Friday, November 25, 2022

New Pots in the Online Shop!

Just in time for Small Business Saturday. And, you know, Cyber Monday, & the rest of the holiday shopping season, right up to December 15th, which is the latest I could get a piece shipped in time for Christmas. Here are some of the new offerings:

Garlic roasters! If you have a cook in your life, they need one of these. Roast garlic is soft & spreadable, & has a milder, sweeter taste than raw. I'll tuck a recipe in the box with purchase! Get one here

This is a larger serving bowl, about 8 inches in diameter & 4ish inches tall. The slip trailed flowers are pretty exuberant, I guess I got carried away! The glaze is a greatly altered Leach White - like, so altered it now only shares one ingredient - plus some chartreuse Mason stain. It's satiny & smooth, and while I wouldn't call it chartreuse (Mason stains don't always express the expected color, especially in reduction) it's a lovely spring green. See more here

You know how I love to make butter dishes! I have a few new ones in the shop. This one has a periwinkle interior, another results of my playing around with Mason stains. See more here.

Loads of little vases, just over 4" high, listed today as well. Little enough to bring some beauty to your workspace. Or even your car - they fit in the cupholder! 

Thanks for looking, & I hope your Thanksgiving was as full of love & family as mine. 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Saturday in the Studio

I had hoped to fire the kiln today but as usual glazing took longer than I expected. When will I learn? Survey says: Never! 

By 8 pm last night I'd finished glazing but still had to make cone packs, wash kiln shelves (a few, anyway), & mix wadding before I could even start loading. Sure, I could have done it, & been lighting the pilots at midnight, and there was a time when I would have done it: when push to the max was the order of the day, every day. That's not how I roll, these days. Maybe I am just older & tireder, or maybe I have a better perspective on work-life balance now. In any case I decided to call it a night, pour a thc-infused lemonade, & watch a couple episodes of Lower Decks. I'll fire tomorrow. I can't unload until Tuesday at the earliest, no matter what, so I am not losing any time. 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Let's Hear it for the Nerds


I made a t-shirt! Get yours here.

Ceramics Opportunity!

The Division of Ceramic Art at the School of Art and Design, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, is seeking candidates for a full-time Assistant Professor position of Ceramics beginning in the fall 2023. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Potter Bones

The bones of a woman who lived approximately 3,000 years ago have been determined to be those of a potter. The skeleton was found in Crete, & dated from what is sometimes called the Greek Dark Ages. 

Am I the only one wondering: if my bones are dug up 3,000 years from now, will they tell my story? The pottery part of it?
I love to read about ancient potters & ware because it reminds me that people are people; not so very different, at heart. 

Sorry for spotty posting! Hoping to get back to greater regularity now that it's fall, which traditionally means getting back to serious business. 🙂

Thursday, August 25, 2022

FFS Can August be over soon?

 August - my birthday month! - is usually a fan favorite here at Fine Mess Pottery. The nights get cooler while the days are still bright & warm. All that is still true, but August has been rough this time. 

First, there was the passing of the Grey Lady. I am not terribly sentimental about vehicles (for someone who names them); my dismay is more about the expense of replacing it. While it's true that we got very, very lucky in finding our Ranger, five thousand bucks is still five thousand bucks, going out the door. Add to that I had some long-delayed dental work (tell me again why my teeth are not considered part of my body, for insurance purposes?), we had to insure & register the Ranger, and now my PT Cruiser is acting up. So far I've had to pay for a tow & some minor fuel line work (& a AAA membership, just in case) but I can tell something is still wrong. Our turtle, Red, has needed some veterinary care, as well, for a nasty cut on his forepaw. None of these a bank-breakers, but all happening in the same month, they are getting weighty.

Most of the time I remind myself how very lucky I am. When the Dakota was declared moribund, we had the money to replace it. I have been blessed with genetically good teeth, so my dental visits are few & normally maintenance. Red is recovering well! Things are gonna go wrong from time to time - it's not reasonable to expect that they won't - & I am aware that things have not gone nearly as wrong as they could go. 

But geez. Can we be done with the hits, for just a little while?

