Wednesday, February 28, 2007
I did not know until this week that I could make a nice shark, but here goes--Mona's special order, I am sending her the extra toothy one as soon as it finishes cooling here. I am feeling most saint-like, as I ship this out today....
Busy morning here, now my fingers are little blue popscicles. OK, BR, I wanted to go 2 steps bigger, and you can see the monster teapot body on the upper right. Big enough to hold a sixpack? Good for all your neighbors at once???? I better make a few more cups.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
So we have the before and after, and we can imagine this nice teaset fired red and with a bamboo handle. I must say, though, this teapot does not look big enough for four big mugs of tea, but OH WELL, tough bananas. Now the trick is to sell BR two MORE teasets, despite my abusive approach to customer satisfaction.
OK, two little shark mugs glazed and loaded into a glaze firing this am, up to temperature, about 2200 degrees, by about 9:30 tonight, cooled and in the box on its way to Mona late tomorrow afternoon. So goes the plan, fingers crossed. Their teeth are green here, so that they will fire white of course, and that bunny better watch his back.
(our old house in NH and Petey)
People who know us well, like Denis and Alan, will remember that it was time for us to move from New Hampshire last year. Aside from the new NASTY neighbors up the street and their vicious and never tied up German Shepherd, in fall of '05 my wife was laid off and the property tax inspector showed up and quadrupuled our tax rate. Just before Christmas '05 we listed the house, had several interested parties, and got an offer 5 weeks later on January 31, '06, for closing February 28. Yes, we had been in the house 10 years, having purchased it at a very good price, we sold it at the top of the real estate bubble, which burst literally the day after we closed last year. And then, famously, we moved to New York state and bought a purple house in Ithaca last spring. Lucky lucky lucky us.
Anyway, Feb. 27 was one of the longest days of our lives: up packing at 6 am, spent the rest of the day until mid-night loading Uhaul's largest truck to the very rafters, not even room for one more cup and saucer. We then closed the next day and drove to NY and dumped our belongins in my parent's garage and lived in their barn for one month, cats and dogs included. (it is a nice barn) As you can see, we had a cute little cottage in the New Hampshire woods for 10 plus years, but despite 55 bags of trash and 5 trips to Salvation Army to donate, we had a lot of stuff, HEAVY stuff, like 3 kilns, several hundred pounds of clay, 15 glaze buckets, 1000 pounds of glaze ingredients, plus, of course couch, bed, chairs, 3 dogs and 2 cats. Our little dog Petey is shown here, his last job was helping us with this move, he was almost 19, and he passed away last May, 2 months after we moved into the new house. He was my best friend.
(fantastic dog jug by guest potter Gary Dexter)
Gary Dexter runs Old Canal Pottery in Georgia and blogs it. His style is generally quite different from mine, and he works and fires using the best technology available 200 years ago. It appears that most of his work is traditional wood fired jugs, but he messes around with face jugs and figures a bit, like the example above, and he tells about funny face jugs and their history. A pretty cool historical lesson, checking this out. He is doing this the hard way.
Monday, February 26, 2007
(cute orange pot with bird, by Cinderelish)
So every day sitemeter tells me I have a visitor from Missouri. Who is that, my mother-in-law in Kansas City???? No. Well, through a bit of clever sleuthing on my part, I found out the visitor is Cinderelish, my aesthetic cousin in ceramic cuteness. Go to her shop and have a look at all the fine work!
Our man br thought maybe a mug or two would be nice, then there were 3, then he made the leap to 4 mugs PLUS enormous teapot. Then you add a couple more things, and you have a big teaset for br and all his cousins and various other friends and relatives. YES, on the shelf is an awesome red teaset ready to go, BUT it is not big enough for our friend br and all his cousins. Just gives an idea where this is all headed. I think br should consider, before it is too late, a little elephant at the top of his teapot. (br, million dollar question, can you identify what is in the top picture???)
So, the secret message arrives at the Bat Cave last night, Mona is in dire straits! An emergency!!!! A shark mug is needed, by next weekend, in a town a THOUSAND MILES AWAY from the Bat Cave, could Super Potter (me) help her out?????? Well, of course. So, up before dawn, the sharks are made, MY FIRST EVER SHARKS, and into the kiln they go, wet, to be slow roasted today and glazed Tuesday, out and shipped Wednesday, arriving a 1000 miles west by Saturday. That is the plan.
People want all kinds of strange and kinky things. First its boot mugs, then its unicorns (oops, my idea) and ES out in the Rockies had a special request, which is not strange at all. I think she actually has a pet brown dog, and a pet black pig. Every time they wash their hands they can think about how wonderful those pets are.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
My parents live on a snowy hillside farm here in snowy upstate NY. This blog has come with me to visit them before, and I was there this morning. We have had much snowier winters, but things have been snowy enough of late. Here is your blog host GR with Abby, the parent's dog, me on the KUBOTA with monster SNOW BLOWER and scoop attachments (yeehah!) and my pops with Abby. They have the most gorgeous farm on earth, their own clean swimming and fishing pond, a river, a creek, meadow, hillsides, house, barn, woodshed and not one but TWO old outhouses.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Move ahead with me 20 hours please. OK, let's call it Saturday, yes? My old pal Greg needs to see this unicorn cookie jar, and he asked for a sense of scale. About 13 inches tall, to the top of the horn. My thumb perhaps tells us nothing, but the little brown moose is glad I mixed up the brown glaze, he looks most charming.
OK, also looking this afternoon I hope, my old pal BR--why say, red mugs.
I said to myself, 'I wonder if I could make a six sided vase?' and so this guy up top was whacked, sliced, prodded and such in an experimental manner, and by gawd, I did make a six-sided vase, but the top fell off! Well. That's experimentation, I shall have to be more gentle with the next one.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I rarely use my brown glaze. As a matter of fact, it has been at least 2 years since I have glazed anything brown. I like a bright and colorful glaze, and I have a lot of them. My brown is from I recipe I saw somewhere and changed a bit here and there to make it more interesting, and I named it pecan pie. There is a brown mug from 3 years ago in the top pic. The glaze is full of speckly textures: sort of a dark tan with reddish brown speckles. The miracle was, despite sitting in a bucket all this time, I added a little water, mixed it well and zoom, ready to test. It is a disgusting mess to use--deep blood/brick red that stains everything. Whreas all the all other glazes can be applied at the same moment, you need a seperate session to use this brown, then scrub up the mess, change the rinse water and towels. I think my moose will benefit from this treatment.