Saturday, December 29, 2018


I received this lovely covered jar in a pottery exchange we did on Clay Buddies on FB.  
I took the photo on my iPad; it doesn’t do justice to the elegance of the design and glaze.
The little pendant is doing double duty right now as a tree ornament...up high so the furbies don’t use it as a toy.

We are experiencing more pump problems.  It’s still under warranty so we are picking up a new one and installing it today.  For once the weather is on our side.  It’s sunny and in the fifties!
Toes crossed that all are enjoying this Fourth Day of Christmas!
As always........thanks for stopping by................*s*

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

At home

A few days ago I posted a picture on FaceBook of Aloysius surrounded by lights he dragged off the tree.  

 Here he is contemplating his next move.

We have had two young bucks visiting the woods on the north side of the house.  As long as they stay there Winter does not see them and go berserk.

I took this one through a window, which is not optimal, but they run quickly if we open windows or doors.

I fooled about with the contrast to make the deer a bit more visible.

Meanwhile I have been raw glazing a few green whistles to fire in the top of the wood stove.  We'll see, grasshopper.....we'll see.....

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


I am not sure how it got to be November but here it is.

It’s been over two months since I posted anything.  I have been doing stuff;  it’s just so boring that I have not felt a need to post.  How many pictures of recycling clay or dead branches does anyone need to see?

It’s been the usual odd temps for fall in this area with periods of nights cold enough to light the wood stove and then a week of weather in the high sixties and seventies.  Go figure; it’s New England!

We have had the stove going pretty much twenty-four/seven for the last week.  (No Thanksgiving morning glories this year!). I fired my first whistle of the season in the top of the Jotul a few days ago.  From the feel of the clay I think it got up to ^06-^05.  Someday I will remember to stick a few cones in with the whistles.  Next I want to experiment with some glazes.  We’ll see, grasshopper........

My hibiscus have been blooming all summer and are still going strong since I brought them inside.  I am also having another go at wintering over petunias.  They will die down a bit and show lots of blooms around February.

We found this praying mantis on the ground near the plants.  We moved her into the plants because we did not want her to get stepped on or become a toy for Winter.  She looks ready to lay   eggs.  Toes crossed she finds a safe place so we have lots of babies next year.

It looks like we will be having a cool, probably cloudy, Thanksgiving.  There is no wind prediction so Proge should be able to grill the turkey easily.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

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

Thursday, September 13, 2018


This is the purchased pot I glazed a while ago. 
 I only just realized that I never posted a picture of the painted pot.  I am still working on dragonflies so I decided that this was a good practise opportunity.  I am not totally satisfied, but they are beginning to get there.  The leaf pattern is a very old one that I haven’t used in ages.

The weather changed quite suddenly at the end of last week.  We went from ninety plus with high humidity to seventies and a couple of days of sixties overnight.  I even had to wear socks! 

We have been having rain with occasional bits of sun. The only thing we expect from Florence is possible rain,which we can always use.

On that note I hope all those who are in Flrence’s path are taking care and not taking chances.  I know it has been downgraded to a cat.2, but the potential for damage is still present.

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

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Happiness is my tea order from Upton Tea.  I ordered it Saturday.  It arrived Tuesday afternoon.

This should be enough for a couple of months.

We are in a period of clouds, rain, and sun.  The rain stopped and the sun is out so I will go outside while I can.
As always, thanks for stopping by..................*s*

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


This fellow showed up in a tree at dusk last night.  While I was taking pictures an Osprey started circling.  Winter barked and chased him away.

I think out fish pond is doomed!

Toes crossed that everyone is still enjoying summer.

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Then:  Ringo a bit less than a year ago shortly after we decided to keep him and Grayby along with LuckyPeach. It's hard to believe that he was small enough to fit in a flower pot. 

And here he is today, almost a year later.  He now weighs about fifteen pounds and is even fluffier than his pictures show.  This is about as dignified as he gets.

He is more likely to be lolling around on his back, even when he sleeps, waiting for tummy rubs.

His full name has morphed into Sir Ringo the Magnificent.  He has been magnificent for most of his life,  The sir was added when Ringo Starr was knighted.

It's a good thing he enjoys being brushed and combed because it's a necessary part of his daily upkeep.

He and Grayby have discovered it's fun to attack my feet while I am sleeping.  I need a kevlar blanket!

