Monday, December 28, 2009

Where's the clay??

So, I ran out of clay and said to myself, 'self lets go pick up some clay this afternoon!'

Yeah--that didn't go so well. Clay supplier is closed until I believe AFTER NEW YEARS!! I have some I can reclaim, but it won't be dry enough to use until then anyways. Bah!

Oh well.

Hope everyone out there had a great Christmas! Our little family had a wonderful time!! Genevieve loved all of the attention from both sides of the family and we all scored some great stuff!

Hopefully I can have some new pictures of pots soon--I've got to get to spraying all of my tall pieces that came out of the bisque last week, but it's got to be Thursday before I'm home during daylight hours. All for now!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone out there in blog land a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hey! I'll send ya stuff!

I just started a mailing list, and I may just send you something at some point--maybe--if you sign up! The link is at the right over that way------------->

Or, here's a link too :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Selling my soul.

I finally made facebook page for my pottery. I had tried my best to stay away from facebook--I barely have enough time for pots, much less facebook. But, I feel it's a necessary evil, so I took the plunge. Won't you become my fan?? ;)

Come see me here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Etsy shop now open!

I'm opening my new Etsy shop tonight, and I'll be listing a bunch of stuff over the next several days. I changed the shop name and it will help me get away from all of my old work that doesn't accurately represent where I am now, or where I'm going. Looking at some of my old sold items makes me cringe a little bit. Oh, well.

Check it out here

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Pitcher among other things.

So the show this past weekend went better than expected, but it was largely due to the fact that our very good family friend Charlie stopped by and bought pretty much all of his Christmas presents from me. Other than that though, I only sold a couple of things and got one custom order. I did get approached by a gallery on Folly Beach that I will be following up with after the holidays. But overall, I won't be doing that show again next year. Not the right market.

I've been working on lots of new forms lately, and I'm liking
where they are going. I really want to get more serious about making work--really good work--and selling more as well. I'm pretty happy with much of my new work and I think that with the response from the show, particularly the glazes, it should sell well. I want to get to the point that I can have a portfolio and approach galleries with a complete body of work. Now I'm wishing I would have taken a few more formal pictures of some of the things that sold at the show.

I'm really liking the pitcher at the top of the page and can't wait to get back at making some more. I do wonder about washing. It has a very narrow neck that makes it impossible to get your hand in there. Is this something that I should worry about? Should form be more important that function in this piece? I figure you can put it in the bottom rack of the dishwasher and it'll get all cleaned in there. What do you think?

In other news, Genevieve is feeling much better now and is back to her normal happy self. Just to give you an example, here's a pic of the little one chewing on one of her favorite snacks. Look at those little monkey feet!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sick Day

Well, it's not a sick day for me, but Genevieve has another ear infection, so I get to spend the day with my little girl. She has been surprisingly good today for being so sick. She has done a whole lot of sleeping which actually has let me get some much needed housework done, and I even got all of my new pots from the last three firings priced and labeled. It seems odd not doing it the night before the show. Now if I could just get them all packed up...

Genevieve's ear infections haven't come quite frequently enough to require tubes in her ears, but if she continues to get them more regularly, it may be an option. Hopefully we won't have to worry about it.

The show this weekend will probably be pretty small--just a church show, but I figure it gave me a good reason to make some more work, and I only have to sell two mugs to make back the booth fee. Hopefully I can do that at least :)

That's all for now.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Hope everyone out there has a great Thanksgiving! I'm excited--I've got two big meals to attend, and I plan to take full advantage of both! Mmmmmmm....Turkey

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Possible name change and logo

In an effort to seem at least somewhat professional, I think I'm going to change my 'business' name. Truth is, I don't have a business 'cause I don't sell many pots. Definately don't offset costs of materials and equipment, so I don't see the point. Anyway, I think I'm going to become Ben Stark Pottery instead of Stark's Pots. My websites will all stay the same, but in my head, I'll change :)

Here is a potential new logo. The logo is the left portion and the fu
ll image is what will appear on my blog and other sites. (Like my Etsy site that I have neglected for months--I swear I'll get back to it eventually :)

I haven't decided for sure on the solid color for the left portion. I kinda like this one though.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some finished pots

Here are some pics of finished pots from the last two firings.

