Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Batter Bowl in the hen house

Nothing special today, just a view of a trimmed bowl with a pouring spout and a somewhat different handle. It has a bit of a chickenish look to it.
The doofer attachments to the side of the actual handle appear to be a bit cockeyed. Will have to do better next time.
Definition: Doofer - Term used locally (Fairview Studios, originated by Dave Settles) to describe the little clay wads that are pressed out with a finger or thumb to decorate pots.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New ideas brewing...

I recently purchased a product from EZScreenprint that will allow anyone, and I mean anyone (even a monkey like me), to create a silk screen of any black and white image to transfer onto pretty much any surface. All you need is a nice sunny day to develop your stencil.

They are marketed mostly to fabric people who want to print on their fabric creations, but they can apparently be used on POTTERY.

I splurged and bought the starter kit, but as shipping costs were ridiculous, I got an additional pack of 3 sheets to make the shipping cost worth it.

Anyway, I have been scrounging the internet for good designs, patterns images as well as drawing my own. I think I have come up with some really good ideas, but needed to know how much detail would be captured, how bold the lines need to be etc so I used the test piece provided in the kit and one of my own little drawings and this is what I got. Now I need to see if it actually works with the underglazes I have and will give it a shot tonight.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Serendipity in Colour

This is it. This is the colour I am putting in my condo. No more second guessing myself. I was only looking at the colours when I was picking my short list and not the names. To my surprise, when I looked at the names after my top 3 were selected, the one colour that was in the lead, choice wise, had the same name as a musical group that I like too. Was it meant to be? Anyway, if you are interested in the music, the group is no longer around, but it was called Frou Frou. One of the members of this duo is Imogen Heap, who is one of my favorite musicians and now works solo.


I have noticed an intriguing trend in my blog statistics lately. My stats have shot up a lot. Like, a whole lot. I can only attribute this spike to one thing (sunspots and lunar eclipses aside). I joined Instagram on April 3rd, and ever since then, the daily visits have been in the 30-50 range. Normally it’s is more like 10. I know that 1 month does not make a trend, so next month might tell the true story.
Whenever I look at my stats I am always a little shocked to see that there are “people” out there that actively seek out my page. Now, I say “people”, because I only know of 9 actual humans that follow my blog. I know that there are non human entities out there that troll the internet and it makes it look like people are reading my ramblings, but in truth, they are probably just algorithms made to appear human. Previous to my joining Instagram, I could easily pick out the “robots”. There would be that one day where I would get 50 – 100 page views, but the rest of the month would be the regular 10 or so. Now, it is 30-50 every single day. So this can only lead me to believe that actual people are looking at my profile on instagram and going to my blog from there. Not sure, can’t tell, and in the end, does it really actually matter?
The other strange thing about the whole social media thing to me is that potters generally fall into the introverted category. I know, broad strokes, and maybe it is just me, but we spend a LOT of time in the studio alone making work, not pushing our product, marketing our brand, selling our stuff, or just generally tooting our horns. So it feels like I have a bit of a split personality. I still don’t make a lot of time for self promo on line, but perhaps that will change if this trend continues.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Getting stuff done

I was teaching class last night and had a couple of new students to indoctrinate. I could see the fire in their eyes. They really, really wanted to make stuff. By the end of class, I don't think the fire had been extinguished, just smoored. There was the inevitable struggle as they tried to do battle with the clay instead of working with it, but first night was fairly successfull. They both made a few pots, and that is the only goal on night one. Make at least one pot that you will be able to trim next week. That's it, the rest is all play/mud wrestle etc. Here are some pictures of a few pots from the glaze load I fired on Sunday, as well as 2 of the very wide platters I made on the weekend that I trimmed and then slathered with underglaze and then attacked with a rubber tipped clean up tool.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Long weekend

Well, it wasn't long enough in my opinion. I did however make time to throw 3 large platters that range from 18 - 21 inches in diameter (wet), I fired a bisque as well as a glaze (out tomorrow).
I also went for a walk with my mum and Lucy the poodle along the ridge. It was a very bright and sunny day with the ever present wind. We met a couple walking their 1 yr old dog and they had a little dog wrestle. In this picture, Lucy can be seen wistfully contemplating how much fun it would be to be in the river as opposed to just looking at it from afar.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New jug

Not much to report today, just a picture of a very different style of handle for this very large pitcher.Each section is actually made of 2 pulled handles. The pulled handles were made with a very deep channel so the profile of each pulled section was "U" shaped. They were then laid edge to edge to create a hollow handle, shaped into "doughnuts" and cut to fit. This pitcher is definitely not truly functional, as it is way too large and the handle(s) will probably not be very ergonomic. But it will make a great vase...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's that time of year again. The spring pottery sale is set for May 31st this year. As per usual, I don't think I have enough stuff, but as per usual, I will probably have way more than I anticipated. The email notices will go out at the end of April, so don't worry if you have not gotten your notice, it is coming...

