Friday, March 30, 2012


I don't quite know how to deal with this, but I am having no success in posting comments on other bloggers sites.  I keep getting error message bX-cyOoum.  Is anyone else having this problem and know how to fix it?  Or is it a Blogger problem?  I guess we will have to communicate by email.......since I/we can't post comments.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I was cleaning these hand building tools this morning, thinking about how I enjoy using them. 

 Then I read Linda's post this morning.  She has a cool new bevel cutter everyone should check out.

  From there I went to listing the hand building tools I can't live without.  I have the usual wooden paddles and spoons but these are the guys I use all the time.  The paddle at the top is is a nice shape for establishing curves.  The two big throwing sticks and the two small knobbed ones at the bottom I use for whacking and shaping the interiors of the pots.  The long paddle and the wooden stick to the left are used for shaping exteriors.  I use a metal ruler and my Dolan fettling knife for cutting slabs. (I do love my Dolan tools!)  I use a carpenter's square if I need precise corners. 

I am not even going to begin to talk about brushes as they are my downfall.  I often buy them just to look at them......enough said!

What favorite pottery/art gear do you have that is a can't live without?

Thanks for stopping by.............~s~

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teapot and........

I've been looking at this teapot that I made last fall.  I am experimenting with thrown, altered forms.   The handle needs work.  I like the shape and the arc, but viewed head on it looks weak.  When I pick it up, it doesn't feel right for the pot.  It isn't going to break, but I would be happier with a broader, visually stronger handle. 

When I alter forms I aim for asymmetry.  I wish I had whacked it a bit more.  I would like the left side to be rounder.  It works better in the front view.  The right side should be higher and plumper.  I generally do prototypes in groups of three.  This was a bowl I was not happy with so I started fooling around with altering it.  Sometimes my best ideas come from the end of the day, what am I going to do with this, nothing to lose space I get into.  Sometimes things just fall apart.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Good Thing or Cats Rule or ........

Good things come to those who clean.  I made this pitcher a few years ago when I was desperate for something presentable to put milk in. I found it on the back of a shelf when I was cleaning my studio.  (Which is still not finished but I least I can work there.)  I remember taking it downstairs last summer to copy the size and shape.  It holds about three cups.  

I'm pretty sure I made it in my Egyptian phase after the Gifts of the Nile exhibit at the RISD Museum back in the late nineties.  I should have made a lid for it.  Does anyone else have cats who stick their paws in the milk and lick the paw when the mouth is too narrow to drink from?  This seems to be a universal cat behavior.  This crew did not learn it from our previous cats.  In the future, I promise, I will make lids for my pitchers and creamers.

I threw yesterday for the first time since I moved upstairs for the winter.....4 small bowls, 1 biggish bowl, 2 mugs and two handbuilt plates.  Aloysius sat in two of the small bowls right after I threw them.....just came over and sat down in them, which really pissed me the same time he looked so stupidly nonplussed,  walking away with two bowls stuck to his backside that I couldn't help the laughter.  The clean up with sponge, water and baby wipes was punishment enough.

Today I am making tiles to fix the shower.  Making the tiles is fun,,,,fixing the shower is not.

I thought I was clearing plant shelves so I could begin to start some seeds.  Marigolds, alyssum and impatiens......I don't bother with's easier to buy seedlings from one of our local growers as I don't need that many plants.  Hah! We only think we are in charge of our companions....they run our lives....but they're sooooo cute!!!

Thanks for stopping by...........~s~

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bugs and Winter

Ah box elder beetles, or as we used to call them Halloween Bugs!  Thanks to Gary and the bugs at his house, and hopefully not mine, for the reminder.  I made these little whistles as my version of the bug.  The neat thing about making whistles is that they can be little projects that can be done in a few minutes.  By using commercial glazes I can once fire  and get fast results.  Pottery is not something that lends itself to instant gratification, but this comes close.  

I've been looking at more bugs, scarabs in particular.  Tomato hornworms are disgusting on plants but they have a lot of the dragon in them.....actually, I think they are closer to Godzilla.....Godzilla appropriate!

