Saturday, May 31, 2008

all praise the decal goddess

Friday's photo is of a very pink birthday cake made for a very pink 7 year old girl's birthday.

I love spring! One of the many, many flowering trees that dot the landscape in these parts.

Saturday morning was garage sale day (our own). Feels so good to be rid of so much junk...and to go out for a nice dinner date with all the money we made. Mmmmm sweet potatoe fries. Mmmm what a hunk to go on my date with.

The decal goddess was smiling on me yesterday. My decals arrived by courier AND accompanied by a note saying that because of the mix-up they were free! They are applied and waiting to be fired and a lovely mug is waiting to be sent to my kind decal supplier.

Another special order to be checked off the list. These are wine/tea/coffee cups, to be glazed in clear exterior, wisteria interior, red flower stamps and green dots. I had a lot of fun making these. I like the shape and I think I will start making them regularly.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

bowls, bowls and a hot kiln

A whole lotta bowls, big and bigger, waiting to go into the kiln. Which they need to do as soon as possible as I have run out of room in my studio.

Little bowls fresh off the wheel. I love throwing! I have plans afoot for the decoration of these which means I have to spend some time practicing with my sketch pad.

My beautiful kiln, demonstrating it's wonderful ability to retain heat. So wonderful in fact that it is taking FOREVER for it to cool down. Inside are all of the lovely student pots, glazed and finished and waiting for me to free them. Sadly, it is hovering in the 400-500 degree range and taunting me with the treasures inside.

On a plus note I think a giant thunderstorm is rolling in and I heart thunderstorms!

Oh, and thank you for all of the great decal energy. Seems they are 'in the mail' or rather with the courier service. Yay!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

sometimes I struggle

I am trying to post each day that my studio is open. I want to do this because I want a record of what my days were like, what really goes on in a pottery studio on a daily basis. Then I second guess myself because I don't want to bore my dear reader(s) with the inane day to day. Then I am back at thinking I should post what happens, boring though it may be. Obviously I have too much time on my hands. So here is my day: Unload really hot kiln (had to wear my stepdaughters gardening gloves to do this - love that last minute, smoking hot kiln rush), get set up for a day of student glazing, glaze with students, load kiln, review calendar to ensure that all I want to be making is getting made, putz about organizing and tidying and watering plants, read a book in the sunshine, decide book is crap and get a new book, do this twice, decide to post on blog, agonize about what to post, write post while drinking chai, politely tell insurance saleswoman that I am not interested in purchasing her insurance as I am already insured and very happy thank you very much, more students, more glazing, more kiln loading.

This calendar very accurately presents my system for running a studio. Assign each task a day and do not cross off until accomplished. The first photo was on May (look at all those lovely accomplished tasks) and the above photo is my plan for June (note I am going to Rossland AND my parents are coming to visit). I am trying to have a lot of extra work prepared because I am going to be on the Coast for almost 3 weeks this August.

I don't use test tiles, these are glaze test pots. These are most of the colours that my students can choose from when they are glazing their own work.

The current bane of my existence. Yup, you have seen those before. Those are the ski hill mugs that were ordered in March and have been ready for decals since April and where are the decals???? Really, who knows. I have now sent two emails to my decal supplier and have not heard back. I may have to be getting a new decal supplier. I don't want a new decal supplier, I like the current arrangement minus the missing decals. The ski hill opens in two and a half weeks. I NEED THOSE DECALS! All positive decal energy would be appreciated.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

the sun is shining and all is right with my world

The lilac trees in my backyard are blooming and they are lovely to photograph.

I have been experimenting with my pocket digital (Sony Cyber-shot). I want to take photos that look like they were taken from an old fashioned Kodak Brownie, but I want them to be digital, any ideas? I am struggling with finding an affordable source of film and developing for my little Brownie. Ideas for where to get 127 film affordably developed would also be appreciated.

I love lilacs, my house and studio are now filled with them.

A new mug shape. I am hoping this one is conducive to a lot of line drawing. The flared top seems to be preferred by customers, but I don't like the way it looks. It is too cut off and fancy looking to have a lot of detail in the glaze-work. Problems to be resolved.

Monday, May 26, 2008

brrrrr, it's still cold here

Sunday's photo is of my lovely new (although quite old) tool chest. I will be using this to store paper and decals that are now all jumbled together in a big bin.

My garage sale score still has the original calendar from 1953 when the box was made. It looks great in my studio.

Studio work today consisted of praying for no rain so that my student's work would dry in time for a firing tonight, cleaning up coffee mugs and throwing some new mug forms. The pots still aren't dry, so the firing may occur in the morning.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

lucky, lucky me

Friday's photo is of yummy spicy zucchini salsa.

My new bowl form, well actually a revisiting of the shape I was making about 6 years ago.

My very full studio. In fact all available space is full of pots drying. So, when you can't work in your studio....

You go garage sailing. I had a stellar day! A mint Kodak brownie holiday flash camera (film is already winging it's way here and I am VERY excited!)

4 vintage turquoise canisters (the same colour as my studio walls) and a metal recipe card holder that someone went to the trouble of carefully macktacking (is this a verb?) great black and white shelf-paper onto. Now the transcribing and organizing of glaze recipes will begin. Already a fabulous day and it is only 1:15.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

student work

Drying and waiting for the bisque firing. A great bunch of pots!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

beautiful glazing and some hugs

Some inspired student glazing. Beautiful freehand rose, 11 year old girl. Very impressive.

The other side of the mug. This is done with Mayco stroke and coat glazes applied with bottles and small nozzles. The work will then be dipped in a clear overglaze.

