Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2015-09-26 - Saturday - Festival in the Park with the Carolina Raptor Center

Saturday morning I had to run out to Mint Hill Arts to pick up my pots from the Earth, Fire, & Water show. It was a beautiful show and I'm looking forward to the upcoming Scary Creativity show.

From there I was off to the the Carolina Raptor Center booth at the 51st annual Festival in the Park. I have garlic pots in the gift shop at the center and the gift shop artists were invited to participate in the festival booth.

The rain kept the crowd numbers down and most people seem to come to Festival in the Park to only look at art, so there were only a few sales while I was there and none were my pots.

On the plus side, I enjoyed meeting the folks from the raptor center and the other artists that were there. It was a good couple of hours with interesting people.

While I was waiting for Stephanie to pick me up
I noticed this cover and thought it was pretty cool.


2015-09-24 - Thursday - Fixed The TV

The boards came back from California on Thursday and I replaced them in the TV... and it worked! It's nice to have it back.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015-09-23 - Wednesday - Kiln opening

We unloaded the gas kiln on Wednesday night. Kim says it was the best firing she's ever done and I can't argue with her. To say I'm happy with my pots would be an understatement. I'm in love all over again.

I'll get some nicer photos taken as soon as I get a chance, but even in these quick snaps these pots make me smile.

People who don't fire kilns only get one Christmas a year.

Family photo.
 Some highlights...


Purple and juicy.
(Hint: I didn't use any purple glazes.)

Another side.

Trees on the bottom.

A partially formed quartet.

Small garlic pots.


2015-09-22 - Tuesday - Waiting for the kiln to cool

Tuesday night I was at Clayworks working on a couple of garlic pots and waiting for the kiln to cool. I checked the temperature on the way in and the way out and it should be ready to unload tomorrow.

Can't wait! Always a treat to unload the kiln and see the magic.

At 8:30 pm.

Garlicky goodness.

At 11:00 pm.


Monday, September 28, 2015

2015-09-20 - Sunday - Glazing, loading, firing

Sunday I was back at Clayworks, glazing like a madman to get finished before we had to load the kiln. As always, it took several hours to get finished. There were a few more things that I wanted to add, but skipped them to stay on schedule.

Kim and I packed a pretty tight kiln and got most of the scheduled work in it. We started the candling process and Kim will fire it on Monday.

The back stack.

The front stack.


2015-09-19 - Saturday - Full day

Saturday was a big day at Clayworks. We had the Arts & Science Council's Connect with Culture program. Events were happening all over town and for us it meant three Muddy Fun style classes from 9 to 3 and four children's classes from 1:30 to 5.

To say things were hopping at the studio would be an understatement. The classes were great fun and the students were naturals at the wheel.

In between classes I unloaded the bisque kiln and after the last class I started waxing and getting a first coat of glaze on a lot of the pots.


Monday, September 21, 2015

2015-09-17 - Thursday - Bisque kiln

Thursday morning I went to Clayworks to load the big oval kiln with Kimberly. We filled it, set it to candle for eight hours (some of the pots were pretty damp), and I left to do my day job.

Thursday night I went back and made a face column and some bottles out of craggy crunch clay.

When I left, I checked the kiln and it was way past candling, into the firing schedule and up to 782 degrees. If those damp pots were going to explode they would have done it when the temperature got past 212. Cross your fingers...

Bottles and a face column.

Climbing kiln.

It's pretty large.


2015-09-16 - Wednesday - Pots, bisque, and kilns

Wednesday I put some faces on some of the pencil holders and started loading a bisque kiln. Unfortunately I reserved a 7 cubic foot kiln and my pots wouldn't fit so I had to request a 10 cubic foot kiln. There were also some other pots that needed to be loaded so we ended up choosing the larger, oval kiln that would fit everything. I will be loading that with Kimberly, our studio manager in the morning.

I'm trying to get everything glazed so we can load the gas kiln on Sunday. If we start the bisque kiln on Thursday morning I should be able to unload it on Saturday afternoon.

Pencil holders.

Pots ready to bisque.

I tried laying these tall pots down in the bottom of the
7 cubic foot kiln, but I couldn't fit everything in it.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

2015-09-15 - Tuesday - Garlic pots - go figure

The Carolina Raptor Center is selling my garlic pots in their gift shop and they have asked for some items with lower price points so I am making some smaller garlic pots.

Tuesday night I made four more.


2015-09-14 - Monday - Pots and trees (on pots)

Saturday I was invited to throw some demo pots at the 11th Annual Potters Market International at the Mint Museum. I spent the day there but have no photos since I was totally immersed in the experience and not the documenting of it. Sorry, but I was having way too much fun to think about photos. I want to thank Hat Thompson and the crew for inviting me to participate.

I threw three pots at the demo and took them back to Clayworks.

Monday night I threw another pot and decided to carve some designs into the snorkel pot from last week. I took my sgraffito tool and started sketching trees on the side of the pot. Soon it was "a whole landscape gone to seed*".

