Archive for September, 2009

You Know Me, Yunomi, Ewe No Mi…

September 30, 2009

Well, it’s gonna be a beautiful week of low 70’s for the highs but we’ve been waking to some rather brisk mornings. Seems a bit soon but it was 48 when we got up this morning and it was in the mid 50’s all day yesterday. Maybe it seems sudden because 2 weeks ago we were in Florida and I was getting burnt on the beach. Anyway, it’s a week of decorating, yunomis and big bowls and I actually had to “layer” my work clothes and shut the windows because my fingers and toes were cold. Better get used to it ’cause winter’s a comin’ and it’ll last for months of work. Here’s my yunomis, before and after putting the chop on the bottom…

greenware

greenware

I’m gonna decorate the yunomis like the bowls kind of and that will give the drinker some yummy tactility while they warm their hand with the hot tea. There’s a couple in there that are a kind of “I Dream Of Jeannie” form, you know, like her bottle on the show (older reference lost on younger viewers). Here’s a couple views of a big bowl…

greenware

greenware

greenware

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Two Lips, Popular…

September 29, 2009

The weather let up just enough this weekend to get some of those leaves to press betwixt two sheets of wax paper. I’m not sure if my memory of ironing leaves between wax paper is accurate or not but since I hadn’t done it since I was a kid maybe my memory had become romanticized. Anyway, first I went to get some waxed paper and apparently it has been largely replaced by plastic wraps and the uses for it have become scarce. I did find some made by the same company as when I was a child I’m sure. So Sofia picked up the leaves on our walk and after we let them dry out we went at it. I think now that the technology used to put the wax on the paper must have improved to the point where there is far less wax than there used to be. This may be good for other uses and for the company but it does not lend itself to pressing leaves with an iron. We did eventually get to the point where the leaves were sealed in the paper like a flat bubble but I thought I remembered the leaves becoming embedded with wax, thus inhibiting the further decay of the leaves. We’ll see. Either way Sofia enjoyed it immensely and I let here use the iron which is hot… it seems she may have inherited my fondness for heat. Anyway, here’s some of the results, first the tulip poplar which I’m sure our long gone ex-president would call a tulip popular, and everyone would act like he hadn’t misspoken and then a few short years from now more and more people would call them tulip populars and then eventually Merriam-Webster would cave to the pressure and add it as an acceptable pronunciation…

sofia_tulippoplar

Next we have the dogwood, which Sofia calls the doggiewood. The wood used to be used for wooden gears and machine parts long ago because of its hardness. I read in a book, Bill Bryson’s “A Walk In The Woods” I think, that there was a virus (or some other type of spreading menace) that was out of control and would kill them all in relatively short time but that was years ago and I haven’t noticed anything or heard anything more. He may have been referring to ones in the wild and not the ornamental ones in peoples’ yards although I’m not sure there’s that much difference.

sofia_dogwood

Then there’s the ash. I made my kitchen cabinets out of ash when I originally remodeled the house. It’s a beautiful wood although I’m not sure if this particular leaf is from the species that woodworkers use.

sofia_ash

And finally the silver maple. There’s a huge one in my neighbors yard and since the ice storm and wind storm we had here in Louisville this year, everyone’s a bit wary of these behemoths. Not sure why but these silver maples have been the trees that had fallen all over town. There were other kinds of trees but a very large percentage were this kind of maple. This leaf worked the best because Sofia grabbed it off of a tree instead of off the ground so by time we got home it was flaccid. It’s a huge sample though…

sofia_silvermaple

It Was Inevitable…

September 28, 2009

Since the weather is starting to cool down, I decided not to wait too long and set out some food for the honeybees yesterday. It’s supposed to go down to the mid 40’s this week at night. So I blundered over to the beehive, paying more attention to not stepping in the piles on the Poopy Express Trail and walk right into the their little bee highway. I got stung just a touch left of right betwixt the eyes. I immediately hightailed it for the house hoping that pheromones were not calling out the troops… much ado about nothing I guess as none came after me. It didn’t swell up too much because there’s not much flesh on the bridge of your nose but it did send a very strange sensation into my eyeballs. I immediately thought… I hope this cures my need for reading glasses imagining the headlines in the JAMA… “Precisely Aimed Honeybee Sting Negates The Need For Lasik”. Well JAMA probably wouldn’t pick up the story but maybe Weekly World News. It’s gonna be blustery and high in the low 70’s today, a dreamy autumn day and I’m still decorating all week probably. Here’s a bowl from the last kiln load…