This is one that I salvaged--had to grind it forevah!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight for Preemies Day

This month is prematurity awareness month and today is fight for preemies day. In support of that and the March of Dimes, I'm going to tell a little bit of Genevieve's story and hopefully raise awareness for the cause.

Genevieve was born on April 5 this year--five and 1/2 weeks early. Lindsay and I were extremely fortunate that she was surprisingly healthy and did very well. She did spend her first nine days in the hospital under observation although she never required the use of breathing aides or other serious medical help. She did have several apnea episodes where she stopped breathing for more than twenty seconds, and a couple of bradycardia in which her heart rate slowed too much. After leaving the hospital, we got to take her home with a portable monitor that we kept for a month to ensure that her vitals remained in order. Fortunately, she only set off the monitor a couple of times, and continues to develop normally. She was always able to get herself back to normal during all of her 'episodes,' but the experience was not a pleasant one, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Genevieve's was a very minor case compared to many preemies out there and my heart goes out to all families affected by premature birth.

The March of Dimes supports research in preventing and treating premature birth. If this is a cause that you feel compelled to support, please head over here.

Lindsay is posting a link to give in Genevieve's name on her blog tonight and it can be found here.

Thank you all for reading and your support!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Run Glazes!! Run!!

Ok, so my kiln load that I pictured in the last post came out wonderfully! No lost pots, nothing out of the ordinary. This could be largely due to the fact that I had easy stuff in it--cups, mugs, bowls. The second load was all of the harder stuff to glaze--large vases, big bowls, a casserole and a platter. Oh yeah and six cream and sugar sets.


This load was not so much of a success. I sprayed my new blue glaze for the first time. My other glazes all like to be sprayed on good and thick to get the affect that I like. So what did I do? I sprayed it on good and thick. Apparently, this was a bit of a mistake. I am so fortunate that I put the pots that had glaze runs on the very few shelves that I actually have kiln wash on.

See--a while back, I said to my self, 'Self, your glazes don't run. Why are you screwing around with kiln was all of the damn time?' So I quit washing my shelves and haven't looked back. A couple still had a decent amount of wash on them and fortunately those were the ones that got the crazy ass glaze runs. I say that I had about a 75% failure rate in this firing. The worst load I've ever had since I started making pots. With some serious grinding I may be able to salvage a couple of the pots, but there are a bunch that are done. I have two of the six cream and sugar sets are saleable. And three of the vases. Everything else will be unsaleable for one reason or the other.


Without further ado, here are some of the results of this wonderful firing.

This vase is gorgeous! Except for the crazy glaze drips. I'm going to grind the bottom and get it looking good again. It may not be saleable, but it is going to look good on my shelf :) Silver lining.
This one left a bit of itself with the shelf. I didn't even touch it. Just came right off like this. Bah!

Son of a bitch!

I remember thinking after my last batch of lidded pots, 'why don't you start wadding your lids like you did for soda firing so that they release ever so nicely?' But did I remember this wonderful advice to myself--Hell no!

Sorry about the blurry picture, but I'm too disgusted about this one to go back and get a better one. This shows the drips on my casserole that I would be able to grind, but the damn thing has a small crack in the bottom as well. Damn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

7 cu. ft.

Here is what 7 cu. ft. of kiln space looks like. I could have maybe fit in a few shot glasses, but for the most part, the kiln is packed to the brim. And, I've got at least one more kiln full of larger stuff waiting to be glazed. I'll get to that this weekend when I can spray outside during daylight hours. Good stuff!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Best Bonus Mother in Law EVER!!

I am now the lucky temporary owner of a SLAB ROLLER--like--a REAL one! How awesome is that? My 'bonus' mother-in-law as Lindsay calls her is allowing me to use her slab roller until she has enough time to get back into clay. I have been really wanting to get into some handbuilding, and now I have no good excuse not to. Thanks Jeannette!! You're awesome!

