Monday, May 28, 2012

May 16 - New direction

I'm playing with some new ideas (go figure, right?) on these tall forms.  I've been trying to loosen my forms up, but sometimes I like combining the structural with the organic.  I plan on doing a bunch of carving on this one so stay tuned.


May 15 - Raku glazing

Tuesday night I glazed my people for the raku firing on Wednesday.  I'm having fun with these guys and I might have to make more.


May 12 - Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival

Saturday was the Carolina Clay Matters Spring Pottery Festival (formerly the Barn Sale) and the first time I had a booth by myself.  It was a great day: warm, but slightly overcast so it wasn't unpleasant.  I was lucky to be able to back my van up to the booth so I could sit in the shade without using my tent.  Without the tent the sun shows the full range of the glazes and they really show their depth.

Good neighbors make a good day and I was lucky to have Angela and Ann next door.  They had a great first time at the sale and we enjoyed joking throughout the day.

My open-air booth.

Angela and Ann.

Some of Ann's new work from my side.


May 9 - Glazing

On Wednesday night I was glazing for the upcoming gas kiln firing.  Lots of different work to glaze.  I have SO many things I want to try that I'm all over the place.  We'll see how it goes...


May 5 - Prom night

Saturday was prom night for Meredith.  She was very proud of her dress that she purchased on sale for eight dollars.  (Yes, I said EIGHT DOLLARS!  Quite a bargain.).  We had some fun taking some photos and Meredith wanted to show how much taller she is than her older sister Stephanie.  Of course Binkley had to get into the frame.  We took lots of photos and had lots of giggles.  Good times.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 2 - Class

Wednesday night was class night.  I assembled another "broken vessel", trimmed the pot I made last week, and threw a simple cylinder pot.  I have to tie up the broken vessels so they don't sag while the dry.

Right now I have a lot of bisqued pots to glaze so I will have to forgo throwing for a while to get them glazed and ready for the next firing.

I tried out using my new Droid phone to listen to the Grateful Dead channel on TuneIn radio.  It worked well and we all enjoyed some easy music while working.

Becky showed me her llama sculpture had been fired and it looks GREAT!  I am so happy for her since she fretted about it before the firing and it came through wonderfully.

How can I not be inspired when I'm surrounded by such talented people?


Monday, May 14, 2012

April 28 - Dr. Zug lecture

Saturday was the long-awaited lecture on North Carolina traditional pottery by Dr. Terry Zug.  Dr. Zug was invited to Clayworks in conjunction with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library and it was very well attended.

He gave a great talk and answered lots of questions about the history, types of pots, and people involved in making pottery here in the tarheel state.  Even though I feel I've learned a lot about NC pottery in the last couple of years, I learned a great deal more on Saturday.

We were also treated to demonstrations by Adrienne Dellinger and Hal Dedmond.  Adrienne threw a large pot and Hal decorated a face jug.  I never get tired of watching these artists work.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

April 21 - Pot and towel

On Saturday I threw another two-piece pot.  I am liking these things and would like to explore the idea a bit further.  We'll see what happens with them.

I dried some water bottles after they were in a cooler by leaving them on a towel for several hours and when I removed them I found this interesting pattern.  I like the random "flowers" on the static grid.  Sometimes the simplest things can surprise you if you notice them.


Friday, May 11, 2012

April 19 - National Honor Society

On Thursday we had the joy of seeing Meredith's induction into the National Honor Society.  It was a very proud and moving moment for all of us.  We really do have great kids.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

April 18 - Genaro's and pottery

My parents were here for a few days on their trip home from Florida and on Wednesday I took them to Genaro's for supper.  They got the seafood combination and I got the steak with eggs.  All of our food was excellent and I'm sorry to say I finished all of mine except for a few french fries.

After dinner my father accompanied me to my pottery class at Clayworks.  I started out making some tumblers, but ended up making a medium sized pot instead.

The seafood combo.

Steak and eggs.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

April 17 - Herb Cohen lecture

On Tuesday I attended a lecture given by potter Herb Cohen at the Mint Museum.  He told us about his long career in pottery and showed a short film of him creating a beautiful platter.  When the film was over he showed us the actual platter that he made in the film.

After the lecture we all went up to talk to him and get our programs signed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

April 14-15 Spring terra4m sale

Sunday, April 15 was our 3rd Annual terra4m Spring Sale.  We spent time Saturday setting up for it.  I dropped off some coolers and bottled water and Becky and Kim marked out the booth spaces.  Mary Ann was on hand to help and she would be our greeter on Sunday, helping people get signed up for the raffle.

