Monday, May 6, 2013

A Mid-Globetrotting Update

Greetings, friends!

Thought I'd pop in and send a few photos your way. In addition to "the move," we're looking a lot of travel in our immediate future (and immediate past). Krystal had to travel to Pennsylvania the last week of April for the annual meeting of a board on which she serves, so I tagged along for the trip. 

We spent a couple days in Philadelphia catching the sights (historical and otherwise) and practicing for our upcoming European backpacking trip (what, I haven't mentioned that yet?) with efficient packing and hostel accommodations. As someone who has always been an automobile traveler (me), this was a great dry run on which to learn "Yes, you definitely need to bring this" and "No, you definitely don't need to bring that" and "Why is Luke's backpack smaller and lighter than Krystal's? That doesn't seem fair!" So, obviously a lot going on there.  Oh, look - pictures!
Independence Hall. Quite impressive from down the green.
Liberty Bell/Independence Hall.
Found Ben Franklin's privy. Definitely not the most fascinating part of the Ben Franklin houses area, but still seemed like we ought to snag a photo of that one. 
We managed to coordinate our visit to coincide with the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Wednesday night "pay what you want" special. The Museum stayed open until 9 and attracted a diverse crowd and many families with kids for whom the $20 tickets might otherwise have been prohibitive, while also offering special activities for children of all ages, free guided tours, and yoga in the galleria staircase, just to mention a few things. It was great fun and a good warm-up for all the museum-ing we'll be tackling in Europe (have I mentioned that trip yet?).  But anyway, saw some great art by great artists and very excited to see even more.
They had really quite a tremendous collection of Picasso's works.
Also tremendous: a collection of Brancusi sculptures, this representing about 1/3 of the collection. Absolutely beautiful lines, movement, form, and texture. 
Found some pottery in the American gallery. Something art nouveau-y. Beautiful greens.
Found this Qing Dynasty porcelain jar in one of the roccoco period rooms. More beautiful greens. 
Despite her pacifistic leanings, the gallery of medieval arms and armor was Krystal's favorite. That or Renoir. So, you know, those are obvious pairings.
Finished our days in Philadelphia with tours of the Independence Hall complex. While Independence Hall was nifty (you know, famous history, the actual chair where George Washington sat as president of the Continental Congress, whatever...) it didn't come off as nearly as impressive as our experience of Congress Hall which was home to the first sitting congress of the United States of America. So that was pretty neat.
The first US House Chamber.
The first US Senate Chamber.
 We then spent a couple days just outside of Philadelphia at Pendle Hill, a charming Quaker retreat center, for Krystal's board meeting. I made it a point to have my own retreat for the days spent there as well, and was pleased to discover a full pottery studio in their craft room. I spent an afternoon throwing some pots and enjoying some great conversation with some of the resident students on campus, and left three pieces to be fired and glazed at their discretion. Was a refreshing time after having packed my studio up for the move.
Three pieces to stay behind at Pendle Hill.
When I wasn't throwing pots and being contemplative at my leisure, I was instructed to put some effort into itinerizing our time overseas. So I did spend a lot of time doing stuff that looked like this.
After almost a week on the east coast it was time to return and deal with real life stuff. Like loading a moving truck. That was a chore, but we have wonderful friends who made it possible and not miserable.
See all those blue bins? Those are pots YOU didn't buy, so I had to move them. Ugh.
Now all our earthly belongs are in storage and we're taking a spell off from the real world to do some globetrotting (specifically, abroad).  One week from today we'll be on our way across the pond to spend roughly five weeks hiking and train-ing our way across the continent. Should have some great stories to share when we return. 

Take care!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Radio Silence

Things have been quiet here lately. So here are a couple of things worth sharing:

  1. Getting ready for the "show" aspects of the upcoming Spring Zonta Sale THIS WEEKEND at the Pierre Mall, Saturday and Sunday. Come and say hi if you're in the area, pick up some pottery because...
  2. I'm going on a studio hiatus do to an upcoming relocation. As in, out of town, out of state, here we go again.  The house is sold, the studio is being cleaned and packed. I'm hesitant to announce any further details in this space until they're pinned down with some more finality. We have a bad habit of making plans and then changing them last minute.

    For fans of my work who are local, this means that this weekend's sale is the last chance to get my work locally for a while. I won't say ever, but for a while. For those non-local, it means I've had to turn down too many orders for work in the last month than I should ever be comfortable with. Thank you in advance to those who have allowed those orders to be filed as a "hold," rather than "dismiss," until we get settled and my studio can be up and running again.
  3. The good news, for me and pottery fans everywhere, is that having my own studio equipment means I won't have to wait (I hope) as long to get back into the swing of things once the dust has settled.
  4. Also, I'd rather not move my inventory with me, so now's a great time to make me an offer and haggle over the details on work in stock. Which is hard to do over the internet, but know that it's an option.
  5. Thanks again for following along. I know at least three people read my ramblings regularly, and I appreciate all of you dearly.
  6. A sixth entry, for good measure.
  7. And seven because it's my favorite number.
I hope you got all that. I'll try not to disappear for too long this time. In the meantime, keep tabs of me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Firings, New pots, a show is coming up.

