Friday, August 13, 2010

Notes from the Market

At the Market
At the Market - Gotta love the view!

Our booth and the view from our booth

Last night was our second to last Hot Summers Night Market - that went by quick! Next week we have company in town so we will take them to the market and go as browsers for a change. We will finish out the summer market season on Aug 26th just before the Powell River Studio Tour.

Last night was a so-so night for sales but a very good night for conversations .....

..... I'd like to give a shout-out to a new potter friend, Cathy, from Brandon, Manitoba. Thanks for dropping by Cathy - I was blown away to hear you follow this blog! Can't wait 'til you move to town. Cathy and her hubby Paul are doing what we did and many others are doing these days. They have bought a house in our beautiful little seaside town of Powell River and are working on it over time with the plan of settling here long term. I think it's pretty exciting to see Powell River morph from the mill town I once knew, to a town where folks are finding a renewed, relaxed lifestyle and starting new careers or retiring from old. 

..... One of my potter friends, Jill McPhail, had her booth set up next to mine. Jill heads up the pottery group at our local Fine Arts Club and is a great hand-builder with both clay clay and polymer clay. You can check out her work at her Facebook webpage - Funktifyd Creations.

..... I also had one of the Sunshine Music Festival organizers drop by. She asked if I had considered having a booth at the festival. I told her yes - if I can get enough pots made before then. Booth fees include tickets to the event so if we go, we can sell pots AND enjoy a weekend of music.

I am trimming and finishing this week (I am one of those potters who actually LIKE trimming)  - butter bells, salt pigs, batter bowls, Cos'n Laura's bowl (speaking of Cos'n Laura - she made me a potters apron this week - awesome! - pics to follow soon), platters and of course, mugs. Rick made me a great little jig yesterday to help with the altering of my salt pigs. I was reluctant to stop work to pack up for the market so am eager to get back to the studio today. It's been one of those sleepless nights - I could have been down there at 4 AM but that would be pushing it so I am doing this instead. OK, time for a coffee .....

Friday, August 6, 2010

and panic sets in .......

..... Yikes! It's Aug 6 already ..... I have 2 or 3 Hot Summer Night Markets to go to in August plus there are only 3 weeks left before the Powell River Studio Tour weekend and I am running out of pots! I am going to have to work my butt off to get another kiln load or two through in that time. Interspersed in that 3 weeks will be summer company - hey! extra bodies - maybe I can put them to work to earn their keep :>) I was also considering putting in an application for a booth at the Sunshine Music Festival on Labour Day weekend. That would be a blast but I don't think I can do it all.

I have a few rescues and re-do's to do as well - Cos'n Laura's bowl, a replacement for the mini pie plate didn't quite make the trip home with it's new owner, and a replacement mug to save a fella who is in the doghouse, because he broke the one they just bought. Oh and did I mention - I had 2 large leaf plates waiting for the next bisque, only to be wiped out by a disaster of the feline kind. The cats (3 of them) love the studio. Cali (short for California - yes, there is a story there), especially likes to tromp through the shelves as it's a way for her to avoid Tisha, the dog. She must have stepped on the plate edge as I found the first one with a chunk broken off. You think I'd have figured it out after that one bit the dust but no, I didn't move the other one. Then I heard the clunk as it broke yesterday!

As always, I'm excited to be back in the throwing groove! I'm just as excited to be out of glazing mode. When it comes to glazing, I wish I could do a Dorothy - click the heels of my pointy red shoes and be done with it! Don't get me wrong. I love all that goes into finding, making and testing glazes and glaze combinations and I am as excited as kid at Christmas when it comes to opening the kiln. However, it seems the application part always turns out to be a cumbersome, messy chore. I keep telling myself it will get better as I get better but that hasn't happened so far. The last go round, after watching Conner Burns spray at MISSA, I bought another HVLP gun (I wrecked the last one by not cleaning it properly) and gave it another go with some of the larger pieces. Results wise it went OK but I couldn't get the damn compressor pressure down to where I wanted it and then - OF COURSE - I dropped the gun fully loaded with the lid half off the cup - and ya know the rest! .... glaze all over me, and all over the cement patio (now stained with red iron oxide patterned by the sole of my work boots) - the patio was the only place that had any shade that day. On a positive note, I am becoming more familiar with the glazes I use so I am getting many more happy results - and less pots destined for the Ugly Pot Pile. Also, my last test results produced a wonderful black semi-matte plus a nice complimentary soft pastel blue and/or cream glaze to go with the new black and the Aspen Blue as shown on the teabowls here. ...... hmmmm - that wasn't me was it, talking a few posts back about having a new mantra re limiting the number of glazes I use ..... I tell ya, it's my downfall  - or maybe not :>) - it's just way too much fun and there are so many to choose from!