We are having a weekend of rain which is not a bad thing.  It just means that outside work is curtailed.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Where Does It Go From Here?

This is an experiment.  I have glazed smaller purchased flower pots with some success, but this one is a larger size, about thirteen inches across at the top.  I bought several of them on sale at Job Lot.  I inspected the rims very carefully and even sprayed them when I got them home to make sure there were no hairline cracks.  Even the tiniest crack will wreak complete havoc on a pot in its glaze firing. I sanded the pot with a 80 grit paper and sprayed it with vinegar and water.  I let it dry in the sun for a day before glazing.

This is glazed with Spectrum #799, Majolica White.  Through my experiments on small, purchased pots I have found that my studio glazes are a crap shoot.  I had one where the glaze slid completely off the pot to form a very nice ring at its foot.  Needless to say I always fire on a pad or piece of kiln shelf.

Now the question is how to paint it.  I want something fairly simple as it will have plants, probably petunias and friends, in it.   I will stare at it and do some sketches.

I am making these for my own use with no intention of ever selling them.  That would be too close to paint your own pottery for comfort.

We'll see, Grasshopper......we'll see............

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2018



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

Friday, June 29, 2018


Whenever I want to do some straightforward illustrating I dig out one of the tiles I keep on hand.  They are glazed with who-knows-what, probably Spectrum #799 Majolica White.

I use Mason stains, mostly mixed with frit #3124, sometimes with gerstley borate added to give a denser color.  I will fire at ^05.

I have been looking at a lot of Mucha lately, so you don’t have to look far for the inspiration.  

This is not quite finished but I wanted to get a photo  before I loaded the kiln.  Yes I am going to do a firing soon.

Toes crossed that all my northern hemisphere friends are enjoying a terrific summer.  I am enjoying tea by the fish pond in the mornings.  It is such a relief to not have caterpillars crunching and crapping everything in sight.

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It Takes A While

I finally remembered to photograph the other side of the fish.  It's quite different from the reverse, but that is what I wanted, 

And I finally remembered that with this glaze Mason stains mixed with frit and g.b. work much better than stains with frit only.  They go on with a much smoother application.

It will be interesting to see how it fires.  We'll see, grasshopper........we'll see......

As always, thanks for stopping by............S..........

Friday, June 1, 2018


You just gotta paint a fish!

I have been gathering up the fish, turtles and mermaids that I put in various parts of the garden, fish pond,, and pool.  I found this lonely little guy with his white base coat, but nothing else.  Soooooo, he has been getting some bling.

It just started raining here.  The upside is that it really does in the remnants of caterpillar infestations from the last two summers.  We may actually be able to use the pool for more than a few weeks in August-Sptember.

Toes crossed that all who have been experiencing torrential rains and flooding are safe and dry.

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

Thursday, May 24, 2018

More Stuff

Another tea canister ready for the kiln.  I have painted a few luna moths, but this is the first time I have done dragonflies.  I am not sure about the ladybugs, but they wanted to be there so what the hey!

If I glaze, I always put something on the bottoms of my pots and inside the lids.  I like little decorative surprises so I assume others do too.  I know many low fire potters do this.

And last, a picture of Grayby and Ringo at breakfast.  At about ten months it's hard to believe they are from the same litter.  One of the things I love about watching kittens from the same litter grow up is how different their personalities are.  Grayby is a sit beside kitty.  She will sit besides us to get pats, but woe betide those who try to put her on a lap.  Ringo, on the other hand will lounge on whoever or what ever is available, preferably on his back to get belly rubs.

I found a picture of the kittens nursing outside, just before we brought them in.  That's Gryby on the end with Ringo next to her.  Their eyes were just opening.

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Another pot ready for firing.  I am still catching up on all the stuff that has been hanging around my studio.  It's surprising what is showing up.

This was going to be a tea canister, but I broke the lid.  One of the good things about working with the same clay body is that I know the shrink rates, so it is relatively easy to make a replacement.  The lid isn't perfect but since it's for my own use, I am not worried about it.

It's glazed in Spectrum #799 Majolica White, with mixed Mason Stains.

And lastly here is another picture of Ringo being strange.  He dragged this bathmat from the bathroom to the sunroom.  He likes to hide under it and sleep.  At least he thinks he is hiding.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Humpty Redux

Recently, Sandy Miller reminded me that I have forgotten to post Humpty Dumpty ready for the kiln.

