Friday, February 20, 2015

Fear and Loathing...

Sometimes setting goals can be scary. Yesterday I was confronted with the looming deadlines for application into a few art & craft shows this year. I had made the decision to apply before the holidays last year and have been busily throwing pots towards that end ever since. Well, I emptied a couple kiln loads of finished pieces on Tuesday and was thrown into a tailspin of self doubt and loathing. One of the kilns did not fire to temperature. the top shelf was OK, but got progressively under fired the lower I went. Although this was due to no fault of my own, just old elements, I was still thrown by it.
I tend to walk a knifes edge when it comes to confidence in my work. I know I can throw pretty nice pots, but apparently I let little issues expand in my mind's eye until they are totally blown out of proportion and obscure the really good things. I spent all day Wednesday and Thursday second guessing myself. Thoughts like, what if I can't do this" and "I'm sure there will be waaaay better potters putting their work out there, why should I try"....etc.
I did scratch one sale off my list, the deadline and the sale are just waaay too close and I know I would never have enough stuff by May to make it worth the mental anguish. I will be able to attempt to enter the one in the fall, just so long as my inner Charlie Brown does not get in the way.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Glazed and loaded

This past weekend was a long weekend and I managed to get pretty much everything from the last bisque load into 2 kilns. I spent a bit more time on the glazing than I normally do, and it took me from Friday to Sunday to get it all done. I cleaned pots and waxed feet on Friday night. Saturday was spent glazing the interiors of mugs and bowls and then waxing those interiors so I could glaze the outsides without making a huge mess of the whole pot. I then finished spraying and dipping the outsides of everything and began loading. As I knew it was going to take more than 1 kiln, I tried to get an even distribution of small vs large pots in both kilns. It worked. The first kiln fired off without a hitch and was cooling all day yesterday. The 2nd kiln began firing around 2:00 on Monday and will hopefully be cool enough to have a peek at tonight. These pictures represent the "controlled chaos" of my glazing methods. The swearing was minimal, but I did take a few ibuprofen's when it was all done. My hip cant take that much standing on concrete.
In even more exciting to me and probably boring to you news, apparently the engineered hardwood was being installed on the weekend in my condo. Next come the kitchen cabinets I guess and then I might be able to move in. Waiting for an updated timeline on that. so it was a good weekend. We'll see how Shrodinger's cat (aka the pots in the kilns) did when I get to the studio tonight.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Loaded to the gills

Busy doesn't even begin to describe the studio last night. I got there at 5:20 pm and immediately began unloading my shelves of all of the green ware that I have been stockpiling over the last couple of months in order to begin loading up a bisque kiln. The first picture shows everything that I had, but there were a few pieces that did not make it in. Not to worry, there will be another bisque in about a month. The rest of the images show the bottom, middle and top layers. As you can see, it is loaded really tight. This kiln will fire off tonight and will be ready for me to begin the glaze prep on Friday. If I can get my hands on a couple of large buckets, I will also mix up the new Plainsman clear base that is so nice on the Polar Ice. I will also mix up some smaller buckets of the same clear base but will tint each with violet, pansy purple, tangerine and yellow Mason stains. Fingers are crossed that nothing cracks.

Monday, February 9, 2015

When in doubt, make mugs

Since you can never have too many mugs, I tend to always fall back on them when I just can't decide what to do next.

I got these handles attached on Friday night and now I am just waiting for them to dry out completely before I slather them in terra sigillata for another round of carpel tunnel inducing sgrafitto. I really need to get a bisque load fired, but my plans were thwarted when all the student work beat me to it and now I will have to wait until this Friday to fire. Perhaps that was for the best. It is a long weekend coming, so I can spend more time with glazing instead of rushing it, like I usually do.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A weekends worth of work and other stuff

I was at the studio on Friday night for 4 hours or so. I trimmed and attached handles to a bunch of serving/baking dishes as well as carved this somewhat creepy looking "man in the moon" platter.

I took the day off on Saturday, but was back in the studio on Sunday for 8 hours where I threw 15 mugs and then spent the day carving bowls and plates

Here is a plate and a bowl before, during and after carving