Saturday, July 22, 2017

The blues have it

Someone said yesterday that she just loved blue pottery.  Here's another one with blue flowers.

 About 4-1/2 inches tall, $25

Thrown shape, then altered, additional buttons for flower centers, then glazed with Mayco Designer Liner and Stroke n Coat glazes.  Rim was dipped into plum glaze for the drippy effect.  Clear glaze over all.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Vase and flowers

Bowl vase with blue  blossoms on thrown-altered shape. 5 inches high, $25

Did you know that after being picked, a few days later, these lovelies still will produce pollen, and send it out all over the house! Achoo!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hummer visitors

The thing about sitting around getting well, is lots of sitting around!  Looking at a humming bird whenever she comes to the feeder.

Last night she would sing a bit as she ate!

My dear friend, Panther, also likes to see them, but they become very fast when they notice her in the window.  Good instinct but not needed because of the distance between them.

Today the shutter speed just wasn't fast enough to show the little gal who came at least 10 times...these were the best pics that I could get with the phone.  Sorry.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summertime bliss - the blue cone

Dairy King, in Black Mountain NC.

This is where folks gather on hot (or even cool) evenings in the summer.  My friends took me out for a soft serve Arctic Swirl or Twirl or something.  The place with a Queen's name that's all over the country can't beat the small town greetings of each other...those who arrive barefoot, with or without kids who ride the tiny merry-go-round, those who see old friends, and those who just enjoy sitting around and slurping the cool delights like we did last night.

I am so blessed to live in this community! Not just for the Blue Cone! (Which incidentally isn't blue any more but that's what the locals call this gathering spot.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Electricity problems solved

Yes pretty roses, but my eye also sees a cable. After a power outage the other night during the thunderstorm, to the other half of my building, there appeared this lovely trio of cables snaking along the ground from the transformer... my end of the building (a new transformer [big green box] was put in place as part of the renovations after I moved here in 2015)  ...and then...

...I'm not sure what's happening in there behind the bushes, but that's where the electric box panels are on the exterior wall, feeding the 4 apartments at the other end of the building.

The four apartments at my end of the building never lost electricity...meaning 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs.

I was contacted by our power company and later by the maintenance man, to see if I'd lost power. Later they texted me if it had been restored, though I'd been fine all along.  I felt bad because there's a tenant who uses a wheel chair downstairs in that part of the building.  It was several hours before this "repair" was devised, whatever it is.  And of course it may have started at 5 pm but it was full dark before the final "text" from the power company came through.

My front porch, with cable running across under the steps

Incidentally, my personal account of the storm was that I had been awakened from a nap by a strike of thunder, well before the rain started, around 4:30.  I had been using my C-Pap to help me breathe while asleep, which is electrically run, so I would definitely have noticed if the power went off!  I'm not really sure which day this was, they are all running together while I stay home and recuperate.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bells and pitcher

 A Million Bells, flowering through the summertime in a hanging planter

A medium pitcher waiting for new owner.  5" tall, $25

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Snowflake glaze transition

 An altered thrown bowl shaped vase, with pale frosty snowflake glaze at the base. For sale of course, at huge price of $20.

I did some tests (posted about HERE) from recipes that John Britt published in Ceramics Monthly years ago.  This is one of the results.

I haven't been feeling that well, so most of my energy is going to getting better.  I'll post more as soon as I'm back on my feet.  If you're the kind of person who wants to know my condition, I'll just say I cracked a rib while coughing, and have one lung with pneumonia in it.

I still will read blogs, cause I can do that while doing my morning breathing treatments.  As they say, getting old is not for the faint of heart.  I now spend an hour a day with these breathing treatments, morning and night.  I get up around 7, and before I know it, it's already 10 am, and that gives me very little morning to work with.

I know, do I want crackers with my whine? Only if they have something spread upon them.

And I just noticed something when looking at blogs on a phone...because I do post my link on facebook and get some hits through that.  But phones make it hard to see the right hand column, and the tabs at the top of the page just say "home" and you have to click on it persistently to get to the sales tab.  No wonder people aren't emailing me with their desires to make me rich...or whatever.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Taverns and gathering places

I don't think any of my immediate ancestors had come into Tennessee by 1775.  They were a couple of years later.  But these were people who were alive at the same time, hacking out settlements in a wilderness.  And since I live in the Appalachians these days, I am very awestruck by what a job that must have been.
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What can I contribute to the Sepia Saturday meme for this week?  (Others may post something that meets this suggestion HERE.)

Can I find something to do with racing, flags, pipe smoking, hats of different styles, women in long dresses sitting and looking around, or little girls with black stockings...?

And the actual print has this description at Sepia Saturday.
Opening Of Norwood Sports Pavilion (1909) East Riding Archives Flickr Stream
However faded the print may be,  the celebrations are clearly visible, with flags flying and the very best hats being worn. The occasion was the opening of the new pavilion for the Beverley Town Cricket, Bowling and Athletic Club, in Beverley, East Yorkshire. The eagle eyed amongst us may just notice a cricket score in the background. Whatever game you play and whatever theme you care to identify and follow in this fine old photograph, all you have to do is to post a post on or around Saturday 15th July 2017 and link it to the list below.
Bean Station Tennessee never had anything to do with cricket, bowling or the kind of pavilion that is shown above, I'll just bet.