Perhaps there will be a good update with words in the near future. Well, there will be. Cause there's news of sorts. But not going to take the time for it right this moment. In the meantime, here are some pots from the last couple glaze firings. Gearing up for the Zonta Spring Craft Sale right here in Pierre in two weeks (April 6-7, Pierre Mall), as well as wrapping up some commissioned pieces. Most of these pots will be at the show. Not the commissioned ones, obviously. And I'm also down three mountain vases in the last week, so sorry about that. Those things just sell themselves.

Lots of glazing in the last couple weeks, all in a couple (2 or 3? I can't remember just now) firings. Nothing spectacular to share, nothing rare going on. Tried out a couple of new glazes, but mostly sticking with the old tried-and-trues. Here are the pictures:

Trying out a new green. Needs a little more trial/experience, but shows promise.
Crocks. Of various color and design.
Stacks of bowls.
Sunflowers. Crocks and vases. At the moment, none are spoken for. For the moment.
Teapot, two cups.
Tea set. Discovered the lip is a little bit blurbly. Blurble is a word. Just as the jabberwocky. Still, nice functionality with practiced pouring and a serving towel handy.
Pour-thru Coffee Brewer. With matching mug.
Set of four communion chalices. Shipped westward this week.
Custom order. Everyone will know this is Adam's stein.

That's the work, thanks for stopping by. And, of course, listening to lots of great music, but trying not to spend too much money these days. Lots of great stuff over at Noisetrade. Josh Garrels' "Love, War, and the Sea in Between" is available again and was one of my favorite discoveries back in 2011. Check it out.

Until then: take care. Stay warm. It's spring, you know.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

It's March! [Wanna buy some pots?]

What, am I getting my monthly post out of the way already?

No, I'm trying to make a more conscientious effort to stay connected. So here I am, writing to you on March 2nd, and thinking Maybe - just maybe - you'll here from me again before April Fool's Day comes around.

If you don't follow me on Facebook, you might not know that I've got some pieces I'm featuring as a bit of an inventory reduction movement sale thingamajig. These are pieces that just don't travel to shows with me anymore, as they are either no longer representative of my style (older pieces) or never representative of my style (experimental pieces).  I think I've currently got twenty-some odd pieces listed with dimensions and prices over there, including those pictured below.  For the complete inventory with dimensions and pricing, please check out the full album at Luke Langholz Pottery Facebook.

Arizona Jar #1 - $30

Arizona Jar #3 - $50
Arizona Jar #2 - $32
Arbor Bowl - $40
Flared Bowl - $25
Medium Bowl #1 - $30
Medium Bowl #2 - $35
Grass Vase - $40
Set of Bowls - $60
Tea Set - $80
Bottle Vase - $45
And for a limited time (while they last) I'll be including a small bowl from one of my first glaze-test firings with any purchase. An assortment are seen above.
And this is just a fair sampling. There are more pieces listed on Facebook, as well as more details on each piece including dimensions and glazes, etc.

If you're interested in something listed here, there are a few ways to let me know:
  1. Leave a comment on the blog indicating which piece you'd like, and we'll go from there.
  2. Shoot me an e-mail at lukelangholz (at) msn (dot) com, indicating what you'd like.
  3. Find the photo on Facebook and leave a comment or shoot me a private message about which one you'd like.
Sales are on a first-come basis, and I will accept payment via check, Paypal, or (if local) I'll take cash or credit card.  If you'd like, I can also post a requested pot to Etsy listed as "RESERVED FOR..." and carry out the sale transaction that way.

Note: Local sales will be subject to SD State Sales Tax.

Enough business, though. Enjoying a beautiful, sunshiny March day here this weekend. The air is warm and the grass is... well, most of it is still dead. But it feels practically springy. Of course I see we've got snow in the forecast for later this week, but that's the way it goes.  All that to say, it's hard to drag myself into the dungeon studio when it's sunny up above the ground, but I'll get down there. Got some work to finish up this week, and then I'll be firing soon. Lots of firing. Uff-da!

This week in the studio I've been listening to a lot of music I've picked up from Noisetrade over the last couple of weeks. In case you don't know, Noisetrade is a site that promotes new and established artists by releasing singles, EPs, samplers, and full length albums for FREE LEGAL download in exchange for your e-mail address and zip code.* It's a great place to discover new music, risk free.