bowl

bowl

bowl

We Speak Kentucky…

September 27, 2009

Yesterday Sofia and I were having our weekly chinese Dad and Sofia lunch. A young chinese man came into the restaurant and the waitress recognized him and they started talking loudly to one another because they were halfway across the room. Sofia says… “Are they talking Chinese?”, I say yes. “What do we talk?”, I say that we speak English. “Why?” Because we were born here (meaning the US) and that’s the language we learned when we were growing up. “When you grew up in New York, did you talk New York?” Well, a New York kind of English… but people in NY now act like I sound like I’m from KY and the people in KY act like I sound like I’m from NY. “But I’m growing up in Kentucky?” Yep. “So I speak Kentucky?” After a got done spitting my spring roll onto my plate I said… well, yes I guess so. For some reason this never occurred to me before. As a former northerner it seems almost cruel to raise your child to speak Kentucky but what could I actually do about besides move and it’s probably too late for that. As we age, we eat crow. Speaking of aging, here’s what a little wiseass I could be when I hadn’t aged much yet. My grandfather, probably 75 in the picture asked my sister to take a picture to send to his brother in Sicily so they could see him with some of his grandchildren. His eyesight was going and he had trouble sometimes telling if we were giving him a hard time or not. So we set up for the picture and my friend is sitting on the couch to my right and he wears glasses… I didn’t at the time. Right as the picture is going to be shot, I mess up my hair, grab my friend’s glasses, put them on crooked and make a face. I hear that payback’s a bitch, wondering how it will manifest itself… maybe a daughter that speaks Kentucky? Unfortunately, the picture was never sent… but if it had it would have accurately depicted one of Grandpa’s grandchildren.

grandpa

The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Louisville?)…

September 26, 2009

Due the wonderfully temperate summer we’ve had this year, we have sleeped with the windows open ever night since April. Last night at 3:30 a.m. and again at 4:10 a.m. I was awakened (the second time I wasn’t awakened as much as just startled again) by this unbelievably loud bark/howl. The first time I wasn’t even sure it was a dog as it sounded like some hellish monster. At first I thought it was my imagination because it didn’t wake Sofia or Mom or even Sunglasses who was snoozing next to me on the bed. But it was real because it set off a wave both times like when everyone stands in the stadium except that this wave was a wave of barks from dogs and of course the second time it happened I wasn’t asleep. This got me thinking about all you lucky rural people who live farther apart from each other than us urbanites. How bad could it be right? I mean I love dogs… BUT, if I just count the 2 houses next to me on either side, the 2 across the street and the 2 across the alley, there are currently 17 dogs and that doesn’t include Sunglasses. Of those, 13 are incessant barkers, most during the day but some at night. This is not certain days, it’s every day. The 4 across the alley (2 in each yard) are kept in fenced yards that are smaller than my studio and are out mostly all day when it’s warm enough and will bark at anything that moves… a fluttering leaf, the burp of a butterfly, when an ant sets down a morsel of food. Some of these dogs are left outside all day while the owners are at work. Anyway, with this many dogs, the wave of barking was quite an event and I’m still not sure what evil creature made that really loud noise. Here’s a bowl I’ve been working on…

greenware

greenware

Girl Cheese And Fading Eyesight…

September 25, 2009

I had perfect vision for 45 years and I know that I’m lucky for that. Sometimes I think it was better than perfect as I was able to see things that no one else could see or that weren’t even there. Anyway as the grim reaper grows nigh my eye… sight is getting worse at a geometric rate and maybe it’s worse to have the failing vision foist upon you after 45 years of taking it for granted than if you got spectacles at age 10, one of life’s unanswerable questions I suppose. Now a mere 6 years later, I continually bump into stuff, forget my glasses at home, break pots and most annoying, I spend an inordinate amount of time groping around in the blur looking for said glasses. To add insult to injury, now I have 3 different strength glasses to do different tasks, like what I’m doing right now. So imagine my dismay when we learned that Sunglasses, less than 1 year old (even if that’s 6 years in dog years… correction, it’s been changed to 5) had to get some reading specs. It’s somewhat ironic that a dog named Sunglasses has to wear “reading glasses” but there you have it…

sunglasses

She’s sad about having to wear them as is obvious from the picture but as everyone tells me… she’ll get used to them. She begged me to let her take them off after a very short stint and when I did she did this…

