Friday, June 22, 2012

Spiffy website, wot wot?

Well, I did get to work on some pots this weekend. Never as much time as I could best use, but good time certainly. And several hours over the course of the evenings of this week. Bits here and there, trimming, slipping, carving. All time much appreciated.

In NON-clay related news, you may have noticed that I spent some time sprucing up the website (blog) this week. What do you think? Remember, I'm a potter not a programmer! But I'm rather proud of the minor adjustments here and there.  Most notably, a new banner across the top of the page and a couple new widgets. I should be shooting some photos from the last kiln opening to update my gallery.

Also new this week: I'm on Facebook! At least, as a potter. So please, LIKE me here! I'll try to keep things current, with daily updates from the studio and albums of work as it comes out of the kiln and stuff. In a slightly more accessible/organized format for those things than might work on this site. So check it out!

Back to the clay, here's what's up in the studio:
Arbor bowls. Realized that despite not doing so well last fall (leaving me with a full stock), these bowls have since done rather well this spring, leaving me in need of some more. Fun to get back into this style again.

Some carved bowls. Gave my slips the week off. Going for textural glaze effects. Trying out some new designs that may or may not be borrowed from my mentors.
Well, I didn't totally give ALL the blue slips the week off. I mean, how could I do that?

And we had a lovely weekend. Celebrated our anniversary spending some time outside, nice long run, some time along the river. The local "Oahe Days" civic festival was going on, so there was food and music and bumper cars. We thought the bumper cars were a pretty awesome way to celebrate our anniversary. 
Mighty Mo.
It was a welcome change. Last year our community suffered (nigh) catastrophic flooding, forcing families out of their homes for the better part of 6 months and flooding most (all) of the city/county/state's recreational facilities. Walking along the river, the parks look awfully nice considering that a year ago they were on their way to being inundated. The dead and rotten trees in the midst of the green growth were a fair reminder.

So we enjoyed being able to spend time along the river again and hopefully will get to do more and more of that as the summer goes on.

On a final note, this week I've been working my way through Sound Supply Drop #3. That's 10 albums for $15 for a limited time (still 5 days or so). Some quality music in there from the likes of Hellogoodbye and The Get Up Kids. Favorite of mine amongst the previously unknowns are a band called Young Statues. They sound a little something like this:
You can preview the rest of Drop #3 right here.

And no, I don't get anything from Sound Supply or the bands for mentioning it. I'm just enthusiastic about discovering new talents. So check it out.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weekly Update

This week got away from me a bit. I was hoping to do more throwing than I did, and had to throw out a couple things that were thrown over the weekend because they didn't get trimmed soon enough.  I'm six weeks out from the next show, which gives me maybe two weeks to do anymore throwing. Fortunately, I feel like I'm in a good place as far as inventory is concerned, and the Clear Lake sale is only a one-day event, but there are a few things I'd like to see more of.  

Mostly, though, my to-do list is comprised of non-production show prep that has been ignored. I haven't done an outdoor event in several years, and I'm feeling the need to step up my game a little bit with regard to display and presentation. All of my "need-to-do's" may not get done by July, but it's good to be thinking about them now, if only to be ready for any shows that come up over the fall.

Got flowers blooming in the front yard. Local Farm & Fleet starts to discount live plants mid-July or so, and by the first of August anything that's left is free. Slim pickings, but some hidden gems. Planted these last summer and they gave us a modest presentation last fall. They've been absolutely gorgeous this spring.
Vases. Lefty sort of reminds me of the White Tree of Gondor. Thinking that'd make a pretty impressive line of mugs, to throw that tree inside a blue badge of some sort.
Big guy, little guy. 
Slipped and ready for action.
So that's where I'm at. Contemplating producing a dozen/score of mugs and trying something new with them, but people just haven't been buying my mugs lately. I mean, I don't like making them that much either so maybe I shouldn't complain... but I've been throwing some ideas around I'd like to flesh out maybe.

Haven't been listening to a whole lot of one thing or the other (in the studio) but have been playing a lot of NPR's All songs Considered podcast. Which means a lot of listening to all things and the other. From folk to rock to hip hop and electronic music, they episodes range from topical ("The Speak-Singing Debate" and "Remembering Mom & Dad's Record Collection") to timely (recent releases, festival previews) or genre specific (Electronic! Alt-Latino!). So that's been happening.

To what comes next: more pots? Hoping for some studio time this weekend. It may be difficult as tomorrow brings a wedding anniversary of some significance. Five years. Has it been that long? Certainly is hard to believe. Or as I responded to Krystal last night, "Five years - is that all?"

Then she punched me.

But seriously, she's my best friend, my most ardent supporter, and other mushy-gushy stuff.
So here's to five great years, and many, many more to come.

And please, can I spend some time in the studio this weekend?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pots of Life

I've been absent. But present. Busy, and not so productive. Lots going on, and not much to share.

Had a wonderful visit by Krystal's mother last weekend which kept me more or less out of my studio. But not completely. Here's an illustrated guide to the past 10 days of my life. Hopefully it's interesting. 

(Spoiler alert: I unloaded a glaze kiln yesterday, so those pictures are at the bottom of this post.)

Took some time off last Friday to take the Mom-in-Law down to the Rez and visit Krystal's office. Got to see some of my own (design) handiwork on display in their offices.
Krystal's (above) nonprofit is doing some really cool things in the community. You can read all about Hunkpati Investments here.
Took some great cloud pictures. Like these.
Had to spend a day driving to the airport. Here's "what's up" at the rest areas in South Dakota.
Krystal took "rest area" a little bit too far.
I enjoyed the fresh air and scenic vistas.
Loaded a bisque firing.
Tempy helped me glaze. She's very helpful.
Took her for a walk as a reward. We found a bunny.
Glazed some more.
Loaded up the kiln.

Watched it get warmer.
Unloaded. Thrilled about the blues. The Rust Red has been giving me a lot of trouble lately, though. Grr.

And threw some more bowls.
So that's been my week. Krystal's been out on the eastern seaboard and I get her home again tonight. Might be able to squeeze in a little more throwing before her plane gets in if I try really hard.

That's it for now, I suppose.

For the record, studio listening lately has included: the latest from Beach House, Bloom; new music from Alabama Shakes, Delta Spirit, and M. Ward; and I dusted off ye olde Les Mis this week after catching this at the theatre last weekend.

Take care, y'all.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone