Thursday, November 29, 2012

Time for Pink

Thanks for the many comments on Wordless Wednesday.  The clocks and other items are in the kiln....I'm waiting for it to cool enough to open it.

This is the hardest  part of firing for me.  I usually find something to do that will keep me busy and away from the kiln.  Today it will probably be a trip to the dentist as I lost a filling last night.  Of course  it feels like a hole the size of a large boulder is in my mouth.

I'm also cleaning my studio,  Even though I don't do sales from my studio I like to get it cleaned up and decorated for Christmas.  It's nice to start a new cycle in a clean studio.

Ladybug houses.....I had a posting about them from one of my gardening magazines.  The one shown was some sort of plastic.....I think I can do better!

Yes, these are more Christmas cacti. (I just realized that I don't have any real reds...hmmmm) The pinks bloom later than the oranges.  I have one big plant that is still setting buds.  It may actually bloom at Christmas!  WOW!  I may have a Christmas cactus that actually lives up to its name! 


Winter is coming!

We woke up to about an inch of very slushy snow yesterday morning.  Most of it melted during the day but there are still a few patches in shady spots.  Cold and sunny today......a good day to do some active yard work.

Have a productive/happy/lazy/day....whatever floats your boat.

As always,,,,,,thanks for stopping by...............*s*

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Always Sumthin'......again

This is what happens when low fire glaze goes on a terra cotta plate that has been sitting around for a while.  All those little brown spots are glaze crawls where there was grease or some other scuz in the surface.  I did this a few years ago; found it during a clean-up.  A fine lesson in reminding me to cover stuff as soon as it comes out of the kiln if I can't glaze it right away.  A good hard spray with vinegar and water is also a good idea.

If you click on the picture you can get a better idea of what I am talking about.

 Our Christmas sale at the South County Art Association started Friday.  I did not go over until four o'clock, when it was really slow.  Things were busy and crowded earlier, with people waiting to get in when it opened.  I haven't sold much, but then, due to the hurricane and then the well pump giving us a jolly time, I don't have anywhere near the stock I was planning on.

I'm going to fire on Monday-Tuesday, so I will have a lot more stuff when we start up again on Wednesday.  We are rethinking our hours for next year.

If we are going to open Thanksgiving week end I would like to see us do something to connect customers to Small Business Saturday....... not sure what we could do..... perhaps a give away item that day only.

Despite pump problems we had a great very low key Thanksgiving.  Below are turnips and part of a sausage roasting on the grill.  Potatoes and squash were done earlier.  Roasting the vegetables gives them a wonderful, earthy flavor.  I generally boil a few potatoes makes them easier to mash.

Here is the turkey, almost ready to come off the grill.  I stuffed it with herbed bread, apples, cranberries, dried cherries and blueberries, sausage, onion, mushrooms, pecans and walnuts.  Everything was precooked and went into the brined bird just before it went over the coals.

Today is turkey soup day.....a good thing to make in the slow cooker as I am thinking mostly about pottery and glazing.

Thanks to all those who commented on my Thanksgiving Day post.  That has always been a great favorite of mine.  I love the idea of other pairings!

High cirrus clouds today are making the sunshine look cold today.  When I was out with Winter at 5:30 AM in heavy sweats, I was looking at the stars and thinking, "Three and a half months ago I was out here in the sun wearing a tee shirt and sandals."   Sometimes it's hard to believe it's the same planet!

I managed to miss the post time on Mud Colony, but go take a look anyway.  There are lots of cool posts up this week.

Have a happy, productive and/or lazy day.

As always, thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I've been sitting in the plant room since about 6:00 AM watching the sun come up while listening to Bach, Purcell and other baroque composers streaming on my favorite classical music station.  There was frost last night, not a lot but enough to put ice on the water buckets; the pond and pool are still ice free.  There is no wind and little sound beyond an occasional vehicle passing.

When I took Winter out at 6:30 I could see lights from my neighbor's house through the trees.  He has built on the property I used to own and live on.  When I lived back there and P. was in this house the lights through the bare winter trees were a connection between us.  It's nice to have that back.


I've had several clock works I've been unable to use because the posts are 7/8 of an inch, which is way to thick for the type of clock I generally make.  A couple of days ago, in bed half awake I was thinking (obsessing?) about how I could use them.  They really are more suited to wood, which I am not going to get into.  Then I thought that all I needed to do was make a way I put a block in the back, but I did not want any of the stuff showing.  Duh?  make a shallow casserole style form where I could put a block of the necessary thickness to have the correct length of post showing on front.  I decided to epoxy the blocks in rather than throw them in because I can adjust to each clock and will avoid any chance of cracking.  This also is opening other possibilities for clock forms.

