Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009-12-26 Saturday - Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Saturday evening we took a stroll around the grounds of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.  They have decorated the gardens with Christmas lights and it was very beautiful.  My pictures don't do it justice since I didn't think about bringing my tripod and most of the long exposure shots are blurry.  If you get the chance, check it out.  The lights will be on until December 31.

Driving in the entrance road.

Stephanie and Meredith out front.

Some of the innovative lighting.

These arbors were beautiful.

The whole walkway.

It was comforting to have the military close by.

Reflecting pool and fountain.

Carriage rides pulled by big percherons.

Rose lights.

"Karen and John sittin' in a tree..."
Ok, it was a tree at some point.

The orchid tree.

Kids cutting up...

... and right...

... and I should've left.

Beautiful "trees" at the pond on the drive (in the dark).

After enjoying the lights we went to a
Chinese buffet restaurant and this is my fortune.
We've noticed that fortune cookie fortunes
are not what they used to be.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009-12-25 Friday - Christmas

Christmas came to our house today.  It wasn't the big splashy affair of some of our past holidays, but it was a nice warm one.  We opened our gifts, had a late breakfast, played with our new toys, and had a ham supper.  Just nice.  I hope yours was just as nice.

Ready to start shredding.

Binkley working on the chewed off end of his rawhide bone.

Meredith with her camera and Stephanie playing a new Wii title.

Friday, December 25, 2009

2009-12-24 Thursday - Christmas Eve

Here's hoping everyone has a 
Merry Christmas! 

I hope your holiday is safe, warm and happy with friends and family close by wherever you are this year.

Tuesday night on the way to Clayworks I started playing with a poem for the studio.  It made me chuckle and several people told me I should write it down, so here goes:

'Twas the night before Christmas
Hanukkah if you'd rather
it could've been Kwanzaa,
it just doesn't matter.

The holiday season
was on us full bore
and nary a potter
came through the door.

The kilns were all quiet
the wheels, they were still
we wanted to go there
but we hadn't the will.

We'd filled up on
fruitcake, cookies and sushi
we just sat in our chairs
and felt kind of mushy.

Visions of pottery
danced in our heads
trimmings and glazings,
some of them red.

We thought of new pieces
that we wanted to do
some of them conceived
in two thousand and two.

This year is almost
"remember when?"
Here's to good pottery
in two thousand ten.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009-12-22 Tuesday - Clayworks Glazing

Tuesday was glaze-a-thon night at Clayworks.

We started out with a smaller version of our holiday get together with Amy, Minke and Nick.  We had some snacks and sampled a Kentucky bourbon, chocolate, pecan pie.  It was delicious.  Thanks Amy!

After snacking Nick and I started glazing some pots.  Soon Greg showed up to join us.  We were talking and glazing, glazing and talking, and having a beverage or two.  Glazing always takes longer than planned (with or without talking and drinking).  We finally cleaned up and left a little after 1:00 am.

When I arrived the Christmas-light-decorated crane
was turned parallel to the roof of the building
and the moon was right at the end of the boom.
I wish I had my tripod so I could get a non-blurry picture of it.


Amy and Minke snacking with yours truly.

After applying the spotted shino I had to wait
for the pots to dry before the next layer.

Greg was regaling us with some great stories while painting pots.

Nick was in "Whisk-y Town" cleaning up the glaze on his latest planters.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009-12-21 Sunday - Clayworks Holiday Get Together

Sunday a bunch of us met at Clayworks to celebrate the season and the last time most of us would see each other this year.  We had lots of great goodies and libations and a great time like we always do when we get together.  We really do have a great crew at Clayworks and we break a lot of bread together.  Unfortunately I was so busy noshing and having fun I didn't take any pictures of the festivities.  Amy should have some pics on her blog soon as she had the presence of mind to have her camera handy.

The last ^10 kiln of the year was also unloaded on Sunday and we got lots of nice Christmas surprises.  Thanks Julie for firing the kiln!  Below are pictures of some of them along with a Shiner Holiday Cheer bottle for scale.

The pot with the wax resist over shino.
The wax completely burned out and left no trace.
It happens, but I like the shino variations.

Latest "crackle" pot.
If you need a definition of the word "luck", this would be it.
The marble on the knob ran down the whole pot and stopped less
than a quarter of an inch from the bottom in a big, juicy drip.
I'm likin' it.

Some of the design on this plate burned out, but I still like it.

I like this little teapot for it's form,
but unfortunately it's got a compression crack in the bottom.
It'll still look nice on my shelf --just don't pick it up.

This is an odd piece but I have enjoyed it's process.
When I made it I was looking for a semi-flat surface to decorate.

Side view to show how "squashed" it is.

Other side...

... and yes, the lid comes off.

Friday, December 18, 2009

2009-12-17 Thursday - Raku at Clayworks

We had a raku firing at Clayworks tonight and while it was a bit chilly, it went well and everyone had a good time.  Amy brought lots of snacks, we had wine, and lots of laughs.

We didn't have too many pieces to fire tonight, but the first firing took a long time since we were having so much fun socializing.  Julie and Greg were loading the gas kiln.  They work so well as a team there was nothing for any of us to do but stay out of their way.

Elaine and Paul.

Greg and Becky.

Nick and Pan.

Nick's planter.
(And you think I use lots of marbles!)

Elaine smoking her cat in sawdust.

Elaine dusting the smoldering sawdust off her cat.

Amy, Julie, Becky, and Greg having some libations.

Nick's unique planters.
Did I mention Nick is a botanist?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009-12-15 Tuesday - Clayworks

I got to Clayworks late on Tuesday night and I had lots of work to do.  I saw Becky and Susan as they were leaving and then had the studio all to myself.  I began by glazing some ^10 and ^5 work I had not finished and spent more time glazing than I planned --go figure.  These days I get into a different space when I'm glazing and time just flies by before I know it.  I'm trying to tread the fine line between having a design in mind when I start and keeping my mind open to new ideas during the process.  My next goal is to be so at home with the making and glazing processes that I am thinking about the glazes I will use while I'm making the pot the way Greg talks about in class.  One day, maybe...

I also trimmed some "Empty Bowls" and some yunomi but forgot to take pictures of them.

Another "crackle" pot.
Phoenix with black slip and amber celadon glaze sprayed on it.
A marble is perched on the lid handle.

The scene of the spraying.  It makes quite a mess.

Other glazed pots.

I'm interested to see how this wax on top of the shino works.
It should "ghost" nicely if there is enough reduction.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009-12-12 Saturday - Multi-Artist Home Sale

[I think this post catches me up again.  I'll try to stay on it.]

Becky, Elaine, Susan and I had a home sale on Saturday and while it was pretty darn chilly we still had a good number of people come through the garage.  We had to take some breaks and head into the house to warm up our toes, but we spent most of the time from ~9:30 until 4:00 outside and it was invigorating.  I think some of my sale mates would have other words for it, but it was invigorating for me.  I believe it was about forty-two degrees.

We had coffee and donuts, Elaine made a pineapple upside down cake (which was amazing!), and we ordered pizza for lunch.

Elaine and Paul went to Mt. Holly and broke down our displays so didn't have to leave the sale.  Thanks again, Elaine and Paul!
Elaine's and Becky's display.

Becky's and Susan's display.

Some of mine.

Amy came by to visit.

Becky bundled up like it was cold or something.