Friday, March 30, 2012

Pictures again pottery & trees

New (to me) wheel and first 3 pots on sill


Pot #1


Pot #2

Pot #3


Spring trees near Folk Art Center on Blue Ridge Parkway



Wanting to wander along through the woods, I returned to my duties in Black Mountain.  Another day...I shall walk along these trees.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

making pottery again

Ah, I saw someone's tankards on his blog, so I had to throw at least one.  Mine's probably for me, and that cool beer when I get home and put up my feet.

I also finished a butter dish.  Had to change the original plan and did a thrown lid...without a bottom, then fit it to the slab-built dish form that I'd started.  It took about 5 hours of work over two days.  Geese, maybe there's a better way?  I do like the finished piece, which is drying slowly under plastic, just like my "beer stein" at the BMCA studio.

I had another fun project, to make a foot-tall planter for a Venus Flytrap plant...for Tim who helped me get my wheel down from June's studio in Bakersville.  He raises Venus Flytraps, and says they work well in a foot tall planter, where the little saucer can be full of water and the top pretty dry, and there's just one root that reaches all the way down to keep it alive.  My first effort is a combo of thrown base, then slabs added to make it tall enough.  Of course the whole thing toppled over and it got some new bends and bulges.  But it can still stand tall (and of course is 14" tall prior to the firings that shrink it down 15%).

Sorry, these are all at Black Mountain Center for the Arts clay studio and I didn't take my camera today.  I did some glazing yesterday, and maybe a couple of pieces will be fired tonight.  This afternoon was my volunteer time as well as tomorrow during BMCA's open studio, and we had lots of students and independent studies folks working today.

It's starting to get really hot in the afternoons, and the sun continues to dominate our skies.  Many plants are blooming.  I love that tulips are in the gardens around here, and the dogwoods are blooming down in town.  Next to my house is a pink dogwood, and I promise a picture of it soon.  It's really sick, and had termites in it last year...so it may not be blooming much longer.

Both the cats stayed outside while I was gone about 5 hours.  They were so happy to come inside and get fed and watered.  I loved that feeling, being greeted eagerly by animals.  Hey, I just love been greeted eagerly by anyone!




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The guys and pots



NCECA is happening this week way out in Seattle.  My youngest son is probably there, as he has been to most whenever he can.

This shot is of my oldest and youngest sons last year at a show during NCECA in Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL.  I went to the various galleries, not to NCECA itself...was on my usual shoestring budget.  Having relatives in the Tampa area helped my expenses!

The guys are playing (or trying to play) an instrument built of clay by Brian Ransom, on display where he teaches at Eckerd College, also the alma mater of my youngest son.  I loved that they look like they're a couple of really intense guys mouth to mouth.  Good old camera angle.

So it's another turn of our blue marble around the sun.  Many changes have happened in this year, some more fortunate than others.  My thoughts today continue on the vein of, do what you love today, you don't know how many more days you have.  But be sure whatever you do is something you really want to be doing, don't compromise too much.

SO I'm going over to walk around a lake and check out the birds and blossoms.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New toy and moving plants outside



The cherry tree blossoms are about to burst, and Muffin is in the window on porch/studio.

Cherry blossoms ...

I don't know what these pretty blue flowers are, since they are probably a weed.  (Which is a relative term isn't it?)

Here the blue flowers love an old stump.

Potted plants are on milk crates on my driveway










The last few days of Forsythia for this year.

This way I can look out at something besides my dear old car...at least until the driveway is too hot for the plants when the sun beats down on them in summer.

My new toy...a pottery wheel !!!

I love having a wheel at home.  It's all mine, I don't have to clean it up, or wait for someone else to use it, or go home when the studio hours are over, and it's available anytime day or night.  I've never had such freedom with such a great tool.  I am trying to pace myself, so the newness does last, but I know it's mainly that I have something I've loved to do for all these years, and now I don't have to limit myself.  I don't have to keep everything I make, just 'cause I worked so hard on it in the dear time available to me.  I can recycle whatever isn't just "right" to me.   What on earth do I want to make today, this very minute?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Different size vases


Some vases have such pretty glaze effects inside, you just don't want to put flowers in them...and some have the beauty outside, where it belongs.  But the most fun about these 3 is that the smallest one is just beautiful too.  And you know someone will want to pay less because it's so small.








I'm entranced by the glassy alchemy of color blends on this tiny vessel...so will probably not even put it out for sale.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Better pics of last pots

It's all in the lighting...outside yesterday made this little guy very blue.  This pup's sister cup has a kitten...



Reglazed blue coffee pot with raspberry highlight added...



Some small berry bowls with little tripod feet...



And nobody said puppies and kitties were the only kind of mugs around...there be dragons about as well!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Where they're waiting to be bought

Some really ammature photos...here's one of the carved animal mugs...



Finally got the glass shelves cleaned off in the front window.  Notice the space on bottom shelf which is reserved for cats (one at a time.)



A lot of pottery all together after dusting.





Pretty posies at the library, and my camera can't capture the details of daffodils at all.  They were really pretty, but here are somewhat blotchy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

shameless reposts

Having less than my normal digits I'm just cutting and pasting a couple of things from FaceBook.  If I get in trouble, or they disappear, you'll know why.

Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine, what is the....
most astounding question
 this video is about 3 min. of fabulous stars!

and here from Face Book also are (drum roll please)


Aren't they precious?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Some pots again


Waiting to be bisque fired, a kitten on a mug...
Or maybe a dragon.  I still think Gary has the monsters down better than me!  But I might try again.