The Bean Station Inn, pencil drawing (not clear focus)

My Tennessee settling ancestors were coming from Virginia, over passes, along trails that may have been cut by Daniel Boone.

Tavern at Bean Station

The tavern pictured in my header at the very top of my blog is where my ancestors may have wet their whistles many years later, (1850) the ones who had trekked out to Willis, Walker County, Texas.  The Rogers landed there before the civil war, having settled originally in Tennessee in 1794.

(Here's the header pic that has since been changed...)

The Holston River ran along Bean Station and was the route taken towards what would one day become Nashville.  It runs into the Tennessee River, which runs into the Ohio, which runs into the Mississippi, thus this was a major river artery for going west.  But I dare say that the Rogers of Sevier County (further south in the mountains near the Smokeys) would have travelled by land.  Many of the families settled in northern Louisiana rather than going on to Texas.

Today Bean Station overlooks the Cherokee Reservoir, held behind a TVA dam and hydroelectric facility of the same name, located downstream from Bean Station.  TVA is the Tennessee Valley Authority, which built many dams and formed reservoirs all over Tennessee in the 1930s through 50s.  It was the aim to provide rural electricity to many people who lived out on farms a long distance from cities.  Telephones came about the same time, once poles and wires were laid.  And the reservoirs became lakes for recreation.

Today Bean Station is at the junction of US Highways 11W and 25E, and there is a crossing through several islands in the Cherokee Reservoir, or perhaps they still see it as the Holston River there.  Once you get on the south shore from Bean Station there's an Old Kentucky Road in Morristown, TN.

Red ball is Bean Station

Bean Station is about 2 hours from where I live, using an interstate highway system, crossing at least 2 of those TVA reservoirs, going through some tunnels in the mountains.

Property for sale in Tennessee currently

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hazel Autley, Pen Pal from England (Three)

More of my mom's postcards from her pen-pal, Hazel Autley.

Last week I posted cards that were sent from April and October 1938, but this one came to San Antonio TX in December.

It also doesn't have the usual tape imprints on the right side of the back, as the others have had up until now, nor do they say Birmingham, England.

So what is interesting about Letchworth?  Ah, if you aren't from England, you probably haven't a clue.  So I was really thrilled to go to my trusty Wikedpeia and learn this...

The United Kingdom's first roundabout on The Broadway in Letchworth Garden City

Letchworth, officially Letchworth Garden City, is a town in Hertfordshire, England.
The town's name is taken from one of the three villages it surrounded (the other two being Willian and Norton) – all of which featured in the Domesday Book. The land used was purchased by Quakers who had intended to farm the area and build a Quaker community. The town was laid out by Raymond Unwin as a demonstration of the principles established by Ebenezer Howard who sought to create an alternative to the industrial city by combining the best of town and country living. It is also home to the United Kingdom's first roundabout, which was built in 1909.[3]
As one of the world's first new towns and the first garden city it had great influence on future town planning and the New towns movement; it influenced Welwyn Garden City, which used a similar approach and inspired other projects around the world including the Australian capital Canberra, Hellerau, Germany, Tapanila, Finland, and Mežaparks in Latvia.[4])
In 1898, the social reformer Ebenezer Howard wrote a book entitled To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform (later republished as Garden Cities of To-morrow), in which he advocated the construction of a new kind of town, summed up in his Three Magnets diagram as combining the advantages of cities and the countryside while eliminating their disadvantages. Industry would be kept separate from residential areas—such zoning was a new idea at the time—and trees and open spaces would prevail everywhere. His ideas were mocked in the press but struck a chord with many, especially members of the Arts and Crafts movement and the Quakers.
According to the book the term "Garden City" derived from the image of a city being situated within a belt of open countryside (which would contribute significantly to food production for the population), and not, as is commonly cited, to a principle that every house in the city should have a garden.
The concept outlined in the book is not simply one of urban planning, but also included a system of community management. For example, the Garden City project would be financed through a system that Howard called "Rate-Rent", which combined financing for community services (rates) with a return for those who had invested in the development of the City (rent). The book also advocated a rudimentary form of competitive tendering, whereby the municipality would purchase services, such as water, fuel, waste disposal, etc., from (often local) commercial providers. These systems were never fully implemented, in Letchworth, Welwyn or their numerous imitators.
A competition was held to find a town design which could translate Howard's ideas into reality, and September 1903 the company "First Garden City Ltd." was formed, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin were appointed architects, and 16 km² of land outside Hitchin were purchased for building. In keeping with the ideals only one tree was felled during the entire initial construction phase of the town, and an area devoted to agriculture surrounding the town was included in the plan – the first "Green Belt".
Exhibition Cottages - 2,4 & 6 Cross Street - (c) John Proudlove
Shortly after the birth of the Garden City, Letchworth was home to two experimental housing exhibitions in 1905 and 1907.
In 1905, and again in 1907, the company held the Cheap Cottages Exhibitions, contests to build inexpensive housing, which attracted some 60,000 visitors and had a significant effect on planning and urban design in the UK, pioneering and popularising such concepts as pre-fabrication, the use of new building materials, and front and back gardens. The Exhibitions were sponsored by the Daily Mail, and their popularity was significant in the development of that newspaper's launching of the Ideal Home Exhibition (which has more recently become the Ideal Home Show) – the first of which took place the year after the second Cheap Cottages Exhibition.
Howgills Friends' Meeting House image
Howgills, the Meeting House for The Society of Friends (Quakers).
Built in 1907, Howgills is one of Letchworth Garden City’s most distinguished and unique early buildings

