Greetings


HAPPY HANUKKAH FROM DEC 12-20!

HAPPY SOLSTICE DEC 21!

MERRY CHRISTMAS DEC 25!

HAPPY KWANZAA DEC 26- JAN 1!

HAPPY NEW YEAR JAN 1, 2018!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Insomnia buster

My gratitude list - or what I am glad happened to me today.



Was able to get out of bed when I finally decided I couldn't sleep any more at 5:30.
Have air conditioner to turn on when it's too darn hot, even when I wake up.
Could walk to the bathroom.
Had drinkable running water to make coffee with.
Had coffee to drip the boiling water over, (as well as disposable paper filter).
Had a microwave that boiled the water.
Had electricity to run the microwave.
Had a computer to use same electricity to run it.
Have a connection that links me to the internet.
Know how to type.
Have fingers to type, mostly.
Have a chair to sit on to type.
Know how to log onto the internet
Have friends who email me every day to share their lives with me.
Know how to follow about 10 programs in minimal ways which are useful to me.
Have comics on line to bring chuckles into my morning.
Had food to eat for breakfast.
Had clothes to wear as well as flip flops.
Had a shower with warm and cold waterr.
Had soap.
Had some medications to take that help reduce discomforts and may prolong my life.
Have a house to walk out of with a door that locks.
Have a couple of cats that run my life.
Have a car that works and I don't have to make payments to a bank to run it.
Have gas to run the car that I can usually afford to pay for.
Have a reliable mechanic who fixes the car whenever it decides not to run anyway.
Had a place to take my pottery to sell to others.
Was able to unload the car by myself.
Had a chair to sit in to recuperate while I waited for my friend.
Had a friend to help set up our sales area.
Had help when I got confused and set up our sales in the wrong patch of ground.
Had something to sell (pottery).
Had the ability, supplies and opportunity to make pottery.
Had sunshine and no rain today.
Had cool breezes that dried the sweat from scalp to toes.
Had people kindly look at my pottery over 3 hours time.
Had some people actually buy my pottery.
Had pottery of my co-op friends to sell.
Had a friend there to talk with when there weren't any people interested in pottery.
Had someone to make plans for future sales, gallery exhibits, visions of possible lifestyle changes when I am an established artist, and support for the depressed feelings as I deal with my real lifestyle.
Was able to get through town traffic without too much of a snarl.
Have a community studio which was open for a while today.
Was in time to do some final touch ups on some pottery waiting to be fired.
Have friends who I see and talk with occasionally.
Have family who I hear from and talk with occasionally.
Have an environment in which to live which is moderately healthy.
Had that air conditioned home to come back to where I collapsed.
Had a bed to crawl into when I needed sleep.
Had people who I don't even know make comments about things I've posted on my blog, about either my pottery, my inner thoughts, or research I've done on topics I'm interested in.
Have blogs of people I don't even know to read with their thoughts, their adventures, and their pottery.

And now I'm going to put my mind and fingers to rest, and keep thinking of all I'm grateful for while falling asleep. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Tailgate Market July 28

I decided I'd pack up a new set of pots for this week.


Every week if I take different things, maybe I'll sell some that nobody had seen before.

At least I'll be able to talk about new/different things.


But there aren't that many people who see them, so I know this is all wishful thinking.



If wishes were horses...



I have to think hard what I want to pack up.




Last week I sold a pot that had been pit-fired.  So I'm taking another one this week.
What can fit in the bin and be safe?  And will I have to pack them all up and bring them home at the end of the market?  Yes, all the above pots, and a few more that were small, did fit in the bin this week.


I haven't been doing craft fairs for the last couple of decades, while I was working one of those 8-5 jobs.  I dearly love to visit them, and usually come home with ...what else, a pot.  I have always believed in supporting what I admire, so the art of pottery will continue.  Though, come to think of it, I think I'm doing more than my share these days!


The quote of the day...
It is true that we are called to create a better world. But we are first of all called to a more immediate and exalted task: that of creating our own lives.  Thomas Merton  Love and Living
Thanks for reading my blog, and for all your comments.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cool down a bit

Lots of snow a couple of winters ago.


Then spring returned with gala colors.


The Tailgate Market offered flowers through the summer

 I offered pottery for sale as well.


The woods changed from greens to brilliant tones.

The seasons flow like the water going downhill.

The changes may be more severe, but still Gaia turns about the sun, tilting and letting us have relief every once in a while.  Patience needed.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's a history thing

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/07/23/157250870/sally-ride-first-american-woman-in-space-is-dead

She was a household name, I'm pretty sure.  First American woman in space.

In her memory, I am thinking of how our lives were enriched by the space program.  My grandchildren will only hear about it (the Space Program, NASA) in school, much as my children learned about Viet Nam.

I wonder how the history books will have been written.

Since Viet Nam, women have become a little bit more of a political force.  "Little bit" reflects the number of our government's representatives who are women, not to mention the glass ceiling which continues to shine.

