Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Super Dry Clay is What's Waiting For Me Tonight

I left some clay out in the studio for recycling purposes last Friday night, as I figured a quick trip in on Saturday wouldn't be out of line.

But then that quick didn't happen.  Or on Sunday.  So I wrote it off until my Monday night studio time.

Which didn't happen, because life did instead, and there's nothing you can really do about that.

So, what would have been, probably, 12 pounds of nice usable clay will be completely dried out and I'll have to start from scratch.  At least, starting from scratch is the best possible option.  Worst case scenario is that the clay isn't completely dried out, but only "black hard" in which case it won't soak any more moisture in, and it's still quite aways from being dry, and definitely too hard to use. 

And I must apologize to any guilders for my leaving clay out on the drying slab for 5 days.  It's horribly rude and selfish of me, and I'm quite sorry.

And since I've been a horrible potter, and a horrible blogger, I present you a drawing.  A doodle representing the notes of a meeting at work.  After going for some time on it, I discovered that it was beginning to resemble a pachyderm, and that amused me, so I ran with it.  Here goes, and hope you're having a great week!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Unexpected Friday Evening Studio Time

Krystal had a thing come up suddenly this afternoon (Ladies Game Night with some other young women from our church), so I found myself with some time in the studio this evening after all.  Nothing to exciting to report, but I did snag some pictures of... well, pictures.  From the studio.  You know, like I usually post here?  So, here's that bowl I trimmed earlier this week, but the inside. 
This one's as special order for somebody who does some work in martial arts, and that's (apparently) the logo for the World Tae Kwon Do Association.  Or something like that.
And here's some mugs.  Yup.  Love those mugs.  "Love that Joker!" Tim Burton's Batman, anybody?  Anybody?  So apparently it's too late for me to be up and blogging...
Here's a bowl I threw.  It's to match two other bowls that a friend of mine has.  It's supposed to nest the other two.  Here's hoping.  Because it's always tricky, if you don't throw all parts of a set at the same time, trying to get their size relationships right.  But it's probably okay.
Here's the last of my white B-mix, which was recycled with the last of the blue b-mix slip.  So, I'm hoping it's a blue piece of pottery.  I decorated it with a sort of differenet technique for me.  But it was mostly thrown to use up the last of the clay.

So there you go.

The studio was pretty empty (as in, completely) because apparently other people have better things to do on Friday night than hang out throwing pots.  So I took advantage of the opportunity to blast some tunes.  Tonight the music of choice was the new Norah Jones, and one of the more recent albums by a dude named Kevin Max.
The FallThe Imposter
Kevin Max is most well known for being a part of 90's CCM group dc Talk, and his solo career over the last decade has been mostly under the radar.  It's rather eclectic arty/indie rock, and I recommend it.  And Norah's new release is I suppose similar to her last release, but more fun, and catchier.  A departure from her earliest work, it leaves the piano jazz more or less behind favoring guitar hooks and funky grooves.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

So, that's should be it for this week.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not a whole lot going on here this week...

It's time for what has become, apparently, my weekly update.  There's isn't a whole lot of pottery-related craziness to report, as this week has kept me busy otherwise.  Specifically, Krystal is a lucky woman in that her birthday gets to share a week with Valentine's day.  So, "Birthday Week" blurred into "Valentine's Week" blurred into "I've-Done-My-Best-to-Effectively-Spoil-My-Wife-for-Two-Weeks-Straight Week" which equates to "Luke-is-Not-Running-Off-to-the-Studio-for-Hours-at-a-Time Week."

So there you go.

We did break away from festivities for a little bit Sunday afternoon to go check out the new stuff coming out of the kiln, specifically as some of it was a specific commission piece.  So, after stopping at the studio we delivered the large bowl below to my generous friends and patrons.  They will also be keeping that platter, which was finished back in November.  They're a lovely set and I think they make a nice pair of centerpieces on their custom table (Jim is a carpenter - like, the artistic, architecturally-minded-furniture sort of carpenter.  You can check out some of his custom work at his site here).
I guess my only real complaint is that it's not a fair trade, as far as hours of work go, between pottery and custom woodcraft, so I haven't been able to convince Jim to do a straight trade for a nice new bureau, or cabinet, or desk, or paperweight...
I also had a couple new mountain vases come out, of which this one I am proud.  It will be staying with the other pieces for a life well-loved.  Not a bad use of Sunday afternoon.  I'm grateful that Krystal had her camera along so I could snap some shots of these pots in situ for my personal records. 

I did get into the studio Monday night for a couple hours and had loads of fun putting handles on mugs:
So there's half of the mugs, with handles.  I should clarify, after last week's rant on mugs, that I am still willing to make them.  I just kind of really need a solid reason to do so.  Such as a special order.  Life isn't always rainbows and butterflies, and sometimes you have to do some stuff that isn't as much fun to accomodate the rest.  And Laura, rest assured that these mugs are no great hardship to me, but I'm happy to make them for you.

