Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017-12-31 - Sunday - A look back

I would like to take a moment at the end of 2017 to reflect and thank some people. Thank you to my family for putting up with this crazy old man who insists on making pots all these years. Thank you to my friends for your help, support, knowledge, and most of all, your friendship. Family and friends are the people who buoy me along in the current of life. I fear without them it would swallow me up in an instant.

I would like to thank all of the people who bought pots from me this year. I hope you are happy with your purchases and also the folks you might have gifted them to.

As I write this post, it is my 1558th post since June 17, 2008 when I started this blog. I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it, and I hope you will enjoy it into the future.

Here's to a happy and prosperous 2018 and beyond!



Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017-12-07 - Thursday - Recycling and the NRA

Thursday I took a whole load of old paint, a tire, a fish tank, miscellaneous batteries, and cardboard to the dump/recycling center. All part of cleaning out the garage for the holiday sale.

I also received an invitation to join the NRA. Where do they get their lists?


Friday, December 29, 2017

2017-12-06 - Wednesday - Frittata

It's been some time since I posted food on this blog, but I made a version of a frittata that was pretty darn tasty. It included spinach, peas, mushrooms, ham, and cheese. It was delicious.


2017-12-05 - Tuesday - Moles

We have had some moles in the back yard for a couple of years and I really haven't worried about them too much. You know, live and let live. But recently they seem to have multiplied and their tunnels are everywhere. At this point I'm worried about tripping over them and falling because when I step on them the ground just drops out from under me.

I have called around and most companies only use those spring loaded spike traps that impale the mole. We can't be condone that. Our organic fertilizer company (Natural Lawn of America) applies granular castor oil, which the moles really hate, and it causes them to move on to better tasting areas. A much better solution for us.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017-12-04 - Monday - Delhom Service League Luncheon

Monday we had our Delhom Service League Holiday Luncheon at a member's house. It was a beautiful home, filled with great art, delicious food, and wonderful company.

The "business meeting" part of the luncheon.


2017-12-03 - Sunday - Stephanie's birthday

We went to Greenville on Sunday to celebrate Stephanie's birthday a few days early. Karen go her a gluten-free, dairy-free cake and it was delicious.

First, we went out for a nice dinner, then back to Stephanie and Brett's apartment for cake.

All too soon it was time to hop back in the car and head home.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017-12-02 - Saturday - Manny, Moe, and Jack

I snapped another photo of my three-face pot at the sale. I do like him (and him, and him) so I tend to take photos when I can.


2017-11-30 - Thursday - Set up for sale

Thursday we set up the studio at Clayworks for the Holiday Sale & Open House. Many hands make light work and we had it done in record time.

There's usually a nice sunset behind the studio.

My tables for the sale.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017-11-29 - Wednesday - Raku fire fish

Wednesday night I fired the fish in the raku kiln at Clayworks.

Before I get to that, here is a photo of the trees at Clayworks from last night (ok, it was morning). The light was very strange; it made me think I was on another planet. Interesting.

Now, on to the raku firing...

Cans lined up for receiving fish.

The fish are getting hot.

Zebra/tiger/angel fish, depending who you talk to.

Almost the whole school.

Oops! Dropped one.

Fish in the kiln.

On the way home I was taken with some Christmas lights and thought I'd make another pass and video them.

Christmas lights.


Monday, December 25, 2017

2017-11-28 - Tuesday - Glazing fish

Tuesday I glazed the batch of fish I made back in May(?!). I had no idea I'd had them so long. I'm trying some new glaze ideas on this batch, as always. If things go well, I'll fire them tomorrow night.


2017-11-27 - Monday - Salting and deer

Monday we finished firing the salt kiln. If you've never attended a salt kiln firing, we add the salt at the end of the firing. The salt (sodium chloride) atomizes and breaks down so the salt coats the pots and the chlorine goes out of the chimney. It's a community event and we usually have several people helping out with it.