Here's one of the soup crocks like those I donated to the Empty Bowls event that Pat is collecting for.  It's not for another week.


And I kind of like to give you an idea how big things are by putting a standard thing next to them...in this case the water bottle.  Glaze is Floating Blue for the liner and top half of the exerior.  Bottom half of exterior is Raspberry, on Bellas Blend clay.


Here's a "koolaid style" pitcher that I just reglazed to fill in some spaces.  I'm really happy I waited till we had a new HR Satin white.  The clay is speckled brownstone.




Yep, the Kool-aid pitcher next to a water bottle also.

Have a great day, this spring that comes and goes, but makes us all wonder what summer will be like.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Animals and sharing together

The glaze was drying on this little pumpkin type vase, and this is the only picture I have of its wild and swoopy handles.  Unfortunately one of them separated away from the body in the glaze kiln.  Glaze looked wonderful, but the pot became a "second" immediately.  I gave it to a friend with apologies for the damaged handle.

Here's my cat in a tiara, and a little woman, a wolf/dog, and a smaller cat.  Having them in same proportions wasn't my aim.  They are waiting for glaze...and wherever I feel like sticking them.


Thanks to Gary Rith, a fellow potter blogger, http://garysthirdpotteryblog.blogspot.com/  who got me interested in making animals.  Though I admit freely that he's had a lot more practice, he seems to go on the wild side a bit more than I'm interested in doing.  He has a thing for Godzilla, as well as sharks, and they are used decoratively on his pots in humorous ways as they eat people and other things.  I think he has a corner on that market.

Speaking of corners on markets, I stopped following another potter's blog who got irate that other potters were making sculptural houses similar to hers.  Did I say irate?  Simply over the top.  She was out of line to think all clay houses should be her territory, and her anger was simply childish.  Many classes focus upon building houses as a way to learn about slab construction.  I won't be reading her blog any more.

I noticed someone else didn't want to share a glaze recipe with me, which is ok, because it may be an area that is especially important to him.  I can respect the work that goes into many glaze recipes, but I also think many of them are very close to others.  The ones I use are all apparently "public domain" though I don't know if that's a term used to describe them.

We have about 11 tubs of glazes available at the Black Mountain clay studio.  Then I've invested in a lot of Mayco's Stroke and Coat glazes to get specific colors whenever I want a "painterly" quality.  So I've definitely got quite a selection to choose from, as well as a bunch of underglazes and mason stains, and just plain basic oxides to make into stains or slips.  The Ceramics Monthly glazes are often cone 6, which is what I'm most interested in, and I've done a little experimenting with them.

I am basically saying that sharing between potters seems the way I like to live.  That's why I share on blogs, and read other people's too.  Our unique styles still seem to come through.  Of course we may be competitive, especially if we're in the same building selling our stuff.  But since I'm not out there selling in any buildings yet, (excep etsy) I guess I can only report on the art shows I've attended over the last 30 some years.

Winter Park Art Festivals have always had lots of pots, and St. Augustine, and Tampa, and Tallahassee, and Orlando, and Ocala, and Jacksonville, FL, and Knoxville, TN, and Black Mountain and Dillsboro, NC.  I was trudging through all these displays of people's excellent work and sometimes buying.  I never heard anyone say that theirs was better than anyone else's or someone was copying another.

The sense of everyone celebrating together was one of the attractive things about outdoor art festivals.  Here in the Asheville area there are lots of potters in the neighborhood, and I saw the Southern Highlands Guild show this year.  Incredible diversity!  Great spirit of hopefulness in the face of economic recession...and sharing between artist and craftspeople.  I'm very pleased to immerse myself in that spirit.  If that isn't the way you want to relate to other artists and craftspeople, I just don't want to be around you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

color choices

Here's a mug for a puppy lover...it is waiting to be fired, and will have a nice (what color??) coat for the little guy.

A mermaid on the handle of another mug...wonder what colors I'll use on her.  Probably something blue green for the mug...kind of sea color.

That's all I can think of to share on this summery day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's all in a pot

A white clay vase, with red iron oxide brushed all over, then Mexico glaze, brushed down a bit after dry, then fired to cone 6 oxidation (electric).  7 inches tall.  Thrown double wall bottom half, carved for tree trunks.

Out of chaos comes creation? - my shelves at the studio


Sarah trimming up a storm...
Marsha fixing a bowl ready to glaze
My favorite wheel ready to work on mugs...and fortunately I haven't had to wait for it in any Open Studios this week!

Blair working on one of her huge pots.

Our Black Mountain Center for the Arts studio has Open Studio each day, at different times, and we all gather to do our work.  Its a great sense of community, seeing most of the same people every day, and the only thing we have in common is clay. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

To whoever reads my blogs

Why I'm writing to whoever reads my blogs?
Well, my comment on my last one included 2 thoughts, and I decided nobody would even read them in a comment section.

First, if you comment here, and I "reply" do you get that reply in your email or where?

(And if you comment as anonymous, and I reply to you, does my reply go anywhere at all?)

...and second, how can I get the comment box to have larger face type size? It's sooo tiny when I want to reply to you. Is there a setting somewhere? I know blogger help should have this somewhere, but I'm too lazy to wade through it all. (Incidentally I use the old blogger format, cause I know how to navigate around it, and the newer one is too confusing for me).

Mr and Mrs Mallard at the lake.

Pear tree across street, Mar 10, 2012

Pear tree buds 3.10.12 (may be in full bloom by the 21st)