Monday, June 8, 2015

All carved up

Now that I have committed myself financially to the festival of crafts in the fall, I need to commit mentally and physically. I began my weekend on Friday afternoon by throwing a few mugs, trimming what needed trimming and carving a few mugs. I worked one of the last few Saturdays left before the summer at Ceramics Canada so I was only able to finish off the last few mugs that were to be carved that afternoon. Sunday however was the day to throw and carve en mass. I made mugs and casseroles, and carved a ton of ramekins. OK, only 7 ramekins, but they take about 20 minutes each to carve, not counting the time to slip them up with black terra sig. It is amazing how much does NOT get done in the studio though, even when I have a list of TO DO's. I usually arrive at 9am on Sundays and am generally there until at least 2pm, although this Sunday I was there until 4:30 ish. I only managed to throw 7 mugs and 2 casseroles, I think I will need to step up the production rate if I am going to have enough to fill my shelves. This will mean less talking I think. The sale may be over 5 months away, but I will need to get the majority of my stock made and glazed this summer so I don't run into any snags getting things fired in the fall. The student sale takes priority at the studio, so my firings will need to be worked in and around the student work.
This image is just a sampling of what I have been working on. I have changed my mug shape a wee bit, and the handles are way more substantial. The designs are different, yet similar to the ones in the past. I have to find a good pattern or 2 that is simple to lay out and carve, yet still engaging to the eye. The time it takes to carve some of them is way too long, especially if I actually want to make a profit or even break even on this. I should note that these are all free hand, no actual pattern is used, it all comes out of my brain. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not. The top right hand mug for instance is not really working for me in terms of the pattern, I do like the bottom 2 though. 
I will finally be able to spend more time in the studio as of July 4th. Ceramics Canada does not open on the weekends during the summer, so I should be able to put some long hours in over those 9 hot, sweaty weeks.

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