The sale was a great success.  We had 20 artists selling their work.  Everything from pottery to weaving, fabric "paintings", decorated gourds, jewelry, and more.  We were a part of the Grove Park/Ravenwood Garden Tour and had about 125 people visit our artists.

Becky, Kim, and Mary Ann.

While we work hard, we still have fun.

My booth.

For more photos of the sale click here.


Monday, May 7, 2012

April 6-8 Eva's Birthday Party

We took a quick jaunt up to PA for my sister-in-law's surprise birthday party.  It was quite a soiree, complete with a tent on the lawn and more food than the fifty or so people in attendance could have eaten in a week.

We always have such a great time when we visit that the party was just icing on the cake.  The kids had a ball decorating Easter eggs and hanging out with "the cousins".

There's nothing like family.

Setting up the tent.

Eva, the birthday girl.

The buffet line.
The Batman Easter egg.
Stephanie strikes again.

She also mixes her holidays.

Audrey made a Spiderman.

The full moon over the trees.
(Not cropped, hand held, leaning back against van.)

We were loaded up Easter morning to leave and I grabbed this series with my new Droid Razr.  I love the sequence with Justin bringing the potted tree up in the background.  It makes me laugh every time I look at it.

Scott and Justin (with tree).
Meredith giving Uncle Scott "five".

Justin arrives.

Then it was back in the car for the nine hour drive home.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

2012-05-06 Whuh?

Where DOES the time go?

More and more these days life gets in the way of all the things we want to do.  I am so scattered that I don't know which way is up most of the time.  I have my family, my work, my pottery, my stare-at-the-wall time, and everything in between.

In any ten minute period I'm either cooking, reading about cooking, shopping for food, making a list, trying to learn photography, reading about some place I'd never heard of, trying to find my desk under the crush of papers, planning on painting a room, catching up on my newspapers, or one of ten thousand other things.  The next ten minutes sees a different set of efforts.  Now multiply that by an 18 hour day and you see the morass my life has fallen into.

I feel tugged every hour of every day to be doing something and inevitably some things fall by the wayside until you wake up one morning and realize you haven't posted on the blog for more than a month.

It's not just the blog though.  I haven't done much on Facebook or Twitter either, and they are much easier than the blog.

After all that, add the fact that I now have ~300 channels on TV (we were on BASIC cable for several years) and a new smartphone (yes, I'm a dumb guy with a smart phone) and you can see why my time is even more splintered than usual.

I know I'm not alone in this life fracturing, but I'm the one whining about it right now.  (Hey, it's my blog!)

I just wish there was an easy solution to feel more in control and less like I'm chasing birds.

My camera has become such a part of my daily life that I don't stop taking pictures during these blog breaks, I just don't post them.

I'll try to catch up just hitting the high points.

Buckle up and hold on tight, we're "going to plaid".


2012-03-17  Professional Photograpy

We had the privilege of working wth Renee's husband, Chuck to take professional photographs of the Clayworks studio artists' work.  Chuck and Renee were kind enough to donate their time and equipment to what turned out to be a 12 hour photo session.  It was amazing to watch and be a part of and the time just flew by us.

Ralph, Chuck, Jaime, and Carey.

Chuck, Renee.

The light box and table.

2012-03-20  North Carolina Pottery Panel at the Mint

On Tuesday I attended a panel discussion on collecting North Carolina pottery at the Mint Museum.  It was almost a full house to hear Daisy Bridges, Terry Zug, Allen Huffman, and Bill Ivey discuss collecting traditional NC pottery.  It was a great discussion and afterwards we got a guided tour of the new NC pottery exhibit from Brian Gallagher.  What made it even more special was that I actually know several of the potters that have pieces in the gallery (and I was there with some of them!).

Daisy Bridges, Allen Huffman, Bill Ivey, and Dr. Terry Zug.

2012-03-24  Muddy Fun and stuff

On Saturday we had another Muddy Fun session.  At lunch a bunch of us went to Lupie's Cafe for delicious meal and I introduced more people the delight of peach kuchen.  After I returned I threw some cups and tried to make another crackle face.  I got frustrated with it and threw it in the slop bucket, or as we like to call it, "the bucket of broken dreams".

More to come...