Saturday, August 6, 2022

As Yet Unnamed


The universe has provided me with a new truck. Or - equally plausible! - I scoured Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace, & every other avenue I could think of, until I found the vehicle I needed. It's a 2010 Ford Ranger, low miles, no frills. We got it for what would have been an insane price a couple of years ago but baby, things change. It was actually the cheapest one on my list, & had been on the market for over a month, so I was half expecting it to be trailing parts & belching smoke. Not at all! Other than some scratched in the bed, it's like a new truck. 

It hasn't yet earned a name, but I am listening to the wind thru the window for suggestions. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

The Grey Lady Drives Off Into The Sunset


It seems like only yesterday I drove her home, overjoyed to have a truck for the first time since 1989. Everything is a little easier with a truck! Art fairs, yardwork, dump runs, snagging free furniture left by the side of the road. But sadly the Grey Lady has been diagnosed with terminal frame rust, & she will not pass her next inspection. 

But I'm not doing artfairs anymore - probably? - & roadside furniture finds always smell funny; & I don't know if we can find a bargain like we got with the Grey Lady. It's a tough time to buy any used vehicle, especially a truck, since demand for used vehicles has never been higher, in part due to a dearth of new ones - that's that whole chip shortage you've been reading about. 

Anyway, we are, in a way, lucky: we have a PT Cruiser that I will continue to drive to class, & the Grey Lady herself is not immediately out of commission, so we have a few weeks to find a replacement. I'd love to get another small pick up, but it may not be in the cards. So, local readers, if you hear of a good deal on a used truck - or, heck, a good deal on any vehicle - give me a shout! It takes a village.

On a completely unrelated topic, anyody wanna buy pottery? 😄

Friday, July 29, 2022

In Use

I have an alter ego that occasionally pops up in the studio. Unlike my usual work, she makes hand built work with spontaneous shapes & rustic edges. I don’t know how other potters stick to just one style of working! My alter does not appear often, or make many items, but I really enjoy the few I get. 

This platter, for instance! I use it a lot; it’s a great serving size for two, or for side dishes for larger groups. Tonight I grilled cherry tomatoes & button mushrooms, and served them over pasta with Parmesan cheese. The warm iron-brown color of the platter seems to complement any food I place on it. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

New pots!

 I unloaded a firing last Sunday! Between packing & delivering the pots to their awaiting outlets, & photographing, then processing the images, I am only just getting around to posting about it. Nice problem to have: a week out, & almost all the pots are sold. I held out a few for the online store. 

Lately I have been producing two bodies of work: Dotopia & Sweet Life. (I find it helps, especially for taking wholesale orders, if I name the lines. Yes, the names are a bit corny! That's marketing for ya.) I'm only posting a few Sweet Life pots, because the Dotopia pots are in stores now. Damn, I really need to fire more often, because I need more inventory. 

Anyway, the pots are here. I'll be posting these in my online shop today

I'll be posting the links here as soon as I get these listed. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Pottery Stairs are Out!


The Pottery Stairs, wearing their spiffy new coat of lipstick-red paint, are out for the first time since the Maine Pottery Tour! Local peeps, come & get your love! (Or, you know, mugs.)

Here's how it works: Choose your pottery. Grab an envelope - it's already got my address & a stamp.  You can mail me the price of the ware, or you can put the payment directly into my mailbox, on the porch. Or you can send money via CashApp: $FineMessPottery ; or at :@LoriKeenanWatts

Sorry, but I can't hold or ship pieces from the pottery stairs. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Yes, I'm Still Making Stuff!

You might have the impression from my last few posts that all I've done for the last couple months is studio housekeeping: roof repair, new shelving, painting the stairs. Au croissant! (or whatever.) I have been making like a mad bastard! I tend to share those photos on instagram - the social media platform I find truly enjoyable. I use a couple of the others but insta is the one that is actually fun, as opposed to a tool for staying informed, either of the news of the day or of my friends lives. Though I am very interested in politics, I keep my instagram feed free of it - anyone making political posts or god forbid memes, I mute them, at least for a while, because I think there need to be places, irl & online, where we can go & not focus on what divides us. It's the only way back to civility, if there even is a way back.  (Side note: I f*ckin hate most memes, they are basically bumper sticker thinking for the internet. Most just play into confirmation bias, & make people think they are informed without giving them any information.)

That was a long introduction, that wandered off into the weeds! Here are some pics of what's happening in the studio: 

Bisque on today is my last day to throw. Better make the most of it!