Sunday, March 31, 2013

Look What Happened

Spring finally happened, that's what!  

On Friday it started getting warmer so I was able to wedge some clay.  On Saturday I threw these little guys....I started with about two pounds of clay for each.  The white earth is a departure for me.  I use it for hand building, but I don't think I have thrown with it for at least five years.  But I had a dream about a bunch of little white teapots altered into various shapes and decorated with slips and underglazes while in soft leather stage.  Kristen Kieffer calls it suede, which I think is an apt description.  Then I saw Gary's ewers, and was looking at some little cruets that were my Nanu's.  So these little guys are going to be some sort of vessels with spouts and handles.  By early afternoon they'll be ready to play with.  We'll see, Grasshopper.......we'll see.

Lo and behold the daffodils have finally decided to bloom.  These are by the slab my house is built on which is the warmest part of the garden.  The others out in the yard are only up a few inches.  The bloom season gets stretched a bit this way.

The crocuses are going strong.  I don't know what happened to the snow drops.  I think little underground critters ate them.

I made a lasagna last night using the no-cook noodles for the first time, definitely an idea whose time has come.   I think these may be the best thing since sliced bread.  They are just as tasty as the regular noodles, but without having to dealing with wet noodles slipping and sliding around.  Not for nothing do we say as limp as a wet noodle!

Meanwhile Winter, Aloysius and KikiLaSois sleep through everything.....Except the smell of lasagna!

If you celebrate Easter may it be the most joyous of days.  

And happy spring days to all.

This post will also be over on Mud Colony.  There are lots of posts this week so click on the link and take a little tour of the world of pottery.

Enjoy your day and as always, thanks for stopping by............*s*

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Gave Up!

I actually broke down and bought some daffodils, since those in my yard are showing no inclination to bloom.  The ones out in the yard near the shed are up about an inch.......some day, grasshopper, some day.

The crocuses are starting to bloom; hopefully there will be many more in the next week or two.

The sun is coming out so I will be able to work downstairs later on.  I'm putting up a new set of shelves I bought when they were on sale in January.

There are piles of clay to wedge.  I may put Proge to work on them.....he will be thrilled!

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

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Manatees Redux

It's sort of spring so in some way my thoughts have turned to manatees.  Who knows why.  These are whistles...although in the photo they might easily be mistaken for fetal pigs.  Unfortunately the big one blew up in the kiln.  I can only assume that he was not quite dry.  I haven't had anything blow up in years!

And yes, for those of you who might wonder, that is the Stark dire wolf on the tote bag I got with the dvd of Game of Thrones second season.  Hey, I've never denied my essential nerd! Season three starts next week!

We have sun today with hints of spring.  The crocuses (croci?) are up, budded and trying to bloom.  I'm still hoping for daffodils in time for Easter!  Hah!

I'm going to hurry and get this on Mud Colony;  there's nothing like coming in just under the wire.  Take a look there is always something to peruse there.

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Have you.....

Helped a potter today?  Lori Watts at Fine Mess Pottery is doing a Kickstarter campaign to rethink her glazes and work.  Five dollars or even a dollar would make a BIG difference.

Little drops of water,
Tiny grains of sand,
Make a mighty ocean
And a beautiful land.

Hit the LINK and take a look at her beautiful work.

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Look What Happened!

I woke up this morning to snow!  And tomorrow is the first day of spring.  It's raining now and has half melted everything.  It all looks quite bleak!

This is a zeppole, or zeppoli, or zeppola.  Whatever you call it it's delicious.  There are many recipes using a ricotta based dough, deep fried with powdered sugar.  Around here they are made with a pate a choux  dough, filled with pastry cream, sprinkled with sugar and topped with a maraschino cherry.  For St. Patrick's Day Irish whisky is added to the pastry cream.  We do combine holidays here.

I've brought some clay upstairs to do a little handbuilding.  My studio is just too cold.  I guess with age I've become a real wuss.  I was so excited when the temps went up for a few days I got carried away and moved everything downstairs.  I swear by next winter I will rig something to block off the studio and make it feasible to heat it.  Anything above 60 will be fine.

 No peas being planted on St. Patrick's Day this year.  One good thing is that so much rain will keep the well and water supply in good condition for the coming summer.

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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Winter: Now and Then

A year ago today we went over to Connecticutt and picked up our half corgi/half something else rescue puppy Winter.  Needless to say she has grown a great deal in the past year.  The little tan spots have come out since November.  She has brought us extreme amounts of joy and has turned out to be a great deer chaser!  Deer and squirrels are her nemeses.