Since men walked on the moon, NASA has become part of history.  I'm glad to occasionally see something on PBS about it.  Earlier this month there was an interesting show (lots of British interviews, perhaps produced in Britain?) on the last Apollo mission.   Great shots of the action of landing and doing experiments on the moon surface.  The last pictures taken of earth from the moon.  The last time people were walking there.  Will we ever go back?  I wonder.










Monday, July 23, 2012

Berry harvest time

Berry picking is part of many of our summers these days, and we are fortunate that so many growers invite us to "pick your own".  The wonderful berries being harvested now provide precious deserts. .

It's strange how many folks look at our berry bowls at the Tailgate market, turning them over and seeing those nice drain holes in the bottoms, with little saucers for serving anywhere...and they ask what are these?  Well, we're very happy to enlighten people.


How many of the fruits and vegetables that you ate today were grown within walking distance of your home (say 10 miles)?  That's not even thinking about the meats you ate.   Now extend your circle of "locally grown" to include what could be transported without refrigeration...perhaps around 50 miles for fragile things, maybe more for things like cantaloupes or watermelons.

I admit I buy some of my groceries in packages from afar.

I grow a few things in containers in my yard.

But I'm really interested in reading blogs by people who garden seriously (vegetables) or farm!  These folks have some idea how to live close to the land, and I wish I were doing so myself.

We're planning a pot luck on Aug. 1 (wait for a blog about Lammas soon here).  I urge everyone to bring things locally grown to share our "first harvest." 

How about sharing a favorite recipe of something that's grown/harvested close to your home?  I'll look around and find something to share here soon!



Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Judy Chicago


 The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago,  in the Brooklyn Museum...in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art


 the cover of the book...

And more info about the Dinner Party...
   The principal component of The Dinner Party is a massive ceremonial banquet arranged in the shape of an open triangle—a symbol of equality—measuring forty-eight feet on each side with a total of thirty-nine place settings. The "guests of honor" commemorated on the table are designated by means of intricately embroidered runners, each executed in a historically specific manner. Upon these are placed, for each setting, a gold ceramic chalice and utensils, a napkin with an embroidered edge, and a fourteen-inch china-painted plate with a central motif based on butterfly and vulvar forms. Each place setting is rendered in a style appropriate to the individual woman being honored.
Wing One of the table begins in prehistory with the Primordial Goddess and continues chronologically with the development of Judaism; it then moves to early Greek societies to the Roman Empire, marking the decline in women's power, signified by Hypatia's place setting. Wing Two represents early Christianity through the Reformation, depicting women who signify early expressions of the fight for equal rights, from Marcella to Anna van Schurman. Wing Three begins with Anne Hutchinson and addresses the American Revolution, Suffragism, and the movement toward women's increased individual creative expression, symbolized at last by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Source: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/dinner_party/home.php


The scope of this ceramic installation is incredible.  I was so shocked when I first saw some of the pictures...then finally saw a book of them.  And then I was so inspired to be a feminist and a ceramic sculptor.

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Mary Wollstonecraft and Sojourner Truth place settings), 1974–79. Mixed media: ceramic, porcelain, textile. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Organ - ized

Yep, a friend who makes her spending money (I hesitate to call it a living) helped me organ-ize my pottery life in my studio, living-dining room, and bedroom.

Yes, there is even pottery now on top of the kitchen cabinets.  I'd wondered where to put that particular batch.  Now it's safely stored.  (It may get a bit greasy, and when it's next shown in a gallery, I wonder how it will be handled!)

A terrible picture shows that the red glaze is really raspberry.  Look at yesterday's post to see the blue and snowflake crystals.




I finally took my soap dishes to the retail shops that specialize in soaps.  So now these are for sale in the local shops.  

Hope you can find them and buy them when you visit Black Mountain, NC.




I'm so glad Cathy helped jump-start my organization.  Now she's left me with a lot of follow-up to complete.

So if I don't blog for the next couple of days, you'll have an idea of what I'm doing.  Aaaah-choo...there's a lot of dust to take care of too.

The goal is to have a house sale in a couple of months, including some "seconds" which aren't up to my personal standards.  (At this stage of my pottery development, there are a lot of these!)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Tailgate pack and unpack

A couple of new bowl/vases with 2 glazes on outside of each.
Some pots to perhaps take to tailgate this week...will they all fit?

Most of these got left in a container that didn't go last week.  They will be on exhibit this week.

Muffin makes sure I know which ones she likes.

I did sell the pitcher in the lower left, but everything else had to be repacked and brought home again.

The mistake platter, which not only failed in throwing, but failed in glaze, but everytime I want to throw the hammer, someone says no.  Why I ask?



Monday, July 16, 2012

MUD

Yesterday I posted a memorium, of sorts.  I kept thinking that the blog is a place where I share so much of my life.  Should I include this, or leave it out?  I decided that it's definitely part of the cycle of life, the birth and death of beings, how nature and humanity go through changes.  So I said a minimal amount.  I hope that when the day comes that I can no longer write blogs, someone might notice and post something in my memory.  Just a thought.  It would have been so easy to pretend to you that this event never happened.  But it did, and I prefer to try to integrate all aspects of my life, rather than compartmentalize it too much.