Sorry the lights not too good. In other news, I was made aware today that all this time when we asked Sofia if she wanted a grilled cheese sandwich, she thought we said… a girl cheese sandwich. Gotta tell you, I much prefer girl cheese and if you say it quickly no one will call you out on it. Here’s the bug with her pajama bottoms on her head. She’s had them on her head for the better part of 3 days now and insists that they are her hair and since there’s two legs, she can wear her hair straight back, in pig tails on either side or her favorite, over her shoulder and around front as in the following pic…

sofia

Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again…

September 24, 2009

I had a day of decorating planned and actually have weeks of decorating planned, but got a message mid-morning on Etsy asking if I shipped to Germany. Maybe this little story will help some other Etsy sellers and maybe I’m just the only dolt who was uninformed about this. I messaged the person back immediately saying that I hadn’t shipped to Germany but that I would and asked where in Germany specifically the package was destined. I received this information and thought… who ships to Europe, surely not the USPS, I’ll call Fedex and DHL. I do this and estimated size and weight of the package for both and was told that it would be between 135 and 155… dollars. I immediately messaged the prospective customer back and told what I thought was the bad news and said if this wasn’t prohibitive to let me know. Later I called Jeff Campana to congratulate him on getting a picture of one his very nice gravy boats in Ceramics Monthly and mentioned my international shipping woes and he said… USPS will go to Germany and it will be a lot cheaper. So I figured I had better stop screwing around with estimates and just went ahead and packaged the bowl up and made a trip to the post office… 29.00 it costs. Happily I went home and messaged again (I hadn’t gotten a reply on the other two messages yet) and told my sad little tale and the new price for shipping. Later that afternoon, I received a message that although I was the first choice for a gift that there was a time constraint and they had gone ahead and purchased something else. So if you’re looking to ship to Europe, USPS is the most inexpensive by a factor of 5. Of course the person at the UPS Store that I also went to on my travels yesterday said… sure it’s cheaper but we will actually get it there. Of course what would they say? Regardless to whether there’s some mysterious truth about what they said, I don’t think many people are gonna pay more for shipping than the actual piece. And as the title says… Mamma mia, here I go again…

greenware

greenware

After dinner, a salad with some unusually smokin’ jalapenos, I took my vino into to do a little late night painting. Actually I just took this picture because I liked the way it looked… the only clean thing in the studio being the glass.

vino

New Digital Art…

September 23, 2009

My good buddy Vern sent me his latest digital print creation. These works just keep getting better and better. My favorite parts of this one are the pixelated wolf and the crisp silhouettes of the plants (I bet they really pop off the paper when they’re printed). This one is black and white. He’s done several black and white ones now and they really look dreamy when they’re printed, especially when they’re printed at some larger dimensions. Of course I can only post at screen resolution but you can still get an idea. Don’t forget to click to get an enlarged view…

bamboo

I’m done trimming and I’m gonna be decorating for a couple weeks so gotta put the fan in the window and hunker down. Here’s a new bowl I posted to Etsy yesterday (1st click to Etsy, other enlarges)…

bowl

bowl

Dear Old Dad…

September 22, 2009

I was wandering around the potter’s blogs yesterday and came upon this post my Michael Mahan over at From The Ground Up Pots. It was a beautiful post about his dad and how his dad lived his life and obviously has inspired Michael in his life. What struck me besides that was that he had a picture of his dad working as opposed to sitting posed in a setting like most family pictures and I remembered a picture of my dad that I got out of his dresser right after he died…

