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!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dancing for joy

St Petersburg beach, FL

You may have seen some of these photos before...


Lake Tomahawk, Black Mountain NC

Lake Susan, Montreat NC
Tree removal on dam, Lake Tomahawk


What's my theme?  The sunshine!
I'm wanting to dance naked in joy of its return! (Almost.)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow confection on Spirit House

The snow ads an entirely different dimension to my spirit house.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Calendars

I've actually designed a few, with pen and ink drawings and little quotes.
But I just wanted to acknowledge the Gregorian one, which is being honored  today over on GeneaBloggers.


On 24 February 1582, Pope Gregory XIII, enlisting the expertise of distinguished astronomers and mathematicians, issued a bull correcting the Julian calendar, which was then 10 days in error. The correction was a minor one, changing the rule about leap years. The new calendar named for him, the Gregorian calendar, became effective 4 October 1582, in most Catholic countries, in 1752 in Britain and the American colonies, in 1918 in Russia and in 1923 in Greece. It is the most widely used calendar in the world today.

This still was trying to become corrected back to a birthday for Jesus, which was not exactly when the calendar began.  But it does work better for leap years, and solstices and equinoxes, a bit.

I always laugh about how there were no babies born (in Catholic countries) on the dates Oct 5-14, in 1582.  Genealolgists pay attention to those little details, and many have changed dates of events based on that 1752 adoption of the Gregorian calendar in Britain and the Americas.  That must have made a bit of difference for lots of our ancestors' birth and death dates, around 10 days difference based on the change in 1582.  But I've seldom seen any changes of that magnitude.  No answer to that puzzle.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Featured potter: Brian Ransom

My son, Tai Rogers, studied with Brian Ransom, the professor of Visual Arts, ceramics department at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, and musician using his own creations.  And thus Tai began his own ceramics journey when he graduated in 2001.
Brian Ransom

Brian just posted on Face Book and Tai shared it, so I'm sharing it with you..
"Hey all of you crazy facebookers, my big news is that I've packed up an sent my show to W. Hollywood LA! One week from tonight, February 28th at 6:00 PM I open my new show of figurative whistling vessels at Couturier Gallery. you can check out the details on my site: briancransom.com here's a piece I'll be showing.

Saturday, February 28, 2015 - 19:00 to Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 19:00

Cave Whistling water vessel 2



And this summer at Penland School of Crafts Brian will teach a class from
Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 09:30 to Friday, June 21, 2013 - 16:00
Creating Musical Instruments and Sound Sculptures 
Students in this class will make and tune a variety of ceramic musical instruments and sound-producing sculptures. The class will cover many of the handbuilding, throwing, and assembling techniques I use to make my own sounding sculptures and musical instruments. We will cover clay bodies, firing techniques (particularly vapor firing) and the formal and informal sculptural processes used in creating sounding ceramics.

Brian Ransom, professor of visual art at Eckerd College (FL); National Endowment for the Arts and Fulbright-Hays fellowships; musical compositions used in film soundtracks and ballet scores; exhibitions: Baltimore Clayworks, Mint Museum (NC), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia).



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Quiche

Right out of the oven it was all puffed up...but within 5 minutes, while that center wobbly part was firming up, it fell...to about half this height.  Well that was ok, but the whole thing was a bit over cooked, thus the dark coloration of the eggs on top.  I do sprinkle nutmeg over the top, but these eggs were definitely browned.  Oh well...I won't share a recipe for something that wasn't up to my standards (but I'll eat it anyway!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Don't burn the bread

My blueberry banana bread, which I cut and warm in the toaster oven (and watch to make sure it doesn't burn!) before slathering butter on it for breakfast... (recipe at bottom of post)

This plate is a nice stoneware piece by a potter from Kansas.  I used to purchase a few of his items at the St. Augustine FL Arts & Crafts show each year...but I can't figure out his name.  The distinctive red/blues of his glazes can be found through-out my house.  If you know who he is, please give me his name.  His signature is a big O with a slash through it and little legs.  No help.