My imaginary friend Meghan in Golden at Jita's cafe. Kuljit is my witness, she is real (actually both Kuljit and Meghan are real).

Lucky me, lots of cuddles from my adorable 'neice'.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

new schwag

My lovely new advertising bits. Postcards in lieu of brochures or rackcards because they are damn expensive. Pretty cards to use for shipping neclaces all over the world (well, so far Canada and the US, but a girl can dream...). No more photos or studio business today as I have friends coming from Vancouver, if they can get through the pass considering the huge mud slide.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Large bowls, puppets and no plant sex

Some very large bowls. I have been putting off making these and then when I got to it, I really enjoyed it.

Sunday's photo is of my lovely hand puppets. Presents from long ago from Germany.

You hear that plants, no self-propagating! This tag makes no sense.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

grow where you are planted

Friday's photo is of the lovely flowers that were brought home for me on Friday (wise man)...

Saturday's photo is a view of the lovely mountains and the smoking great deals we found garage sailing (step-ladder, wheel barrow, drying rack, bookcases).

Grow where you are planted. Brilliant words. I feel comfortable in saying that I have grown where I have been planted. In fact, right now I think I am thriving. The zone is not exactly to my liking, but that just makes me hardier. My studio business is doing well and I like what I am doing. The tourists have arrived.

One of the new found bonuses of having a studio attached to your home: I can garden while my shop is open. I can mow my lawn (I like my push mower) while my shop is open. My sweetie can come out and drink a beer and have a visit with me while my shop is open.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

thank goddess the sun is shining (and my mugs are done)

A whole heck of a lot of mugs. (I said heck, my friends are probably laughing at me now). Can't give free reign to my potty mouth on my blog, friends.

Thursday's photo comes with a wee story: Once upon a time there was a very calm and understanding woman. This woman was very organized and tidy and she liked to have things be organized and tidy around her. Oh and she really liked summer and sunshine. One day this calm, understanding, tidy woman had a very, very bad day. It rained and was cold all day. She couldn't have a shower OR a bath because her shower drain was broken, so broken that it drained three showers worth of water into the downstairs before anyone noticed it was broken. So to maintain her sense of calm and peace she retreated to her studio. When she returned to her house that evening she found that her bathtub was still broken and now her dishwasher was broken as well. Did I mention that this woman has 4 children and a man living with her? Her house was a scene of chaos when she returned, dishes, shoes, backpacks, dishes, socks, clothing, tools, toolbags, dishes, miscellaneous bits of who knows what strewn all over her house. AND someone had eaten ALL OF THE COOKIES. It was still cold and rainy. The calm and understanding woman tidied the entire house, fed the animals and washed all the dishes. The calm and understanding woman stopped speaking voluntarily and went to bed, she didn't lose her temper even once. When she woke up in the morning, miracle of miracles, the sun was shining. The shower was still broken, the dishwasher was still broken, the house was still tidy but only because everyone else was still asleep. The calm and understanding woman would like you all to know that the photo above represents the return of her sanity.

Lime green chair + ice cold Stella + sunshine = loss of desire to get own apartment

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

miscellaneous bits and some whining

Because Dragonfly Clay Studio is small and new, it does not have a pugmill. I am the pugmill. I guess I can be happy about that because I can use as many different clay bodies as I want and cleaning the pugmill (my hands) is very simple. This was my morning job. Thankfully, I stay pretty on top of it and it has yet to become overwhelming.

studioELAN inspired me to make some new stamps, these are only partly finished. When they are leather hard, they will be carved and cleaned up, I am happy with them so far.

This is my hardworking studio stereo and the three albums that are in heavy rotation: Juno soundtrack, Feist - the reminder, and Lilly Allen. I like Lilly's potty mouth, she makes me smile.

My photo of the day. My new blown glass hummingbird feeder, just waiting for a hummingbird.

Ok, now for the whining, I am SO, SO, SO tired of rain and cloud and winter-like weather. I HATE winter, I am desperate for summer to arrive. I am sick of my jeans and sweaters, I want to wear dresses and skirts and t-shirts. I am cold ALL THE TIME! (I think this rant has been spurred on by reading a lot of fabulous blogs from people that live on the West Coast, specifically San Francisco and LA). Not that I want to live there (although San Francisco or Seattle would be ok). I just want to be in the warmth and sunshine, oh and having a bit more of a metropolis around me would be ok too. Oh, and I really want to travel. I have no money to travel. Starting your own business, specifically an art-based business means that YOU DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY!

Ok, enough bitching. Here is an amazing little art video that I found this morning on Carole Epp's blog:
I almost feel like I have travelled somewhere wonderful and arty. I LOVE the big city.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

successful brown, a new sign, a visit, and a pretty picture

Yay, it didn't run. The ski hill mugs are almost done now, just waiting on the decals...

My new sandwich sign, very exciting!

Ask and ye shall receive, a friend dropped by for beer (and chips of course). A lovely break in my day.

A lovely photo taken yesterday while I was making dinner.

Monday, May 12, 2008

back in the saddle

After a few weeks away from throwing and other studio duties I was back at it today. These are some new mug forms. I am picturing them finished with black line drawings and a clear glossy glaze.

Some coffee mugs with the new non-running brown glaze waiting to be put into the kiln, as soon as it cools and is unloaded...

My lovely studio in the sunshine. Look, chairs in the sunshine, beer and wine in the fridge, me just waiting for a friend to come and visit for a while. I'm just saying...

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Number 28, done! As modeled by daughter who looks lovely in vintage tulle.

The new brown glaze, the one without the running and drips (fingers crossed).

My birthday present from Matt. A dremel to call my own.