dad

As it was explained to me this shot was taken where he worked (at a factory forge in Utica, NY) and was a shot they had taken probably for some kind of marketing or something. When I found the picture today, I realized after not looking at it for years that he was working with kilns and was quite pleased by this realization. When he described his job to me when I was younger, he said that he worked with the annealing ovens and in my mind I guess I pictured a much larger square “oven”. The irony now that I have my own kiln is that with the relatively new computerized kiln controls and the programs used to “fire down” that the similarities betwixt our jobs is even closer as annealing metal is a controlled “fire down” (it’s a “fire up” too) that uses heat to improve properties of metal such as hardness/softness and strength. I also did quite a bit of metal casting and fabrication in school so I guess it’s always been a lot to do with heat. Of course my dad’s job was certainly not a labor of love but more a means to support a family with 5 children. I hesitate to get started about my dad as I could go on for a long time. He taught me to hunt, drive and play golf when I was a kid. He loved words, he was a ravenous reader, love crosswords and all games that made you think. I can’t speak for my siblings but being the oldest, he seemed to never let me get away with anything… word-wise. Before any family read this and get their panties in a wad… I don’t deny that I got away with murder for most of my childhood. But debating was constant, others in the family would call it arguing as I did at the time and mostly because we never won the debate. Say something stupid and he called you out to defend yourself. Of course I get a bit of chiding from my family that I’ve taken his place in this role since his death… they might describe it more as obstinate though. That being said he was never not loving about it and although sometimes I would get frustrated to distraction, he never lost his temper in these exchanges. He did, however, get a bit riled when I got drunk and totaled the car at 18. He died too young, so young that if I don’t outlive his age, I’ve only got 5 years left. I used to visit home from college and later, on holidays and we stayed up til early in the morning playing cribbage which I think is the perfect card game for 2 people. Would that I could play just one more night with him. Well, here’s the bowl I posted to Etsy yesterday (clicking 1st goes to Etsy, other enlarges)…

bowl

bowl

The Best Laid Plans…

September 21, 2009

We had our first serious downpour yesterday since I built the wee parapet around the base of my furnace as a lazy man’s stopgap. So while I was drinking beer, the basement was filling with water again. This morning I ventured to the dungeon for a looksee and much like opening a kiln to see if your new glaze worked or not, I turned the light on and cast a glance toward the furnace, seeing this…

parapet

Water, water everywhere and my little wall was a complete failure. The circles on the pictures indicate breaks in the wall that leave more than 1/4 inch gap. This is the most enigmatic part of the result as the cement container says in big letters on the label… “will not shrink”. The majority of the work I did was roughing up the surface of the floor so the concrete would have some tooth to adhere to and that was the biggest joke of all as the entire wall completely separated from the floor all the way around and I was able to push it aside with a mere pinky on my left hand.

parapet

Que sera, sera. I guess if I’m gonna go with stopgaps, I need to get with it and go whole hog for a 21st century solution. I think if it ever gets dry again before winter, I will just put some wooden boards down and caulk the bejebus out of them with some high performance waterproof caulk… the adventure continues. Here’s the bowl I posted to Etsy yesterday (1st click to Etsy, others enlarge)…

bowl

bowl

bowl

Eatin’ Goober Peas…

September 20, 2009

“Sitting by the roadside on a summer’s day
Chatting with my mess-mates, passing time away
Lying in the shadows underneath the trees
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas.”

Not sure how I forgot in yesterday’s post one of the highlights of our trip… goober peas! While driving in central Alabama, I mentioned to Sofia that soon we’d be seeing places to stop and get some goober peas. As one might imagine, Sofia became intrigued because goober sounds so much like booger (I think). After explaining to her and Mom that that was what they called the wonderfully yummy boiled peanuts sold in roadside marts in southern Alabama and northern Florida (Georgia too, but we didn’t go through there, or anywhere around peanut farms), the 3 of us were on high alert to find a fruit stand that sold them. And of course, they delivered the yumminess expected. Sofia and Mom were in the backseat eating them like popcorn and handing them to me in the front while I drove. They are soft, very salty and yummy… and sometimes they have regular and spicy although we didn’t see any spicy ones. The lyric above is from the song “Goober Peas” that was on an old Burl Ives album (older reference lost on younger readers) my parents had when I was growing up. I thought it was a funny nonsense song when I was a kid and only later became informed that goober peas were boiled peanuts and sometimes just peanuts and as in the song were an emergency ration for confederate soldiers during and after the civil war. That Burl Ives double album set was a strange collection of songs and put Burl in that strangely affected group in my head that includes Tennessee Ernie Ford (older reference lost on younger readers)who also sang “Goober Peas” on one of his albums. Tennessee had some funny songs like Burl (these were the non-gospel songs Ford is known for) and although the secular songs he’s known most for are “sixteen tons” and “davy crockett”, my favorites were those hillbilly-ish repressed sexual innuendo songs some of which were duets with Kay Starr who had a voice to die for. But I digress, I spent an hour at the sink last night shuckin’ goober peas to get this…