Here is a couple of pics of the new mug form I'm working on. I'm still not 100% satisfied on the handles, or the bottom finishing, but it's coming along. I'm trying to throw them quickly and a little bit more loosely. I don't know--I've always been a 'tight' potter, but I'm liking where this is taking me.

It is a ton faster to make than my other forms, so I should be able to turn them out a good bit quicker. Tell me what you think--I know the pictures are a bit crappy, but just imagine they are great :)

I had a video of my new bowls that I'm pretty proud of, but blogger is being difficult. How does it take so long to upload 30 sec. of video?? And the damn thing keeps timing out! Bah!

Anyway, have a great second half to the week!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

I've got pots!

Anything not bone dry was thrown today.

I had a fantastic day today!! I started throwing at 6:30 this morning after I got Lindsay and Genevieve off to their schools, and threw pots until 2:45 only stopping for lunch.

Speaking of lunch--I got one of my favorite meals--Kyoto Express Hibachi Chicken (minus veggies). Awesome!

The pots in the first picture are all the ones that made the cut to continue drying. I started working on a new mug form (the ones on the bottom shelf). I wanted something more simple than my current mugs. I'm going to keep making both, but I think that the new one will be more appealing to a broader customer base. It's anything but original, but I hope that I can make it my own over time. No new forms, right? Hopefully tomorrow stuff will be ready to be trimmed and handled.

All for now! Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Whole Day!

Genevieve now knows how to read. Does your 6-month-old know how to read? ;)

I actually took a day off from work tomorrow to work the entire time in the studio!!! I can't tell you how excited I am! I also bought a bag of pottery plaster and some fresh clay so I'm ready to get going. I've never made a mold before, but I've seen it done once, so that should be enough, right?? I'm making a mold of a wooden serving tray to use as a slump mold. I can't remember if I'm supposed to coat the tray with anything to help it release from the plaster. I'm thinking I should. I'll go look it up in a min, but if y'all out there have any tricks, all help is welcome :) I've got so many ideas, I can't even decide what to make tomorrow. I've got like 200 lbs of clay that I want to get through.

I haven't been able to get into the studio in a little while because my father/boss took last week and the weekends on both sides to go on a much deserved cruise. That meant that I got to stay at work until 5 every day increasing my commute time by about 20-30 min on top of leaving an hour later. So, I was pretty beat in the evenings and didn't get out to work. Not to mention, Genevieve still thinks that sleeping through the night is just entirely not necessary. I know it's probably our fault for not doing something different before, but now we're really having a hard time getting her to sleep for more that about 4-5 hours without waking up to be fed. She wakes up between 11:30 to 2:30 and gets fed, then many nights she wakes up again at 3:30 to 4:00. We usually fight her to go back to sleep for about an hour, then end up feeding her so we can get back to sleep for what little bit is left. (We get up to get ready for work at 5) We would love to break her of this wonderful habit, but have been unsuccessful thus far. But, she totally makes up for it by being a totally wonderful and happy baby in all other aspects. She can now sit up for some time by herself before rolling around and making us catch her, and tonight she rolled from tummy to back for the first time! And, I was there to see it this time!! Being a parent really is the most fulfilling thing in the world!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rolling over

Just wanted to put up a quick little post to let everyone know that Genevieve rolled over for the first time yesterday. Unfortunately, I was out of town at the time, but she was kind enough to oblige today--twice! Anyway, it was pretty exciting, well, for me and Lindsay anyways :) My little girl is already growing up!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kiln unloaded

I unloaded the kiln as soon as I got home today--well, I had to say hi to Genevieve and Lindsay first, but right after that, I went out to get her unloaded. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Just before I stopped making new work, I made a big batch of a new glaze (I know, blue is like sacrilege or something) and I had only tried it out on a couple of pieces that didn't tell me a whole lot.

I put it with the rest of my glazes to see how they interacted together, and it worked pretty well with all of them, but really well with one (the first pic).

