Friday, May 24, 2013

April 22 - Wednesday - Two piece pots

Wednesday I finished two pots by adding accents to them and made another two-piecer, going in a slightly different direction.  As usual, I'm not sure where these pots will lead me, but I'm following.  I'm really enjoying the organic feel they have and want to explore that.

Pot from Tuesday with "bone" handles.

Detail of the handle.

Added accents to the indentations.
Greg gave me some ideas on these.

A new direction with the ribs.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

April 18 - Saturday - Around and about

Saturday I was out in the yard working on clearing some of the weeds from the neglected garden beds.  Some of that Johnson grass is so well-established it's like trying to pull out a clump of pampas grass.  I ended up cutting what I could with the hand clippers.

While I was manually harvesting the grass in (what was) the path between the beds I found a trail that the rabbits were using.  The under-grass was all hollowed out by rabbit traffic.  My fear was accidentally opening up another nest with infant rabbits as I did several years ago.  Saying I was cautious would be an understatement.  I was watchful with every move I made since I was worried about rabbits, mice, chipmunks and snakes.  When I got about seven feet into the twelve foot path an adult rabbit burst out of the far end of the path and ran around behind the garage.  That was my cue to quit.

I headed out to the front yard to pull weeds.  I weed the front almost daily.  I think they spring up while we're sleeping.  Since expanding the natural area to most of the front yard last Fall, the weeds are trying to have a party.  It's an uphill battle.

In the evening we got together with some friends for dinner at the Landmark Diner.  They have a HUGE menu and a killer dessert case.  I don't believe anyone left the table hungry.

I also tried using the panoramic function on my Android phone that I didn't know I had, until Karen showed it to me.  Being the gadget geek that I usually am, I'm embarrassed I didn't know about it.  Oh well.

I'm hoping chipmunks live in here.

Lady bug nymph (right) and
pupating relative (left) on my oregano.

On to the front yard...

The autumn ferns are doing quite well.

The hostas have exploded.

One of two oak leaf hydrangea.

On to supper...

My choppy panoramic shot.
Karen, Tom, Daniel, Lisa, Christopher, (me), Chip, and Pam.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

April 17 - Friday - This week

This weekend was originally going to be very hectic, but everything has changed and I now have to fill up my schedule with yard and house work, job work, and probably some clay time.

It will be nice to get some things around the house done since I've been neglecting those things of late.  It's been all I can do to cut the grass every four or five days lately.

At the studio I have been working on another face pot.  I decided to try to make this one a bit happier than the pensive ones I've previously made.  I want my faces to look more real.  Maybe not more realistic, but they need to have a life of their own.  It's a process.

I also made another two-piece pot.  I think this one is more organic looking than the rest.  I shot a video of it to show the contours I put into the neck since I thought a still photo would not show them well enough.

I've also been playing with some of the alternative camera apps I have on my phone.  I've included some of my favorites below.

Actual pot.

"Old Polaroid"


"Andy Pop"


via Andy Pop

Greg with a Wednesday night visitor.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

April 13 - Monday - After the festival

Saturday turned out to be a really nice day with the threat of thunderstorms that never materialized.  We had a great turnout and I was so busy that I never turned on my iPod, which is usually a fixture in my booth.  I only got a couple of photos during the show, but my friend Edson Scudder took lots of them.  He is a very good photographer and I am proud to be including some of the ones he took of me and my things.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the pottery festival.  It was great fun.

I was not the last person to arrive, but I was absolutely the last person to leave.

Folks shopping in my booth.

Some of the garden stakes I made with terra4m
(except the pig, Elaine made that one).
Photo by Edson Scudder.

Latest face.
Photo by Edson Scudder.

First wood-fired face.
Photo by Edson Scudder.

The mad potter of Charlotte.
Photo by Edson Scudder.
For reference, George Ohr - The Mad Potter of Biloxi.

Talking to people --go figure.
Photo by Edson Scudder.

Let the unpacking begin...


Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 10 - Friday - Pre-Festival Prep

Well boys and girls, it's time again for the Carolina Clay Matters Pottery Festival (formerly known as the barn sale).  In fact, it's tomorrow (so much for my great blog-marketing skills, eh?).

I have been doing prep work for about six hours now, taking a break to cook and eat dinner.  Patching my shelving, testing my new EZ-Up tent, packing the van, rounding up stray pots, etc.  Oh, and also getting psyched up about the sale.

I love doing sales since I get to talk to people who love pottery.  I can't describe the feeling I get every time I see someone get excited about something I've made.  It's amazing.  I love it when people tell me where they are going to use a piece or how it's going to be displayed.

Folks have purchased my pots for their vacation homes in the Florida Keys and the NC mountains.  They have sent my pots to relatives in the far corners of our country and to their children living in Europe.

I'm proud that people like them enough to give them as gifts.  I feel it's one thing to buy something that you like for yourself and quite another to buy something for a gift.  I think it represents another level of admiration for the pot.  If you like it so much that you are sure the person you are giving it to will also like it, that's pretty high praise indeed.

In the end, the whole process is about feelings.  I love the feeling I get when I'm making pots.  When the creativity is running right it's like channeling energy through you and into the work during each part of the process.

When your work makes other people feel things you've done your job.  If they are enthused about it, that makes me happy and I can get that rush of creative energy about it again.  I also get a touch of pride that other people like my work.

If they are gifting my pots I think about the feelings the buyer has for the recipient and I feel that extra sense of pride about my pots as gifts.

It's all about feelings.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April 5 - Saturday - Kiln opening and supper

Saturday morning I met Becky at Clayworks to unload the kiln. It was a good firing.  Here is a quick photo of my pieces.  You can see the individual photos here.  I'm very pleased.

Saturday evening Karen and I went to Sir Edmund Halley's Pub for supper while Meredith went to the prom.  Karen had a burger and I got the pan-seared zucchini cake with ratatouille and goat cheese fritters since it sounded different.  It was different and quite good.


April 3 - Friday - Kiln and deodorant

I stopped by Clayworks on Friday while running some errands and peeked into the kiln.  It looks like it was a pretty good firing.  I was right chuffed with the results I saw.  We will be unloading it on Saturday morning.  

Can't wait.

I went to Harris Teeter on the way home to pick up groceries and some deodorant.  It took me a moment to find the type of Old Spice I use and I realized it was because there were way too many options on the shelf.  This is absolutely crazy.  I couldn't even get the bottom row into the picture.

It seems like all the products that we've had for years are now available in every possible variation.  Have you looked at Oreos, Triscuit Crackers, or even toothpaste lately?  I recently counted 41(!) different tubes of Colgate toothpaste on the shelf.  Some of the variations were just different sized packages, but there were many different flavors and purposes as well.  It's insane.


May 1 - Wednesday - Kiln firing, new pot, and a building story

Wednesday night in class I made another two-piece pot while Greg fired the kiln.  I watched him tweak the flue and gas pressure every hour or so to keep the temperature rising while keeping it in reduction.  That is an art and a science.

This was the flame licking out of the flue when he put it in a few minutes of heavy reduction near the end.  That flame was seeking oxygen all the way up the flue.  Quite impressive.

On the way home at around 2:15 I finally stopped to take a few photos of one of my favorite buildings.  I really like the way this building is lit at night.

While I was sitting there in my van shooting photos a police officer pulled up along side me to make sure everything was alright.  I assured him that I was ok and just stopped to snap a few photos because I like the building.  I'm sure I sounded like a nervous teenager because he caught me by surprise.  I had my eye glued to the camera and when I lowered it and he was suddenly there.