Friday, August 24, 2012

August 23 - Thursday Picasso, handles, and petals

Thursday afternoon during lunch I went to the Bechtler Museum with Greg to see the Picasso collection before it closed on Thursday night.  I almost missed it, then they extended the run and I almost missed it again.  I'm so very glad I didn't.

It was a small collection of some of his etchings, lithographs, and pottery.  It wouldn't be wrong to put the word "amazing" in front of every one of those items. 

The man could take a paintbrush and with a minimum of strokes create a whole scene with a deep field, fluid movement, and attitude of the subjects.  He can drag your eye around a piece of paper and make you see what he wants you to see when he wants you to see it.  And just when you think you have the intention figured out, you notice another person in the corner of the piece changing the whole idea of it.

If you get a chance to see a Picasso exhibit, even a small one, you will come away with a new appreciation of the man's talent.


Thursday night I put some handles on the pots I made last night.  I added diagonally curved handles to the pot with the spirals since I thought mirroring the spirals worked pretty well.  On the other pot I added stubby, twisted handles and worked them into the body of the pot with a wooden tool like Greg has taught us.

I needed to remove some clay from the bottom of the pot on the right and didn't feel comfortable trying to put it in a chuck to trim it upside down since that would mess up the texture.  I remembered a trick that Doug taught us years ago and applied a thin film of water to the bottom of the pot and stuck it to the wheel head.  I trimmed the bottom using very light pressure so I wouldn't push it off center.  It worked beautifully and I removed a lot of extra clay before breaking the suction by sliding it off the wheel.

I also tried adding some petals to one of my pods.  I like the way it worked and will explore that idea further in future pods.

New handles.


Pod with petals.

I had to stop at the supermarket again tonight so I left a trail.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 22 - Wednesday textured pots

Wednesday I made two textured pots at Clayworks.  I will be glazing them with shino and decorating them heavily.  I'm looking forward to it.

On the way home I stopped at the supermarket for some milk.  When I came back to the car I noticed the footprints I left on the way into the store.  My crocs pick up a lot of clay dust at the studio and I always leave footprints.


August 19 - Sunday guild picnic

Sunday I attended the Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Guild picnic.  Frank and Verna Witt were gracious hosts for the annual guild picnic.  We had a nice time catching up with friends and eating some tasty food.

When it was over I stayed to help clean up and Frank and Verna asked me to stay and visit.  I love sharing the gloaming with friends.  It's a great way to wind down the day.

Around the pool.

Lisa and Angela.

The buffet line.

The lichen line.
(I love lichen.)


August 18 - Saturday moving a kiln

Saturday a bunch of us got together to help move a kiln from Central Piedmont Community College to Clayworks.  CPCC isn't going to use it any longer since the ceramics department moved into a new space further from the kiln.  They also need to get it and the large propane tank off the property before the FBI and Secret Service take over the campus as headquarters during the Democratic National Convention.

It was a long process, but had a great crew and we got it all moved by late in the afternoon.  Now we are making plans to build our own salt kiln using the bricks from that kiln.  I'll keep you posted.

The kiln before we started dismantling it.

The back wall has been glazed from the firings.

The kiln including the shed roof and the chimney.

The trailer we used.

In process.

Sill going.

Most of the happy crew --some had to leave early.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 15 - Wednesday friends food and pods

Pete and Annie were in town for the evening on Wednesday so we met for supper at Ru San's.  They live in Florida now and were heading to Asheville for Pete's business meeting so the timing worked out well.  It was great to see them again.  I have had a lot of good times with them over the last thirty years and I miss them now that they have moved.

After supper, it was on to Clayworks to make more pods.


August 16 - Thursday hawk and VSVs

Thursday the girls noticed our hawk in the backyard as it flew up to a fencepost.  It was pretty antisocial and kept it's back to me the whole time before taking wing and flying to the neighbor's tree.  I love the fact that we have a pair of hawks living in our neighborhood.

In the evening I went to Clayworks to throw some VSVs (Very Small Vessels).  The recent kiln-loading reminded me that we need smaller pieces to go around the larger ones and I like to keep some of these on hand.  You can fit a lot on a bat.


