Saturday, August 31, 2013

To Do Today

Today is the last day of August, and the start of Labor Day weekend - the cultural if not the astronomical end of summer. It's been a busy summer, not always in the ways I would have chosen, but I am trying to get my time back until control. With that in mind, I'm utilizing that old favorite tool of mine: the to-do list.

I unloaded a kiln on Wednesday, which never stops being fun and exciting. Thursday was sorting, pricing, packing, and delivering pots to Monkitree, Portland Pottery, and Kennebec River Artisans.

This was a ^10 firing; I've been alternating between ^6 and ^10 all summer, as it turns out that no, I can not go the whole summer without making new inventory in order to focus on the glaze conversion project. My bad! Nevertheless I am pretty much on schedule - still owe a few pottery Rewards, as well as the glaze books (of course!) but the upcoming ^6 firing will hopefully be the last of the 'test" firings, and contain more than half "real" work.

So! to the boats:

To do today:
  • Scrape and grind kiln shelves. Six of my shelves are Advancers, which are crazy-expensive but necessary, as lifting the heavy regular shelves above my shoulders at arms length just had to stop. The Advancers need minimal grinding - an obvious perk - but not none. 
  • It's a throwing day: cake stands are on tap (watch for a video!) and as well as pitchers and butterdishes.
  • I still have pots that need homes from the last firing, so I will be preparing pots for delivery to The Artisan's Barn, Summer Island Studios, and the Bay View Company.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Soda Firing Workshop!

In conjunction with Portland Pottery and the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, I will be offering a Soda Firing Workshop this fall! It's happening Saturday & Sunday, September 14th & 15th at the Watershed Center. I will bring glazes,flashing slips, brushes, and trailing bottles; you bring two clay boxes of bisqued, ^10 stoneware. (I can't guarantee it will all get in the kiln but I will do my best!) We'll spend Saturday morning glazing, then break for lunch, and load the kiln in the afternoon. Portland Pottery will provide lunch on Saturday.
On Sunday we will fire the kiln. Students will learn about glaze application, loading, firing, and and have an opportunity to spray the soda mix into the kiln! I'll also provide wadding, kiln wash, and glaze recipes to interested students.
The firing will be unloaded the following Wednesday. Students are welcome but not required to attend the unloading. If you can't be there, please make arrangements to pick up your work at Portland pottery. The cost for this two-day workshop is $125.Call Portland Pottery to register, or for more details. (207)772-4334

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Inspiration: Karen Hamilton

See lots more of Karen's intriguing work here and here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

What Do You Do When Inspiration Flees?

As regular readers know, my family obligations have expanded this summer. It's not that it's so much more work - though there is some - but it takes up a great deal more of my mind. In the interest of privacy, I won't share much of what's happening on that front, except to say some parts are going well - arguably the most important parts - and in other ways it's much harder than I expected.
One thing I find difficult is really feeling it in the studio. I can make stuff, but I can't get that so-excited-to-make-stuff feeling that is the reason I love clay; that feeling that results in the best pots. I page through the Thursday Inspiration posts, which used to send me spinning onto the studio post haste, but that hasn't been working; so I'm trying a different tack.
I purchased Kristen Keiffer's Surface Decoration video!
(I tried to post an image here relating to the video, but Blogger is giving me a raft of shit. Of course it is.)
I can't yet say whether this will awaken my snoozing inspiration, but I can say this: this video is wonderful. Though the general techniques are things I am familiar with, Kristen has different approaches to all of them. I've only watched the first two chapters and I've already learned so much! Just wanted to share this with my readers: if you've been considering this DVD, it's well worth the $50 purchase price.
I'm off to watch the rest of it. Hope you are having a good summer.