gooberpeas

Mom took some to work for lunch today but I was sauteing some onions, garlic, and mushrooms to add to some pasta and homegrown tomatoes and thought… what the hell, and threw some goober peas in and had it all with the pasta. Since I’m from central NY, I felt like this was my own personal reconciliation and healing betwixt north and south for the pain of our mutual civil conflict plus it made the pasta very salty without the need to add any salt substitutes. It was a busy day yesterday… while I was blogging, Sofia set up a restaurant which looked like this…

sofia

After walking the dog, we set out to the Red Pepper for our weekly Dad and Sofia chinese lunch. Then we attended a performance of “Lookingglass Alice” at Actors Theatre of Louisville. It was very cool and was a slightly abstract version of the classic to accommodate the very talented acrobats that put on the show. The cast had the skills of circus acrobats and there were lots of humor and death-defying stunts. Sofia was mesmerized and I wasn’t sure she liked it so much until after, when we were walking out, she asked if we could go watch it again. Then we returned home and I fielded Alice in Wonderland questions for a couple hours, one while getting those goober out of the shells. Then dinner, Mom home and bedtime for the bug.

Almost Off The Grid…

September 19, 2009

Well, we’re back after our first family vacation (just Sofia, Mom and me) since the little bug was born. We went to St. George Island off the coast of Florida’s panhandle, a long narrow island barely wider than two streets that run the length. It is relatively underdeveloped (good thing I think) because of it’s distance from an interstate. The owner has informed me that this periodically comes up but that the residents mostly prefer it’s out-of-the-way qualities. We stayed at an acquaintance’s beach house named The Bohemian Bungalow and I really liked the imagery conjured up by this name, of course my apartment in college was more Bohemian in a college-aged-student-with-no-money-and-no-concern-about-upkeep-or-cleanliness kind of way. This was Sofia’s second trip to the ocean this year as she had gone with Mom, grandparents and cousins in June to Hilton Head. Now that she has achieved connoisseur status in the genre “oceans”, she has assured me that the salinity in the gulf is much higher than on the Atlantic Coast off of Hilton Head. For the first day or so, whenever she got a mouthful, she would remark of it being more salty than Hilton Head. I previously mentioned that I thought she was half fruit bat and now I’m convinced the other half is some marine animal. We had to drag her out of the ocean daily… she was made for the beach or maybe the beach was made for her. Here she is with her gear…

sofia

Her and I spent a good 3 hours/day at the beach and her and Mom even more. I have a condition that prevents me from hanging out in the sun which is part of the reason I hadn’t been to the ocean in near 15 years. On rainy and overcast days, we spent even more time. She saw some dolphins at Hilton Head and was disappointed that there were none to see this time but we did see a ray, crabs, all kinds of birds (including what I believe is called a Black Skimmer – Rynchops Niger that flies over the shallow water and dips it’s long beak in the water) and various beachcombers with their dogs.

skimmer

We pretty much had the beach to ourselves and their was a pool at the Bungalow too so Sofia got to swim when we were there too. I took my camera thinking that I would have hundreds of photos but after the first trip to the beach and the tiny grains of sand getting into the grooves betwixt the retractable lens, I decided to make not taking pictures part of being off the grid. Here’s all I got which gives you an idea of Sofia in her element…

sofia

sofia

sofia

I have to admit that being off the grid suits me fine. I didn’t talk on the phone once, there was no internet, hardly any time in the car… so no radio (so I didn’t have to hear about how we’re converting to naziism) and I didn’t think about blogging at all and didn’t even think about making pots until 3 days had passed. I read 3 crime detective novels that my good scrabble friend, Terry, set me up with upon departure. That Arkady Renko sure gets into some tough spots. We drank beer daily and we assembled jigsaw puzzles almost everyday as a family activity. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things and catch up with online pottery world. It’s a very busy time of year and I will be making a trek to Iowa in mid-October plus the couple weeks in between to decorate and fire another load before going. Have restarted posting to Etsy… here’s what I posted yesterday (first click to Etsy, others enlarge)…

bowl

bowl

bowl

R & R…

September 9, 2009

And I don’t mean wreadin’ and ritin’ and rithmetic, no time for long rambling posts. Here’s a new bowl up on Etsy (1st click to Etsy, others enlarge)…

