Sunday, December 19, 2010
Due to those same weather conditions, which by the way have not been all that bad, local sales have been dreadfully slow. So, I'm having a shipping sale until Tuesday December 21st. It's a win-win-win. I sell some pottery, you save on shipping, and my local Postmaster gets more business which he desperately wants!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
In the meantime, Jay thought it would be an ideal time to clean up our computer. The speed has been ever-so-slowly decreasing over the past few months. After attempting to reboot upon finding two viruses and various other computer meanies, the old girl refused to boot up.
Jay was able to find another operating system, and so I have temporary and fleeting internet access until the weekend, when we'll have time to recover all of our necessary files and wipe the hard drive. What a pain in the ass.
On the positive side, I received my Generosity Chain box from Tracey (thanks Tracey! I'll thank you properly with photos next week!), and at last night's Clay Club meeting, I got a Michael Kline mug in the holiday swap.
Hopefully, I'll be back online next week. So until then, I'm really not ignoring you.
Friday, December 3, 2010
The kiln was packed tight and towards the end of the firing I found cone 7 flat on the bottom, but 6 barely budging on top. I was playing around with the damper when I noticed that my right burner was OUT! I couldn't get the pilot to stay lit, and after realizing that the remaining burner couldn't do the job, I just shut the whole thing down, grateful that I had left myself enough time to refire.
Jump to this week, home from our annual Thanksgiving trek to the Outer Banks, and it was time to spruce up the gallery for the Studio Tour. I had all these new pots to visit with, shelves to move and, ahem, a bit more glaze clean up to do. Two sick children wiped my smug grin off of my face in a hurry, one kid at the start of the week, the other coming down with the same bug yesterday. Then my phone line is full of static and the internet keeps going out. I had several phone conversations yesterday outside at the phone box. Fortunately, the dryer vent empties right there and kept my feet warm.
If you find yourself in the WNC mountains this weekend, plan on visiting with some of the world-class artists who live and work up here. Or come to the artist reception Friday night 5-8 at the Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery.
Friday, November 19, 2010
I know it doesn't look like much yet.
So while I nurse my shoulder for another day, I'm mixing some test glazes. Before I can do that, I have to organize and label the test tiles from last fall so as not to retest something. I would have labelled them sooner, but I've been engrossed in a book about procrastination. If anyone has any cone 6 reduction recipes, please share. I'm also going to try Val Cushing's method of converting a cone 10 glaze to cone 6. Has anyone had any luck with this?
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Now I just have to decide when to actually start firing.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I voted yesterday because I always vote. After the fucked-up stolen election of 2000, I came to realize that one person can make a difference. Our country and perhaps our world would be a vastly different and arguably better place had President Gore been in office when the 9/11 attacks happened. I'll agree with many of you who have had it with attack ads, phone calls, and the sheer stupidity of our government. I still feel it's my right and duty to vote, so I do it.
We've lived up here in this mountain community for 2 1/2 years now. I've met plenty of locals and lots of folks who have relocated here. It's a gorgeous and inspiring place to live and work. That said, the local politics are strange indeed. Although I REALLY want to, I won't name names, but I've just got to share some stories from this year's election season.
As part of the debate team, my daughter had the priviledge of assiting a candidates' forum a few weeks ago. Some of her observations include:
One candidate who played solitaire on her phone during the forum.
One candidate who quoted the Bible.
One candidate who said he wanted to bring real jobs to our county, not pottery making or beading.
One candidate who refused to follow the forum rules with regards to how much time he could talk.
In addition, Monday night I met a woman who had not voted ever since she had been offered money by a candidate at the polls 40 years ago. For real. In fact, this seems to be a time-honored tradition up here. The alleged perpetrator handed out $20 bills "for your time, not for your vote" and won re-election yesterday.
Where is an election official when you need one?
Friday, October 29, 2010
They were much more fun to play around with this way.
So I attached slab bottoms to a couple, and I think I've got a new form to work with.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I'm in the middle of a batch of smaller baskets.
I have a ware board of them tightly covered waiting for handles.
The reclaim that I spread onto plaster is cracked and getting bone-dry around the edges.
And even wth so many boxes of Ellen Buff, I really wanted to work with a white body again for a bit. That box of Buncombe White isn't going to carry itself downstairs.
