work in your sleep.
A couple last things. One, the mamabear and papabear are visitng today, therefore I can do one task I would rather put off: clean the house, again. But, it helps me put off what I really need to do, which is make new glaze batches. Those buckets are LOW. Making glaze is actually easy now, just down to the basement, open the bags of supplies, measure and mix like a cake. In our last house I had to drag all the ingredients out from under the house and mix them in the yard.

MMM, a couple last points: I live my hobby, pottery, but do have a hobby. I am a four-leaf clover hunter. Several years ago I found my first, which was a whopper with 5 leaves, and I save them all and have found: a seven leaf clover, eleven 4 leaf clovers in one day, TWICE, and four leaf shamrocks too. Gives a nice lucky boost to the day. I stuff them into 'c' for clover in the dictionary. I have found almost 250 in the last few years, almost 50 this year--this is a lucky place and a lucky year here! Anyway, spotted one yesterday at the playground and gave it to the missus--she needs a little luck this week. More on clovers another day.
Alright, last thing, seperate post above about David Makar.

Tunes o' the day: Dead Can Dance cover
There was a band in the 80s called Dead Can Dance that had an unusual and ethereal sort of sound, before there was such a thing as Goth, but I wouldn't call them Goth, maybe pre-Goth, like maybe Led Zeppelin was the first heavy metal band. One reason I started a blog was because I was passing this video around. I don't know who these performers are, but the original is around 20 years old and this live version is pretty cool.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dahlings, please have a look

Your blog host is a famous dude. Celeste says she wants to paste a copy in her scrapbook, my mother already has, I am sure.
This is an Ithaca Child Magazine article about yours truly, published by, well, our friends and neighbors, in real live print, written by, ahem, my wife, photographed (cough) by my wife and edited (achoo!) by me, and then the real editor. Look toward the bottom of this page on the link.
You could call this a puff piece.

gah, me and the links...
Take two: tunes of the the day, The Byrds


Blogger and me have some learning to do. Why the cat goes up three times and the pots zero, I dunno, but let's try the pots again.

Byrds Turn Turn Turn

Aug 22, 2006
So, the tune of the day starts floating through my brain Monday, something like ‘there is a season, turn turn turn...’ etc. Maybe something you hear at the grocery store, or you play it at home, something classic but hard to remember who did it---well, at the breakfast table, the missus said, and she is so smart ‘the Byrds!’. How right she is. This wiki article lays it all out. I had vaguely wondered where Crosby played before Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and turns out he was a member of the Byrds. I get them mixed up and say sometimes ‘wasn’t that one of Eric Clapton’s bands?’. No no no. That was the Yardbirds. OK, whatever. It is a pretty song, and readers here in the north may have noted, as I have, that some maples are turning, and before you know it in central New York, like maybe mid-october, 2 months from now, the snow will fly and the sun will disappear till next July. Our old Pathfinder runs well, but is quite elderly, and wasn’t always great in the snow. We traded it in for a well-known snow beast, a Subaru Outback!!!! Not new, but new to us, and in that spiffy forest green color. Sitting here in Ithaca, you notice every 2nd car is an outback.....and most of those this same spiffy forest green. OK, we jumped onto a bandwagon or something. Imagine this, walking out into the Wegman’s parking lot, into a forest of forest green Subaru Outbacks.....
OK, snowy weather vehicle, CHECK. Got it.
Making today. Soo far behind...I spent a lot of yesterday cleaning that dang Pathfinder, to a respectable degree, but trimmed those bowls and teapot. You can see the bowls, 2 of them got whacked into a 4 lobed shape, kinda like a four-leaf clover, a favorite bowl shape for me. I did most everything to that teapot but add a pig: whacked it in six spots on the sides for that eastern gourd look, whacked the handle once for a loop de loop, squared the spout and twisted the knob. It will be yellow glazed, with some runny other colors in the grooves to run all over. You’ll see.
Dreams? Lost in the mist. I will say this, Sammy was quiet and I accidently bonked him on the head and woke him up when the alarm sounded. Ooops. There is a picture here of him acting naughty, with some help.

New baby

Bye bye red Pathfinder, in our life 2000-2006, hello little wagon.

bad Cat

He likes blueberry muffins with butter.

bad Cat

bad Cat

Monday, August 21, 2006

OK, Gary's irritating picture adventure is over.

Why won't this thing put up my pics??? Grr...

Big Bowls and Buster Boo

Aug 21, 2006
Tunes of the day courtesy of Stars. They have been on the radio quite a bit this spring and summer. Both the videos on the link are good, but ‘my ex-boyfriend is dead’ is something else. MTV is only giving us a little of that tune. It is sweet and melancholy and they got it right.

Dreaming today-well, I had just won an award and was excited and wanted to convince everybody it was big deal but nobody was paying any attention and then I found myself in high school sitting next to Shelly Rafter, a tough chick who wanted to beat me up then Sammy cat was rattling around and so up I got. Before anybody got hurt.

Makin’ today--well, see the pics. Gotta glaze those mugs. Pots are fired twice, usually. In my case, cone 06 first time in the bisque, about 1800 degrees f. This hardens up the pieces and they easily absorb glaze. Gotta wax the bottoms, paint on the doggy spots and tongues and bunny ears, then dunk them in the glaze then off to cone 6, about 2200 degrees f, takes about 12 hours to fire, 18 hours more to cool off. Also pictured, yesterday’s bowls and such, with Buster. I am entering a teapot competition in Baltimore in September, and I am allowed five entries. I have been messing around with the fifth possibilty, and will use the teapot body on the top shelf there to make a wild little yellow teapot. I think I will even lobe it, six ways, and a squared spout, no animals, and curve the handle too. The other 4 entries are looking GOOD. These challenges get the mind working, and stuff comes to mind and you try it out. You know, dip the spoon in the soup, stir it and see what comes up. Will post pics of all the little stars before I enter.

OK, this ones for celeste in particular, a link to a fantabulous blog I always say if I couldn't be a potter I would have been a rock and roll drummer of cartoonist. Well, I would have to be able to draw and play drums, but the pottery thing worked out.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tunes o' the day Morningwood, go to video of 'to the nth degree'
So, if you didn't try it over at myspace, try it here.

back to work

OK, me and the lady and me at the wheel. Now we're cookin' here. i wrote at the old blog about a tragedy in the family, and what with the dripping nose I am a little behind, but gettin' down to some bowls. Nothing easier than making and selling bowls, and they fill the kiln quickly. Must glaze all those mugs tomorrow. Sunday, or any day, means nothing to this potter, just easier to work everyday, then if you have to go to the dentist or your nose is running and your cousin dies.....well, you get it. More tomorrow fine people....

c'est moi