Oh, I vaguely remember that he was tall and perhaps redheaded, had a wife who did some of the decorations on the pots, and perhaps a daughter.  I left St. Augustine in 2000, so I don't know if he's still traveling south to avoid winter.

Blueberrry Banana Bread

Flour 1-3/4 cup
Baking Powder 1-1/4 teas.
Baking Soda 1/2 teas.
Salt 3/4 teas.
Shortning (butter or?) 1/3 cup
sugar 2/3 cup
2 eggs, slightly beaten
bananas, mashed, 1 cup (2-3)
Frozen blueberries 1/2 cup

Sift flour, measure, add baking powder & soda & salt, sift again (or whisk with wire whisk) set aside.
In separate bowl cream shortening/butter, add sugar graduallyand continue beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and mix till smooth.
Add dry ingredients alternately with mashed bananas, stiring just enough to combine thoroughly.  Do not beat.  Add frozen blueberries at very last stirring only a little so as not to burst them.
Turn into greased loaf pan (9-1/2" x 5-1/2") bakc in preheated oven 350 degrees about 1 hour.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

You call this snow?

 The young people across the street got out the sleds, and one young man pulled his 2 year old on her sled.

 The 8 year old worked his own magic of sliding (on the right behind the rocks).
 Two fathers with their youngsters wishing for more snow.  Our steep street ends in a well traveled road at the base, and I was glad to see the youngsters weren't trying to slide down it to where traffic might be.
Me too, (wishing for more snow) since this tiny bit was covered with ice, thus rendering Asheville and Black Mountain practically snowbound.  Really!

Gary and Suzi (and all northerly potters), I appologize for even saying this was snow. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Spirit House 2 for 2015

Second spirit house out of bisque kiln, about to get some tinting and then a cone 6 firing.








But I loved the architecture in this video, (Sergei Polunin, "Take Me to Church" by Hozier, Directed by David LaChapell) with a wonderful ballet given in a remarkable environment.

 Notice anything similar to my spirit house?



Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Love Day

Imagine that...a holiday which celebrates the highest emotion that humans have for each other!


So it has become co-opted by Madison Avenue to create lots of things that can be bought and given.  The main thing is that giving is a good thing, whether something (card, flowers, candy) is purchased or perhaps hand made.


I am pleased that love is still free.

Here's a little for you.  )))))))o(((((((


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spirit house

Well, it's new to me...the Thai people have been doing it for centuries.  My friend Su, showed me the model of one in their truck on the dashboard...



A full size one that costs around $1000 is below...





 I am working with clay, and miniature sizes...
but I like the idea of a little house in the garden where spirits are welcome.

Here's the one I posted before, that now sits by my front entrance.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chicken and cashews on brown rice

Hello.  I'm your Shoestring Chef for One...

I used what was on hand, but this recipe could certainly be extended for more than one person if you'd like.

I find making good meals for one is a challenge, and often I go ahead and make 2 or more servings and have the left overs heated up the next day.


Chicken and Cashews on Brown Rice with Green Beans

  • $0.20   Brown Rice 1 pound for about $1.25 - use 1 serving out of 1 c rice cooked before with chicken broth (This is a time consuming thing to cook, so I usually made 1 cup dry with 2-1/2 cups of chicken broth cooked for an hour, which served about 10, and I put the left overs in the fridge and eat it for a week.)   
       
  • $0.20    Frozen Green Beans - 1 serving out of 16 oz bag which costs around $2    
  • $0.23    cashews -  1 oz out of 13 oz, at 2.99    (This was my best buy today to find cashews so cheap)
  • $0.58    Chicken, 1/2 breast - frozen bag of 6 for $7 - this is left over from last night when I thawed and broiled the breast and only ate half of it       
  • $0.05    Kikoman soy sauce, 3 dashes out of bottle     
      
  • $1.26      TOTAL cost of balanced, nutritious meal.
     
Everything was cooked in the microwave oven, total time was about 5 minutes. (Remember the rice and chicken were left overs) I've not calculated the cost of the electricity for cooking anything here.