bowl

bowl

bowl

Obliviousness To Labor Day Creates More Labor…

September 8, 2009

I may have mentioned before that I prefer non-holiday days and would like very much to have every other year or every 5th year to be holiday-less. Of course everyone who normally gets those days off would be able to take the same number of days but just whenever they wanted to… you can see my plan falling apart already, I know. But I don’t get the days off, I just keep on working plus I’m 51 and still get Labor Day and Memorial Day mixed up. So this weekend, while bug watching, I got my efficient Monday plan together. First drop a package at the post office (yeah! an Etsy sale), then take Mom’s car to the fruit market where I left my car over the weekend and try to get it started again. Being optimistic, I figured I’d drive my car home, leave the van at the fruit market, meet my two great friends for our weekly Monday lunch at the Thai restaurant (which happens to be very close to the fruit market), have my friend drive me there afterwards and pick up the van, drive it to my friends office where I could borrow his partner’s heavy duty pickup truck, drive to the University of Louisville Clay Shop to pick up my 1000 lbs. of clay that Jeff Campana and I ordered together, go home, unload, bring the truck back, drive the van home, trim pots, throw some more… oh yeah! So, not knowing about this Labor Day thing, I called my friends early to confirm our lunch plans and see if I could get the number of my buddy’s partner to set up the borrowing of said pickup. Voicemail on both friends… hmmm, I wonder what’s going on? So off to the post office. On the way there, something on the radio made me realize it was Labor Day… so no lunch, no ride to get my car, no borrowing a pickup and no post office which I’m about a 1/4 mile from. So straight to the market and I get my car started, drive it home much to Sofia’s delight as she was distraught at leaving it there on Saturday… because “she loves that car more than anything”. Here’s some pictures of the car in question and you can see that it would be very difficult not to get attached to a fine American luxury ride like this (that broken headlight makes me think of the car like a three legged dog or a cat with one ear)…

taurus

taurus

I had to put that last picture because I always wanted to pixelate the license plate on a car, plus now the fuzz can’t find me. Also the front license plate has Sofia’s grandma’s initials in nautical flags on it in case we happen to have sailboats coming toward us in the opposite lane. I left the car running and got Mom and Sofia and we all drove back to the fruit market and got the van and drove them both back. Got my neighbor to help me get the wayback seat out of the minivan to make room for clay. Then I drove to UofL Potshop and loaded 700lbs. of clay (not sure the suspension on the minivan could handle the whole 1200lbs. Came home and cleared room in the basement for the new clay, parked in the alley and unloaded the clay 100lbs. at a time onto a dolly (or as they say in the south, handtruck) and made trips across the poop minefield of a backyard to the basement. I know you’re thinking, what’s the big deal… 7 trips across the yard, and it wouldn’t be a big deal if I could go in a straight line (shortest distance between 2 points) but I had to take the Poopy Express Trail so as not to have totally encrusted dolly wheels going in and out of the basement. Here’s an idea of the added distance…

trailoftears

Covered with sweat, me, Mom and Sofia decided to grab lunch at our favorite other Thai restaurant because Mom officially went on vacation today and we drove all the way down there and… it was closed, it’s Labor Day, duh! We found a place to eat instead and got to eat alfresco, here’s Sofia coloring at the table under a pergola of grapes (much red light bouncing off the red wall behind me)…

sofia

After lunch, back to UofL with Sofia this time and Jeff Campana was there. We chatted a bit and Sofia looked at some students working and got to see the college clay shop. Jeff showed us a new just constructed teapot which was really sweet but I didn’t get a picture. Here’s Jeff and Sofia on the second load…

sofia_jeffc

Home again, home again… unload the rest over the Poopy Express Trail, clean my shoes and put my new UN-clumpy wollastonite in the studio. 3:30 and finally in the studio and this is without blogging because I was going to carpe diem and get all my stuff out of the way first.

