Monday, November 17, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Gardener hubby has several rain barrels hanging about his veggie garden. I was on the back deck having an afternoon beverage a few weeks back when I locked in on one of the rain barrels, went 'hmmmm' and a clay trap plan was hatched ..... why not put a 5 gal bucket, with holes drilled near the top, inside a rain barrel. I ran it by hubby, and in his wonderful way, he made it happen. The hardest part was getting him to give up the rain barrel ;)
Thursday, June 19, 2014
I haven't posted in ages ... mostly because this blog is intended to be a potters blog, not a Mom blog, a Gramma blog, or an old lady blog ;) and in spite of my best efforts to be in the studio as much as possible, life does get in the way ... and thank goodness for that!
This week I am continuing to work on 'orders' .... or as I tell my customers - "I don't do 'orders' but I do take 'requests'" - maybe 'cause the name change takes the pressure off when I don't deliver as I should ;). Me and Ms Request have a love/hate relationship. I love it when my customers like my pots so much they ask for more. I'm not so fond of the trying to replicate either something I've made before or something new as seen thru someone else's eyes. And of course, Mr Murphy (and his Law) hangs out with Ms Request and together they are a pain in the ass! Here's the havoc they've wreaked in the last couple of months (with my help of course ;)):
.... why do I always run out of a glaze just as a customer asks me can you make a few more of X. Inevitably, the new batch of glaze does not match the colour of the old .... ingredients differ slightly depending on supplier and/or age, and old buckets of glaze diminish in quantity and quality of ingredients over time. I now have plates that do not match bowls. I guess I am making new bowls to match the plates.
.... Ms R & Mr D hanging with the kiln god(s) .... I put three perfectly good garden lanterns in a bisque fire and only one lived to tell the tale
|First order (3rd Attempt)|
This is the last week of throwing my most pressing orders ... er .. requests. I am leaning towards making this a short run, firing and glazing them all right away, so I can deliver and then get back to the fun of making whatever the heck I want!
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
|Rufous Hummingbird (Male)|
The Dynamic Duo ...
|Lily & Dash|
|Northern Flicker (Female)|
|Northern Flicker (Male)|
|Enlarged old Starling nest|
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Saturday, March 15, 2014
First up is to finish cleaning the studio .... my wonderful workspace, the envy of every potter who goes thru it (and then it's usually clean ;)), can be not so wonderful at times. Since it also happens to be the thoroughfare to the back yard, the traffic consists of two big dogs, Chicken Farmer and Gardener Hubby, 4 cats, who also love their sleeping boxes high on the shelves and of course me, the potter. The studio bathroom doubles as the chicken supplies and egg processing room and any minute now, the seed starting room will emerge. Indoor gardening supplier Son, set Dad up with lights which were installed under my long bank of ware shelves. Gardener Hubby was off to the nurseries yesterday, finalizing his seed stash and picking up starter soil. Happy to share my space but sheesh! it's a freakin' disaster at times ... I'm one of those maniacs who is quite messy on average but has to frantically clean the house before I go away because I hate coming home to a mess. Cleaning was the one to-do that got dumped before I left for the city last week so grumpy me was cleaning yesterday and I will be back at it today.
I am also awaiting the return of my laptop so I can get going on taxes. Such a chore altho' it should a bit simpler this year because I had an 8 month hiatus from the studio last year. Still it's a painful process.
The yard also awaits my often limited engagement ... I am a gardener in my head but unfortunately, not my heart. I like the idea of a lovely yard and garden but it's a chore for me to get going. We have just over an acre but 1/2 of that is treed, thank goodness! Still, it's a lot of work for Hubby to handle on his own so I gotta do my part. Deck planters are awaiting the prims and pansies I picked up in the city. Our many native ferns in the front yard need to be cut back and I need to finish the hosta bed I started last year. I also have to figure out how we're going to do the landscaping by the chicken pen ... we're putting in a sorrel bed so the passersby have something to pick to feed the chickens ;) This was a suggestion from my Mom, a Master Gardener, who went to a presentation by Rosalind Creasy, author of Edible Landscaping. I have the book but have yet to put it in action .... yup, one day ;)
Also on the list .... get back to exercise and diet .... groan! I long for the days when I could put anything and everything food in my mouth and not gain an ounce. Now I'm a seafood person ... as in 'See Food, Gain'.
Soooo .... enough talking about it all in the universe of blogging ... time to just move it, move it, move it!
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
.... first ferry ... Leaving Horseshoe Bay @ 1:20 PM
.... followed by a 84 kilometre run across the Sechelt Peninsula, listening to the Good Lovelies.
.... second ferry leaves from Earls Cove ....sheesh! ..... a schedule change .... if I had dawdled any longer, I'd have had to swim home ;)
and finally I arrive home at 5:30 PM .... my heart feels warm and fuzzy the moment I disembark that last ferry .... I love coming home! It's also good to know I've been missed by hubby, kids, grandkids and dorgs.
In my absence, hubby has installed our 'new' old fashion clothes dryer. And I was happy to find wooden clothes pegs in town this morning .... wasn't sure they still made them!
Tomorrow it's back to work ... Yeah!
Sunday, March 2, 2014
For Dash ....
For Lily .....