I love it when these little creative bursts happen.  The sensation and the time it takes from start to finish feel like a zipper opening really quickly.  The trick is to get it down while I am still half asleep, before any other input hits me.

The Christmas cacti continue to bloom.  Below are three shades of orange ranging from a pale apricot to Clemintine orange.

My lavender passion flower has started booming.  I thought it was done in by deer last spring but it did survive the devastation.  Why they are called passion flower is beyond me.  Yes, I know the story of it representing the Passion of Christ.  Christians have gone through periods where they have plastered their philosophy on anything they could find a connection with, however tenuous.

Last a photo of The Friendly Friendly because she adores people....not so hot on the other cats and Winter.  She hung around Proge's studio for months.  He put a shelter and food out for her, but did not bring her in as he did not want to adopt someone's pet.  That changed one night in an ice storm.  He announced that she was now our cat.  She was by the door with ice in her fur and a clump of ice like a mace at the end of her tail.

She is also known at Queen Cat because of her crown marking and general attitude of superiority to all living things.

It looks like we are going to have a sunny day.  My studio will be warm without the heater.

Enjoy the day!

As always, thanks for stopping by................*s*

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Words About Wednesday

This is the little girl in her dress.  She has bloomers which she is too modest to show.  Boma, my first mother-in-law made her for my big sister, Pru,   (I never quite gave up thinking of her has my big sister)  when   her first granddaughter was born.  Pru gave her to me when she permanently moved to Florida and was downsizing her stuff.  She's a treasure to me stuffed with memories of two neat ladies.  I don't think she ever had a name...perhaps I should take care of that.

Boma made wonderful stuffed animals for as long as I knew her.  The dolls came later, in the late seventies.  I have no idea where the patterns came from.  I do know that she tried many different ways of doing the hair.

Little girl is sitting on a king size elephant print spread that I bought at an India store on Haight St. ca.1997 when I was visiting Proge who was living in San Francisco at the time.


I threw and trimmed a half dozen spoon rests, which promptly S-cracked as they dried.  I have not had an S-crack in many, many years.  I think two things are to blame:  a.) I threw them off the hump and did not compress the bottoms enough,  b.) I dried them too quickly, put them on the shelf by the south window, did not stop consider how warm it gets even when its in the low 40's outside.

I was so annoyed with the whole thing that I tossed them in the slop bucket.  A photo would have been good for my own records if nothing else.  And I could have posted it here and, perhaps, gotten some feed back on the problem.  As I said this has not been a problem for me in the past......maybe the clay dragons are unhappy!

It's chilly and gray today with sun expected later.  I turned on the heater in the studio to take the chill off.  Cement floors are great for keeping cool in summer, but until the slab warms up a bit it's a little dank in fall and winter.

And to finish, a photo of the bed-buddies Winter and KikiLaSois.  Because, after all, what is life without cute puppies and kitties?

This post can be found on Mud Colony.  After missing the deadline last week I decided to do it now.  Take a look; there is always something going on there!

Enjoy the day.  As always, thanks for stopping by.............*s*

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Winter is Coming

The words gave her a chill, as they always did. The Stark words.  Every noble house had its words. Family mottoes, touchstones,  prayers of sorts, they boasted of honor and glory, promised loyalty and truth, swore faith and courage.   All but the Starks.  Winter is coming, said the Stark words.

                                                                                          A GAME OF THRONES 
                                                                                          copyright 1966 George R. R. Martin
It's 62 F under cloudy skies, but supposed to drop to the 40's by this afternoon and lo 30's tonight.  We have had a few frosts, enough to kill off the annuals, but nothing lasting.  We have a few things left to do.  Pull the pumps and filters from pool and pond, get leaves off the deck....little stuff that makes functioning easier in the snow.  Winter is coming.

I do not love winter.  It's fine until about Twelfth Night, because the turning of the year is about ice, cold and dark.  After that I'm ready for an early spring.

Every morning I tend to my plants.  At the moment they are all blooming nicely.

Below are two more Christmas cacti that are starting to bloom, followed by hibiscus, passion flower, and fuchsias.

Meanwhile back at the ranch.....I am making pots like crazy.  I don't have the stamina yet to spend more than four hours at a time in my studio, but I am learning to pace myself.  I surprise myself at how much I can get done knowing my time is limited.  If I take a break for a few hours, relax even have a siesta, I can go beck for another two hours.

Because this was a rather late sign-up and time was lost due to various storms, I am making my inventory  shallow and broad.  Better to have half a dozen of each than dozens of a very few pieces.  Besides its fun to vary what I am making.

