I made this one to celebrate earth tones:
And Dorothy has a great one in Treasury East celebrating the same colors:
One thing I have mentioned in earlier posts is that pottery has a tendency to take over one’s house. There are pottery books and magazines, glaze test tiles, not quite right pots, pots to sell, show materials like tents and shelves, business stuff like printers, faxes, filing cabinets, packing materials, boxes, tape, GAH! I haven’t even mentioned all the actual clay, glazes, kiln, and other stuff you need to actually make the pottery.
Over the last year, this little business has grown in random spurts all over the house. We had our original office and then the pottery office, the spot where we packed up pottery, the place where we stored the tent and shelves, test tiles in little boxes all over the house, GAH again.
So, just like last year when we had to regroup when we had a breathing spell, we’re doing the same thing now. I decided to put my organizational skills and Quality Management experience to work. It’s very useful to audit your work habits and space planning to maximize your productivity. Folks might not think of doing this for an art business, but it really works for all businesses. I am happy to say that all pottery paraphernalia is now consolidated in one room. I am now able to take care of orders in the same room where the computer/printer/files/etc are without running all over the house.
All this just to say that you don’t ever know how to set up a space for a task until you’ve done that task quite a lot. I’ve also found that this applies to moving into a house and getting comfortable in it. You just can’t know in a new space how you will “be” in that space until you’ve been there for a while. So, don’t be afraid of taking stock of your space and asking yourself, “Is this working for me?” You might find that things can be streamlined into a smaller footprint that facilitates your work habits.
Come see us this weekend in Melbourne, Florida!!!
The Melbourne Art Festival 2010
April 24 and 25, 2010
I was just looking back through my Glossary of Glaze Colorants and realized that I still have a lot of work to do on it. A picture is supposed to go everywhere you see a little bracketed piece of blue text. I have these test-pots ready to be photographed, but just haven’t had the time to set them all up and shoot them yet. After the spring shows are over, I promise, I’ll fill in these gaps.
In the meantime, please enjoy random pottery picture number 4. Maybe it’s 4? I lost count. We really enjoy making canisters and here’s a trio of them. Robert, of course, threw them and turned them. If you’d like to know more about throwing and turning, ask Robert. I keep trying to get him to write an article and he keeps forgetting! So, here I go chattering about the glaze…
After bisque firing, I glazed the group in my Mossy Mahogany Glaze (you know I like my glitzy names). Many of you may have seen the first version of my Mossy Mahogany last year. It was nice but not spectacular. I spent a lot of time revamping it so it would shine even more. What this picture does not show are the little gold crystals that dance around in the upper amber portions of the glaze. It’s a real pain to apply – too thin and it’s just brown, too thick and it runs all the way down the pot during firing in olive drab puddles. Sometimes, it runs onto the shelf (hence the angle grinder – which was surprisingly anticlimactic in actual use yesterday, phooey). I am sure with time I’ll get more used to it, at which point, I will be bored with it and change it again or come up with another glaze and discontinue this one. Enough talk. Here it is:
For our booth display, I decided we needed some pictures showing how we make pottery. Having been brought up as a good little scientist, I decided a PowerPoint presentation was the best answer. So, over the course of a few weeks, I took pictures of Rob and he took pictures of me doing our respective things. They all got narrated in presentation format, printed, laminated, and hung up in the tent at our last show. I think the amount of information might have overwhelmed people. Hmmm… What do you think?
I’m always struck by how awkward mugs, pitchers, creamers (anything with a handle) look before they are bisque fired and glaze fired.
I didn’t take any pictures of us sanding pottery. I just didn’t think that was very interesting. After I wax over the signature, each pot gets a bath with the hose.
What these glazing pictures don’t show is all the time and energy I put into formulating new glazes. All of the glazes we use are formulated by me and I’ve done over 2500 individual tests (at last count, meaning I’ve lost count and it’s probably a lot more than that by the time you’re reading this). Our house is cluttered by boxes and boxes of little tiles and testpots with hideous glazes on them!
I’m usually up first in the morning – like now. I like to spend quality time with the kitties (they’re actually already outside except for MooMoo, who’s at my feet) and some coffee before I get started on whatever random project is looming from the day before. Today, sanding, signing waxing and washing several large canisters is looming as is figuring out how to grind melted glaze off of kiln shelves. The up side is I get to play with my new angle grinder. The down side is that I have no idea what I’m doing! Thankfully, all the different forms of taxes are finally done – thanks in large part to my brilliant mother. So, I can – and should – focus on pottery again.
But in the morning, with my coffee and my kitties, I like to read through some of my favorite blogs. It’s really the only kind of news I care about. You’ll never find me cuddling up to a newspaper. Call me oblivious. This morning, I’m reading Jim’s latest posts on his blog: Sofia’s Dad’s Pots. He has a very readable style of writing (that my early morning brain can follow, better than Kafka) and his pots are stunning.
OK, I’ve justified my laziness by means of this piddly post. So, now I’m off to work.