I also tried using melted glass for the first time and liked the results from that as well. I just used brown glass from a beer bottle, but I'd really like to try some better colors. It gives nice variation, and I've always loved some good crazing. Now that I'm getting back into a groove, I'm going to start throwing some more volume and more regular pieces like mugs, cereal bowls and such. I want to start experimenting with some slab built plates, platters and such. I've never made much off of the wheel, but I really hate throwing plates and would like to be able to have something as far as plates go. I want to get some pottery plaster and try some press molds as well. So much to do, and so very little time. The more I make, the more new ideas come to my head. Now, if I could just find a clone to do my day job so that I could make pots all day. Maybe I should start playing the lottery and I could win and build a huge studio and build a half dozen different kilns, and i could get a PUGMILL! Wait, I could just pay someone to wedge clay for me if I won the lottery--yeah--that's better.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quick update

I've got the kiln cookin' again for the second day in a row. I fired a small bisque last night and glazed the pots this evening and loaded 'em right back up and got the kiln going again. Normally I would wait to have a full kiln to fire, but my wonderful sister (who reads this blog ;) reminded me last week, or maybe the week before, that I had promised to donate a few pieces to her church's silent auction. Needless to say--I forgot. Like a looong time ago.

So I got to work making easy stuff--bowls, vases, bottles. Then I pushed them through super fast. I only had one piece not dry enough to load in the bisque, and I probably could have gotten it through, but I was worried about the lugs cracking off. I've got my first raw glazed piece in the kiln tonight--he got missed in the bisque load, so I figured I'd give it a go. If it works, I think that I'll do much more of it--at least for my smaller pots.

Genevieve is doing much, much better. She is back to her happy self now and remains the sweetest baby on the planet. We all had a great weekend watching football with friends (Gamecocks now 5-1!!!), and Sunday, we went to Magnolia Gardens and had a fantastic time. Genevieve LOVED riding in her stroller and taking it all in. She has to be the most observant baby in the world--a sure sign of high intelligence I am told ;)

Well, that's all for now. Tomorrow I should have some pictures of finished pots to put up. Fingers crossed that my glazes didn't magically change after sitting up for six months. Hmmm, I probably should have sieved those instead of just mixing them up with the drill...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Feeling good!

I got my first chance tonight to really get back to throwing--well, I threw about 15 lbs or so. It was all that I had time to get to, but that's ok, it felt great! I'm used to having trouble after taking a break, but tonight, it all came back easily. I've got two bowls, a pitcher, a bottle and a vase to finish up later. I had already put the plastic on before I remembered to get a picture, so their appearance is a secret for now. Now, I just hope that I get to get back to them before they dry out.

In other news, Genevieve has ANOTHER ear infection--and a cold--and thrush from the last ear infection--and she's teething. All at the same time! The doctor put her on a different antibiotic that I hope works a little better this time. I don't think that her last ear infection totally healed.

Lindsay and I aren't getting a whole lot of sleep (not that we got a whole lot before anyway). Lindsay has missed two days of work this week, and I may have to take off tomorrow to take care of her if her cough and fever haven't gone away by tomorrow morning. She still tries so hard to be sweet, but she just can't keep herself happy all the time. We don't want to be the parents that send their sick kid to daycare to get all the other babies sick, so we really want to wait until she feels better before going back.

Well, that's all for now. With some luck, I'll have some pictures of finished pots tomorrow (or in the next couple days anyway).

Friday, October 2, 2009

Here are a few pics of the remodeled studio. I'm not quite done yet--I still need to make my new wedging table and clean up some more, but it's getting closer to what I want. I added a bunch more shelving, got a bunch of crap out of the way, and, I hope I made it a little bit easier to work in. I do wish that I would have painted first, but it just wasn't in the cards.

Here is the only pic I could find of the old setup. Not much changed as far as basic equipment layout, but my small space doesn't leave a whole lot of options. Especially since they thought it would be nice to only put ONE outlet in my garage. I have a heavy duty extension cord running to a ten outlet power strip on the other side of the garage. Hooking up more outlets--a job for another day!

Now to find the time to throw some pots! I did add some water to a couple of bags of clay that had become a bit hard. That way, I will be ready to go as soon as the moment arrives!

