Copyright and other blogs currently being worked

A young"ish" Buckminster Fuller and a flexible skin geodesic dome about the time he taught at Black Mountain College!

Please come over and see my comments and photos on my other blog "When I Was 69." And sometimes I have some ancestry information on the blog "Three Family Trees."

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dormouse greenware

Teapot with a mouse on the lid?  You've got to be kidding!  I heard that!

Yes, a sleepy Dormouse with a bit of attitude.

I'm not only sleepy, I'm winking at ya!

The end.

We can be more like trees opening our crown to the Universe and rooting down deep with our feet into mother earth.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Greenware Mad Hatter

You all know that "what is still drying," maybe leather hard, may or may not even survive the drying, let alone 2 firings.

But here's my attempt to make a Mad Hatter.
Incidentally, I did some final work on him, after the pics were taken.  Sorry about that, but mouth and ears really did need attention still.


I even scraped the bit of red clay out of the was just on the tool when I made the indents...not intentional. 
The other thing you can't see (cause I did it this afternoon, after pictures) was the bit of design I gave to his vest.
I used half a bag of clay on he's going to take some time drying.  The hat is the thinnest part.

I know he reminds many people of the Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum twins, as well as humpty dumpty.

For myself,  I owe some design inspiration to Brenda Wolf, who's blog is here
Fred Feldman's friends also have similar features.

Tomorrow I'll post greenware pics of the Dormouse as a lid on a teapot.

I'm already considering whether or not to glaze, or to use stains on a glaze temperature fired piece without glazes.  What do you think?  Do you want that hat to have black, the pants either brown or blue, the vest red, the tie...mmm, yellow maybe...shirt white?  Then I'll have to figure out a skin tone too...

Suggestions welcome. 

To see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.
William Blake

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mad Hatter and Dormouse

I've been working on a teapot today.  The Dormouse is on it.  That was the last touch, putting a little mouse on the lid.  I hope that he makes it...though there are a couple of weak places.  I may add a little support there, somehow or another. 

And he has no clothes on at this point either.  Just his tail, tucked under his front leg while he has the other front leg holding his head he's lying on his side.  He's rather fat, so is just a big blob with a pointed head and ears.  Will do the eyes tomorrow, cause I want one of them to look closed, as if he's having trouble staying awake.

This teapot is for the "Tea Party" at BMCA for our Christmas show.  I've already made a Mad Hatter.  He's not a teapot.  He's just a rather large and silly figure.  He needed a dormouse too, however.

Wholeheartedness is a precious gift, but no one can actually give it to you. You have to find the path that has heart and then walk it impeccably....It's like someone laughing in your ear, challenging you to figure out what to do when you don't know what to do. It humbles you. It opens your heart.

Pema Chödrön
The Wisdom of No Escape


Monday, October 22, 2012

Joyful abundance

It is so nice to plan an evening with friends, sharing the bounties of our lives.

My kitchen is offering the baked garlic chicken breasts.  The aroma is taking over the neighborhood, because windows are wide open.  Air outside is sun sweetened, but a brisk wind is cool against my neck as I sit here typing by one window.

Others will bring salad, rice, vegie and desert.

I've already set the table...which is situated in the middle of the living room now.  I pull it out when more folks need to sit around it.  We may be a bit cozy eating.  Need to watch out for elbows!

What is wonderous to me is that most everything in the picture is either a gift or I made it.  The table and chairs were given to me by a generous friend when I first moved to NC.  The table itself has a new set of place mats and napkins which were a birthday gift from my youngest son and his girlfriend.  The pottery of course was all made by yours truly.

The silverware was wedding presents from back when I was first the dark ages of the 60s.  I'm glad I use it daily now, but I still don't polish it.  There are two serving spoons that belonged to my father's father's mother, who died when he was 2 or 3.  Betsie Rogers at least had monogrammed silver.  Mine isn't.  I think I prefer just letting it belong to whoever uses mine.  I enjoy the feel of sterling in my hand and mouth.  (Much like the sensuous feelings from smooth pottery).

I did purchase the bookcase, used, from a friend who was lightening up his furnishings so he could hike a trail for about a month or so.  He got sick after a short while and returned home, but hasn't ever asked back for his bookcases.  The pottery is really happy on them (the other one is out in the studio.)

I was thinking as I set the table, that everyone who gave us this silverware is no longer alive now.  So we have lots of ghosts who are going to be in my mind and maybe even present for the dinner.

I do know I'm having a  good time tonight!  Wish you could be here too!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Craft Fair

Did I mention I worked Thrs. morning at the Southen Highlands Craft Fair?  I volunteered as a ticket taker.  It was fun, and not that hard.  Didn't see anyone I knew.  Guess my friends don't go to the first 2 hours of a craft fair.  Mmm, wonder what that says about them...

Next Sat is the last Tailgate Market.  This Sat. was beautiful.