We made it a real community event when I put us on Periscope for the salting process. I was talking to a user in the U.K. (who knew Doug and Hannah!) and later to my friend Ang in Australia. It's a big community.

One of the two forced-air burners.

Greg, Kurt, and yours truly waiting to salt.

We shut down the kiln when it was finished and everyone packed up and left. I was last (go figure) and noticed as I was driving out of the parking lot that I could see light between the bricks of the kiln as I went by. Watch this short video. You will see the gaps light up, cascading across the wall of the kiln as the camera moves. I love to notice little things like this.

When I got home I noticed some visitors across the street so I stopped my van in the road and grabbed some photos. They were not alarmed about my running van so close to them and didn't even mind being in the spotlight. They were vigilant, but just kept feeding on the neighbor's grass and acorns.


Friday, December 22, 2017

2017-11-26 - Sunday - Salt kiln firing

Sunday we loaded the salt kiln and started it candling for firing on Monday. Something is always happening at Clayworks.

Edge of the shelf on the loading dock.

Steam coming off the roof of the kiln.


2017-11-25 - Saturday - Old pots

While cleaning out the garage, I found a box of pots that I made back in the 90's. It was entertaining to revisit them. Some were interesting pieces and some were embarrassing experiments, so I sorted them out to my seconds shelf and the shard bin accordingly.

Frankenstein porcelain pot.

"Acorn" raku pot.

Spotted knob-and-all.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

2017-11-21 - Tuesday - Mint Museum

Tuesday I enjoyed a presentation by Brian Gallagher at the Mint Museum on their collection of British Ceramics. It was very informative because Brian really does have an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject.

In the afternoon, when I got the mail, I found the annual booklet from the Second Harvest Food Bank. I was surprised and honored to see my photo in the Empty Bowls section.


2017-11-19 - Sunday - Old pots and new pots

While cleaning out the garage I found some old mugs I made with a copper-heavy glaze which I didn't realize wasn't good to drink from. They will make nice shards for a future mosaic.

In the afternoon we unloaded the gas kiln. It was kind of  mixed pack, tight areas and loose areas, so we had some variations in the results.

The opening.

The cone packs.

My pots.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017-11-17 - Friday - Raku night

Friday was one of our studio raku nights where everyone at the studio is invited to participate and share some food and beverages. We had a good turnout and lots of pieces got fired.

I'm usually in the middle of everything, but Ralph had it well in hand so I kind of sat back and enjoyed the festivities.


2017-11-16 - Thursday - Kiln accident

After the bisque firing finished I wanted to unload the kiln, but the band on the lid had burst apart. It seems the hose clamp type tensioner had given up. It was riveted in place and as you can see in the bottom photo, they were pretty rusted.

I used my rotary tool (think Dremel) to grind off the rivets and took both pieces of the tensioner to the hardware store. There I found a stainless steel hose clamp I could modify to the task.

Now to find time to do it...


Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017-11-15 - Wednesday - Kilns and pots

On Wednesday the gas kiln was being loaded, so we should be firing soon.

I bisque fired some pots in my own kiln for the gas kiln firing.

Bottom level.

Top level.

In the evening I trimmed some tea bowls and put handles on some other pots. I've been trying some new cuts on my tea bowls lately and I like where they're going.


2017-11-13 - Monday - Glazing pots

Monday I glazed more pots for another gas kiln firing.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."


Friday, December 8, 2017

2017-11-11 - Saturday - Cups In Common

Saturday was the closing day of Cups In Common and our fall fundraiser at Clayworks. I was stationed in classroom three doing demos (and you know how I hate demoing, being as shy as I am).

I was left an apron to wear for the demo. Since I don't normally wear an apron, I put it on backwards, like a cape. It's all fun.

My friends Edson and LuAnn stopped in and Edson took some great photos, as usual.

Photo by Kira Campbell.

Photo by Edson Scudder.

Photo by Edson Scudder.

Photo by Edson Scudder.

Photo by Edson Scudder.

I made some pots during the demos.