Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Dragons

The Christmas Dragons arrived en masse yesterday.  They always come on Christmas Eve to wish everyone a Season of Peace and Joy!

Enjoy this day with loved ones or even alone if that is what you prefer!

Merry Christmas!

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

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreens;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This the Shortest Day.
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

                     The Shortest Day
                     Susan Cooper

Here's to lighter, brighter days ahead!

Thanks for stopping by........*s*

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Glazes

I ordered some of the new (to me at least) Spectrum Metallic Low Fires Glazes  a few weeks ago.  They were on back order but arrived yesterday.

These are the raw glazes on a bisqued white ^04 body.  That is not the photo coloration.  They all look amazingly alike.  I am assuming that the true colors will show with the glaze firing.

I'm going to do some more tests on terra cotta and greenware.  This stuff is not cheap so I am trying to be a bit more organized and not just go ahead and glaze on my favorite pieces with mixed results!

 Golden Halo; Moonlight; Wrought Iron; Brushed Bronze

Due to the season and all the stuff that needs to get done, I am probably going to wait until January to fire again.  This is an exercise in patience on my part!

Meanwhile...we are having sun and a bit of warmth with no wind.  It's a good day to be outdoors.

P.S.  I ordered these from Bailey.  They don't have them up on the catalog but they do have them.  Bailey generally does a 25% off on Spectrum glazes, so these cost $13.50 instead of $18.00.

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Stay At Home Teapot

I'm calling this a stay at home teapot because it has several problems.  This is the second lid I have made for it.  I dropped the original while I was unloading the glaze kiln.  The lid looks fine but it doesn't work the way I like my lids to fit.  A larger problem is the spout.  The opening needs more work.  The sides need to be higher so it pours in a stream.  Right now the first cup goes everywhere over the edges.  Tea is not supposed a bathing experience!

There was a wonderful post in Ceramic Arts Daily on how to handbuild a teapot in thirty minutes.  It's built over a form with everything but the bottom done while it's still on the form.  I took a bit longer because I am an OCD freak!  It's a fun thing to handbuild that even beginners can enjoy making.
 CAD: 30 Minute Teapot!

I made another one of my bread experiments.  With this one I used 3/4 Cup Rye Flour and 3/4 Cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat, a pinch of sugar and 1/4 Tsp. Yeast.  I let the whole thing ferment over a day and gradually added flour a cup or two at a time with hours of rest between each addition.  When it held together, but was still very wet I turned it onto the counter and folded and kneaded using my bench scraper.  I did this a couple of times.  I baked it at 400F. in a preheated oven and covered cast iron pan.  Usually I watch it, take the lid off, turn the oven temp down a bit.  This time something came up and I forgot about it for a bit over an hour.  It came out perfectly with a moist crumb.  The only problem is that I can't stay away from it!  YUM!

We're having more typical, gray New England weather.  It's not too cold out, with no wind so I may go out in a bit and do a little yard pick up!  That never stops!

Happy Hannuka to all those who celebrate.  A Festival of Light is much needed at this time of year!

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014


It's been snowing in a very half-hearted way for about four hours.  This little bird is from last year, but the birdies on the rail look just as cold and unhappy.  The ground is warm and wet enough for the snow to melt as it hits the ground.  Not so on the deck and steps.....real back breaker weather.  Careful everyone!

Thankfully we aren't deep in white stuff the way we were last year.  I don't love the squirrels as they will eat everything in sight and destroy stuff if given a chance.  Last lear was so rotten I did put out goat food for them.  The scarfed that down with abandon.

I've got my studio winterized to the point where I can turn the heater on.  Last night I left everything on low; it was 62 F. at 8:00 AM.  That is a bearable temp, but if I can get it up to 65-70 I will be thrilled. It will be interesting to look at the elctric bill when it comes in!  I've had to change my glaze and chemical storage a bit, so I do my own stuff, then sort and reshelf for awhile.  So far so good!

Our Holiday Sale at the South County Art Association continues through December 20.  So far we are doing much better than last year!  Oh frabjous day!  Calloo!  Callay!

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another Advent Calendar

Here is this year's calendar from The Met.  It's a pop-up of the skaters at Rockefeller Center.  The windows are of vintage cards and postcard from around New York City.  There are two palm fronds in front. 

It looks like we have more rain in the near future.  I'm so happy it's not snow!

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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Advent and Santa

Do you ever save old Advent Calendars?  I do when they are as pretty as this one from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This is the Beaux Arts facade designed by Richard Hunt that faces Fifth Avenue.  There is always a huge tree in the lobby at Christmas time.

I made the Santa many years ago when my class of developmentally delayed students wanted to make Santa lamps.  These were fairly easy to make using a soda bottle as a form, and were a great hit!  The bulb in Santa's hat is too bright to photograph when lit.   Little bulbs can focus way too much light sometimes!

I can't seem to skip below the photo today.  Such are the vagaries of Blogspot!  I'll try moving the photo later.  We'll see, grasshopper.......we'll see.....

I spent the week end doing the long overdue chore of winterizing my studio.  It's not difficult, but does entail a lot of moving of stuff!

I understand that a large storm is headed our way.  We are supposed to get a lot of rain, which is still needed.  Pond levels are holding even since we started getting more rain but have not raised very much.

Good wishes for all to stay cozy and warm.  Is it may imagination or has it gotten cold much earlier this year?

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