Just as I parked, another friend from the pottery studio parked (Tailgate, Black Mountain)

I had actually been entranced by the golden trees in the sunlight.

More golden leaves in the sunlight!

After the Tailgate I went to the Craft Fair again, this time to look especially at all the pottery and clay sculptures.  I think I not only visited each booth, I tried to meet each potter.  And I enjoyed very much those who had time and patience to speak with me about their works.

It truly was like visiting a museum, though crafts don't get shown in most museums.  I really learned a lot from my interactions with the artists, er, craftspeople!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Yesterday I showed you the angels to hang on your tree.  Now here come the snowflakes.
I have lots of time to either
a. not have to make any more holiday goodies
b. make many more until I have a huge inventory.
c. maybe just make a few more when people let me know what they like.

These are white clay, with glaze on one side.  I will paint the opposite sides with gold paint, much like I did the bottom of my angels skirts.  It isn't quite as sturdy as glaze, but will last fine for ornaments, which will be treated like glass ornaments are, as delicate.

My one thing I learned was that snowflakes actually are harder to make than angels.  And I had more that broke in the construction process.  But would you pay more for one?  Nah, everyone thinks the angels are more valuable, because they are 3D, for one thing!

Friday, October 19, 2012


The Black Mountain clay studio has been chosen by angels to manifest ...sculptures of all sizes, mainly small.  Lovely little creatures, not any particular gender, but definitely exhibiting the quality of "cuteness".

I confess I started this bevy of angel-making.  So Molly and Sarah's are improvements on an idea.  And maybe Pat has made some too, though I didn't see her do it.

I stay pretty simple with mine, and pretty small.  I want them to be able to hang on a tree in a few months.

Last year I had to tie ribbons around their little necks, so this year their halos are kind of hair or hat kinds of head-gear.  Whatever you think.  How about little angel headresses?  And each has a different tilt, stamped design, and shape of wings.  No two of these little ones alike!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tea bowls or cups?

When is it a tea bowl?
When is it a cup?

I have no training in making tea of course I defer to masters with many years of that heritage...which I believe is sacred to certain potters.

So without any mistique, I've thrown some slightly imperfect, losely decorated white clay cups.  The decoration was just cobalt carbonate stain, painted onto the leather hard greenware.

And one of the goals was to make indents in the sides where fingers/thumbs could get a better grasp on the cup.

I made 10 of these, which will be mix or match at pretty reasonable prices.

And then there was the second tea jar with cork lid.

The orange glaze (over white clay) is imperfections in the bottom of a tub of glaze.  It's gone now, so you might say this is one of a kind.  (You also might say each of my works is!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oct pots

Dahlias in a snowflake crystal glazed vase...what beauty!  The flowers of course.  I am glad that John Britt shared how to make the crystaline glazes in Ceramics Monthly a while back.  It was hard to get results at first.

The last of the fall pendants
The pendants on cords sell pretty well at the TailGate markets.  But I don't worry about the ones that don't sell.  They are easy enough to store.

Very small test pitchers.  The one on the right had the best pour spout when I tested it.  But all would pour very well, if you just didn't fill it right to the rim.

There would be dribbles however with slow starts and stops of learning correct pouring skills is also important!

These are tried and true glaze combinations on speckled brownstone clay.

Tomorrow I'll have some tea bowls,which could be perhaps just drinking cups...all in white and blue.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fun and sales

 This was perhaps the funniest part of the Olympics opening ceremonies...well, when she jumped from the helicopter might have been the best part.

Goddess of the wind, with a candle under her roots, a tree goddess of course.
Some dear friends bought this.

I was happy to sell this bowl, which looked really good with glaze.  Here it was just after being thrown.

Here it was with it's sister when glazed, waiting to be fired a final time.

It's the green one on the right which was sold.  The amber glossy brown is still waiting to go to a new home.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spruce-Pine Potters Market

Oh my, what a glorious potters' dream, seeing a room full of the best in the region.  And I know that doesn't include the central North Carolina area either.

But I did just swim through an hour or maybe a bit more enjoying seeing wonderful work.  And I succumbed to purchasing a few pieces.  Being just an aspiring potter meant I couldn't afford much.  But I did have a few favorite artists which I'd been waiting a long time to have a sample of their work in my home.  I won't tell you who, because if you weren't one today, be sure I'll be back next year!

Yesterday rather than going to the potter's market, I went around our local Lake Tomahawk.  There were two changes that I noticed.

There was no fountain going up at the far end of the lake.  I wonder why.

Two kinds of ducks and a goose eating side by side.

Close by was a gorgeous maple with fall leaves aflame.
A pair of Mallards were eating together.

And the second surprise was seeing the little island is practically nude.  I'd never been able to see the ground on it.  It was not covered in bushes, so someone must have cleared it off.

I have more pictures to share soon.  It's the season to click those shutters.