This blog was originally supposed to focus upon how clay brings me inspiration and creativity.  But it also has become a community of people, not just pretty pictures.  

This morning's breakfast I left out my usual toast.  I found some frozen homemade pancakes and toasted them in the toaster oven.  Then opened 2 lovely new jars that I'd purchased yesterday.  Stirred up the almond butter and plopped a bit on each pancake.  Then plopped a dollop of orange marmalade on each, and spread them to the edges.

Mmmm, what a lovely treat of flavors.  Then on to the studio to wedge the recycled clay.  Do you recycle yours?


I've got a little plaster bat with a plain white pillowcase over it.  That's the size of it.  I tuck the edges under the bat, and it sits on a little sturdy table that's a bit bigger than the bat.  On one side I lay slop of red clays, on the other white clays.  Whatever is in my slop bowl after throwing, that goes onto the bat.


In a day or so (or more with our great humidity) the clay is ready to wedge.  Then the next bowl full goes on it.  Of course I don't do that much clay work...just trimmed 6 plates the other day and that made the sludge for today's recycling.

I've found I don't need to wait for the clay to be bone dry before reconstituting it, I just take the shavings out of the drip pan and throw them into a bowl of water.  When it settles a few hours, I pour off the extra water, and wait for it to dry out another day till it's slip/slop.

I'm so glad that I get to read what other bloggers are doing...whether they are potters, or farmers or gardeners or photographers or writers (or other creative people)...many very thoughtful people are posting here, and sharing their inner feelings with each other...and me.  I'm very touched, though of course they didn't chose me, I just happened upon them.

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting if you feel like it.




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fluted bowls

Do you remember the bowl I kind of saved, that flopped a bit on the wheel?  See post here


well, both of the fluted bowls I threw the same time made it  through bisque and glaze kilns.
Here are the results.  They are 10 inches in diameter, about 3 inches high.  (And I don't know which one was the one which flopped any more).














This glaze looked like this when waiting to fire.



 And the one totally dipped into "Amber" glaze (picture above) came out looking like this...












Our studio Amber needs major stirring before dipping.  And if it's allowed to sit for a minute, it changes to dark chocolate for the next piece.  Strange stuff...but I am glad that this bowl looks the way Amber is intended to look.  All the streaks are from hand marks while it was being thrown and altered.  With the Little Loafers white clay, it really pops.

AND TAILGATE NOTES:

Yesterday was a coolish damp day at the Tailgate Market.  If it hadn't poured rain at 5:30 am, I dare say we would have had some wet pots.  It held off from 8 when we set up, till right when the market closed at noon, starting with a nice dainty drizzle...so we almost got everything packed away before it got wet.  If you've ever put a damp pop-up tent into a bag, you know you want to take it out to dry as soon as possible.  Even our little wood blocks we use to prop things on got pretty soaked...but that was probably because Cathy had them in the bed of her pickup when it rained.  The wood blocks are starting to grow things now.

My little Toyota carried all the pottery in the tupperware tubs...which I'll drive around with all week until next week's Tailgate market.  I have a sterling driving record, and don't go far most days, but mainly I can't haul those tubs in and out during the week.  So everyone has asked their favorite saints and guardians to watch out for their pots (and me) during the week.

Can't complain about that.




Friday, July 13, 2012

My Studio(s)


A touch of color and detail...Raspberry glaze on the lip, then a snowflake crystal glaze dipped up almost to the top...makes an interesting mix doesn't it?



























Crazing througout the middle and bottom of this one.


Look at the crazy crazing on this one where the rim is dark chocolate (almost black)

Here's a peek at my studio, just for Where Bloggers Create Party, that's happening on the 14th here...  
  Never tried it, and I'm about the 260th or so person to join...maybe.  The way blogger has been treating me lately, I don't know.

 Welcome to my humble place of production...

At the bottom on the right  you can see a slab of wet clay being reconstituted on a slab of plaster (my wedging surface).  The shelves on the wall were meant for wet work, but instead have become a catch-all.

















There's a storage problem at my house.  Where can I store, or display, all the pottery art I've made?  For now this is one very crammed shelving unit (of three).  I've got pottery everywhere!  I will need to organize it (one of these days!)


























One of my favorite things is to put greenware on the windowsills when I have the windows open.  Of course now I'm grateful to have a window airconditioner in the room.




I do most of my glazing at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts clay studio, where everything is fired in their kilns.

I also volunteer for several of the open studio times, helping out as well as being an Independent Student  using the space and glazes.  The cost is comparable to other studios in our area.

And I get to take part in some special firings, like this pit firing a few months ago.



























So this is my "other studio" where I share some great equipment in the community space with other potters.



This gives me many more opportunities to try out different things, like glaze trials.




And for an artist who often prefers to work alone, the clay studio provides community.  Here the Clay Club of Western North Carolina met and shared some demos and a pot luck a few years ago.

The daily sharing of our creativity enables us to get to know each other pretty well at the BMCA clay studio.  I've made many of my closest friends here.  We're a great group.  It's relaxed and fun, and we chat about anything we're interested in, as well as sharing tidbits about pottery making.