Of course other people would use different spices.  I like the blandness where I can taste the different flavors as I eat each bite,

Plate with raised edge and 2 glaze colors, made by this potter...$15

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

throwing big platters/bowls

Another way to throw a big bowl or platter...
I don't know who dkerbn is, but he's got a different method than I've been using...check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFudiwgRcdM&feature=youtu.be

Thanks to fellow blogger, Lori Buff who posted it earlier today here.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Buy one- Get one free

This seems to work well.
That way 2 pots (or more) can go off the shelves at the same time.  And the free ones may be attractive, but can't be had without another one that's going to cost something.  I found if I had a "sale" table, that was all people would look at.  (I tend to do that myself...duh!)

Laaaarge tumblers (8 oz of tea in center one)

So my "seconds" are now the free ones, and the others can go as folks see something they like.


So far that's working ok.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Shall I give something away?

Set of desert/sandwich plates.

I have more pottery than I can use, than I can sell, and than I can maybe give away...what's the answer?

Inventory reduction is my goal these days.  But oh oh, I've started creating in the studio again.  I need to figure out a way to increase that Inventory Reduction, IR. 

IR should best be accomplished by turning some of that finished clay work into green energy which can pay for my heat, lights, food, gas etc.

If not, I just plain need to get rid of some of it.

I'm aware that offering it to friends might put them on the spot.  Perhaps they really don't like it.  I have my own inner critic that says "These are not "competitive" quality.  No wonder they haven't sold."

So critic be damned.  I want to give something away.  Something that someone will actually want.  So I'm thinking about how this can please me and the recipient.

And I want to be able to offer free shipping to anyone who wishes to purchase any of my works.  I've removed my former "pages" that were tabs at the top of this blog, right under the header picture.  They didn't seem easy enough to find things.  I need to redesign my site so people can actually see what I want to sell, er, give away!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Another pottery

I've contributed almost weekly for a couple of years to Sepia Saturday...a blog collection or meme that is triggered by one photo each week.

Here's my contribution this week...
You might see some folks you know, if you're one of the Black Mountain potters...

Great feeling glaze

An accidental glaze.  It's probably some amber, with eggshell sponged over it.  Or???
The shapes were also fun, kind of female with bulges in various appropriate places.


To sponge glazes, just have a little bowl of glaze, a very dry-damp sponge, and dip the sponge into glaze, then lightly onto the bisque-ware pot.  There should be some speckling, not a solid print.  Move around the pot to get fairly even covering of little spots. If the sponge gets too full of glaze, just squeeze it cleaner then keep working. Dry the first color, clean the sponge, and do the same with a second color of glaze...making sure all the interior is covered.  NOTE, you can even pour a solid coat into the interior with one glaze, then just sponge the other color over it.

I loved the feel of the glaze when I held it, or placed my lips to the rim.  Not slick, nor was it dry like many matt glazes feel.

But it was time to let this set of cups go. A good friend was obliging.  I asked her to throw out some of my earlier pieces that I'd given her.  I do hope she did, since they are embarrassing no end.  But she's used to them.  I'll check and see if she re-gifted these some day.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Early days

Mugs of different sizes, same style
I was glad to be reminded in another blog today that it takes 10,000 hours before one can be proficient at anything. 

I may have put in my time, but I would gladly do another 10,000 and skip everything I've made so far in my life.  Would you consider doing that?

Monday, February 2, 2015

More swings


Back last year I caught my granddaughter Cayenne on swings, as well as her father...see, swings attract all ages!

Swinging along



Children of all sizes enjoy swings.  Since I'm kind of housebound still these days, I was glad to find an outdoor photo that I could enjoy, though until I stop being dizzy just sitting or standing, I'll skip the swings.  I'm now on antibiotics...though they won't do anything if it's a virus, which the flu is...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

EASY TO CLEAN

A couple of little plates have become my feline feeders.  They have eaten out of bowls for a long time, but they decided they really like to lick the plate clean with these.  My goodness, how could they not?  They seem to like not having a big side to rub their whiskers against.