Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Pots

Harley Bowl :>)
I finally got my July glaze fire on this past week. It was a good load with some nice pots (see new Gallery gadget for best pics). Included were a  new berry bowl design (single serving) and pie plates for the upcoming summer fruit season. Of course as always, there was a lemon. Some months back, my cousin Laura asked me to make a large black bowl with red accents for her to give as a gift. This was round two for said bowl. The first time I had bloating and not enough accent colour (what's bloating?, you ask ..... ugly bumpy bubbles in the clay - only visible AFTER firing). This time I had tooo much accent colour on the bowl (looks like it belongs on the side of a Harley motorcycle!) and AGAIN bloating. What's the deal with that! I used the same clay (B-Mix Cone 5) as always plus I had other bowls on the same kiln shelf that didn't not suffer the same fate. I will be investigating bloating causes this week. So re Laura's bowl - round three, here we come - this is the named mug saga all over again. Oh well, Rick has another garden ornament.

On Thurs evening, we were back at the Hot Summer Night Market. Things were slow at the start but picked up towards the end of the evening. Sales went well - almost out of teabag rests again!

I haven't taken pics of the results of the tiles fired in the gas kiln at the Fine Arts Club last week. The results were OK - 3 tiles turned out the way I wanted them to and 3 didn't but I will be able to work with them. I will take and post pics once they are mounted.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Home to Reality

I'm baaack .... I arrived home late Monday afternoon after spending 6 days at MISSA and the weekend at my friend Sue's place in Vancouver. Again MISSA didn't disappoint. Highlights were .......
- 5 days of focused workshop time with Conner Burns. Not only is he a great teacher, his work is inspiring and I can't wait to get back in the studio!
- 6 days to connect with other artists and old friends from MISSA's past
- 3 evenings of MISSA instructor/artist presentations including Lana Wilson, who is a hoot! - best LW line? Lana was talking about her transition from gas firing to electric firing. Opening her arms wide she said she soon realized a gas kiln says 'come with me and we will make great pots together' and then crossing her arms and frowning and speaking in a prissy voice she says an electric kiln says - 'YOU do all the work. I just provide the heat!' ...... tooo funny! (and so true!).
Lowlight of the trip - deja vu of MISSA 2008 - my car decided to get ill just as I approached campus. One BCAA tow and 4 days at Canadian Tire garage later, I paid a $1400 bill to repair the cooling system!!!

So now I am home, back to reality and itching to get to making pots. Also, I didn't get a glaze fire on before heading to MISSA so my shelves are beginning to look bare .... BUT first, book-keeping and volunteer duties take precedent - (admin =  arghhh!) ...... HST (harmonized sales tax) came into effect on July 1st. Good for me as now I can totally opt out of the tax collection business but first I have to update my accounting software and file my final tax report. Add to that, the Powell River Studio Tour is only a month away so my publicity coordinator duties now kick in.

I did sneak off yesterday to the Fine Arts Club to help finish loading the gas kiln and get it set up for a firing today. My sandwave tiles (modified, smaller version of the attached pic) made it in as did 6 teabowls. I won't be there for the firing today but will head back in on Sat to help unload - CAN'T WAIT! Will post pics and results next week.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Did someone say 'Hot' Summer Night Market?

I was hoping we'd left the chilly weather behind with the month of June but brrrrr! ..... it was darn COLD Thursday night (July 1st - Canada Day) at the opening of our annual Hot Summer Night Market. Given it was now July, I just couldn't bring myself to wear long-johns but man, I sure should have - even my poor little pots were cold!

The market runs every Thurs from now until end of August and I will be trying to make it to as many nights as I can. We got a fair bit of traffic given the Canada Day crowd at the park but sales were slow. I've learned over the past year, that the small stuff sells at these events - my textured, multi-colour glaze teabag rests were a hit as they have been at previous markets and fairs - 4 of them will be heading to France - way cool!! Another visitor to town fell in love with one of my teapots (see the pic in May's post). He came back a couple of times and left with it in hand by the end of the night. Love it when my pots go to someone who is buying from the heart :>)

Countdown is 7 days until I head off to 'summer camp' on July 11th. Nahhhh, I'm not really going to summer camp but I will be heading off to MISSA (Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts)  for a 5 day workshop with Conner Burns. MISSA is an absolutely awesome experience and when I'm there, I do feel like a kid at summer camp. I have been workshop starved over the past 2 years since we moved to Powell River and I am so looking forward to learning and hanging out with other artisans.

We've got a busy week ahead of us .... I am expecting an increase in tourist traffic as it is start of summer vacation plus Powell River's Kathaumixw, our bi-annual international choral festival gets underway on Tuesday - grocery store parking lot was FULL yesterday so you know people have started to arrive. Add to that, our typical summer company season starts as well. We have 16 members of our family arriving on Thurs to spend a couple of days .... woohoo! - big family party this weekend!

Friday's bisque fire is ready to unload today so I am going to TRY to get a glaze fire on before I head off to MISSA ..... enough yakking, gotta get to work!