Letchworth Garden City railway station image
Opened in 1913, superseding the temporary wooden station built by Great Northern Railway in 1905, this booking hall is produced in a fine Arts and Crafts design, in contrast to the more utilitarian platform buildings.
A railway station was opened in 1903 a few hundred yards west of its current position and railway companies often ran excursions to the town, bringing people to marvel at the social experiment and sometimes to mock it: Letchworth's founding citizens, attracted by the promise of a better life, were often caricatured by outsiders as idealistic and otherworldly. John Betjeman in his poems Group Life: Letchworth and Huxley Hall painted Letchworth people as earnest health freaks.

The Settlement, formerly Skittles Pub with no beer
The Settlement
One commonly-cited example of this is the ban, most unusual for a British town, on selling alcohol in public premises. This did not stop the town having a "pub" however – the Skittles Inn or the "pub with no beer" which opened as early as 1907.
Despite the ban it is not entirely true to say that there were no pubs in the Garden City. Pubs that had existed from before the foundation of the Garden City continued – including the Three Horseshoes in Norton, The George IV on the borders with Baldock, and the Three Horseshoes and The Fox in Willian – continued to operate (as they do to this day), and undoubtedly benefited from the lack of alcohol to be had in the centre of the town, as did the pubs in neighbouring Hitchin and Baldock. New inns also sprang up on the borders of the town, one such example being the Wilbury Hotel which was just outside the town's border.
This ban was finally lifted after a referendum in 1958, which resulted in the Broadway Hotel becoming the first public house in the centre of the Garden City. Several other pubs have opened since 1958, but to this day the town centre has fewer than half-a-dozen pubs – a remarkably low number of a town of its size. One effect of this is that the centre of the town is normally a noticeably quiet and peaceful place in the evenings.
The Spirella building - also seen in top left of post card
One of the most prominent industries to arrive in the town in the early years was the manufacture of corsets: the Spirella Company began building a large factory in 1912, close to the middle of town and the railway station that opened the next year. The Spirella Building, completed in 1920, blends in despite its central position through being disguised as a large country house, complete with towers and a ballroom. During the Second World War, the factory was also involved in producing parachutes and decoding machinery. Because corsets fell out of fashion, the factory closed in the 1980s, and was eventually refurbished and converted into offices.
Another significant employer in the town was Shelvoke and Drewry, a manufacturer of dustcarts and fire engines which existed from 1922 until 1990; as was Hands (Letchworth), James Drewry joining them in 1935, who manufactured axles, brakes and Hands Trailers. Letchworth had a very diverse light industry, including K & L Steel Foundry, often a target for German bombers in World War II, the Letchworth Parachute Factory, J M Dent and Son (also known as The Aldine Press, Garden City Press).
The biggest employer was British Tabulating Machine Company, later merging with Powers-Samas to become International Computers and Tabulators (ICT) and finally part of International Computers Limited (ICL). At one time the "Tab" as it was known had occupancy of over 30 factories in Icknield Way (the original pre-Roman Road), Works Road and finally in Blackhorse Road. Blackhorse Road was built on what was the continuation of the original "Icknield Way". Upon building the new ICL building the remains of a large Roman camp was found, many articles being found and saved for display in the Letchworth Museum & Art Gallery. In WWII a number of early computers were built in what became known as the ICL 1.1 plant.
First Garden City Heritage Museum

Many of the photos shown above came from the town's site:

Some of the photos wouldn't copy, so check out the modern view of Broadway Here.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tiny Vases

Sometimes you just have one beautiful blossom, or maybe a few.  They call for something small, to accent the delicacy.  A glass would do the trick, but after all, you've probably purchased a sweet tiny vase that was hand thrown, bisque fired, glazed and glaze fired, and offered by an artist for your continued enjoyment...don't you?

The tiniest in the front is only $5, and all the rest are $10.
Size from 2" tall to 3-1/2 inches.

I'll have to be making some more of these soon, cause they are also wonderful gifts...tucked along with something else even!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Stained bust of Kali

Finished, now I've got her around to catch every little thing I no longer need (psychically at least)...and thus I give her all that I don't want in my life any more.  She can take it.

In dry stage, waiting to be fired

Bisque fired
Finished with stains

This Soldate stoneware from Laguna clay works well for hand building. It has lots of tooth, and takes stain fine.  Fired to cone 5-6. No glaze, just red iron oxide stain.