Thursday, March 11, 2010


So, I really am going to enter my first exhibition--I promise :) I've talked about it before, but I'm really fond of my new work and I'm finally going to take the plunge. And thanks to Judy for putting me on to the 2010 Teabowl National. I also wanted to say thanks for the comments and tips on my last post! I meant to say thanks a while ago, but didn't get around to it--so, thanks!

Anyway, here's the three I'm entering. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


mmmm....glaze drippy

I've finally got over 50 items in my shop! I still have a good many small bowls I can list, but it's nice to meet a small milestone. I've been told many times that things really begin to sell well once you crest 100 items, but that will still be a while. I don't have time to keep enough inventory to fill my Etsy shop and still have enough pots for galleries and any craft shows I may do. One day, one day.

Tonight, I started something new to me--butter trays. Not butter dishes, but trays. Just a flat decorative piece with a handle. I've got them all textured up and I'll add handles tomorrow night. How do you like that grammar, huh?? :) I hope they don't curl up on me. I haven't had a whole lot of luck with flat slab pieces. Too impatient I guess.

I keep telling myself that I need to mix up some fresh batches of a couple of my glazes, but every time I go out to the studio, I pick up clay instead. Will someone come over and make me mix glazes?!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Finished pitchers

I got the kiln unloaded Sunday night, but I also came down with a bad cold/stomach thing that has not been too pleasant. I hope I'm getting over it. Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of the finished products. The one I liked best of course has pinholes on the inside. I think it might have been from dust when I was cleaning up the spout before glazing. I might try to re-fire it.

The really big bowl turned out super nice. The glazes could not have turned out better. I hope it makes its way across the country safely. I packed the crap out of that thing, but I still worry because it was quite heavy and, well, you know. It totally wouldn't fit into my light tent--haha.

That egg looks kinda tiny for a 'grade A Large' huh? ;)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mmmmm...The other white meat!

Yesterday, I grilled a pork loin roast, and it was AWESOME! This was the first time that I successfully grilled something 'low and slow' (don't ask about the ribs I did a little while back) and I'm finally getting the hang of it. All that I used was a dry rub and seared it, then grilled it over indirect heat for about 2-1/2 hrs. Super juicy and it melted in the mouth! Leftovers for lunch today :)

I've also got a glaze load cooling, so I'll try to get some pictures up later of those pots. This load has the pitchers and the big bowl, so I'm anxious to take a peek and see how it all turned out.

Genevieve got a little car (thanks aunt Addie!) that converts into a walk assist thing when she gets a little closer to walking. She loves it!! Just like with her crawling, she only moves backwards, but we'll keep working on it. All for now, hopefully more later :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Handled pitcher

Here is a short video of one of the pitchers after they got handles tonight. I'm really starting to like these new[ish] pitchers--particularly where the nice flowing line meets the abrupt angle near the spout. I'm still not 100% sold on the handle placement. I may try moving it down a bit, but I don't know. I think it works pretty well where it is.

I noticed when I got to work and looked at my blog on the computers there that the pitchers all looked squatty compared to what they are really. I guess wide screen monitors have their drawbacks. I wonder what kind of affect that has on online and other digitally submitted work--such as images entered into exhibitions and shows. My 'elegant' pitcher form was totally ruined when viewed in a wide screen format, and I can imagine that all other work may look different on different monitors depending on the screen resolution and aspect ratio.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some pitchers

Here are a few pitchers that I managed to get thrown tonight. I wedged (I managed to get most of the air bubbles out) five balls of clay, but only four made it through. They are five pounds and about 13" tall. I'll handle them tomorrow. All for now :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow in Summerville?? And a pretty big bowl

We got snow! Like, real snow!! Not that nasty wet stuff that normally falls for a little while and never sticks--this was about 5-6" of fluffy white stuff that even stuck to the roads. I attempted a feeble small snowman, but didn't get very far. We had a blast playing outside yesterday morning, even though Genevieve didn't really know what to think about it. It was all a little too cold for her.