Saturday, March 1, 2014
I am mixing business with pleasure, dropping off pots to another friend and customer plus visiting my potter supply store. Our son also lives in the city and it's his birthday on Weds. He was my 25th birthday present (wink, wink ;)) so a little celebratory dinner date is in order. I can't believe my youngest is turning 34! .... yeahhh ... do the math. I also can't believe this is the last year I will be 50 something ....how the heck did I get so old!
And let the frenzy begin .....
Work to do list:
Call Greenbarn Potters Supply re elements (Sat AM)
Ship customer order to US
Run a Full Power Test
Inventory and price pots
Do inventory worksheet for Artique
Organize pots for window display
Wrap and take pots to Artique (Monday noon)
Checklist of student tools required for Spring throwing class
Home to do list:
Month end bills and book-keeping (taxes will have to wait .... heck, there's lotsa time til deadline!)
Cleanup and defrag computer, backup, box and ship to Dell for servicing (fingers crossed)
Clean car (can you say Dog Hair!)
Thursday AM go to #1 Grandson's speech arts performance
Thursday PM .... catch 2:40 PM ferry .... Roooad Trip!
Friday, February 28, 2014
My Coneart kiln has a 3 zone controller with 3 thermocouplers. For yesterday's firing, I put witness cones in all 3 sections and as I suspected, I have uneven firing - slightly off up top, bang on in the middle and more than slightly off in the bottom. I am guessing it might also account for my controller error that keeps cropping up when I use my cool down cycle. I can program offsets for each of the thermocouplers to compensate for the unevenness but I think I am going to run a Power Test tomorrow to check out how my elements are doing. I am heading off to the big city next week with a planned stop at my Potters Supply outlet so if new elements are in order, now is a good time to get them. Yikes! .... element change out time .... a new experience to be had!
|Tile Installation at Kwantlen University Library|
|Tile works contributed by various artists|
I'd had some bisqued relief tiles hanging around the studio for ages waiting for glaze. These tiles were made with 3 of the molds from my final school project, which I titled the Sandwave Series. Since I had some small glaze loads this week, I decided to tackle the tiles and get them in one of this week's firings. Now, compositionally the three shown here don't quite work together, but from a 'what if' glaze perspective, I was quite happy. Yeahhh! Now that I have some glaze possibilities to work with, I will have to put more tiles from this series on my in the future to-do list.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
... PS ... I'll update this post with pics when I'm done pondering ;)
... PPS .... see Glaze Pics post below ....
Some background ... I make all my own glazes, save one commercial glaze (Spectrum's Textured Autumn), which I use because I love the way it breaks over texture on my white clay. When I set up my studio in 2008 and had to figure out what glazes I wanted to use, I turned to the book, Mastering Cone 6 Glazes. Given that my goal was to make functional pots to be used in the home, this seemed like a good starting point as I needed to be sure I was using safe glazes. As I've moved forward in my studio practice, I've continued to use the base recipes from this book for many of my current glazes and in new tests. The captions in the pics labelled HCSM and GB are references to the High Calcium Semi Mattes and Glossy Bases in the book. In addition, I use some older well known glazes such as Opal, Barry White, Nutmeg and Cream Rust. I also have buckets of Randy's Red and my 'effin' nemesis, Freakin' Floating Blue, with which I have had not much success with but continue (for reasons unknown to me, other than I am stubborn), to revisit periodically, like again this past week. And just to add another element of complication to my usual practice of doing a round of glaze tests each production cycle, I am on the hunt for a rustic looking clay. Meet Laguna's Speckled Buff (WC403).
Round one of tests .... going old school and eliminating the programmed cool down cycle in hopes of getting some remembered results from some old glaze recipes ... Barry White over Randy's Red, Opal and Floating Blue (not shown as it was a no show AGAIN!).
Ahhh, there is some red in Randy (a controlled cooling makes it muddy brown) .... not too bad. Even better on the new clay
Might be a keeper ... I like it better than it's brother shown on the bowl below
I have customers who love the light version of Opal obtained by using my cool down cycle
Me ... I prefer the darker blue
Nutmeg and Cream Rust. Not bad on the trial clay
Round Two of tests ... back to the regular practice of using a programmed cool down cycle ...
These are 3 of the semi mattes (HCSM I base) I use on a regular basis. The purpose of the tests was to try Mason Stain 6600, Tenmoku Brown (GB2 base) and Licorice Black (GB2 base) as accents on the texture.
Not a great pic nor a great outcome ... tile on the left is a variegated grey semi matte I call Aspen. The new batch of same glaze on the left turned out much darker and glossier. The Mason Stain on the accent was ok but not great
A good result with the Tenmoku Brown accent under the semi matte glaze. I think it's the accent that has upped the glossy quotient on the left
A good result with the Licorice Black accent under the semi matte glaze but it too is glossier than usual
Years ago I bought my first kiln from a elderly woman who was retiring from pottery. She threw in everything, including the kitchen sink, and all her glaze materials. I still have much of the older stuff I got from her including gems such as Albany Slip. I've been doing some research and here are some results .....
I also added some new glazes to the testing cycle. Most of the results were disappointing (I will try them again when I fire with my white clay). This Oilspot was the best of the bunch ....
Not the best pic and it doesn't accent texture as much as I'd like but it turned out to be a nice variegated blue/green
Finally .... just so you know I actually do make some pots .... here's a couple of mugs from the few pots I fired with the test tiles ....