This weekend my long time friend Trevor is coming into town to pick up a bass boat that my dad and I are giving him. It is really in pretty good shape except for the fact that it has been sitting up for ten years! Dad and I decided that we didn't have the time (and I had no money) to fix it up which made me slightly sad because it was to be my boat, but it just wasn't in the cards either. Hopefully Trevor will have better luck--he will also have more time to use it as well.

We've got a fun day planned tomorrow--a cookout at Charlestowne Landing for my mom's birthday. And Sunday we are going out in my mom's boat to do one last day of skiing for the summer. Hope it's not too cold ;)

Maybe there will be enough time at some point this weekend to squeeze in a few pots :) Have a great weekend everybody!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting back to it

I'm finally feeling like I have enough time in the evenings to get back to work in the studio. I am totally remodeling/rearranging the studio to work better for me. It's funny how one project requires another. In order to start working in the studio, Lindsay and I had to reorganize the storage shed to accommodate a lot of my tools and general crap that had accumulated in the studio. That was a half days job in itself.

I got a new (to me) work table that is built like a million times better than the one that I made for myself. The only disadvantage to it is that it has a shelf under it that prohibits some of my storage of large tools. But anyway, the remodel is coming along nicely. I'll be making my first of many trips to Lowes tomorrow night to get shelf brackets and peg board hangers among other things I'm sure. Did I mention they just built a new Lowes pretty much in my neighborhood?? Not good!

I'll try to get some pictures up of the studio in progress--now I'm wishing I had taken some before pictures because it had gotten pretty bad. When not in use, it served as a dump area for pretty much everything we couldn't find a place for. Lindsay and I had really wanted to totally paint the studio from floor to ceiling, but it is a massive job, and I wanted to start getting back to work. I have only had a few hours in the mud since Genevieve was born--and she will be SIX months old a week from today!!! That's the longest dry spell since I started in clay my senior year of high school.

Speaking of Genevieve, she is doing awesome!! Fatherhood truly is the most amazing experience of my life, and I'm loving every minute of it! Well, not EVERY minute of it--not getting a lot of sleep is not the best. She had her first ear infection and it threw her sleep cycle all out of whack, but she's getting back to it now. She is learning new things every day and is like 90% there rolling over from back to tummy. She just learned yesterday how to blow a raspberry. I never thought I would be so excited about a baby spitting everywhere, but man is it awesome!

Well, I could sit here and ramble on for days. It's like my lack of blogging has made me want to type a novel or something. I hope that happens when I get back into throwing as well. I've got so many ideas beating around in my head now that I don't really know where to start. I'll get back here soon and hopefully get back into the grove of blogging more regularly again. Heck, I may even try to reopen my Etsy shop soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tea Time

Ok, so I've never been one much for coffee. I love some caffeine and my drink of choice is usually Pepsi (with or without bourbon ;), but I can't bring myself to drink soft drinks before six a.m. Since my favorite form is the teapot, I decided that I'd like to start drinking hot tea in the mornings. I particularly like the idea of making tea in my own pots. Problem is, I have no idea what I'm doing! I wanted to make loose leaf tea, but don't know where to get it so I got a box of assorted teas. I made some Earl Grey because it was the only one that I'd really heard of. Question is, I grew up on sweet iced tea, so I put some sugar in it and I'm pretty sure I ruined it. (what do you put in hot tea anyways?) I think I need some beginner tea to start on, but I'm not sure where to start. Anyway, if there are any tea drinkers out there, I'd love some input. I'm going on a google hunt, but I'd much prefer input from friends and potters :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some Mud Time

So, I finally got to get a little muddy on Sunday afternoon. Lindsay took Genevieve shopping and I attempted to work a little in the studio. I made ten balls of clay and got to work--I managed four cups before I got too hot to be comfortable out there. It was in the mid 90s and I was out there in the hottest part of the day. I had two fans on and it was no good--I think I've been spoiled by air conditioning. While I was already nice and toasty, I made the brilliant decision to go out and trim the hedges to get nice and super sweaty. I could only take about 20 minutes out there too.