Winter, 3/17/13

Winter, 3/17/12
Spring was much earlier last year.  The daffodils were in full bloom and other perennials we getting ready to flower.  This year the flowers are up, but shivering.

My studio is still pretty cold, but if I wait until about 11:00 AM  the sun and my little heater have warmed things enough so I can work there.  The trouble with a cement slab floor is that it takes forever to warm enough to be comfortable.  The same thing is an advantage in July; the floor helps keep things cool.

Obviously, this is clay waiting to be wedged.  I swear that my next clay purchase is going to be a pug mill......someday!  We'll see, Grasshopper......we'll see.

Speaking of grasshoppers, I hope people are following Robin Hopper on his blog.  This week's post is about Mocha Diffusions  and no, it has nothing to do with coffee.

Below is a photo of me with my favorite helper cat, Aloysius, First he jumps up on my shoulders to rearrange my hair, then he has to add his opinions to whatever I am working on.  Disconcerting still, after three years.  What would I do without my little elves?

And last, but certainly not least,  Happy Saint Patrick's Day to one and all.  We will be celebrating with Irish whisky smoked salmon, soda bread and zeppola....not in that order.(We've eaten up the corned beef!)  The zeppola are really to celebrate Saint Joseph's Day on March 19, but this being Rhode Island with large Italian and Irish populations the celebratory food and drink generally is combined for both days.

Below are my shamrocks.....I'm not sure that they're really shamrocks, but they are lobed like shamrocks.  If the shoe fits.......

It looks like it's going to be another sunny, but cool day.  I hope all are enjoying good weather in their parts of the world.

This rather disjointed post will also be over on  Mud Colony.  There's always something interesting to be found there.  I hope you will take a look.

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

Saturday, March 9, 2013


I want to go where
manatees go, away from
winter ice and snow.

We just had three days of terrible typical southern New England weather.  There was very little snow, but what there was blew in heavy winds and compacted it into instant ice, which was treacherous on decks. Yes, the wind started blowing on Wednesday; there was some form of precipitation the whole time, sort of like being hit with little knives.  At least we didn't get the quantities of snow they got further north.

Today the sun is out in a clear blue sky and the world looks oh so innocent.  Perhaps things will begin to warm up a bit and we will see some real spring.  Last year by this time the daffodils were blooming happily away.  Hopefully we will see some blooms in a few weeks.  I am more than ready for spring!


Robin Hopper has posted that he will start posting to his bog again, given that there is enough interest.  Hit the link and leave a short message of support. He is no longer giving workshops, but his knowledge and experience of pottery and gardens....among other things in a life well amazing in its breadth.  

It's a personal regret that I was never able to take one of the workshops, but there are books and the man.    Coincidentally I was looking for some alternative to the outline brushwork I do.  Low and behold I found a recipe for ceramic ink!  This may be just what I need as it's supposed to work in a variety of pens.  I'll write more as I mess around with it. 

On a much sadder note Dennis Allen as posted on his blog that Joe Frank McKee's studio burned to the ground a few nights ago.  The family and house are fine, but the studio is a complete loss.  If you hit the link Dennis has links to Facebook regarding the event and an auction site. ( I don't seem to be able to get the links to work for me.)  

Donations can also be sent directly

Joe Frank McKee
Tree House Pottery
148 Front St.
PO Box 253
Dillsboro,  N.C.  28725

Remember that every little bit helps.

The sun is out; it's getting warmer.  I'm going to spend the afternoon outside and trying to figure out why my camera flash is acting up.  And, possibly, moving my studio back downstairs.  We'll see, Grasshopper..........we'll see.

This posting will also be on Mud Colony.  Check it out; there's always something interesting to be found there.

Have a great and sunny week end, and as always, thanks for stopping by...........*s*

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I have finally started glazing and decorating the balloon cups I made last June.  When I do a new form like this I have to stare at it for a long time before I put brush to surface.  Since I made these as an experiment I am going to glaze in the same spirit.  The one below is not terribly successful as I want to emphasize the seam more and paint in a looser more wash style.  I have seven of them so I should be able to get an idea of what I want.  But breaking old habits is hard!

Thanks for all the wonderful comments on Winter's creativity on Wordless Wednesday. They match and outdo anything on lolcats!   It would seem we all have a shared experience!

It started out as a beautiful day but quickly clouded over.  I hear rumors of another storm on its way.....we'll see, Grasshopper......we'll see.

This will be posted over on Mud Colony.  Hit the link and discover more in the world of clay.

Enjoy your Sunday and as always, thanks for stopping by............*s*