Winter came outside with us yesterday when we were working in the yard.  At first she didn't quite know what to do.  Then she started finding all sorts of good smells.  She probably has not been outside much, so there is a lot to explore.  One wonderful thing is that she asks to go out when she needs to go.  She had one accident in the house and that was due more to our not understanding her signals, than her misbehavior.

Winter in the daffodils

I've been experimenting with slow rise breads.  I use 1/4 tsp. dry yeast to make a starter and let it ferment, then add flour to make a soft dough.  It ends with being baked in a hot cast iron dutch over.  Generally it makes a wonderful, chewy loaf.

This time I had way too much dough so I took some of it and made it into a cross between pizza and foccacio.  Topped it with caramalized onions, mushrooms and, at the end, a Kerrygold gouda type cheese.  It was delicious.  Next time I may add anchovies.  Yes, I know many people gag at the thought of anchovies.  But I love the salty, fishy undertones they give to a dish.  

Found this poem on NPR.  It may insult some lovers of the green, but I find it appropriate.

Drowning the Shamrock by Frank Delaney

Thanks for stopping by...........~s~

Sunday, March 18, 2012


This is Winter. She's just about twelve weeks old, a corgi cross with no idea who the papa is.  We brought her home from the rescue place in Connecticut after, thanks to Google Maps an adventure in finding the place.  (They had us take an exit that led us all over creation.  When we finally found the place after the excellent instructions from strangers, we found we were about five minutes from the nearest exit.  I find this is pretty common for Google; the directions from my house to RT95 are a labyrinth.)

Winter was puppy named Stella, but we weren't up for Streetcar Named Desire imitations.....and Winter seems so appropriate.  She has a brown patch on her back and will have spots on her ears.  She is sweet but shy.  Friendly sat beside her last there doesn't seem to be a cat problem.  We are more concerned with the cats bullying the dog.

We are normally big dog people...weighing anywhere from 80 (Breezy, the white shepherd) to 175 (Truce the Irish Wolfhound).  But I have a friend with three corgis and have fallen for them.  Big dogs in little dog bodies is how she describes them.  

I am still working on the studio.  Right now it's in the stage where it looks like a cyclone hit it.  Usually that means I am nearing the end of cleaning with a lot of tossing out between now and then.

Proge bought the first season of Game of Thrones, so I have immersed myself in a world of fantasy.  I am suitably impressed.  The production is gorgeous to watch and the characters and stories engaging.  But then I have always enjoyed George R.R. Martin.  His is the only vampire novel I have ever liked, and The Monkey Treatment takes dieting to a whole new level.  I just have to careful that my work doesn't become overly peopled by swords and dragons! Hah!

Thanks for stopping by.........-s-

Sunday, March 11, 2012

One Year Ago

One year ago the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.  So many people gone, so many hurt, so many still homeless.

I think in particular of Euan the Potter whose pottery and life was changed in minutes.  Go to his blog to read the story of him and his family's change and survival.

Here's to you and your family and a new life, Euan.

Thanks for stopping by...........-s-

Friday, March 9, 2012

Daffodils and....Discoveries

Spring is on the way.  The daffodils started blooming yesterday.  Yeaaaaa!  

My studio is usable again.  I made a couple of mugs and started a turtle and discovered that before I go any further I have got to rethink my studio set-up.  I have plenty of shelves but I need to make areas that are cat proof. latest plan is to switch the stuff I use for handbuilding forms and my other  equipment to the shelves that are currently used for wares and vice versa.  Sometimes I have a brain block about the most appropriate ways to use a space...old habits die hard.

It's will officially be spring in about a week and a half.  Best time to clean!  Get the dust out of all the nooks and crannies both real and metaphorical!

Thanks for stopping by......-s-

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Time Fugits

Life has been getting in the way of life.

I finished the little house.  I'm going to take it outside and photograph it in the woods later today.

We are enjoying a spell of warm weather.  It's supposed to be up in the sixties today...but windy.  With any luck we should be able to take the covers off pool and pumps soon. Oh joy.

Aloysius has decided that I am his climbing post/resting stop.....very difficult to write with his nips of love.

Thanks for stopping by...........-s-