Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Paperwhites in Jade Footed Bowl

I have actually been waiting eight weeks for this post. Dave had made several footed bowls as a test prototype. I planted paperwhite bulbs in the pots before Thanksgiving. I actually was hoping they would be a centerpiece at Thanksgiving but they were not ready.

NOTE: I did not actually take pictures at the time so I borrowed this.

I also wanted to post a recipe for Hot Buttered Rum. I made these at Thanksgiving. You can make them ahead of time and freeze them, perhaps for a holiday party...

1 stick butter
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. brown sugar

Blend all ingredients well. Roll into balls of 1 teaspoon. Freeze. Put ball in cup, add jiggers of rum. Fill with hot water. Add lemon slice. Balls can be kept in a Tupperware bowl in the freezer all winter. ENJOY!~

Dave is having surgery on Monday. We will keep you posted.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Things are moving slowwwwww....

Well still living with the hernia. In fact I ended up at the hospital last night. Nothing exciting happened. What brought me to the hospital is that the doctor that diagnosed me advised me to go right to the hospital if there is any change in the discomfort, pain and or size and shape of the "hernia". Three big check-marks there. And I waited a few days instead of going right to the hospital. The pain finally got me to go in. I learned if I am not careful I will have to have emergency surgery right away and then it is a whole new ball game.

So I am not going to push it anymore.

It is such a drag though. Not only am I not sure when I am going to go back to work I am not able to sit at my potters wheel. I gave it a dry run. I just sat on the stool, that alone sucked, and went through the motions without even having any clay on the wheel. I could tell right off the bat that it was not a good idea. Even though I am not lifting anything the physics involved just seemed to center around the hernia of course.

There is so much I want to do right now. I need to start doing much more surface decoration. My inventory is way way way to low. I do not have enough to commit to anything, be it online sales or a craft/art show. I have at least two more fires I can do. I have to fire the cups and a few bowls but I currently do not have enough glaze to do it.

Oh well. I have hit the sketch book and have some new forms I am really exited about doing. They are really solid. Good design visual interest and strong function. Going to get into some stoneware containers and finally start throwing these tumbles that have been in the back of my mind. They will share the same design.

Also this does give me some time to do some research. As some of you know I have been trying to figure out how to fire my pots in reduction. At this stage of my work I believe firing with gas is the best choice and for the fact I have propane in my studio already. The problem is I am not sure what type of kiln I should shoot for. I would like to build my own but all the information I have is for kiln larger than I can afford right now. I would like to build something smaller and when it becomes needed dismantle the kiln and build it bigger. I just do not have the know-how to size down the kiln plans I have. I am getting long winded here. On top of the lack of know-how each time Allison and I think we have the financial clout to pull off the kiln without going hungry another expense rears its ugly head. This time it is this hernia.

So as a result of that I decided I am going to research vitreous cone 6 slips. This will give me a mat surface and a whole new texture to work with. Slip is more clay than glaze. It can be as simple as the clay body I am working with that has had water added to it making it more of a liquid than a solid. A vitreous slip means that the slip is totally vitrified. It shares qualities with glass meaning it is totally solid. It will not absorb. This makes for a good surface application. Will give an effect of something more like a colored clay. Allison and I are really looking forward to this new Idea.

And finally here are a few pictures of my empty unorganized studio and the work I have left. There are pictures from my last glaze fire. The small triangular bowls came out nice.

Some of the newer glazes.

Burnished forms.

Commissioned platter and bowl.

The new triangular small bowls.

Some unfinished work.

And the messy table. Kind of the dumping ground till I get my displays set up and organized.

Lastly some more burnished and carved pieces.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Weekend Activities

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I can't believe it is almost over!

We had our first real snowstorm in Vermont on Saturday. There was only about an inch of accumulation. I also learned how to load a kiln today. Dave is out of commission for a while so he taught me how to set up the kiln. Hopefully everything came out. We will post pictures when the kiln is cool.

Today we did some holiday decorating. I decided not to purchase a real Christmas tree this year since Dave cannot lift over 5 pounds. I was not sure if I could do the lifting, setting up, etc by myself. I have two small artificial trees that I will set up.

I love the look of accomplishment on Archimedes.

And decorating exhaustion has occurred! Archimedes and Chiffon are indoor cats and truly appreciate any changes to their daily grind.

I also bought a swag made from real evergreen boughs for the pine smell. Archimedes took the liberty of posing for a picture.

We will keep you posted on firings and surgery results.


Friday, December 04, 2009

New pots, glazes and a hernia. Ouch.

Well Seems I have a hernia. I will not go into details because it gives me the willies. It is a pretty good one, or bad one (however you want to put it) so I am out of commission for a while. I have to go in for surgery next Wednesday IF I AM LUCKY because the doctor said there is a good chance I may end up in the ER before then.

Fun Stuff!!

Anyway lets get back on track with the work.

I got two bisque and two glaze fires done. I am using two glazes I recently made. One being Oatmeal the other Field-Mouse Green. They are real solid glaze chemistry from the book Mastering Cone Six Glazes. I used then before but on a clay body that was way to dark with iron. Anyway here are the results.

I find them very very subtle. I love the green but the oatmeal seems so boring to me. I think it will make an amazing liner (that being a glaze for the inside of mugs for example) and maybe with some surface decoration it will become a bit more interesting. Allison liked it and said she thought it would sell well. They really did come out well though. In the book the author uses a clay body, I believe, that has a slightly higher iron content than mine did so it has a warmer rusty quality.

Oh and during Turkey day weekend I finished the carved vase. Here is a before and after.



So not sure where I am going to be at the next week(s). I have not yet heard how long my recovery will be. It sounded like it was figured on a case by case basis. God knows when I am going to be back to full strength. I have been a professional mule most of my life, lifting a carrying heavy things for employers. Hopefully i can get some small simple work done in the studio. Not sure how much wheel work I am going to try at least before the surgery. I do have to glaze and fire my triangular bowls so that gives me something to get done. Plus a bisque fire and glaze fire for the blue cups. This hernia is such a drag but really its not that big a deal. Could have been so much worse.

Later, ~DS.