Tuesday, July 10, 2012

No More Moving Target

In my next life, I think I will make paper. Or beaded jewelry. That way, I won't need months of chiropractic adjustments to ease the back pain from moving my studio equipment, not once, not twice, but three times in less than 12 months.

No one wants to hear the sordid details. The issue has been resolved and this artist is back in the saddle for real this time. My new space is at the same place where I moved the Bailey last year. It's divine to have everything all at one location.

David built a shelving system like the one I had before.

I am sharing the space with my fiance, luthier David A Wiseman. Building mountain dulcimers creates a lot of sawdust. I'm considering a raku kiln in the future.
David's side of the studio. The Bailey is straight out the door behind him.
Lots more is going on in my life, but having a place to call home for my art has given me some peace after a very tumultuous year.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guess Who is Firing Again?

In case you have been wondering, I do still exist on the planet. My life is beyond crazy busy now and dial-up sucks. I usually run out of patience before blogs can load, and I'm too busy at work to take the time to read. If the Universe would create, just for me, an extra day or two, maybe a week, I could catch up on gallery paperwork and take the time to breathe. And read blogs.

In the meantime, I've moved my gas kiln and am 95% finished with the shed. I'm calling a friend for back-up before I cut a hole in the roof for the chimney, but after we do that, it's a "go". Propane is scheduled for hook-up on the 22nd, and I'm hoping to have her loaded and ready to fire on Thanksgiving Day. It's been a year since I've fired, and I'm sure I am forgetting how much work I have to do to get ready, especially since the pots are at the gallery, the glazes all need to be re-sieved and the pots, glazes and kiln are all in three different places.

And I have been making work like crazy. I have enough bisqueware for 2 maybe even 3 glaze loads, all cone 6R. I have 4 or 5 cone 6 R glazes I am happy with and 1 or 2 that need some tweaking. I am still stuck on 2 or 3 cone 10 glazes that I love, but eventually would love to do away with the cone 10 altogether in the name of saving time, money and the planet. Not that I have much time for testing, but I just can't seem to help myself, but does anyone have cone 6R glaze recipes that they would like to share?  I seem to recall someone (maybe Tracey) who has a cone 6 R black recipe?

So back to busy again. And if the Universe sees fit to comply with my modest request, I can post pictures of the new work in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blogging on Dial-Up

I had a sincere request this week from a dear friend to update my blog. So much has happened over the past few months, some good, some bad. I'm going to give this a go. Stick around. I'm getting my groove back.

After 3 months of living in my car, my business partner's basement and my gallery, I moved into a sweet rental house just down the road from my kids' school. The rent is unbelievable and perfect for the starving artist that I currently am. I have been here for nearly 2 months, finally have a landline and, hold on to your hats, dial-up internet service. I live in a "holler" which means I am rural enough that the phone company doesn't offer dsl here. Satellite internet is too costly, so the obvious alternative is to go back in time to the 1990's.

I moved my electric wheel, slab roller and electric kiln to my gallery where there is a small space for a studio. The Bailey now resides at the Mushroom Factory, a former shitake mushroom factory turned artist studios. I still need to put a roof over the kiln and hook up the gas, not to mention make enough work to fill her up. However, the coup de grace is my kick wheel on my front porch.

In other news, Kyle Carpenter included me in Mudfire's Asheville in Atlanta exhibit, opening later this month. I am so excited about this exhibit, especially since I haven't done much clay work since last fall.
Still trying to honor his requests for privacy, I won't talk too much about my estranged husband. He and I are on civil speaking terms. The kids live with me during the school week and stay with him on the weekends. They seem to be adjusting pretty well. Kids are more adaptable than we think. By the time I was my daughter's age, I had been through hell and back, so in all honesty, they have it pretty easy.

