Monday, January 30, 2017

2017-01-24 - Tuesday - More Empty Bowls

Tuesday I started on my second batch of Empty Bowls. I threw 12 of them and set them on the shelf until I can get back to trim them. It's a process.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

2017-01-22 - Sunday - Empty bowls

I started my first batch of Empty Bowls for this year. I'm starting really late; usually I start in November or December. Since I'm so late I decided to make a big bunch at once. Here's the first 19 for 2017.

I was very pleased to notice that one of my prior-year bowls made it into the logo on the header of the event!


Saturday, January 28, 2017

2017-01-19 - Thursday - New pots

Thursday I worked on finishing up some pots and made a lid and a tumbler out of some leftover craggy crunch clay. There's always something to be done.

The tall one is a nod to Nick Joerling, though not near as graceful or fun as his work. Everybody has to start someplace.


Friday, January 27, 2017

2017-01-17 - Tuesday - Glazing raku

Tuesday I finally got around to glazing the second batch of raku pots I made last year. I was waiting on making some copper sand glaze and it was finally done.

Lots of pots and fish.

Guinea pig urns.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

2017-01-16 - Monday - Waxing

Monday I waxed some face pots in preparation for glazing them, but I decided to wait for the glazing until I have more pots. Glazing takes a lot of effort and I'd rather do a bunch of pots at once instead of cleaning up twice. So they're only waxed for now.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2017-01-14 - Saturday - Muddy Fun and raku

Saturday was Muddy Fun day! We had another great group of students giving it a try for the first time. Having wonderful volunteers makes it all work. A big thanks to Susan, Susan, and Vince!

If you'd like to try throwing pots, check out our Muddy Fun classes.

Saturday was also the first day of our new Saturday raku class. This will be another fun addition to our schedule and with Greg teaching it'll be full of new experiences.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017-01-13 - Friday - New pots

Friday night I had a lot of fun just playing. I made some familiar forms and tried one multi-part piece inspired by Nick Joerling.



Monday, January 23, 2017

2017-01-12 - Thursday - Pushing limits

I pushed the swirl pots further on Thursday and cut them off the bats.

You can see how the swirl pots began by what the clay looks like when I cut the pot off the bat.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017-01-11 - Wednesday - Swirl pots

Wednesday I tried something different (I know, go figure) and started some swirl pots. These began as four columns of two different colored clays and they were "swirled" by the throwing.

I then pushed, pulled and prodded them into different shapes because they reminded me of sandstone canyons worn smooth. They need to set up a bit before I stretch them any further.

I started with the clay in this configuration.

This is Antelope Canyon in Arizona.


2017-01-10 - Tuesday - Breakfast with friends

Tuesday I had breakfast with some friends.

Bowl by me, mug by Jeff Pender, spoon rests
by Susan Hughes and Kit Mitra, salt shaker by Lisa Connell

Tuesday night I made a couple of garlic pots. These were the first pots I made in 2017 and the first in almost two months. It felt good to get my hands dirty again.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017-01-07 - Saturday - Snow, no show

While the meteorologists were calling for 4-7 inches of snow, we ended up with 1/4 inch of ice and 1/4 inch of snow. The best part was that the roads all melted by midday and everything was clear and dry.

I wonder what people are going to do with all that food they bought. I know the supermarkets' profits are off to a great start for 2017.

At least it was pretty.

No shoveling required.

I can't even break through the underlying ice.

Ice still clinging to the branches.

Snowy lichen.

Christmas Eve I stopped by Clayworks to drop off some supplies and found that someone had left me a small gift bag of Dove dark chocolate candies on my shelf. When we left for Pennsylvania on Monday I looped one of the handles over my gear shift to make it a handy snack during the drive. I still have one left.

Thank you whoever gave me the candy, it's been a great treat and I have savored each one.

Handy candy.


Friday, January 13, 2017

2017-01-05 - Thursday - Oh no! Snow!

They are calling for snow on Friday night and beginning Wednesday the food stores were wiped out. People are apparently blowing their monthly food budget in a couple of days of frenzied buying. I'm used to everyone snapping up the milk and bread, but this time it was the produce section, the meat section, even the canned beans were gone. I've never seen it this bad and I've lived here for more than 36 years.

Why do people panic-buy food if a few inches of snow is predicted? Do they think we will be snowed in for days or weeks? What will they do with all this food if they lose power due to the storm? I don't get it.

When I worked in the deli department about 12 years ago I would have regular customers come in every week and buy 1/2 pound of ham and 1/2 pound of cheese. When snow was predicted the same people would buy 4 and 5 pounds of meat. For what? If they only ate 1/2 pound per week were they planning on being snowed in for 8 weeks? Did they think the food would last that long without spoiling?

Did I mention that I don't get it?

It's kind of scary. If this kind of melee happens when a few inches of snow are predicted, what would happen if something really scary was going on? I shudder to think about it.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017-01-01 - Sunday - Happy New Year!

