All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author. Thanks.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Panther cat, the huntress

Attacking the mouse...the one with a squeak whenever it's tossed around by this huntress.

 But the minute the camera came out, she decided to be cute for me.

 OK, enough of that game, let's go somewhere else...
 What's up there?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Studio atrium

When one of the cats decided the plants that had been brought inside for the winter were her fodder, and she proceeded to use them to help her hairball remedy, I came up with another place for them to stay.  The plants went out in the unheated studio.

Actually I can heat the studio, but its floor is so cold, I prefer not to work there until outside temps are in the non-freezing range.  I do keep it warm enough to not freeze glazes and clay at least.  And the morning sun comes streaming in.

I sometimes let the cats wander out there for a few minutes, while I can watch them!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some thoughts

Quote for today:

Retire to the center of your being, which is calmness.
Paramahansa Yogananda

When I read Yogananda's teaching, back in the (hurumph) 70s, I was full of peacefulness.  What a great man.  

Ram Das was a great eye opener for me.  Be Here Now, he said, and relieved a lot of anxieties.

I tried Tai Chi off an on over the years, much like Hatha Yoga.

Then I found Amrit Desai, followed him for a while.  Great yoga asanas.  Asked him why I kept moving from one teacher to another...and he answered that I would know when the right one for me came.

I never did.

I think it has to do with trust issues.

Or just that a new guru would always appear more attractive.

But I also am not a disciplined person, as my former husband and boyfriends know well, and perhaps (of course!) my children.

OK, what does this have to do with today?

I'm trying to keep the room from spinning as I get vertical.  I'm carrying my cell phone in my pocket as I move around trying to do things that keep me alive...take those pills, inhale that corticosteroid stuff, make and drink that coffee, same with toast.  Make sure the cats are fed, toss the dirty clothes and towels into the washer and check that nothing froze overnight...laundry room, check, studio/atrium - check, bedroom which is empty of use - check.

Being less than I want to physically be.  Trying to accept this situation.

I read a triggering thought on FaceBook, things that were 25 years old.  And I only knew one of the actors, none of the musicians, and didn't remember any of the TV shows from 25 years ago.  I thought, maybe I wasn't having much fun back then.  What was I doing anyway?

I'm thinking about that.  Will let you know if it's worth sharing.  Some things just aren't.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jars and creamers packed up

It was pretty easy to pack these into a medium size tupperware tub...where they will be non-dust-collectors, and ready to go to some sales venue when it should present itself.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little house in the garden

I made this little house with various designs all around, and have kept it as a personal shrine buried deep in a dark corner where sometimes some candles would illuminate it.  Today I got to see sunlight shining through it's perforations...what a lot of neat things happened with that.  Whow.  I like it a lot better.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Slamming the clay

Once, I might have slammed this very clay on a wedging board, again and again, to get it smooth without a single bubble.
And once I threw it into a shape, trimmed it where it needed it, let it dry, then fired it in a bisque.
Then I glazed it, in some manner becoming to the shape.
And then it was fired again.
And I probably carried it somewhere or another in a big box to see if anyone wanted to purchase it.

Now I've looked seriously at it.  My editorial intellectual art critic self declared, thumbs down.
Don't even give this away.  Make sure nobody ever sees it again, especially with my name attached to it.

So I slammed it with the hammer, and toted about 25 pounds of shards out to the curb to be contributed to a landfill somewhere.

Wearing a mask, glasses and leather gloves...let the ceramics fly!  See that little pitcher in the corner, it's gone too now!
So this is recycled clay...going back to earth in its stoney colored form.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Narrowing or widening my horizons

Well, starting within, not the great blue horizon, but my own lifestyle.
I've realized I've been narrowing down and narrowing down, till there's very little room for DOING anything.

It has been a good thing to do at this time of year.
But solstice is behind us and now I'm widening things again.

First I reconnected some video equipment.  Over a year and half ago I stopped cable TV, and kept just the internet service.  But the TV and VCR and DVD player are still machines that can play tapes and DVD's.

I had thought I'd miss TV so much I would be playing them a lot after turning off live TV.  Nope.  I watched videos in bed for a while, on a tiny screen. And for the time since then I've happily watched my favorite shows (maybe a day or a week later) on my computer.  Now I've turned on the bigger screen in the living room.

I also have Netflix which can stream things onto the computer.  I haven't got it connected into the old TV, since it probably doesn't have any USB ports...I'll check when my favorite old movie is finished.

What is it you might ask?

If you haven't guessed it yet...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

At the studio

The ceiling must be 12 feet high, and all concrete walls and floor, though I am not sure what the ceiling is made of.
This used to be the city garage, where either fire engines or police cars were kept or serviced.  The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is in the old City Hall building, which also once housed the library, and the jail (basement).  The Clay Studio is this separate building, which now has a couple of regular glassed doors and 3 windows facing south.
The kiln room was built inside this room, with extra insulation for the heat generated there, as well as ventilation.
Anyway, here's the heat/cooling unit on the wall, at least 9 feet above floor level.  The man who came to figure out what was going wrong with it couldn't get it to "misbehave" as it had been doing...and he didn't have a ladder tall enough to get up to eye level with it.  He did stretch and pull out the filters and clean them, though he said they weren't that dirty.  We replaced the batteries in the remote control, and are waiting to see if it works now.
My scientific question of the day, is the thermostat in the remote control also a thermometer, so it tells the unit when the temperature has been reached?  Or is the thermometer actually in the unit up on the wall?  A couple of times the unit has turned itself off, but when the thermostat was set to higher temperatures, eventually it turned itself on again.
So somehow it is getting the message to keep working till the temperature goes up...I just wonder where the temperature is actually measured.
At home the thermostat has the temperature reading as well...this remote doesn't.
So that's the exciting news from Lake Black Mountain.  Sometimes I feel a bit lost...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Packing away dust collectors

Tiny vases sitting in the tub (isn't the pink something else?)...soon to be packed away.