Monday, August 20, 2012

August 14 - Tuesday pods and leafy handles

I started making some more pods to be raku-fired and put some wonky leaf handles on my "flower" pot.  Greg gave me some good advice on the leaf decorations since I was trying way too hard to make them symmetrical.  Sometimes it's very hard to defeat the natural impulse to symmetry.  The mind wants everything to be symmetrical and you have to work at keeping it at bay.


August 13 - Monday kiln loading

Monday I went to Clayworks to help load the gas kiln.  I tried to get some last minute glazing done before the load, but I messed up and got wax on the pots where I didn't want it so I put them back on the shelf to re-bisque fired.  I just wasn't meant to have anything in that kiln I guess.

Becky, Kimberly, and I loaded the kiln.  It was a fairly tight pack, but it would have been better if we had more small work.  We got most of the pots in and Greg came in to double check it and start it up.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 12 - Sunday invaders and handles

There is an invading army in our backyard, or at least the remnants of one.  Everywhere I looked on Sunday I found cicada shells hanging from our deck.  They weren't there on Friday, so they all had to have hatched between Friday night and Sunday morning.

Every year I am amazed at the amount of shells I find at the base of our willow oaks and our silver maple.  It looks like the mounds of dead left behind after some epic battle.  At times nature is astounding in it's excesses.

In the late afternoon I went to Clayworks and put some handles and decoration on the pots I made on Thursday.  I had planned to glaze some pots, but that would have been 2 to 4 hours on my feet and I couldn't do it after the show the day before.

The load-out, load-in, setup, show, break-down, load-out, load-in cycle takes more out of me these days.  I hobble around for a couple of days after each pottery show since I am on my feet for most of it.  The next day my knees and ankles have to be forced to bend.  I don't want to complain, since I really love doing shows, but each one I do takes more recovery time.  Ah, isn't aging wonderful?


August 11 - Saturday showtime!

Saturday was our Artful Affair and we had a great turnout of old friends and new acquaintances.  It was a fun evening and some of our work found good homes.  As usual, the evening was a bit of a blur.  It was a long night since we had to dismantle and remove all our stuff after it was over, but good friends make it easier to deal with.


Eric's 1940's sitar.

My terra4m buds, Kim, Becky, and Elaine
with Gigi in the background..

Eric with his 1960's sitar.


August 10 - Friday show setup

Friday night we set up for our Artful Affair at Concentrix Music and Sound Design.  It took several hours to get everything "just so", but we were pleased with the results.  Ready for customers.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 9 - Thursday mileage hats and pots

I was sitting at a traffic light (I do that a lot) in Hickory when I looked down and noticed my mileage.  Interesting number.

In the evening I went to Clayworks (something else I do a lot) and after Julie's class left, Justin showed up to trim his large bowl.  He didn't like the way it came out and thought about making a hat.  We both agreed that it was quite fetching.

I threw some pots from recycled clay and it was such a short batch (it had no plasticity and tore easily) that I had to rib it on the inside and outside to make it stand up.  I was originally going for a more "organic" shape, but was forced to make more traditional forms because of the double ribbing.  I guess potters in the old days must have had short clay which caused them to make the forms that we consider traditional.  Oh well, I got it to work with a lot of patience.


August 8 - Wednesday crunchy pot

I threw this pot by pushing it out from the inside to maintain the exterior texture.  I think it looks like some kind of flower on top of a seed pod.  I left the top the way it split naturally and then cleaned up the "petals".


August 6 - Monday dramatic skies

On my way to Clayworks Monday evening I was struck by the dramatic clouds all around me.  I snapped these photos while sitting at a traffic light.  The contrast of light and dark clouds with the blue sky against the structures intrigued me.  The sky is always the best show in town.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 4 - Fish House Grill

Saturday we went to the Fish House Grill since Laura, Stephanie's college roommate works there.  The food was good, the beer was cold and the view was great.  We relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.

Stephanie threatening Meredith.

Man with a blue mohawk sitting outside our window.

Sunset over the marina.