I am using Mason stains mixed 50/50 with frit #3124 and water to get the brushing consistency I want.  I treat the encapsulated reds a bit differently and mix 25/25/50 gerstley borate, frit #3124, and stain.  Again I vary the water depending on how thin or opaque I want the color.  Adding the gerstley borate makes the stain work more like a gouash than a watercolor.

Blogger is being weird about my posting so I will just wish every one a sunny day.

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Old Friends

I was looking through some old notebooks and found Humpty Dumpty, a design I haven't used in several years.
It's on terra cotta, glazed with thee coats of Spectrum #799 Majolica White.  The colors are my own mixed Mason Stains.
This is first step, with all the main design elements painted in.  Next I will put in some background details and wax resist all the painted work.  Then I will work on the background, waxing where needed.  Waxing makes it so much easier as I don't have to worry about background bleeding into the figures.  Any colors that get onto waxed areas I can get off with one of the little eye shadow sponge applicators I keep on hand.  It will be fired at a hot ^05.
 Eventually I will fill the kiln so I can fire.  As soon as my studio warms up a bit I will make a bunch of greenware to go in on separate shelves.  It's one of the advantages to working in low-fire.

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

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Wood Stove Firing

Since my real studio is way too cold for any prolonged work, I have tried firing in my wood stove. This was fired in my Jotel in the top circulator space.  I used my low fire terra cotta and left it in the stove for about twenty-four hours.    I think it's somewhere around ^06.  It feels and sounds the way t.c. is at that temp.  I lightened the photo a bit so some of the detail can be seen.
Next time I'll put some cones in. 
Unlike many years we are still using the wood stove 24/7. 

My hibiscus have started blooming.  These are southern varieties that I winter over inside.  They generally start blooming when the days get longer.
It's nice to have some color inside.

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

Sunday, March 18, 2018


No not angel cats.  E. Nesbit has written that dragons are simply cats that have not learned to be gentle.These dragons metamorphosing into pussycats.  This will be part of a series showing the complete metamorphosis.

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

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Catching Up

Sometimes it takes me a while.  The bottom picture is the unfired sippers I did last December.  I sold a few of them so in the top photo I only have four of the finished ones to show.  The photo isn't great but it gives a pretty good idea of what the finished sippers look like.

Winter is still the doldrums.  I have been dealing with fighting off the edge of a cold.  Yes it's a cold and not the flu.  I haven't had a cold in years so I have forgotten what it is like.  Mostly I just want to lie around like a sloth.

Toes crossed everyone is enjoying good health.

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

Sunday, February 4, 2018

To Market, To Market

To market, to market to buy a fat pig:
Home again, home again jiggetty jig.

Only I altered the rhyme at bit.
To market, to market to court a fine pig.
Home again, home again jiggetty jig.

This is how I paint my pots.  I am using Spectrum #799 Majolica white.  It will be fired about ^05-04.
I am once firing this as it's a test of a new design.  Working on unfired clay for this length of time is risky at best.  The challenge is not destroying the mug by adding too much wet glaze, and stains at once.  However 799 once fires beautifully so I am not expecting any problems there.  (HAH!  Those may be famous last words.)

This is a new design so I have laid it out in detail.  If I am using a design that is an old friend I simply put in a few marks as a guide.  This is drawn with a soft drawing pencil.

 The base colors are laid out.  I will go back and add a bit more color where I think it is needed.  I want a Clear Line style do I am not adding a lot of shading.

 I wax all my designs before adding my background colors.  Tedious but worth it.

The grass and sky are added.  The sky is a pale blue I mixed, thinned to almost a wash.  I rub and blend with a finger if I want to get rid of brush marks'

These were taken in a different light so the wax doesn't show up as much.  This batch was tinted with green food coloring so I could see where I brushed it.

Ready to fire, which may be a while as I am taking my time.

We are having a gray, chilly day.  I am planning to spend it inside making small whistles.  I want to try firing them in the top of our Jotul wood burner.  We'll see about this one, Grasshopper..........

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

Saturday, February 3, 2018


They have taken their own sweet time but finally my amaryllis are blooming.  At least a few are, but  with nothing like the profusion of blooms I had last year.

I think they probably need repotting next fall.

I am forcing Angelique tulips..I used to do this very successfully years ago.  I don't know why I stopped, but it's worth a try.

The flowers that bloom in the spring tra-la!

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