Saturday, June 28, 2014

My new Clay Trap

Just putting the finishing touches on my new outdoor clay trap.

It's a biggie! 

It's a design based on the Pottery Making Illustrated magazine article - How to Build a Better Home Made Sink for Your Pottery Studio. I had this type of sink and trap in my old studio in the city which was connected to city sewer. Hubby balked at installing a similar setup when we built the new studio six years ago. Here we are on a septic system and also because the basement (where the studio is) is below grade, we have a sump pump that pushes waste up to the septic system. Both the sump and the septic tank are points where escaping and settling clay sediment could cause us grief. As a result a I end up with a collection of smelly muck buckets here, there, and everywhere in the studio - mostly because I am terribly lazy about hoisting them and taking them out to the back forty to dump.

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 ;)

Now I can step out the door, dump my clay water into the barrel (using my handy dandy milk jug funnel) and be done with it. As the water filters off the pail and into the barrel, we will use the barrel tap to water the deck plants ... brilliant!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Do you want fries with that?

Good Morning! ... I've been hanging about the studio water cooler, coffee in hand, with my fellow potter bloggers, as I do most mornings. It's so good to have you all out there. I sure appreciate the company!

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

.... in a post many moons ago I moaned about a request for named mugs that I ended up doing 3 times before I got it right. Yeah, well, the customer has come back asking for 4 more - go figure, she's a patient lady. I was being very careful with every step. When it came time to put the handles on, I checked a previous pic (below) to see what side the name went on. Yup, it goes there ... . I was cleaning the handle joins the next day and realized ... you idiot! ... NOT there! (as in opposite the 'name tag') I am not going to do these again. I, (and hopefully, the customer), will consider these four to be the ambidextrous version!
First order (3rd Attempt)
.... time .... the bane of my existence. I always figure I have way more of it than I actually have or I way underestimate how long it will take to do something and as a result never deliver on time (and I also drive my very time conscious hubby, nuts!). But, apparently there's a name for that .... Last week, Lori Watts, from Fine Mess Pottery, posted a reference to Hofstadters Law. Whew! .... good to know ... not that it fixes my problem but now, at least, I have something to blame ;))

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!