Anyways--Sunday evening I went out to trim and found the cups already leather hard--even a little past leather hard. This was seriously only a few hours and the pots were drying ridiculously fast. I went to trimming and found three of the four had super thin bottoms and just gave up. So--I have discovered two things--that I am super rusty and it's freakin hot outside!

Genevieve had her two month checkup today and she is now in the 50th percentile for weight and height--11 lbs 10 oz. and 22-3/4" long! Ok, next time I will try to get some pictures of new pots, but for now--one more of Genevieve.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WOW! How long since I touched Clay?!

Can you get any cuter than this?? Just look a those arms!

Ha!! If you don't know this blog is about pottery, that title is freakin' hilarious!

I'm sad to say that this is really the first chance that I've had to sit down and get back to my blog. Still nothing to report on the pottery front. I did manage to pick up some clay last Saturday, but it's still in the boxes. Maybe this weekend, I'll get a chance to actually get a little muddy!

I feel almost like I'm pushing my luck sitting down and giving a little report. The past week or so, Genevieve has been super colicky (sp??) at bed time. Last night she was up from 8-12:30 and it seemed nothing worked more than a couple of minutes. Needless to say, Lindsay and I were a bit tired today. Lindsay still didn't really get any sleep after I fell asleep because Genevieve kept fussing about every 15 minutes or so. I can sleep through anything, so I didn't get the pleasure of experiencing that.

I have been wondering lately how parents ever have a second child--I mean seriously--we did this to ourselves?! I knew that sleep would be hard to come by, but seriously! I do truly love her, and couldn't image not having her--just don't ask me about another one after hours of trying to get her to lay down and get to sleep. Because Lindsay and I are not rolling in the dough, it will be a while before baby number two comes along--one in childcare at a time, don't cha know?

Anyway--I've also noticed that moms want babies to stay babies forever and dad's can't wait until they grow up some. I keep thinking, just wait--she will be able to hold her head up soon! And, one day, she will be able to actually tell me what is wrong with her--and sit on the can to do her business! But, then she will just be running around getting into everything.

I am really excited about all of this though--don't think I'm not enjoying being a new parent! Holding her on my shoulder and her rocking her head over to give me a kiss (Lindsay and I are convinced that this is on purpose!) is my new favorite thing in the world. Plus--it's funny as hell hearing her burp and fart like a man! Hehe.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ramblings of a tired new father

Well, our just over one year old computer decided to no longer have a working wireless card, so I'm on my old computer from college. How is this thing still working and our fancy smancy new computer on the fritz? What sucks is that I can't post any pictures (sorry Cameron) because it doesn't have a card reader built in and I don't really feel like looking for the cord to my camera.

Anyways, Genevieve is doing wonderfully!! She is eating extremely well and gaining weight at a rapid pace. Lindsay is the best mother in the world and can't seem to be away from her for more than a few minutes. She also is kind enough to let me sleep through the majority of the night feedings (awesome!). It helps a lot that I lack milk producing boobies, hehe, he said boobies! I told you I was tired.

I seem to have reached a dilemma about my work in clay. We are now super busy at work which is great, but it means that I am very tired when I get home. I'm also tired from the aforementioned lack of sleep. It's also getting flippin hot outside and my studio lacks air conditioning. All of these things make me not want to go out and get to work.
Not to mention that I like to spend some time in the evenings with Genevieve and Lindsay. Excuses seem to abound. I'm sure I'll get the itch before too long, but I already haven't touched clay in almost a month.

I've also temporarily closed my Etsy shop because I packaged all of my work for a show back a couple of weeks ago and have yet to unpack anything. Actually, I was so tired when I got home, I just unloaded the car straight into the studio. (Another reason I haven't gotten out there lately) I'm thinking of taking a bunch of the work up to Southern Pottery and letting someone else sell it for me. I had planned on making a bunch of work and doing a few more shows this season, but I don't see that happening right now. It also doesn't help that the only show I've done this year was a bust. Right about half of last year when I was totally unprepared. I think that part of the problem was that it was the day before Easter. It looked like there was maybe half the attendance of last year. I did get lots of compliments on my new work which was encouraging, but compliments don't pay the bills.

