Friday, February 27, 2015

2015-02-26 - Thursday - No snowman

All the snow predictions up to 6-10 inches were wrong. Shortly after it started snowing it changed to rain and sleet. We ended up with about 1-2 inches of very wet slush which is very hard to build a snowman with.

It appears Charlotte was right on the line as the north side of town got a lot more snow than we did, and just to the south it was all rain.

By sundown tonight there was hardly anything left near our house. How sad is that?

The grocery stores are the only ones that benefit from these non-storms as everyone runs out to buy milk, bread, and eggs.

I think of all the people in town that are eating all that french toast and still going to work.

Oh well.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015-02-25 - Wednesday - Snowing

We are having a big snowstorm (for Charlotte) tonight. Forecasters are calling for 6 to 10 inches tonight, tapering off around sunrise. That might not seem like a lot, but here in the south it can cripple the city for a day or two.

I made the mistake of going to the grocery store at about 4:00 pm and it was a madhouse. It was like Thanksgiving week, only more frantic. I generally only shop for a few days at a time and we needed some more supplies. Bad timing. I got the last package of organic chicken breasts and the last package of fresh mushrooms (a run on mushrooms? Really?) among other items that I needed to gather. Foodstuffs are in place. We're good for the next 48 hours and then some.

I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the line age caught up with me. I used to be a big kid whenever it snowed, going from window to window checking the progress. When the kids came along I got to relive my childhood with theirs, taking them sledding and building snowmen. Coming in to make hot chocolate and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Good times.

Now the kids are gone and while I still check the windows periodically, there isn't the excitement it used to elicit. When did this happen? I don't remember tripping over some significant milestone marked 'getting old'. I don't like it.

I'm thinking about building a snowman in the morning for the heck of it. I don't have snow boots, but I do have a pair of wedgewood blue Chuck Taylors that will do for short periods.

The neighbors probably think I'm a bit of a whacko anyway, so what the heck.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2015-02-24 - Tuesday - What?! More pots?

Tuesday I altered and added some largish handles to the pot from Monday and made two more pots. I try a lot of new forms because I have a lot of ideas and get bored easily. So many pots to make, so little time.


2015-02-23 - Monday - New pots

Monday night I put some lug handles on the pot from Thursday and made a couple of others. Still trying to get more volume in my pots.


Monday, February 23, 2015

2015-02-22 - Sunday - Gay Smith workshop

Saturday and Sunday I attended the Gay Smith workshop sponsored by Carolina Clay Matters Guild, held at CPCC. Gay is a good teacher and we all really enjoyed seeing how she works and what inspires her to create the pieces she makes. She covered everything from inspiration, to technique, to chemical processes. (I actually took notes!)

Thank you Ms. Smith for an informative and fun couple of days.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015-02-19 - Thursday - Pots

On Wednesday night I tried to make a large garlic pot, but it slumped so I recycled the clay. I also made another pot that turned out a bit heavy in the bottom third.

Thursday night I tried carving some of the weight out of the second pot, but I wasn't happy with it so I recycled that one too.

I threw these two pots and called it a night.


Friday, February 20, 2015

2015-02-17 - Tuesday - Ice

Monday evening we had sleet and freezing rain so we stayed in on Tuesday and let everyone else slide around the roads if they wanted to. The temperature didn't really get above freezing on Tuesday, but the sun came out and melted a lot of the ice on the roads and sidewalks.

The daffodils didn't like it one bit and many of them fell over. (I think they were being a bit dramatic, but that's their way.)


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015-02-15 - Sunday - Vases and VSVs

Sunday I carved another vase, threw a foot on the last one, and made eighteen VSVs (Very Small Vessels) or weed pots. It's been a while since I made VSVs and I throw them "off the hump". I would have had twenty, but I cut the bottom out of one taking it off the hump and ripped the last one. The way I choose to look at it, at ninety percent I'm doing better than ever.


Monday, February 16, 2015

2015-02-14 - Saturday - Vases and dinner

Saturday I carved three vases and threw a foot on another one. After that I had to get home and change since we were meeting our friends for our long-delayed Christmas get-together. I know, it's Valentine's Day, but we're all so busy nowadays it's hard to schedule these things.

Vase carving.

Better view of all sides.

Front one is upright without an added foot while
the back one is upside down with a new foot.

