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!

Monday, December 29, 2014

An old friend

It's been a while, eh?

Visiting family has been fun, and I see lots of my creations in clay all over their home.  But today I found an old friend in the cupboard.  It may be too small for my daughter-in-law's coffee tastes, but I still like it...so had my coffee in it today.


And so what if lots of my pots are chipped and broken.  It's the way potters can keep making more pots.  I'm ready to get back into clay soon...last night I dreamed about what kinds of things I want to make!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Forest Project details

earlier today I posted the whole sculptural installation.
Here are some details.
The main piece is slab built, carved.  Oxides are the only finish, besides black paint on the ceramic base below the actual tree grove.

Oxides were applied in impressed and carved lines, wiped off.  Then I took a stiff brush and splatted more onto the whole large piece.

The Forest Project



Friday, December 12, 2014

Plate designs in gallery

My two tree decorated entries on the wall in the Black Mountain Center for the Arts gallery.  To the left is Greenman Live-oak Tree Plate...and on the right is Willow Goddess Platter.  Both were drawn entirely on the bisqued ware with "designer liners" then the glaze colors (Mayco Stroke 'n Coat) were applied, then a thin coat of clear glaze was applied before they were fired to cone 6.  Mayco came out with Designer Liners in about 5-6 colors last year, and I've enjoyed playing with the design possibilities on plates.  The work of drawing then painting glazes on a plate does take time, but they feel like a good drawing or painting should, when the finishing touch is applied, I know I've done my best.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More displays at Pottery Market

More photos from the Appalachian Potters Market...but I'm afraid they are all of Cathy and my wares.  Sorry I didn't go around and take pictures of other's booths...which would have been so smart.  But I was pretty tired...and got much tireder.

Bowl on the front left edge of my table was picked up more than any other piece, but nobody bought it!  It has a lady bug and leaves painted on the rim.  We did get an order to make another slightly bigger one though!
Many people were interested in Cathy's mishima white vase.
This is my latest plate design


I'm so grateful to sell this, right before closing!

The largest three glaze bowl sold.
I am so very thankful for the sales we made.  It was just exhausting for me.  Did I say how tired I was at the end of the day?  Dragging!

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Holly Jolly sales tables

We had a lovely party on last Friday night.  Refreshments were outstanding.

Not as many pottery students displayed their wares as in previous years.  But what was there was very nice looking.

Charles (Studio Manager)

Fred

Jim
Pat
Barbara (taking picture in pink scarf)
Marsha

Sunday, December 7, 2014

And after the market

On the good side, we had enough sales for our fist venture into this venue...paid the expenses and a little profit. 

We had variety and quality (I hope) more than quantity.

Cathy Babula's display

But the whole market was really wonderful.  I think most customers are familiar with pottery already, so know how to comparison shop.  Which is where competition comes in.  I guess I'm not competitive in that market place.
You've heard perhaps, if you've worked retail, of "loss leaders."  Things that a company will lose money on, but it will bring the shoppers into the store and they will probably buy more.

Black Friday loves the concept. 

I don't think I've ever done it myself in selling pots, though I have sold seconds at cost, I never lost money on them.

Barbara Rogers' display

Our booth at the Appalacian Potters Market yesterday was close to a few potters that were either doing "loss leaders" or selling wholesale.  That's how I figure it, anyway. 

That's ok, until a sign saying "4 mugs for $20, 4 bowls for $20" was hung right next to our display...which was backed up to their very big one.  I said to the owner that it was confusing, since it basically hung right before our display as well as theirs.  He moved it around on the inside of his shelf for a while.  An hour later it was back on the end of the shelf.

I've seen this happen before in potters markets...there are big sales in their booth.  They even had a second table outside their booth for wrapping the sales. (Don't know how they get away with that, but they did, across the aisle under the stairs.)

Did we sell many mugs or bowls, prices pretty reasonable from $15-$26, depending on the amount of work that went into them?  Nah.

We sure are asking for another location next year.  And we gave feedback as to how the market might be improved.  As more sales are offered at wholesale rates, the public will happily come purchase.  But I can't compete because I'm not a "production potter" who carries 6 dozen mugs or bowls to sell.


Barb and Cathy at APM in Marion, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

At the pottery market

This is an adventure.
I'm looking forward to it.
I'm anxious about it.

So I'm just going to put one foot in front of the other, and that's all I can do.
Hope you come over, if you're in the area.

I realize most folks who read blogs don't end up going to pottery markets.

So thanks to those who have been so kind as to come to my home and purchase my pottery right there.  If that's you're choice, give me an email and we can set an appointment!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holly Jolly night

Well, as you noticed, I'm posting this in the early hours of the day.  It's due to rain (50% chance has changed to 10% predicted).  Have you ever figured out if that means
a.) 10% of the area being forecast will actually have rain
or b.) If you stay in one place, only 10% of the time will it rain.



OK, I am a bit brainless right now.  I'm not the kind of potter that works with a kiln up till the wee hours before a sale.  I'm the kind that brings everything I've ever made that I still have out on the living room floor, and decides what to take to the sale.


Not every time.  But this week that's definitely happened.  That's cause I've never had 2 sales back to back before.  Nor knew that there wouldn't be many other opportunities to sell things for 6 months.