I did meet a local potter there that has a wood kiln out on Edisto, and I told her that if she needed help with the firing and filling of it I would be glad to assist. Don't know if I'll hear anything back, but it would be cool.

Maybe I should start setting goals for what I want to accomplish--I'm going to clean up/out my studio some time this weekend. That's enough. I'll be doing good to do that. And who knows, maybe it will inspire me to get out there and make some work.

Alright, that's enough nonsense for tonight. I promise to get some new pictures of Genevieve up at some point this weekend, and one day my blog will have ceramic work on it again--wouldn't that be a novel idea.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Baby Pictures

Right after giving birth--Epidurals are wonderful!! Just ask Lindsay!

She just loves to sleep with her mouth open.

The whole family--minus our first born, Layla (our wonderful dog)

Thanks for all of the well-wishes everyone!! I still don't have time yet to give a full report--Genevieve is still in the hospital until at least Tuesday, but she is eating well and doing wonderfully. They just have to keep her under observation for a week without any 'episodes.' (read breathing problems) I did want to put up a few pictures. More to come soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Baby Genevieve is here!

Baby Genevieve decided to come quite early, but she is absolutely beautiful! She was delivered at 5:27 a.m. on Sunday morning and weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz. She was 19 in. long and just perfect! Since she was so early--almost 6 weeks--she has to stay in the hospital for about another week, but I know it will fly by! She is eating well and seems really happy, but she had one episode of apnea the first night, and a couple of episodes of low oxygenation, so they have to keep her hooked up to some monitors to check her breathing and other vitals. She is now off of IV fluids and she should be eating at normal term baby levels by day five. Lindsay and I are holding and feeding her, and the hospital gave us a courtesy room so that we can be there as much as we like. I'll post a more detailed account of the exciting delivery and some pictures and videos as soon as I get time. I'm supposed to have a show this Saturday, but I haven't started preparing for it yet, so I may have to miss it. We'll see.

Another post soon to come!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Well, I've been slack--sort of. I haven't worked in clay in almost three weeks, I haven't commented on blogs (sorry about that--I miss commenting :( ). I got a terrible flu a few weeks back and after I got to feeling better the weather got nice so I started working in the yard in the evenings. I also started riding my bike again--found out that being in terrible shape and lots of pollen in the air are a bad combination for riding. My next door neighbor started doing triathlons last summer and I want to help him train, but so far I've just been slowing him down. My goal is to be able to keep up a good pace for about 13-15 miles without slowing down...too much :). I got about 7 or so tonight, so hopefully it won't be long. I should run with him as well, but I just don't like running--maybe once I get in better shape I'll give it a go.

Lindsay and I have also been getting the nursery ready for Genevieve--we still have the window tint and curtains to hang and then we'll be done--I think. Oh yeah, did I tell y'all the official name--Genevieve Olivia Stark. Lindsay has another shower this weekend that my sisters are putting on for her, so hopefully we'll get some more of the things that we need. Just 7 weeks left!! Flippin awesome!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fresh from the kiln

I unloaded the kiln this afternoon and it had some really, really great results! This is still my favorite of the big jars, and I'm glad that the glaze came out well. Last time I sprayed, I didn't spray thick enough--this time was a little better. I still would like to go just a bit thicker for more of the lighter red/orange.

Check out these wonderful glaze crystals!

My big boy came out ok as well. I'm just not too happy with the form, and the glaze didn't come out as well--too thin too--I really wanted some of the green to drip down a little more and give a more uneven line. Like this jar below, but even more.

The little covered jars are nice too. I have several more waiting to be bisqued.

I also had some new tests in there and I'll be mixing up three of them--two blues and a white that blushes pink. I'll finally have some more feminine friendly colors in my palette.