I also finally got my bowl thrown. It did take three bags of clay and several failed attempts before I finally realized that I needed to sit down and use some softer clay. Once I did that, it was a breeze. It wasn't as big as some of the earlier attempts, but it is pretty large nonetheless. I hate to admit it, but in the process of throwing the big bowls, I made the same mistake of accidentally stepping on the wheel and spinning the bowl into oblivion--again. Fool me twice, shame on me I guess.

I also finally made a big bat for trimming wider pieces, but I still need to cut it into a circle. Right now, it is more shaped like a stop sign because I need to borrow a jigsaw from my dad to finish it up. Trimming with it was fun as I tried to keep the edges from nailing my knees while it spun around.

It was nice to get out of my comfort zone throwing the bigger bowls. I had gotten a little too comfortable working in the under five pound range. Now the only problem is that I have those three bags of ruined pots left to re-wedge. I really hate wedging. I think part of the problem is that I am really no good at it. Why is it that I can't get the damn air bubbles out no matter how much I wedge. It is supposed to be the most basic part of being a potter, and I just plain suck at it. Maybe I should really change my kiln fund into a pugmill fund. Or, maybe I'm just lazy.

Monday, February 8, 2010


So, when you accidentally hit the pedal while throwing a two pound bowl and the wheel speeds up--no big deal. When you accidentally hit it with a twelve pound bowl that is a good 24" wide--not so much. I got a custom order last night for a bowl twice as big as the last that I had made for the customer and I was really excited! I am one of the few potters that can really enjoy a custom order--especially when it pushes me to do something that I hadn't tried. Well, I had tried to make bowls that big, but not so successfully (this bowl was essentially done). Anyway, no big deal really--I'll get back to it tomorrow.

I was planning on taking some pics of work in progress, but no go. I did get 8 mug bodies thrown first, but they aren't too interesting. Maybe tomorrow you can see a bowl that dwarfs my wheel :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No new work

I haven't got anything new to show from this week--been spending a lot of time working on the house to get it presentable for the big shindig this weekend! We had to reschedule the oyster roast for Sunday due to weather, and I know it's going to be a blast!! I did get to list a couple of pots to Etsy tonight--I've got lots of those yunomi/juice cups to list--and bowls. It seems all I have are cups and bowls lately. I need to work on some other forms. I'm really wanting to throw some jars soon, so maybe I'll get to that soon.

I'm finally to the point where I don't need to take my good pain meds any more. It's nice to be able to eat somewhat normally again. I'm hoping to be totally back to normal in the next few days.

I also started a savings account for a wood kiln I WILL someday build. I plan to take half of my pottery sales and put it there so that once we get a place where I can build the kiln, I'll have the funds to do it. I wish that there would be enough money in there to get a pugmil too, but I don't see it happening. Man, I'd love the pugmil though!! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No more toofs!

So I got my wisdom teeth out today and it wasn't terrible. Not something I would want to do on a regular basis, but all things considered it was tolerable. I don't remember falling asleep, but I woke up all kinds of screwy. I took a pic of my swollen face right after surgery with my phone, but I can't upload it here. I did get sick a little earlier tonight, but I'm feeling ok now. Really, the nausea is far worse than the pain.

Anyway, I've got a couple of days to recover and I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing. I did manage to get the kiln unloaded tonight (bending over the kiln is not a good idea by the way, but I'm just so impatient) and mostly everything turned out very well--just one bowl with some bloating. My custom bowl order came out really well, so that's exciting. I'm hoping that tomorrow I will be feeling better enough that I can get a few pots photographed and uploaded to Etsy.

And lastly, I had my trimming box featured over at the granddaddy of all pottery blogs--Emily Murphy's wonderfully informative blog. Thanks so much Emily!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lazy Saturday

Just a lazy and rainy Saturday I guess.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pots in use

Well, really just pot in use, but that doesn't sound right.