In fact today is a celebration! My "baby" turns 10 today.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I've just got to say this, and I really don't care who I piss off. The Art & Craft Show at the Old English Inn this weekend was the most colossal waste of my time since that Tupperware Party. I had gone to this show for the past two years as a spectator, and it looked like a good show with nice pottery, jewelry and fiber arts. When the show organizer who also owns the building called me two weeks before the show and asked if I could do the show for no booth fee, only 15% of sales, I agreed.
I've never had a sale go so badly. I had 4 sales, and the check I wrote for my 15% was less than $10. On the positive side, the weather was divine, so I sat on the front porch with some of my fellow artists, and we solved world hunger.
Monday, October 4, 2010
The kids were great. Allison took loads of photos which I don't have the time to go through until later and ate all the sandwiches that Ben tried and didn't like. I did manage to convince them that it was inappropriate to climb the lovely live oak outside. Attending this reception with me was their penance since the rest of the weekend was party-time for them. Otherwise, I'll bet they would have opted to stay home.
The reception was great. I wish I lived closer and could spend more time with all of the great work. I am humbled and honored to be included with such a diverse and talented group of potters. I met Superwoman Meredith, Mark, Linda, Tracey, Hollis, Samantha among others whose names escape me, but I will remember when I go through Allison's pictures and catch up on everyone's blogs.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
So back to this PTO gig. As happy as I am to be involved, I really hope that I am able to take it as seriously as I should. But, how did I get here? I mean, this is the same person who threw a Tupperware Party that no one came to. And when Allison was a baby, I resorted to taking out an ad in the local paper to find a playgroup. And the only Mom who answered the ad turned out to be a bit high strung. Jay thought she was psychotic. We moved.
I have come to the realization that there isn't much "O"rganization in the PTO. "O" stands for "Oh my goodness" the room just emptied when I asked for some help. "Oh, you schools are looking for another handout from local businesses". "Oh crap, where did I put that memo?"
A few individuals do most of the work. I am in charge of pulling off the year's big fundraiser in a few weeks, and I'm feeling a little pressure here. I already have prehypertension, and I'm not sure this is good for my health.
You may have noticed that I have a hard enough time organizing and motivating myself, much less trying to rally a parent base that may or may not have the time nor the inclination to get involved. It's a shame because I just heard some study that shows that a child's success in school has a direct correlation to the parents' involvement.
So my plan is to enlist a parent in each grade to put together a parent/grandparent contact list for a directory (if the Principal approves) and have said parent contact other parents and assign tasks. We have only one class per grade so this is not a lot of parents, so not a lot of phone calls.
I always tell my kids that many hands make light work. Do you think the parents will swallow that line? My kids don't.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I had planned on hand-delivering my basket for the Carolina's Got Art! exhibit, but misread the delivery instructions until Saturday morning: no one available to accept work on Sunday. At least I didn't make the long drive to Charlotte to find this out. However, this did result in a quite expensive packing and shipping charge, and the box still didn't arrive on time.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Then yesterday, I threw these 3-5 lb cylinders, which is a lot of clay for me. I'll see if I can pull the same idea off a little larger in scale.
You'll have to excuse my awkward segue here to another almost related topic. I ran across an old article entitled "Is Glaze Dead?", and although I haven't had time to reread it, just the title has me rethinking my surfaces. I've said it before. I LOVE glaze. And certain glazes really love my baskets, but will these new vases be engaging enough with glaze alone? How else can I treat the surfaces? Some of them have an interesting enough shape that almost begs for some sort of deliberate decoration, but I've never decorated my pots before.
I guess some trial and error experimenting is in order.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Anyway, I have grown a little weary of trying to explain what function my baskets serve. Currently they enrich my life with their beauty, and while you certainly could, I wouldn't fill them with salad. So I have decided to make some work that is undeniably functional: bowls and sake sets. Don't worry your pretty little heads, I will indeed be cutting them, at least a little bit.
The photos I've been working on are twofold. I am taking some classes through Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs about Etsy and increasing my online presence. One suggestion was to take Etsy photos with props. I tried, but to me they feel contrived, and I really prefer the more formal photos. Then I tried to set up an online portfolio on Call For Entry and found that I am unable to size my photos the way they require. I tried the two photo software programs I own plus Picnik. CaFE wants photos 1920 x 1920, which means they can have the balck bars top and bottom if your image is not that high. I can't seem to get those black bars on, so I have no portfolio there. I think I'm going to have to buy Photoshop Elements or something similar unless any of my faithful readers knows how to do this for free.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I guess no good deed goes unpunished.