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!!