Friday, June 9, 2017

2017-05-25 - Thursday - New pots

Thursday I got some of my pots back from the kiln. Kimberly fires it beautifully with lots of reduction in our shino-centric firing schedule.

I'll get better photos taken soon. Until then, here are some snaps.

A cart full.

One side of the snorkel pot...

...and the other.

This guy.


Tea bowls.


Detail of the bottom of the snorkel pot.

Different detail of the snorkel pot.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

2017-05-24 - Wednesday - Sculpture clay

My friend Dave sent me some Black Mountain sculpture clay from Aardvark Clays in CA. He told me how he swirls it with Coleman Porcelain and I couldn't wait to get my hands on some. It arrived and I threw one pot with it and then decided to try swirling it with Phoenix from Highwater.

Very interesting stuff. It's very gritty. After all, it is sculpture clay.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

2017-05-23 - Tuesday - More fish

Tuesday I made another fish and used some of the leftover parts for a cylindrical container.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

2017-05-20 - Saturday - Fish

Saturday I decided to try to make some fish for a totem and use some of the ideas Lana Wilson shared with us.

So far so good. Let's see where these go.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

2017-05-18 - Thursday - Moving sale and fish

Thursday night I went to the Moving Sale at Free Range Brewing. For the Moving Sale Rebecca and Grace rent a box truck, hang art on the walls and allow people to browse and buy. Everything is $40 or less. Clever.

Rebecca and Grace, the movers.

After checking out the Moving Sale, I went to Clayworks and made some more fish.


2017-05-14 - Sunday - Meredith's new home

On Sunday we dropped Meredith's belongings off in Maryland at her new apartment and job. She is the barn manager at Destination Farm. She starts work on Monday after graduating on Saturday. No rest.

View from her back porch.

Full view.

The stalls.

More stalls.

The ring.

After leaving the barn we went to the Silver Diner for supper. They cater to all kinds of special diets by having a "Flexitarian" menu. Everything was very good.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

2017-05-13 - Saturday - Meredith's graduation

Saturday was Meredith's graduation day. It was marred by a steady rain and a really horrible lack of planning on the school's part.

Since the graduation takes place in a tent on the lawn a lot of the area surrounding the tent was under almost a foot of water. There wasn't anywhere near enough room in the tent for a majority of the families so we were herded into the cafeteria and others were sent to various buildings to watch the proceedings on projector screens.

Since we were watching the ceremonies on the YouTube feed instead of the direct one we lost audio shortly after the start. It was only by counting the names in the program that we even knew Meredith was coming up, since we couldn't hear her name announced.

We had to park about 1/4 mile from the cafeteria and most of the "shuttles" were open, 6-passenger golf carts with a roof. Now we know how the Gorton's fisherman feels.

This was a completely unacceptable way to treat the graduates and their families especially after paying an exorbitant amount of tuition for four years in anticipation of this moment. Due to a horrendous lack of planning we missed one of our family's biggest moments.

Now that I got all that out, let me say that we are immensely proud of our daughter for graduating cum laude with a 3.5 GPA and being on the dean's list for all of her semesters. I know she gets her beauty from her mother and apparently her intelligence too.

The day got better. We went for a nice lunch and then back to the house for cake. It's always nice to have the whole family around for these important moments.

After cake and celebrations we went to pack up Meredith's belongings from her apartment.

Tomorrow it's on to the next phase of her life.

Justin, Stephanie, and Ryan in the cafeteria.

Meredith on the big screen.

The big screen.

At the restaurant.

At the house.

At the apartment.

Goodbye to the apartment.


2017-05-12 - Friday - Parking lot

I found this tragic scene in the parking lot at BJ's Wholesale Club. Someone's toy was left for dead.

It accurately conveyed my mood.

It was a pretty hectic day and I too felt a bit run over.

My day got better, but unfortunately not hers.


2017-05-10 - Wednesday - Glazing

Wednesday I started glazing for the upcoming cone 10 gas firing.

Layers and layers...


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2017-05-06 - Saturday - Lana Wilson workshop

Saturday was the first day of the Lana Wilson workshop at Clayworks. Handbuilding is not the way I usually make pots but I was very impressed with Lana's technique. She was a joy to work with and had us laughing many times with her stories.

This was my slab.

I made these two cups from it.


2017-05-03 - Wednesday - More fish

Wednesday I made more fish. More to follow.


2017-04-28 - Friday - McDowell Arts Center opening and Meredith with Breeze

Greg Scott and I were invited by Rick Crowley to be in an art exhibit at the McDowell Arts Center in Matthews. The opening was Friday night and it was fairly well attended. There was a lot of variety in the 2D and 3D art displayed.

My pots on the pedestals.

More of the room.

A great Alice in Wonderland set.

Meredith sent us some pre-graduation photos with one of her favorite horses. Breeze has been her pal for several years. He is a big puppy who likes to lick your face given the chance.

That's right, Meredith (our youngest) is graduating from college in May. How the time flies.

She has grown into a smart, beautiful young woman and is itching to start her new job managing a barn in Maryland after graduation. She'll excel at whatever she tries.


Monday, May 29, 2017

2017-04-25 - Tuesday - Chipmunk

While looking out the window waiting for my tea to steep I noticed one of our regular residents in the backyard. See if you can find him in this photo. The second photo has a hint and the final one is an enlarged section showing him more clearly.

You've got to pay attention to see just a small percentage of what's around us.

Now go look in your backyard.


2017-04-19 - Wednesday - Raspberry Pi

If you haven't heard of the Raspberry Pi computer you should check it out. It started out as an inexpensive computer on a board that people and especially children around the world could afford an has become so much more. There are all kinds of sensors and add-ons for it.

I'm using the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. It's a complete Linux desktop computer with 4 USB ports, an ethernet port, an HDMI port, and onboard WiFi that is the size of a deck of playing cards. Pretty slick stuff.

I have been trying to figure out a way to replace the old "dumb terminals" from the 1980's that some of my customers are still using so I looked at the Raspberry Pi as an option.

Wednesday I installed the first one as a test. I will install more if it proves successful. There are no moving parts or fans in the case so I am curious to see how it holds up in the hot Carolina summers before we commit to any more of them.

So far so good.

Wish me luck.

The display (20" monitor) and the Raspberry Pi
velcroed to the wall behind it.

The Raspberry Pi with a marker to show scale.


2017-04-16 - Sunday - New cook top

I installed the new cook top on Sunday. I helped my Dad install the old on 18 years ago so I felt reasonably comfortable installing this one. I read the installation instructions twice and dove in.

The first problem I had was when I plopped the new one into the hole.

It didn't fit.

The old one had rounded corners and so did the hole in the counter top. The new on was squared off.

My first thought was that my wife was going to kill me. I had measured side to side and front to back, but never checked the corners. (It's like the refrigerator and the doorway all over again!)

I remembered I purchased a jigsaw for $15 about 10 years ago at a yard sale, so I brought it in from the garage praying there were blades in the box. There were. I cut the corners square and it fell right in --almost.

Now the back edge was sticking up about 3/8 of an inch. It was resting on the junction box we screwed to the wall inside the cabinet.

There was a sheet rock screw holding the box to the wall and of course it was at an angle so I couldn't use my cordless drill. When I unscrewed it, and unscrewed it, and unscrewed it, I found out it was a 2 1/2 inch screw.

I moved the box down a bit and attached it with a 1 1/4 inch screw.

It works and life is good.