Recent highlights receiving a lot of playtime on my iPod include (in no particular order): The Stone Foxes (blues rock), Panda Panda! (electric/eclectic), Rogue Pearl, The ACB's (both alt/rock), Thad Kopec (alt/folk), and a stunning concept record by Heath McNease inspired by the writings of C.S. Lewis (umm... acoustic/singer-songwriter/hip-hop/spoken word?). So I guess recommend checking them out.

Well, I guess that's it for today. Hope things are sunny in your corner of the world and thanks for indulging these verbal expressions. Adios!

*For more information on this business model, here is a fascinating read from singer/songwriter and Noisetrade co-founder Derek Webb on the reasoning behind giving away music for free.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Valen-Birth-Presi-National Pancake Day!

Because those are the holidays I have celebrated since I last posted.

(If you want more frequent updates I could just be a better blogger, or you can go LIKE my pottery page on Facebook to get the regular updates when they're actually, you know, updated. If you'd like to opt for me to just be a better blogger, why don't you leave a note so I now you exist, eh?)

Anyway, since it's the last week of the month I did think it was an appropriate time to share what I've been up to in the studio. Mostly in pictures. Because I don't words right now.

In no particular order, here's what I've been up to in and out of (but mostly in) my studio:
A quartet of communion chalices has been ordered. A quartet of communion chalices has been made. Quite satisfied with the shape and proportions of this set, all around.
The disembodied hand! Well, okay, that's mine. I guess I was trying to capture the "Here's what I'm up to right this second!" look for Twitter. You tweet? Follow me here!
These are my buds. My bud vases. Playing with textures, working through some bags of nasty clay. We had our ducts cleaned out in November and some amount of refuse and debris blew out of the furnace and into some of my recycling clay. I'll be picking those bits and pieces out forever.
Celebrated Krystal's birthday a couple weeks ago! We are now in the three months of the year that I really rub it in how much older she is than me. Which is three months. But for these three months it's almost like she's a whole year older than me. And that's a number I'm not at liberty to divulge right now. But we had a lovely celebration with friends and cake made my yours truly and hot tea. And then more cake. And then more tea.
Starting to look like it may be time to load the kiln. That's close to half a load on that shelf alone.
Here's a special order undertaken this winter: a single serving pour-over coffee maker. Hopefully it functions, but right now I'm proud of this handle.
More stuff waiting for the kiln. That's starting to look like a full load.  There are those chalices again!
A stein. Special order. Want one? Shoot me an e-mail, leave a comment, or get working on your smoke signals!
Weekends not spent in the studio have looked more or less like this. Which is pretty great when it's snowing outside. Or cold. Or just gray, regardless of temperature. Either way, there have been more than a few hours when I could have been potting and instead I was sitting and reading and sipping hot tea and eating crumpets, etc.
A few small pieces of throwing productivity. The two on the right are to go with Teapot #2 (below).
Teapot #1. That was not the final lid. Genie not included.
Teapot #2. The cups to match are above. Starting to get more comfortable with my handles. Still don't like them - like a wrench in the gears of my productivity, but necessary evil.

Teapot #3. Full set. For the record, these are being made for fun and are as of yet unspoken for. So if you're in the market for a new teapot, just let me know.
Puppy also has spent plenty of time in the window, keeping the couch warm. It's a hard job, but somebody has to do it.
And a "finished" piece ready for the kiln. Yup.
That's the story. Taking it easy, making pots for fun. I have a pretty full inventory of "basics" to get me through any shows this spring, so this winter has been about fun things and one-off special orders.  I don't suppose I have much else to report on.

Of course, always listening to lots of music. There's new music on the horizon from the likes of Phoenix, Atoms for Peace (Thom Yorke, Flea, et al), and The Strokes, but I can't say that I'm crazed with anticipation for any of those. Phoenix should be great, but AfP just reminds me I really ought to listen to more Radiohead and as much as I thought 2011's Angles was solid, if not anticlimactic, if I really want to feel like it's 2001 again I'll probably be listening to Is This It.  Speaking of nostalgia, I have been listening heavily to the records that I associate with my high school days: a lot of "Christian" alternative and Top 40/mainstream rock circa '99-'02 has been providing some variety in the studio and early morning workouts.  Turn of the century records from the likes of Audio Adrenaline, Skillet, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Santana, Lenny Kravitz... you know, the usual suspects.

Thrown in the mix and worth mentioning this month are the debut LP from Leagues (You Belong Here), records from The Heavy (bluesy, danceable rock), Local Natives (alt-folk; think less ethereal Fleet Foxes), and Gary Clark, Jr. (Again with the blues rock. Check him out!).

Until next month, unless I get a bee in my bonnet to provide a quicker update this time around, although still not likely to happen before next month, so that statement stands.  Thanks for stopping by. Keep making things. Always love to hear from you. Tell me, what are you listening to these days? What's keeping you occupied through the winter? Or are you still in hibernation mode?

Take care.