This show goes on for a long time (too long in my opinion) so most potters keep working and restocking until the bitter end.


Keep on making stuff!

As always, thanks for stopping by..........*s*                                                                                      

Sunday, November 11, 2012


HUZZA and CONGRATULATIONS!!!  To Adriana for starting and maintaining Mud Colony for the last year.  A great big THANK YOU! for all the time and work you have put into maintaining this site.  I am a relative newcomer from over oceans and continents.....what a great way to become connected to the pottery world.

My original post title was going to be.....WHAT HAVE I DONE NOW?

In the middle of October I decided to join my old art association and participate in their annual Christmas Sale.  At one time it was just for potters.  Several years ago it was opened up to all members of the association.  Things are looking up with improved security etc. so I decided to give it a go once more.

Then we had stormzilla and a nor'easter in quick succession.  I lost almost two weeks time, including a kiln firing,  Now I am madly playing catch up.  And relearning all my organizational skills, which were pretty good, but which I seem to have left behind when I retired from my day job.  Slowly the wheels and cogs are engaging gears and the knowledge is coming back.

Below is one of the tests I did in a firing from last summer.  It's a new-old glaze called Taffe.  I call it a semi-matte.  It's a little thin on the exterior of the test bowl.  It's easy to work on the raw glaze and fires very nicely at ^05.  It probably would be a little shinier at ^04.

The little bowl below is glazed in my favorite Linda Arbuckle Majolica.  The plaid is a new design.  I'm still working on getting a good photograph but the idea comes across.  I think I'm going to enjoy combining this with some of my flower and fish images.

My Christmas cacti are in the holiday spirit.  They started blooming a few days ago.  The orange, which is an older variety, is always the first to bloom.  The other colors will follow in succession in January.  Does anyone else feel odd speaking of 2013....where did the year go?

Edited at 2:00 PM:

I intended this post for Mud Colony, but stuff came up before I could put it up there.  Hit the link and take a look anyway; there are more new potters every week!


As always........thanks for stopping by............*s*

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I love the whole notion of voting.  As we were standing in line I had the image of the same scene in countless small places all over the country.

I hope every one who did not vote early has gone or will go to their polling places and cast a ballot. No matter who you support, it's not too late to go out and vote.  SO GO DO IT!!!

Toes crossed my guy wins......GO! GO! OBAMA!

And yes, we are expecting a nor'easter tomorrow......Fun!

As always....thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Back to Basics?

This is my old Amaco treadle wheel which was given to me in 1990 by my college art department.  Somebody had left it there many years before.  They had no use for it; I sure did.  I threw on it for years until I had surgery and had to switch to my electric wheel full time.

I had no difficulty in adjusting to the treadle as I was used to using a treadle sewing machine when I did leather work.  I had this in my old house in a corner directly under a skylight.  It was a gambrel with four skylights and a wide window across the south end.  I still miss working in that incredible natural light.  But then I think, if it were at all possible, I would live in a greenhouse!

I brought it out from it's storage tarp on Wednesday when we had no idea when the power would be restored.  I'm going to finish cleaning it up and bring it inside.  I think I will use it for trimming.  With a riser on it, it also makes a great banding wheel.


 Daylight savings ended last night.  Most of my time pieces automatically reset.  I have one or two battery clocks that I have to set, but that's it.

This was the sunrise.  The colors were actually far more intense, but I have yet to learn how to capture that in a photo.

i still have flowers blooming happily away in the garden.  This petunia is budded and ready to bloom.  I may dig it up and winter it over.  There's something so enjoyable about having them in bloom in January.  Yes, spring will come.

Give a cat a bag and he will come.  Aloysius thinks they are fine for all manner of things.  This morning I emptied a kibble bag into the bin and put the (big) bag on the floor for a little play-time.  Aloysius and Kiki were in the bag with Winter trying to join them.  I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of that one!

I'd like to thank everyone again for all your kind thoughts and wishes during and after Sandy.  We are pretty much back to normal, but there are many people in other places who are still hurting.  Several areas are going to be at least another week, maybe more, without power.

This post can also be found over at Mud Colony.  Go check it out.  There's always something interesting going on there.

As always, thanks for stopping by.........*s*

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Just a quick post to thank everyone for all the kind thoughts.  THANK YOU!

My utilities including cable, phone, internet all came back about fifteen minutes ago.  The entire town of Charlestown was out; it's coming back slowly.

We are fine, with a few trees down, nothing across the driveway, no building pool/ pond damage.

 I'll make a longer post tomorrow....thanks again.

As always, thanks for stopping by..............*s*