Tomorrow I've got to work in the morning, but I do want to see if I can get some more buckets and mix up some glazes. Then back to making pots again!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Covered Jars

These are my new favorite things! I have always wanted to make a dropped lid (not sure if that's the correct term), but had never made the time to experiment. Trimming was always the part that befuddled me, but a while back fetishghost posted his technique on throwing and trimming lids and it made everything so clear! By the way, it worked really, really well!! I didn't throw the off the hump because I always screw stuff up when moving it. (I need one of those big flat saws like in the video--follow the link to fetishghost)

I made three this size--about 2 lbs of clay, three more out of about 1-1/4 lbs. of clay and two large ones with about 3-1/2 lbs. The first set is the only one that I've finished. I've still got to add handles and throw the lids for the others.

Well, I've run out of things to say! Till next time!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A decision made

I just finished reading Brandon's blog and I have come to an important decision--I'm going to build a wood kiln. I don't know when, where, or how I'm going to pay for it, but it will happen. I had always thought that when I got the chance to build a kiln, it would be a natural gas or propane fired soda kiln. After assisting Keith in firing his wood/soda kiln, I now have this craving for more. There is just something about firing with wood--I can't describe it--you get so involved in the entire process. From cutting the wood, wadding pots, loading, stoking, and all the rest--it's just so gratifying.

So, now what to do? I want to start stockpiling bricks--used bricks. I have just one problem: I have no idea where to find any. If anyone out there has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I don't mind going out a ways to pick them up. I know that used bricks are super hard to come by, and there is no way in the world I can afford to buy new bricks--have you seen the prices on those things lately??

I actually got half of my studio cleaned today--and I mean cleaned! I pulled stuff out and mopped under it and everything. I cleaned my wheel, all my tools, and even all of my bats! Now, I just have the other half to do! It started getting cold and I got hungry for dinner :) There's always tomorrow, right?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

With Handles

Since I have yet to do anything productive all week, I thought I would post a couple pics of the large pot with the handles I stuck on. I think that it adds a lot to the form, and I really like the actual handle. I particularly like the ridge in the middle.

It's kinda sad, but the biggest reason I haven't gotten anything done this week is because my studio is completely trashed and I'm too lazy to clean it. I have a ton of pictures taken and ready to list a bunch more stuff on Etsy, but there again, I don't feel like listing. One of those weeks I guess. So anyway, nothing much else going on--hopefully tomorrow I can clean up and throw a few pots!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Large Pot

I have been struggling to throw some larger pots--in sections. It took four tries before I had something that I felt ok about saving. I started trying three sections and found out that I should crawl before I walk. Being so incredibly impatient doesn't help much either. I have found that I need a larger torch! First, I tried to add the second section too early and had problems with it holding up. Then, I made the second section too heavy, and the bottom bulged out. The third try I continued to mess with the piece until I destroyed it when it was ok to start with. Finally, on the fourth piece, I got something that I felt I could save. I'm not totally happy with this piece--the overall form is pretty weak, and I can get a much more fluid piece when I throw it all at one time.

I think that I have gotten off to a decent start, and want to keep making large work. But, when I think about how many pieces I could have thrown screwing around with this big fella, it's hard to justify. Plus, I don't think big work will sell particularly well in the current economic climate. Anyway, I'll definitely revisit this--my goal is to throw a piece that fills my kiln!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Fancy Smancy Spray Setup

(extravagant, huh?)

A while back, I was asked about my spray setup, so I decided to take a couple of pics today after I sprayed five big bowls. It consists of a stool, turntable, HVLP spray gun and that's about it. I was in a real rush today because rain seemed to be coming, so I started with a dust mask on, but it blew into my eyes about half way through, so it went away. I was spraying with the wind (we are having like 25 mph. gusts), so I figured I was ok.

I really love this spray gun. It came from one of my favorite places, Harbor Freight Tools. It is the perfect size for my needs--5.3 oz. It was actually like twice as expensive as the 20 oz., but it was worth it. It has a built in regulator that allows me to keep the pressure way up on the compressor so it doesn't cycle on and off as much.

One day, I'll make a real spray booth, but for now, this actually works pretty well. I would love to be able to catch the excess glaze and make a super combo glaze, and I'm sure it's not good for the environment, but I have no room or money. Story of my life, eh? ;)