Friday, April 11, 2014

appliances for the condo

This is only interesting to people who are in the middle of trying to find appliances. Even then, I am sure it is mind numbing. However, just in case you are looking for a stackable, front loading washer and dryer, I was able to find these GE units at Home Depot. They are on sale right now and they are only 24" wide, so they will fit in my little laundry room/closet. I bought them last night and if all goes well with the construction timeline, they will be delivered on the 14th of June.
If you came here for pottery, I don't have any new pics, but here is a mug that goes back to my salt/soda firings at Medalta and a cute little piggy bank to hold my coins.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

8 more weeks

I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to attend a weekly progress meeting for the condo rebuild. Apparently they are on schedule and the completion date is estimated to be 8 weeks. So I might be back in on June 3rd??? This pic shows my living room looking towards the patio window that has yet to be installed as one of them had been damaged during the manufacturing process and they are redoing it right now. Not sure when that will be installed.

Monday, April 7, 2014

What goes agound, sometimes comes right back at ya

I just got some good news. I donated a few bucks a couple of months ago to help out Christa Asaad after she was forced to leap from her 2nd story window when her house caught fire and ended up fracturing her spine etc. The fundraising campaign came with the added incentive of possibly being drawn to receive a pot by one of many potters that had donated their work for this purpose. I never thought I would be drawn, there were so many that helped out. Well, I got an email this morning from one Mr. Michael Kline (keeper of the Sawdust and Dirt blog)  to let me know that my name had been drawn to receive his pot that he had donated. I will be adding his sweet cup to my slowly growing collection of pots by potters other than me.
On a sort of tangentially related note: After the flood of 2013, I took stock of what I was left with when the waters receded and most of the pottery that was salvaged were the pots made by others. In fact, ALL of the pots I had bought from others managed to survive, even a paper thin, egg shell porcelain vase my grandparents gave to me from their travels in China.


My weekend was pretty productive. I sold a lot of pots on Saturday after work, that was nice. Sunday however was where the pedal met the metal. It did not hurt that the day was like this first picture all day long until the later afternoon when the clouds started getting a bit pushy and obscured the sun. Today is going to be +17 C, so I guess spring is finally here at long long last.
So while the sun was shining outside, I was cruising along at the wheel.

I trimmed up these little "chilli" bowls...I guess there is an unintentional double entendre here...I made an impression of a limpet shell and thought it might look interesting as a press mold. Well, they certainly are eye catching.

I threw 3 of these 5 lb bowls

I then wedged up 9 600g balls and threw these ...

These pots that follow were thrown a few weeks ago and were dry enough to begin scratching yesterday...

Friday, April 4, 2014

How many ways?

If you are looking for new ways to follow me (doubtful, I know), I am now on Instagram. I am always a late adopter it seems. I must get that from my family. We were the last people I knew to get a microwave, the last to get a VCR, I still don't have Netflix (perhaps soon), I joined Facebook fairly late, I have a twitter account, but have never tweeted anything. So ya, I am always a little late to the party. Anyhoo, I can now be found at Crackedpotceramics on Instagram. I am terrible at remembering to take pictures, so posts might be few and far between to begin with.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Astronomical anomolies and fresh pots

What is that glowing orb in the sky? If my memory serves me correctly, I dimly recall seeing something like that back in October last year. I think it is called "the sun". It came out yesterday, but it was April 1st, so I thought it might be a joke, I guess not. I unloaded a glaze last night and was reasonably happy with the results. There was a very nice platter that I really liked at first glance, but when I flipped it over, a fairly big chunk of the foot was missing. Nothing to make it non functional, but it is now a second.

Here is the plate that became a second
This large plate is OK, but I had put some wax resist on it in a nice geometric design, but the glaze I sprayed over the top did not really create a nice contrast as seen in the one above...
This is a really nice plate, no issues, just perfect
I made this teapot to order, hopefully he likes it
I must have had birds on the brain, don't look if the Hitchcock movie "The Birds" freaked you out...
This is an example of the new "purple rain" glaze. I dipped it once, and then did a double dip on the rim that came down about 1 inch from the top. As you can see, that second dip sure did move.I especially like the pale iridescent blue halo that forms on the leading edge of the 2nd layer as it moves down. Must be all that rutile...I think I have at least a dozen or so of these.