Saturday, October 25, 2008

need more time...

A very hot kiln needing to be unloaded so that it can be reloaded with bisque because I have students coming to glaze on Monday. One layer at a time, with mittens. This always happens. I think that I will let it cool down to under 100 degrees with the lid closed. Then the time crunch, then I am propping the lid at 400 degrees, opening at 300 degrees and removing pieces with mittens because they are damn hot. No crazing yet, I have been lucky. More photos of new work coming tomorrow.

Some large bowls thrown today. 12 pounds each, I am COVERED in clay. More bowls coming tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

still cute and lots of pots

Here is Taz after his spa day. He looks like a whole new dog...or a rat, depending on who you ask. I think he is adorable and I like that this new 'do' doesn't collect as many sticks, leaves and clumps of unmentionable ickiness. He fits through his dog door a little more smoothly as well (he is on a diet).

My studio is getting so full of work in progress that I am having a difficult time finding a place to put things. It is all about the shuffle stuff around game. This week and next I wrap up lessons with my students. They are excited about glazing and I am excited about having more space for my own work.

I have been talking to a lot of different people about the state of the world and the looming financial crisis (or in some places, the existing financial crisis). We talk about ways to cope and job security and expendable income. When things get tough and tight, people make fewer uneccesary purchases. Do any of you have any thoughts about this? How do you think we artists will fare? My business has steadily been growing and the optimist in me thinks that this will continue. Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

more bowls, animalia and a shaggy puppy

More small bowls. I am feeling the time crunch with the first Christmas faire in the middle of November. I am mostly on track, just feeling a little crowded in the studio.

I love the freedom that children have when creating. They seem to be missing all of those negative 'you can't do that' voices that we adults often have.

This is a kitty bank that one of my 7 year old students made for his little sister for Christmas. All by himself. Very cool.

My very shaggy puppy who is going for a MAJOR grooming tomorrow. I will post after photos on Thursday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

finished work, fresh bowls and a surprise

New coffee mugs. I love the way this glaze is always changing and dripping.

A new combo of oil spot and brown. Not my favorite, but variety is important on the shelves. Or so I keep telling myself, although less and less often...

This week is make bowls for the craft fair week. Here are about 24 of the small soup bowls that I threw this morning.

Clay reclaim waiting to be wedged up.

Suprise, coming to a really full household near you (well, probably not near most of you) sometime in May.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

my day for Mrs. G

6:30 am, the alarm rings us awake and Taz starts cuddling and wiggling about. We are both up and getting ready for our day. I make lunches for my girls and then have a quick cup of green tea before I wake them up at 7.

8:15 am, the girls leave for school and I head to the computer with yet another cup of green tea so that I can check my email and all of the blogs that I am addicted to. I make myself some rye toast with peanut butter and an avacado on the side for breakfast.

9am, hop in the shower and then head out to the studio.

Today I will be waxing and glazing all of the rest of the coffee mugs that I have thrown. Lots of mixing and dipping. Thankfully, no glaze batch making as I seem to have enough of everything. Many breaks taken to check email and facebook.

12pm finds me outside of the highschool to drop off the baking dish filled with lime green jello. Jada has to build a cell with jello and candy and the dish was too big to carry to school in the morning. I have a quick lunch of leftover salad from last night and some fruit.

12:30 and I am back in the studio. I spend some time cleaning up all of the work that has come out of the kiln. It needs to be sanded, priced and put on display in the gallery. I take the time to photograph some and upload it to my Etsy shop. More puttering around in the studio, getting ready for students and trying to tidy up.

5:00pm and I am inside starting to make dinner. Tonight we will have roast pumpkin and garlic soup with fresh bread (from the bakery) and a green salad. I LOVE soup in the cold seasons.

7:00pm and I am off to yoga class at Golden Lotus Ayurveda. Yoga keeps me sane and I love the escape. I manage to make it to class about twice a week.

8:30pm and I am back home to help my girls with any school work and to organize the house for tomorrow.

10:00pm and we are all off to bed after checking our emails one last time.

Thanks for the opportunity to share our days with you Mrs. G! Check out everyone else's day at Derfwad Manor.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

pondering growth and learning while throwing mugs

Today is supposed to be a day off, but that doesn't actually happen in Sept, Oct or Nov. Too much going on with students, orders and craft shows. Today I threw 1/3 of the KHMR mug order. Things are getting exciting with them, a bit of variety in the style and colour as well as an increase in the total number. I like a little variety with my orders.

While I was throwing I was thinking about training in the field of ceramics. I live in a small town where opportunities are somewhat limited in the art training field. I always wonder if my work would grow faster and be better if I had some more formalized ceramics training. I started throwing about 7 years ago. I am mostly self-taught. I have taken a few hand-building/raku courses, I have taken a 3 day workshop with potter Dee Funk, I have taken two short courses at Red Deer College, I have done a 1 year apprenticeship with local potter Lee Bedford of Canyon Creek Pottery, I have thrown and thrown and thrown now steady for 2 years. I want more training. I am thinking about doing a distance ceramics diploma from Australia National University. Two years, lots of learning. Janet DeBoos is the head of program and I LOVE her work (see above photo). She is my ceramics hero. So my potter question to you is: What experience and training do you have? How do you feel about this? What do you wish you had done, what do you wish you hadn't done? Please comment or email me, I would love to know how your experience has been.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

a day of wet clay

I spent the day throwing saki sets and tumblers. My hands are numb from the cold water. I am off to a hot, hot bath now.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

my etsy is running again

It has taken me forever and I apologize that my etsy shop has been so empty for so long. I think that if I was happier with my photography I would have a shop crammed with items. When things get busy, somethings got to give. In my case that would be screwing around with my pocket (and therefore not fabulous for this type of thing) digital camera. My photos are suffering because I do not have the proper equipment, nor the energy to devote to trying to work with what I have. What I really want is a nice sunny day at at outdoor location with real live people and my pots. I will work on that for next time...

Here are the pots that are now in the etsy shop. I do make custom orders (although most of you guys are actually potters yourselves and do not require custom made pots from others). Nonetheless, if you want a particular turn of phrase on a mug, let me know.

I would love some suggestions (can't call it criticism as that word terrifies me) about my work and the direction it is heading in. What do you like? What do you not like? I do tend to only make work that I like, but at the same time, if we all like it, even better.

I used to be a librarian and an elementary school teacher, so the background to my love of reading and nerds is pretty obvious. My husband is the sexiest nerd around (oh, and my friend Dana's husband - he is an uber nerd as well). Really, embrace a nerd today!

I have also made specific cups with bad words on them. These I don't list on Etsy and I don't have on my table at the craft faires (don't want to offend and there are children about...). Unless you are offending me with your choice of words, I will put all kinds of curse words on cups. Oh, and I put happy things on cups too.