Lisa, Tom, Karen, Pam, Chip, and me.
Tom does not normally smile like that, he's just not right.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015-02-11 - Wednesday - Spring is early

Spring is starting even earlier than usual this year.

The daffodils are blooming along with the lenten roses. I hope the daffodils make it through the much colder weather that's coming.

When I did the wash today I found an unopened Star Brite mint wrapper in the bottom of the machine. The candy was completely dissolved, but the wrapper was still twisted shut. At least my clothes are minty fresh.


2015-02-10 - Tuesday - New vases

Tuesday night I threw some new vase forms. After these firm up I will flip them over and throw substantial feet on the bottom of them. After that sets up a while I will carve designs into the sides. This all hinges on things going well, so we'll see if it works out.


Friday, February 13, 2015

2015-02-07 - Sunday - Lettuce, bowls, and fortune

Sunday I picked up the bowls for the Cleveland County Arts Council benefit. I was pleased with the results.

Romaine lettuce growing from the old stump.

Bowls for CCARTS.

I was sitting next to Karen when I got this fortune.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

2015-02-06 - Friday - South End gallery crawl

On Friday I took the light rail down to meet our friends Sheilah and Cam for the South End gallery crawl. The art was good and the crowds were too. We visited Elder Gallery, The Charlotte Art League, Ciel, and Lark & Key.

I took this at the light rail station while waiting for the train.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015-02-04 - Wednesday - Pots

Wednesday I started some new pots to which I plan on adding large feet. I'm thinking about the decoration I'm going to use on these. I've got lots of ideas, but am not sure which way I will go with them.

The one on the end is another utensil holder since the last one was a bit too short for my long-handled utensils.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

2015-02-03 - Tuesday - Spiders, moons, bowl, and pots

I have a nice little pot made by Rae Stark on the windowsill over the kitchen sink. The opening is only 1 1/2 to 2 inches across, but a tiny spider found it and spun a tiny web in it. Amazing that something that small can have the capability of functioning on it's own and building an intricate web.

Before I left for Clayworks I noticed the moon looked interesting through the clouds. I couldn't resist taking several photos of it. As usual I tried several settings to see which one I liked best. And as usual, I liked quite a few of them.

Shutter 2 seconds, ISO 80.

Shutter 4 seconds, ISO 80.

Shutter 4 seconds, ISO 80, shaking.

Shutter 1 second, ISO 200.

Shutter 1 second, ISO 200, different angle.

Shutter 1 second, ISO 800.

Shutter 1 second, ISO 800.

Shutter 1 second, ISO 1600.

Shutter 15 seconds, ISO 200.
YOU try keeping still for 15 seconds in the cold.

When I got to Clayworks I found another bowl had come out of the kiln. I'm still liking them. Expect more next month.

I made two garlic pots tonight since you can never have too much garlic.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015-02-02 - Monday - Apples and meetings

Monday I had an apple in my lovely little bowl by Angela Walford. I put the apple in it and was struck by how good it looked in there. I use this bowl quite often and it's become a part of my daily life.

Monday night I attended the annual meeting of our neighborhood association. We are lucky to have a good group of concerned neighbors. The association handles everything from yard awards to neighborhood picnics to protecting our property values.

At this year's meeting a representative from parks and rec showed us the plans to link our greenway with the city greenway this year and that it will continue to South Carolina in the next 2-3. Once completed it will go through the whole city with nice wide paths for walking or biking. I'm looking forward to it.


Monday, February 2, 2015

2015-01-30 - Friday - Moon and kiln opening

Friday I noticed the moon hanging out in a perfectly blue sky. What was it thinking? There were no clouds for it to hide behind so it was right out in the open, just waiting for me to grab a photo. It will never learn. Silly moon.

Late Friday afternoon I went to Clayworks to help unload the gas kiln. I had several pieces in this firing dating all the way back to the beginning of December. I was pleased with most of it, but one pot stuck to the shelf very badly. Here is the whole batch and a few photos of some of my favorites.

And then there was the problem child. I don't know why this pot ran as I have used this yellow glaze on several pots in this firing without a problem. The glaze ran so badly that it melted into the shelf.

I had to break it off the shelf.

The bottom shows how firmly it was stuck.

The part that was left on the shelf.