Sort of pressure cooker on the brain.

Now my son, Tai, is presenting his final project (thesis?) for his MFA in ceramics today.  Talk about pressure.  I hope he does well.  I know he will feel much better tomorrow...when I'm still trying to sell whatever I chose to bring to that sale, and will be kicking myself because I left home "that thing" that someone asked about.  Actually I've never made a honey jar, but I could!  And that was the last thing that was requested of me which I didn't have on my table.




Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holly Jolly Pottery Sales and Gallery Exhibit

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts 
225 West State St.
invites the public to visit upstairs 
for the Pottery Sales Showroom
 and the Pottery Gallery Exhibit.

Student potters are happy to sell their work, which is diverse, beautiful, and economical!
Year after year this is a great venue, and offers refreshments as well!
No matter what the weather outside may be, from 5-8 pm on Friday, December 5, 2014, this is an important stop in the holiday party that Black Mountain throws once a year.  

Other shops may have interesting holiday goods, but this is the place for pottery!  Walk through the streets, but save space for our nibbles, as well as the fun of picking some gifts for others (or yourself!)  

All showroom sales contribute 50% to the Center for the Arts.

Visit BMCA home page HERE.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Green Man Plate

His mate is Green Eyed Willow Goddess platter...which was posted HERE.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Appalachian Potters Market, Marion NC

Bring a friend, or two.  Come browse the best potters market in the area...just one day, indoors!
Look for Barbara Rogers and Cathy Babula's booth.  Tell me you saw this on my blog and I'll give you a 10% discount.  Hey, bloggers are great and deserve a break!

Do not use MapQuest to try to find the school!

Address for Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
600 McDowell High Drive
Marion, NC 28752-9131

Directions
Traveling NORTH on US 221 or NC 226:
  1. Just after crossing I-40, US 221 and NC 226 merge to become the Marion Bypass (US 221/NC 226).
    • Travelers on NC 226 should continue STRAIGHT.
    • Travelers on US 221 should TURN LEFT onto the Marion Bypass.
  2. After about 5 miles the Bypass will end in a large intersection with Big Lots on the left and Taco Bell on the right. TURN LEFT.
  3. Go STRAIGHT through two intersections and TURN LEFT at the third. You will see a sign for West McDowell Junior High School. McDowell High is up the hill past the Junior High.
Travel Time from I-40: 11 minutes
Traveling EAST on I-40 from Asheville:
  1. Take EXIT 72 (Hwy 70 / Old Fort).
  2. WARNING: SLOW DOWN and follow the speed limit after leaving the Interstate. You will be traveling along main street in the town of Old Fort and the speed limit goes down to 35 MPH.
  3. Continue STRAIGHT on Hwy 70 for about 11 miles.
  4. When you come to the third intersection with a sign for West McDowell Junior High School, TURN RIGHT. McDowell High is up the hill past the Junior High.
Travel Time from I-40: 12 minutes
Traveling WEST on I-40 from Hickory:
  1. Take EXIT 86 (NC 226) and TURN RIGHT at the end of the ramp.
  2. Continue STRAIGHT through two intersections and onto US 221/NC 226 (Marion Bypass). After about 5 miles the Bypass will end in a large intersection with Big Lots on the left and Taco Bell on the right. TURN LEFT.
  3. Go STRAIGHT through two intersections and TURN LEFT at the third. You will see a sign for West McDowell Junior High School. McDowell High is up the hill past the Junior High.
Travel Time from I-40: 11 minutes
Traveling SOUTH on US 221 or NC 226:
  1. Once you enter Marion, you will come to a large intersection with Big Lots on your right and Taco Bell on your left. TURN RIGHT.
  2. Go STRAIGHT through two intersections and TURN LEFT at the third. You will see a sign for West McDowell Junior High School. McDowell High is up the hill past the Junior High.
Travel Time from Marion City Limits: 4 minutes
  • Do NOT use MapQuest to get Driving Directions. Much of the geographical data on MapQuest for our area is WRONG.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The casserole lid

Yep, there it is, the lid tight as a drum on the base...except for the smallest one, where the lid was too small to correctly fit in the first place.

I was able to tap the medium size casserole to get it's lid off, but there were splinters of clay that fell off into the bowl, showing that I actually had broken some of the edge to get it open.  (I later took a Dremmel tool to it to make sure the edges all were smooth.)

The largest lid just wouldn't come off, so I followed the suggestion of our studio manager when I got home...that Marsha sometimes put it in the freezer.

But Marsha wasn't around the next morning when I took it out, so I didn't know exactly what the next step was.

So I let it sit an hour.  It didn't come right off.
I tried tapping it with the handle of something, which had that soft plastic handgrip on it.  No luck.  My taps became more frantic.  What was it going to take?

Finally it did come apart.  And again there were little flakes of stoneware which were inside the casserole.  They'd come off the edge of the lid, where it had been rounded, but also where it was touching the galley of the casserole lip.  There was plenty of give when I turned the lid around and around, though it sat best in just one place.

There was no glaze evident...these surfaces had been well waxed...and wiped.  But somehow the stoneware stuck to itself.  What makes that happen? 

The Dremmel tool again smoothed off the edges.  I don't make enough casseroles to know all the answers, but now want to know more about clay that adheres just by being fired to cone 6.