Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 16 - Set up for Earth and Fire

Saturday terra4m went to Kings Mountain to set up for the Earth and Fire show.  We set up our work in a combined display and we had a nice time (we always do).  The folks at the Southern Arts Society are great and really roll out the red carpet for the artists.  Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the opening night reception, but I'll be there in spirit.

After the setup, we had a dinner meeting to discuss our next terra4m event.  We are planning on August 11, so mark your calendars.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 14 - Betty's birthday

Thursday we celebrated our friend Betty's 90th birthday at Clayworks with a surprise party at the potluck lunch.  There was a great turnout and everyone had their fill of delicious food with some leftovers that don't stand a chance.

These lunches are nice way to catch up with friends you may not have seen for a while.  For instance I am usually rattling around the studio at night but some folks only come during the day.  Special occasions like this bring us together for a little while.  There are always lots of hugs to share.

After lunch I found Mr. Herb Cohen quietly working in the back of the studio.  I was told he was going to be there working occasionally and it was a pleasure to visit with him for a moment.  It's an honor to have him in our studio and I can't wait to see what he makes.

I love the fact that Betty and Herb have been able to pursue their creative passions for so many years and I'm glad they're doing at Clayworks.

The birthday girl in plaid.

We had a great turnout.

Becky got her hair cut short!
I think it looks great.

Mr. Herb Cohen.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 13 - Raku

We made it back in time to throw our suitcases in the house and I took off for Clayworks and a raku firing for our last class in the session.

Greg fired the kiln and we cooked some pots to very good results.  I fired the one I put the scarab beetle on and am very pleased with it.  I also fired another one that might require a bit of touching up.

Greg wearing the "not for raku" gloves --for raku.
(Note my big finger in the top left of the frame.
Still getting used to the Droid camera.)

Happy pots.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 12 - Graduation

Graduation day is here.

There were roughly 600 kids graduating so it took a while to get through the ceremony.

Stephanie had the idea to print a bunch of photos of Justin and put them on sticks so we could hold them up during the ceremony.  I printed pictures of Justin at different ages so we had quite a range.  It was a lot of fun and he really enjoyed it.

After the ceremony we went back to the house for another piece of cake and more photos.

Tomorrow morning we leave for home and I'm going to try to get back in time for pottery class at Clayworks.  Wish us luck.


Monday, June 18, 2012

June 11 - Graduation trip - pre-graduation

We took a trip to PA for our nephew's graduation from high school.  It was short trip bookended by two long drives, but we had a good time catching up with both families.  We went to lunch with my family and then went out to dinner with Karen's.  After that it was back to the house for cake.

The actual graduation will be tomorrow, but it will be late when it's over so we had our family celebration today.

My father, mother, Karen, and Stephanie.

Ryan, John, Stephanie, and Karen.

Scott and Rich.

Audrey and Eva.

Ryan, John, Stephanie (and her tongue), and Justin.

Justin, Meredith, and Sydney.

Rich and Meredith.

Justin and the cake.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 4 - Pete, pipes, and flowers

I almost forgot about this post, that's why it's out of date order.

My buddy Pete called to tell me he was heading through town on business and we made plans to meet for lunch.  Pete and his wife Annie used to live here, but moved to Florida so we don't get to see them very often.  We went to Ru San's for the sushi buffet and weren't disappointed.  I took a two-hour lunch that day and Pete and I caught each other up on our lives.  It was great seeing him.

Later I went to the supermarket to pick up some groceries and was once again frustrated by the construction going on there.  They have torn up the whole middle of the parking lot directly in front of the store to install corrugated pipes that are large enough for me to stand inside.  They are creating a huge cistern-like storm water reclamation area under the parking lot.

That's all well and good, but they have blocked up the whole middle of the parking lot.  To make matters worse, they have closed off the left and middle doors and created a new door on the far right due to construction on the front of the building.  This means that we have to park on the far left in cramped parking spaces and hike to the far side of the store to use the new entrance.  Not the best planning if you ask me (although nobody did...).  I've decided I am going to a different branch until this one is finished.