The gallery keeps me very busy. And, no, we do not have our website up and running yet. Being the detail-oriented Capricorn that I am, I am by default, the bookkeeper. I like getting the numbers to balance, but it's challenging and very time consuming. And now, I am being trained to use Quickbooks, which is not going so quickly at all. Business was booming this summer, has slowed this month, but we expect it to pick up as soon as the leaves start turning. We get a lot of tourist traffic. This month we are catching our breath and catching up.

I'm relearning the simple life and am quite content and happy. I live a little close to the edge sometimes, but I have never felt this free and relaxed.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Where Do I Start?

I would start at the beginning, but you'd just get bored and quit reading. I haven't posted in such a long time because just about everything in my life is changing. Shall I give you the good news or the bad first?

About 8 weeks ago, while trying to decide about starting a cooperative, two other artists and I stumbled onto a business opportunity too good to pass up. We are now the proud owners of One Of A Kind Art Gallery in Micaville, NC. We opened our doors for business on April 1st, had a smashing grand opening reception last Friday and are so excited about this new venture.

I have to be careful about how I talk about the other major change in my life. But being careful and cautious has led to some misunderstandings, so I'm just going to lay it out. I have made the difficult decision to leave my marriage of nearly 18 years. I have moved out, but still see my children almost daily. I have moved my wheel, slab roller and bisque kiln to the gallery, where there is studio space. I'm moving the gas kiln to a space about a mile down the road. Some folks will consider my divorce bad news. Ever the optimist, I consider it a chance for a richer life.

Most likely, I will get some grief for posting about this. My estranged husband is intensely private and once he hears that I have written this for public consumption, there will be some fallout. However, not blogging for the past few months has left me feeling disconnected from all of my potter-blogger friends. Here is my attempt to reconnect.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Ideas

2011 has been a little unsettling for me so far. I'm unsure about what direction my life is taking. Up until I had my children, and we decided that I would stay home with them, I had always been fiercely, obnoxiously independent. I'm not sure why it's taken me almost 13 years to recognize that I am about as far from independent as I can get, at least financially independence. My pottery does not support itself and barely adds anything to the household income.

I decided to look for a job, part-time and related to my art. Penland had a part-time sales job in the supply store. I applied, interviewed (well, I think), but they hired someone else. I was sad for a moment or two, before I realized that it meant something better was just around the corner. Boy was I right!

A couple of clay artist friends and I have been discussing ways to promote ourselves and our art community. We toyed around with the idea of organizing a show, but then we stumbled on the idea of starting a co-op. It's too soon to tell whether this will pan out, but I'm taking the bull by the horns. I've registered for a couple of free business seminars over the next couple of weeks, and we're planning regular meetings to see how we can make this a reality. Anyone have any thoughts on starting a co-op or gallery? We're very excited, but I'm not sure we even know the right questions to ask.

Even if the co-op falls through, those business seminars will be helpful in launching my other brilliant idea. Burnsville approved alcohol sales nearly a year ago. We have an ABC store, a wine shop and a couple of restaurants that serve alcohol. How is it that no one has opened a pub?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Mom

The graphics on this are blurry, but we've all seen it. My Mom turns 64 today!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Back to Doing What I do Best

I know I said I was going to throw some cups. And I know that I should stick to my word. But, let's face it, when there are potters out there who are making gorgeous cups, is it really necessary for me to do make cups too? After seeing these cups on Meredith's blog, I decided to leave the cup making to the pros. At least for now.

Besides, the cups I threw were taking forever to dry, and I nearly forgot about them. I had left way to much clay at the base so they requited an inordinate amount of trimming. And then the kitties decided to take a tap dance on the ware board, gouging several cups and moving the plastic so that they dried too fast. Plus, it's really cold in the studio. Wah.

After tossing the cups into the reclaim bucket, I sat down and threw some small cylinders. No pictures since you all know what they look like. I'm going to try making some small baskets. One of the ideas someone floated at our last Clay Club was the Orton cone box thing. I wonder if I can go that small. I think it's harder than it looks.