Today is Lindsay's 25th birthday (Happy Birthday Sweetie!) and I got her these wonderful flowers and put them in one of my new vases. The kitchen is a bad place for taking pictures and I'm no flower arranger, but I think it looks nice. I'm pretty sure I had more to say tonight, but I'm exhausted and can't remember now. Oh yeah! I put up shelving at work today in my office to have somewhat of a gallery there. I should have packed up a bunch of pots tonight to bring down there, but that didn't happen. Neither did cleaning the kitchen, or laundry, or listing pots on Etsy, or pressure washing the house in preparation for Lindsay's party.

Oh, and one more thing--I keep forgetting that I have an appointment on the 20th to get all of my wisdom teeth out. I've got two that aren't too bad, but the other two are growing into the teeth in front of them. And they are moving really close to some nerve that apparently controls the feeling of my bottom jaw. Lets hope the doctor doesn't clip that little guy.

Anyway, all for now.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A couple o new pots

I'm really digging these new altered forms with the small trimmed foot. It seems to work equally well for both cups and bowls and they are super fun to make--I get to use all of my fun tools, and lots of trimming (see full trimming box below after a dozen little cups--have I mentioned that I like trimming?). I guess you could call the little cups yunomis, but I like to think of them in terms of bourbon over tea, but imagine whatever use you decide ;) I'm actually looking forward to keeping a couple of these little guys for myself. I tend to just keep the crappy leftovers for myself--the ones that aren't bad enough to smash, but not good enough to sell. My cabinet is a hodge podge of really good pots from other potters and really bad pots from myself. I need to remedy that.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why I love trimming

I know a lot of potters hate trimming and I just have to say--trimming is awesome! I really think I like trimming almost as much as I like throwing--or turning--I think I want to start calling it turning now, but that's another story. Just look at the difference between these pots--and that one isn't even one of the better ones I've done recently! I know not all pots need trimming, but it really adds so much to a piece and makes it more complete. My trimming box and Griffin Grip sure help too. Anyway, just some random thoughts on a Sunday evening.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How about that crazing?

Crazing seems to always be somewhat of a debated topic among potters. I have always been a fan of it whether on functional work or not. Never one for safety it seems, I never really worried about it. Now that I'm selling my pots and people are (hopefully) using them on a regular basis, I need to focus on the safety of my wares.

The way I understand it, crazing is cracks in the glaze due to poor fit that can make the pot somewhat weaker and can also harbor bacteria in these small cracks. I have also been told that if your wares are not fully vitrified, they can allow moisture to absorb into the clay body and either get hot when microwaved or even break. They can even make otherwise safe glazes leech.

With that said, I use many pots daily (both pots made by me as well as other potters--some of them very well known) that have crazing and go through the dishwasher at least weekly and make their way into the microwave on a regular basis. I've never had any trouble and I never really worried about it. But then again, it's not me that I'm worried about. The way that I see it is that my pots are fully vitrified (I use cone 5 clay and bring it to almost a full cone 7--it slumps if too large of an unsupported
span is made) and the crazing seems to largely be on the outside of pots where the two glazes overlap. The only exception to this is a few new bowls that I made where the overlapping glazes crazed some on the inside as well. The weird thing is that things have been crazing more than they used to--same clay, same glazes, same application. Here's one of the heaviest crazed pieces:

I know that a lot of woodfired and atmospheric fired work crazes, particularly shinos, and these pots are used regularly. I've even seen commercial wares with crazing that are said to be food safe and such--hell, some old plates we got for wedding gifts are crazed pretty severely.

So...what should I do? Should I try some new clay bodies with my existing glazes, or try to reformulate the glaze to get it to fit my clay body. Or, should I just not worry about it and keep on doin what I'm doin? I'm finally getting some really good glaze affects and I'm not super excited about changing things up, but I know that I should get it sorted out now rather than later. Any input is really appreciated. Thanks!!!