Some thoughts about this blog going into 2017.

This is my 1396th post since I started this blog in 2008. How did I ever find the time to make 1396 posts? Who would have thought it would live this long? It's become a part of my everyday life and a way to document it. It's also a way to stay connected to the friends and family who read it.

Here's the email I sent out to friends and family about it on 6/20/2008:
I apologize in advance if I've already told you, but I finally started a blog.  No, I'm not too old --apparently there's no age limit.  :^)

A lot of folks I know are blogging (you can see a lot of their blogs listed on mine), so I thought I would give it a try.  It's just another way to keep in touch in the '00s.

I hope I can make it interesting.

At 1396 posts over 9 years, that's 155 posts per year, or about 13 per month (rounded). Who knew?

Here's to almost nine years of blogging and still not knowing what I'm on about.

On to 2017...

I hope it's interesting.

On Sunday we loaded up the van and drove back to Charlotte. Funny, the van is always more full on the way home.

It was a nice drive especially now that I installed my auxiliary port and I could listen to my iPod during the trip.

Loaded for bear.

When we got home we picked up some take out food and I received the most appropriate fortune I've ever seen. It struck home since I've been in the "field of computer technology" since 1979.

Yes, 38 years and still enjoying it.

So far.

Fortune after the fact.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2016-12-30 - Friday - Out with the old

One of the last things we did in 2016 was to burn a bunch of old instrument boxes. In cleaning out the attic, we found a bunch of old height gauges and micrometers. Unfortunately, many of them had irreparable rust on them so they went off to scrap and the usable ones went to Eva's office where they actually use that type of thing.

After scrapping the bad ones we had a lot of wooden boxes that were impregnated with machine oil from years of use and also very dry from being in the attic. As you'd expect, they burned very quickly. That's also an old, pipe-framed picnic table for scale.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2016-12-29 - Thursday - Good fortune, prosperity, and happiness

During our trip Pennsylvania Christmas trip we spent some time sorting through my late father-in-law's belongings. He had an extensive tie-clip collection and one of them had what appeared to be Chinese characters on it. I snapped a photo and sent it to my friend Ju-Ian who informed me that they mean "Good Fortune", "Prosperity", and "Happiness".

While it's a nice sentiment, I wonder how he came to have this clip. He was in the navy during the Korean war, but I'm not sure he got to Asia. Perhaps it was a gift from someone along the way; maybe one of his many students in the colleges where he taught.

We'll never know now, but it's a pretty neat item.

Good fortune, prosperity,and happiness.


Monday, January 9, 2017

2016-12-25 - Sunday - Merry Christmas!

For many years Christmas morning was about getting up early with the children and opening presents, making overnight cinnamon rolls, and going to a relative's house for Christmas dinner.

Now the two who enjoyed the cinnamon rolls the most are gluten free, the children are all over 21, the relatives have moved away, and the person who wakes us up early on Christmas spent it with her fiance's family this year.

We got up at a leisurely pace, opened our presents, I made a big (late) breakfast, and then I ripped the dashboard of the van apart.

I bought an auxiliary port to connect my iPod to the car stereo in 2013 and toyed with the idea of paying someone to install it. I decided for Christmas to do it myself (after watching a video on dismantling the dashboard on YouTube).

As usual, the hardest part was removing the clipped-in bezels without breaking them. Once that was done, it went pretty smoothly despite the photos of general destruction.

Gaping holes.

A huge mess.


The 3.5 mm jack and the power switch in the re-purposed ashtray.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016-12-24 - Saturday - Christmas Eve

I stopped in at Clayworks to drop some stuff off and not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Later in the afternoon I started a new Christmas Eve tradition of raking and bagging leaves.

While out there I noticed the sunset, and it was very pretty, somewhere over there.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016-12-23 - Friday - Meredith's new ride

Meredith's 2002 Ford Escape was having more problems so she decided it was time for a change. She bought a 2013 Honda Accord (the bow was just a photo prop). She figures she will be able to make the payment more easily with all the money she will save on gas.

It's hard to believe that our youngest child will be graduating from college in the spring. Where does the time go?

She's already got a job lined up after graduation and we're very proud of her.


Friday, January 6, 2017

2016-12-22 - Thursday - Footprints

You can always tell when you have potters.

I left a trail of dusty footprints taking the trash out to the dumpster at Clayworks on Thursday.

Who needs Google?

You can track me in analog.


2016-12-15 - Thursday - Luncheon

Thursday a bunch of us from Clayworks had lunch at the Community Culinary School of Charlotte's chef table in the kitchen. It was a nice time with really great food. I had shrimp and grits and the local grits were amazing. They would have been a meal by themselves.

I've mentioned it here before, but it bears mentioning again: the Community Culinary School of Charlotte has a great mission. They teach people a trade. Class 55 just graduated at the end of the year and they will go on to work in some of the most prestigious kitchens in Charlotte. If you're in the area give them a try and make a donation. It changes lives.