My mood lightened again when I returned home and saw that our day lily was blooming.  I really like this plant, but it's got such a short time to bloom in the spring you have to work at seeing it.


A mess.

A beauty.


This just in - Anniversary update

I just realized that today is the anniversary of my first blog post:  June 17, 2008.  It wasn't a very exciting post, but it was the first time I dipped my toe in the blog universe.  There have been 695 posts since then, but it still feels new every time I sit down at the keyboard to write something.

You can view that first timid post here.

If you're reading this, I hope you are enjoying my blog.  I sure enjoy writing it.

Here's to the next 695!


June 9 - Busy Saturday

Saturday was wild.  We had so many things to do and see that there just wasn't enough time in the day.

I started out by going to Clayworks to touch up and move some of my dried pieces to the greenware shelf for bisque firing.

Next I stopped by the Southeast Linux Fest (SELF) to check out the vendors represented there.  It was small, but good with many new (to me) vendors.  I talked to several and gained some insights into new products to offer my customers.

After that, it was across the street to the Clay on Fire show.  This show consists of a group of clay artists that have met online.  They come from and tour several states.  The theme of the day seemed to be "anything with a face on it" and they were executed brilliantly.

Last week I was surfing the web (does anybody actually say that anymore?) and stumbled onto Ron Free's work.  His faces really have character and I was intrigued by them.  Imagine how surprised I was when found him at the Clay on Fire show.  We had a nice conversation about his work.  He comes at clay from an illustrator's background, which really adds a lot to his characters.

I enjoyed talking to several of the other artists about their work and was amazed at some of their processes and the paths that led them to where they are today.  Artists are some of the nicest people.

Then it was off to a high school graduation party at our friends Cathi and Jett 's house.  It was nice to see everyone since it had been a while and we had some laughs and some great food.  We wished the girls good luck in college and we were back on the road again.

When we got home I cooked some cod and vegetables before heading out again.

This time Karen and I had tickets for Charlotte Squawks, the annual satirical revue.  We were in the second row and the show was as clever and funny as it has been other years (this was our third year attending).  I HIGHLY recommend Charlotte Squawks to anyone living here.  It always makes my face hurt from laughing out loud for two hours.  Go see it.

It was a wild day, but we accomplished most of what we set out to do.  I'm ready for a lazy Saturday.

Southeast Linux Fest (SELF).

The Clay on Fire sign.

The ducks.

Ron Free and his work.

More vendors.

Still more vendors.

Yup, more.

At the graduation party.

Lots of good food

and conversation.

Beautiful cake.

This is how close to the stage we were in the second row.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Hydrangea break

During all these Spring activities the hydrangea bush out back has been doing spectacular things so I thought I would take a moment to acknowledge them.  Karen gave me the hydrangea when we moved in and I love the large blue flowers it gets every year.  This year it has put on a great show and I have been snapping photos with my phone when I walk out the door.

Nature puts on the best shows.

May 10.

May 10.

May 14.

May 17.


June 6 - Working

Last year Allison McGowan taught a workshop for the Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Guild that I attended.  When it was over I helped her clean up and load out and she gave me some of her special porcelain mix.  She told me it's plasticity would make it throw nicely and I have been looking forward to trying it for quite a while.  I have had to re-slake it twice since it's slept on my shelf for so long.  During that time it has grown what several of us think is algae since it seems too green to be mold.  Allison was absolutely correct, it was wonderful to throw compared to regular helios.  I made a taller pot than I normally can make with porcelain.

I added a large scarab beetle to the simple pot with vermiculite and used nickel chromium wire for the legs and antennae.  I have plans for it later...

Beautiful green porcelain.

Large porcelain piece made from the green clay.

Scarab beetle added.

Still waiting for the "castle" piece to dry.

I have to have music.

Hubert watches the proceedings from his shelf
but chooses not to comment.