Besides, despite my absolute loathing the process of handle-ing mugs, I really do appreciate and enjoy a well made, well handle-ed mug.  So that's a plus.  So that's what I did on Monday night.  I also decorated and trimmed a bowl.
Well, if that isn't the most exciting picture you've ever gotten here, then I don't know what is.  I hope to secure a couple hours in the studio this weekend, and I'll be back in again Monday night for sure.  I should make an effort to get some pictures of some of these other new pieces up here too.  In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I went to the studio tonight and threw some mugs for a special order.

I've decided that if I ever open my own studio and try to make a living going at this whole pottery thing I will never make a mug again.  I may make cups.  I may make some tumblers.

But, as far as I am concerned, mugs and all their handle friends can bugger off.

(Because, someday, when I have my own studio, I'll also be British.)

So there you go. LC: I'm making these mugs just for you.  I hope they turn out well enough that you can appreciate them.

In other news, it's Krystal's birthday tomorrow (she'll be older than me for a ful 3 months 10 days) and then Valentine's Day follows in form, and we've been celebrating Krystal all week, so probably no studio time this weekend.  Which is fine with me, since it's been kind of a killjoy lately.  So, wifey: happy birthday!

Rest of the world: Happy Valentine's Day!

Because really, everybody's favorite holiday is that V-Day, right? 


Sunday, February 7, 2010

If I haven't been potting, what have I been up to?

Let me give you a solid piece of advice: the next time someone says to you, "Hey! Let's do a puzzle!" TURN.  AND RUN.  AWAY.  UNTIL YOUR LUNGS HAVE EXPLODED AND YOUR LEGS HAVE TURNED TO PUDDING.

(Coincidentally, my other pasttime - after pottery, after music, after reading - is running until my legs explode and my lungs have turned to jelly.)

Krystal and I had a brilliant idea on Monday last fortnight (can you use fortnight as a past tense of time?).  Two weeks ago, on Monday night, we were wont for a recreational activity.  We were tired of watching movies, we had already played a fiery game of Scrabble, and we were confident in our impending boredom.  So we turned to our closet full of board games, linens, toiletries, and cooking products and explored our options.

As an aside, we are looking forward to the day when our pantry is not our linen closet, which is not our medicine cabinet, which is not our game drawer.  Just as an aside.

We discovered a jigsaw puzzle in said pantry/linen/medicine/game/closet which we received as a Christmas gift from my folks a couple years ago and had never taken the time to conquer.  "Ah, a puzzle!" we said ourselves in glee, "That sounds like soooo much fun!"  Here's where we were a week later:
All those gold ones?  They were really annoying.  And we tried splitting the blues and purples into piles of dark and light and blue and white and purple and gray, but the fact is that it pretty much gradiated back and forth several times over the length of the puzzle, so that wasn't helpful.  At all.

It happens to be one of those photomosaic puzzles, where the big picture is made up of millions of tiny pictures related.  So this one happens to be Winnie the Pooh floating around the honey tree - remember, that part where he sings "I'm just a little black raincloud, hovering under the honey tree..." - made up of millions of frames from Disney's many Pooh adventures.  So not only is it a puzzle in 1,000 pieces, but you think to yourself that the logical course of action is to match the tiny frames up, which is not only not helpful, but it also leaves you blind from staring at these million frames divided amongst 1,000 pieces.  So there you go.  Masochists: you can buy this puzzle here.

So that's where we were a week ago.  Last night we worked ourselves into a fine frenzy, because after two weeks of having your dining room commandeered by a puzzle you're ready to teach that mofo who's the boss, and that's exactly what we did:
Of course, only to discover that we had actually somehow lost one of the pieces to the puzzle.  But we finished it.  And that's a victory worth celebrating.

Which is why, in our infinite wisdom, we bought another puzzle while we were at Target yesterday.  We must be a couple of sick people, us.  Deeply disturbed.  And that's really all I should say about that.

So, I made it into the studio this afternoon.  I was in sometime midweek as well (glazing, unwrapping some things to dry - did you really want to see pictures of that?), but this was my first "real" trip into the studio in pretty much two weeks.  Krystal came along, as she had to glaze a couple things yet from her fall class.
She agrees that glazing is the worst part of the process. (and I'm having trouble aligning this picture).

As she was there with me, we have a picture of me throwing.  She tried to get me to smile, but I hadn't been feeling very productive, so my smile was less than friendly - it looked more like a hungry wolverine than a friendly earth-loving potter - so we'll stick with the action photo that Krystal managed to take while I was throwing something that failed to come about.
All that to say, I trimmed a bowl, and I threw a mug, and I thought about throwing some other things that never really came to fruition.  And that was my afternoon.  Here's the result of my unlimited creativity:
I think it's a pretty sweet bowl.  I hope the commissioner will appreciate it.  I hope you all are enjoying your Superbowl Sunday, because I know mine has just been a total peach.  I woke up this morning and found myself rocking the Supertones on this Super Sunday, and I recommend you do the same.  There is no day the Supertones can't make better, and I recommend you start with their sweet live album.

That's it for me - have yourself a grand week!