More vases waiting to go into tubs.  The reason?  Literally to reduce the dust in my allergy chasing.  I'm not allergic to the dust, but to dust mites!

Those are smaller than each particle of dust...and apparently the less I have to deal with the happier I'll be.  I'm for that.  So I am slowly packing up carefully dusted pottery.  The allergy doctor even said to leave home for an hour after I dust, wearing a paper mask for the job.  I haven't found my mask yet, but have only dusted and packed 2 tubs so far.

I'm also making space in my life.  Which is a way to allow my creativity to return.  If I'm already cluttered up with stuff, how can I possibly want to make more?  Well, that's my thinking today.

So each tub gets a label saying what's in it...taped on the lid.  Jars with lids, creamers, and vases are all done so far.  Now just about 9 more categories, and I'm afraid I'll run out of the tubs...and will have to revert to boxes.  So the clay comes to my house in boxes (with 2 bags inside each one) and may end up in the same boxes!  A good circle.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nature abhors a...

How I remember learning that in science class in 7th grade.

Well, I've been living in one lately...and felt pretty abhorrent about myself.   It's called the January blues, and I've been sucked into it yet again, yet another year.  Sometimes I can push it off till February.

It may have to do with sunshine, but I think it's also post Winter-Solstice stress syndrome.  PWSSS.  That's why I'm sitting here talking rather than doing.

I'm all "do"-ed out.  But to be fair, I'm keeping myself healthy...only doing a bit at a time.  Today's bit is to show up at the studio.  Don't we all have days like that?

One finger is complaining of some kind of cut, with a knuckle bump under it, so maybe it's swollen so I bump it more than normal, or something else, but it will keep me out of clay up to my elbows.  I'm about to put a protective bandaid on it, and we have these lovely little finger tips of latex, kind of finger prophylactics, so we can still work in clay and keep our boo-boo's clean.

So I plan to wedge every piece of cold clay that's been sitting for a month on my shelf.  And have something hot to drink!

What do you do to fight the winter doldrums? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Achievement sucketh

If you happened to look at my other blog (Living in Black Mountain) last week I published some photos of Lake Tomahawk frozen...except this little area where the ducks happily splashed around.

I'm trying to get back into pottery...without too much success so far.  All the goals I set for the day seem to remain half done, or completely undone by the end of the day.

So today I am just letting youall know I'm still here, even if I spend most of my time looking up ancestors on line, (and blogging about them HERE) and watching cats chase each other, rather than handling clay in one form or another.

Maybe the closest I get these days is with reading pottery blogs and posts on Facebook.  And then I can just look around my house also.  The good news is that several of the pots in the photo below have actually been sold in the last month.  Ahhh.  Now I need to reduce the amount of dust-mites in my life, so my goal is to box a lot of these up and store them away, thus reducing dust.  Goal ...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 clay journey

Some of the things I experienced last year while exploring with clay...

A couple of garlic keepers to add cheer to anyone's kitchen
A surprising interest in tumblers from friends
I really liked this big vase with fun turquoise glazes, but nobody bought it yet!
I've invited blog readers, and local friends, to drop by my studio where fun can happen in a flash
Baking dishes in various colors sold throughout the year

Having fun with glazes on small tumblers was fun and lots of people liked them
The glaze sold these mugs...a wine color with blue highlights set off the orchid design nicely
By mothers day we began the weekly Tailgate Market sales of MudBuddies booth
But my sculptural urge still spoke to me occasionally!
Little pitchers are great for lots of serving pieces or flower arrangements
A friend ordered these simple bowls which will set off salads or cereal easily.
Another big vase which still lives with me...there's a limit to how many can stay in my living room!
I discovered the joy of these 3 glazes overlapping, and made and sold lots of bowls with this combination
I made some jars, but this year they mostly stayed with me

A fun adventure with a teapot, which went to it's new owner over Christmas.  Thanks Nancy for purchasing it!
Then in June I found Mayco's new Designer Liner pens with glaze and started a new adventure

I could paint and draw any designs onto plates, and I went a bit wild

The journey was mostly enjoyable.  Yes, I learned some things, both about creating and selling pottery.

I am thrilled with the new design work I'm doing, but it's not selling.  I don't think that will stop me from doing it.  I just need to find the people who want to have it as part of their lives...because it is often picked up and exclaimed over, but is not in the right price range for my markets.

I know bringing more pots to markets means more sales.  I found having things reduced in price would sell before others (no brainer there).  But I also saw my own limitation of carrying more things to a market, pots are heavy!

Where to next?  Only the new days of 2015 will show me, as I gradually work on each inspiration that comes.  Thanks so much for joining me in my journey!