Things may not always work out, but I do have fun in the making.

Three on left were made at the Potters Market Invitational.
Two on the right were made at Clayworks.

Detail of sgraffito.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

2015-09-10 - Thursday - Broken TV

Our four year old Sony TV stopped working last week and using the internet I deduced that the power supply failed. The power LED was red and blinking in a two-blink pattern which indicates a power supply failure. After trying several methods of getting it fixed I settled on an eBay vendor in Alhambra, CA that fixes the boards for our model "when the red LED is blinking twice". I contacted them to check on the procedure, clicked to buy it, and dropped the boards off at FedEx.

Now we wait.

The back of the TV is off to expose the boards.
There is surprisingly little inside the case.

The G6 and G7 boards.


2015-09-09 - Wednesday - Weeds and pots

I've talked before about the scourge of the porcelain berry coming over our fence from the non-tended yard of our neighbor. It's really annoying. Our yard is not always the most neatly trimmed, but we don't let invasive weeds flourish and we sure as hell don't let them invade the neighbor's yards.

I'm going to cut everything off with the electric hedge trimmer and push the bulk of it back over on their side. I might spray it with some kind of weed killer after pushing it over to keep it from coming right back. This lack of maintenance is irresponsible and annoying.

Something that's not so annoying is when I get to Clayworks to make pots. I did that on Wednesday night when I made another snorkel pot and variation on a garlic pot. Sort of a garlicky pot.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

2015-09-08 - Tuesday - Garlic pots

Tuesday night I made some smaller garlic pots by request from the Carolina Raptor Center. I have some garlic pots in the gift shop there and they are looking for multiple price points. After making four small ones I couldn't help but make a larger one.

Since the orangestone clay appears to be the problem with the woo yellow glaze shivering off, I am making these out of phoenix instead. The surface isn't quite as dramatic so it makes for a quieter pot, but I have some other ideas with them too.


2015-09-07 - Monday - Labor Day clay

Sunday we had some friends over for a cookout so Saturday and Sunday were spent cleaning, straightening, and cooking. I took Monday off and after getting just a few things done around the house I went to Clayworks and made some pencil holders for Stephanie. She wants one for her desk and I will let her choose when they're finished.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

2015-09-04 - Friday - Rain and prizes

Friday we had a short thundershower. It wasn't even enough water to wet the whole grill cover. I'm ready for a full rainy day as it's been a very dry summer.

Friday night I went to Mint Hill Arts for the Earth, Fire, & Water show. It's a wonderful show of water media (2D) and ceramics (3D). I have four pieces in the show and was honored to have one of my pieces named second place in the pottery category. Unfortunately, in the hub-bub I neglected to get photos of the whole room or the 2D art (which was beautiful!). There was quite a turnout and I was quite busy catching up with old friends.

I grabbed photos of the pottery winners and that's as far as I got. I need to go back and re-enjoy the 2D art again before the show comes down on September 25th. If you're in the area you need to check it out too.
Darren Lathan's 'Industrial Evolution'

My 'garlic pot'.

Katherine Griffin's 'Pit Fired Vessel #1'


Friday, September 4, 2015

2015-09-02 - Wednesday - Trimming and finishing

Wednesday I finished forming some pots. I trimmed and finished the bottoms on all of them and defined the faces on the tall face pots a bit more. The suggestions of faces are as far as I'm going with these. I've thought about doing it in the past and several people recently suggested it, so here goes.


2015-08-31 - Monday - Sunset

Monday evening I was leaving the store and saw this solitary cloud glowing in the sunset. The cell phone camera did not pick up the intensity of the glow on the top part of it, but take my word, it was pretty amazing. I'm sure people thought I was crazy, taking photos of cars in the parking lot. I'm not worried about it as I've actually done a lot more crazy things than that whatever they thought I was doing.

Today's forecast: partly cloudy with a chance of sunset.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2015-08-30 - Sunday - Alison Luce workshop

On Sunday I attended the Alison Luce workshop presented by the Carolina Clay Matters Guild at CPCC. It was good to see Alison again as it had been a few years since we ran into each other at Clayworks. She presented a good workshop and we learned a lot about her process and doing residencies in other cities.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015-08-29 - Saturday - Broke the oven

The clock in the oven frequently starts whining since the gears are old (1966) and for the last 16 years I have smacked it to make it stop whining. I must have smacked the oven thousands of times during that time and on Saturday it was apparently one time too many.

I broke the oven.

Well, technically I broke the glass. I put some shipping tape over the broken part to keep the glass from falling out. I don't believe I will be able to replace it since the oven is so old, so I'm not sure what to do with it long term. Great.


2015-08-26 - Wednesday - End-of-class raku

Wednesday was the end-of-class raku firing. Since I am no longer a student I sat this one out and watched the process. I miss doing raku so I will have to invest in some raku glazes so I can get back to it. Just add it to the list.