Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Below, the set of tiles on the left are my favorite cone 6 oxidation glaze. A few are good. I really like the finish, a fatty matte, but most of the colors did not impress me.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
I'll try to post some pictures of the workshop and my current activities. I've been sick and then spent the weekend trying to tame the weeds in the perennial garden without getting poison ivy again. I'm claiming success this time.
Monday, May 18, 2009
It was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. I just wish I had a picture. I was simply too stunned to even think about getting my camera.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Allison is finishing fifth grade and loves school. This has been a trying year though. Her teacher is not very nurturing, is uncommunicative with parents and has appalling grammar. She does not assign much homework, and for that she rocks in my book. I just read a Facebook post from a friend whose fifth grader who was up late typing a paper. A paper? Allison hasn't had any sort of paper to do. She had a much larger project in fourth grade at our old school before we moved. Quite simply she is not challenged.
Ben is finishing third grade and is not a big fan of school. His teacher is very kind, friendly and knowledgeable. However, she assigns way too much homework. Math sheets, spelling homework, reading sheets and up until this week's tests, EOG practice reading sheets every night. The math sheets are repetitive, tedious and lengthy. I don't happen to find worksheets all that creative and if you want to keep a kid's interest, you've got to be creative.
So while Ben is busy gritting his teeth over these math sheets, he's not learning his multiplication tables nor practicing cursive since they have no time for this during the school day. He's so worn out (and so am I) by the time we have fought it out to get the math sheet done that there is no time left. He still needs time to be a kid, doesn't he?
Third grade is a tough year for teachers since it is the first year for standardized tests. Last year's third graders scored only 50% at or above grade level in reading. Scary, huh? So, as I have a moment or two with the fourth grade teacher this week, I ask her about next year for Ben. One word: writing. Fourth graders have the EOG writing test. No wait, that's actually 6 tests. SIX WRITING TESTS? Are you kidding me?
Ben hates to write. So I am envisioning a wretched year for him as they cram sentence fluency, grammar and writing prompts down his throat. As if he isn't already starting to hate school, this will do him in. Me too.
So I feel like we have to make a change. I guess I can go to the elementary school down the road and see how they handle fourth grade, testing and so on. Then I can check out the tuition at the Montessori school in Spruce Pine compared to the cost of homeschooling. There are online homeschooling curricula which could work well for us. I could continue to work in the studio while he does his online schoolwork. Then supplement that with some homesteading projects and field trips. It's really going to change our life.
I'm feeling terribly guilty about considering homeschooling since his schooling would be completely different from Allison's. She wants to go to middle school though, and I have high hopes that he will too. I guess if middle school turns out to be a bust, I will have had some time to adjust to alternative schooling.
We had children to try to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, NCLB and public school seem to be working against us. There's always time to be a full time potter later.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The handles are drying across the arms of the thinking chair.
A close up of the one on the left.
Monday, May 11, 2009
The snake stuck around for at least 15-20 minutes checking us out. Although the pictures wouldn't turn out, you could see its body on the other side of the tree along the trunk.
As a child, a snake sighting meant a rush for a shovel or hoe and the subsequent horror show as my Mom or Dad chopped up the offensive reptile, no matter how small or what kind of snake it was. To this day, my younger sister is terrified of snakes. It's no wonder. This guy was pretty cool though.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
And while I love my red wine in bottles, I sometimes drink boxed wine. While I don't necessarily want to believe I am a non-bottled wine drinker, I embrace the idea of the greening of the wine industry. Since boxed wine uses significantly less energy to bottle, I wanted a way to imbibe without the stigma of being a cheap-o. Introducing the carafe. They hold an inexact amount of wine, but look delightful on your table. They can be disreetly refilled in the kitchen without disrupting the wine connoisseur atmosphere.
Anyway, like I need to justify my wine drinking. Here are some carafes. Maybe they'll come in handy sometime and make me feel more sophisticated while I'm lowering my platelets.
Friday, May 8, 2009
There are open, rifled-through boxes, tubs of outgrown kids' clothes and let's not forget the doors that will eventually get delivered to the Habitat Store.
The lawn chair is supposed to be there. It's my thinking chair.
I suggested a small storage unit down the road, but since we actually relocated a small family of mice into our house the last time we used such a place, Jay wants to find another solution. His is to move everything back into the still unfinished basement area, so that we can move it somewhere else when we decide to erect the stud walls. The electric slab roller (so kindly left behind by the last owners) is piled with books and magazines and is jammed up against one side of my work table. I'm looking forward to using that slab roller some day.
It might be easier to move the kiln than to find a home for all the other stuff. Notice the large appliance in the foreground, delivered this Monday and due to be installed next Monday, replacing a non-working one. I sure hope they take the old one away when they go.
I'm not much for cleaning so I guess I'll just keep on making pots like nothing's in the way. Now where am I going to put them?
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
A wareboard of heart bowls drying on the Lockerbie.
Wine bottle coasters and baskets.
I'm excited about the baskets. I've started pulling the handles instead of using cut cylinders. It gives me more options and opens up the creative possibilities. I'm also excited since we have a compressor now and I can spray glaze on these. Harbor Freight has a spray gun on sale, but I'm not sure it will work for glazes. One more research project.
On a happy note, I found my cone 6 glaze notebook which had been misplaced during last year's move. I was much relieved and slept well last night.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
And of course, Poison Ivy. I thought I was being very careful, but still managed to get some on my arm. Check out the Celo Photo blog. Perhaps I should have tried the folk remedy?