Marooned…

September 6, 2009

Sofia and I were on our weekly run of errands yesterday and when we got in the car after shopping at Paul’s Fruit Market… the car wouldn’t start. I’ve been waiting for this to happen because it’s a 93 and I was in an accident earlier this year that crushed the passenger front end. At that point I vowed not to put more money in it because the car isn’t worth the cost to repair it if it’s not a minor repair. I do have a brand new battery though. So the the battery worked but it wouldn’t start. So now I’m a good 3 miles from home with the wee one and two bags of produce, magic markers, coloring books, plantar fasciitis, etc., so I go back into Pauls and call my friend Andy who lives nearby and he doesn’t answer. While I’m trying to figure out who else I might call, an employee of Pauls offers to have one of the teenagers that works there, Bart, drive us home as he’s done with his shift and lives toward my house. So I load the carseat , get the groceries and other paraphernalia and load it in the back seat and I look up and Sofia’s crying. I say… “oh sug, don’t worry, he’s just giving us a ride… nothing to be scared of, I’m riding with you.” She calms down a bit but I thought it was strange that getting a ride with a stranger would be so upsetting. When we arrive home, I unload her and everything and set it all on the sidewalk, then say goodbye and thanks to Bart. He drives away and I turn around and she’s crying again. I ask her what’s wrong and she says… “I loved that car”. No kidding. I loved that car. I say, it’s only a car. She says, “what’s Mom gonna say when she comes home and there’s no car here?” I say she’ll probably say… where’s the car? She says, “how are we gonna go get groceries and run errands together?” Eventually, she’s ok with it but it was cracking me up. Later, we’re eating dinner and she says… “I loved that car more than anything.” So much for not raising a motorhead. So we’re here, it’s Sunday and the car’s at Pauls. I don’t have anywhere to go but still feel stranded. Here’s a new bowl that I posted to Etsy yesterday (1st click to Etsy, others enlarge)…

bowl

bowl

bowl

Buggity Buggity…

September 5, 2009

Weekend’s here again and that means two days with my favorite person. Not much time to be blogging and such… or should it be bloggin’ N such? Anyway got some stuff done this week but at the end it didn’t feel like I accomplished much. Oh yeah, I forgot how to throw. In my old work cycle I only had enough room to fill the kiln once before going back to the wheel but now it’s three times that and I was away from the wheel for months. Anyway, got the hang of it yesterday just in time for the weekend away again. And next week we’re going on our first family vacation since the bug was born. So here’s a bowl I posted at Etsy yesterday (1st click to Etsy and others enlarge)…

bowl

bowl

bowl

Crash, Bang, Crash, Bang, Boom…

September 4, 2009

Something’s going on in Nora’s room. That’s a line from one of Sofia’s favorite books. Every once in a while I like to take a hammer and break my pots because I want to see if the wall thickness is a smooth taper from foot to rim.

shards

Nah, not really… my slightly enlarged studio space has allowed me to do about 4 kilnloads of work before firing whereas before I could only do about 1 1/2 and then ran out of places to set greenware. Now that I’m done photographing there’s finished pots everywhere and there’s no room again. So… shelving. The reason there aren’t shelves already is because the space was originally intended to be my studio and when Mom saw the big windows we decided to make it the new living room and put my studio where the current living room is. But now we’ve decided to go back to the original plan. Anyway, I had almost everything up off the floor save a few and decided to set them on the back of a makeshift table that is really the top of an old drawing table set across one of those collapsible ladders. I had set my drill on the front edge of the surface and put all the pots to the back edge so as to leave as much room as possible to use for other pots. When I had all the pots there, I picked up the drill (a fairly heavy 3/4″ drill) to put it away and came to the awful realization that said drill was serving as a counterbalance to all the pots along the back edge. Drill in one hand, the drawing table top teetered back tossing a bunch of pots off the back and even some went crashing into the 11 foot window I put in last summer. I may not have mentioned this before but although my vision is failing, my feet suffer a severe case of plantar fasciitis, and a long list of other forms of decrepitude, I do have catlike reflexes. These lightning reflexes allowed me to right the tabletop before all the pots slid off.

shards

Luckily a bowl that crashed against the window didn’t damage the glass. So here’s the shelves, one set in each corner and they don’t hold that many pieces really…

shelves

The shelf brackets are rated at 150 lbs. per pair but there is something very unnerving about putting a bunch of finished work up there. Then this ice cream guy shows up again…

shelves

Here’s a bowl I posted to Etsy yesterday (Click 1st pic to go to Etsy, the other enlarges)…

bowl

bowl

Pints And Drawings…

September 3, 2009

We went to BBC last night… this is our regular haunt because they have a stage full of toys for kids and while they play, we drink beer. We also bring a drawing pad and markers just in case the stage is unpopulated with other rugrats. The stage and toys didn’t last long so our plan B paid off and Sofia enjoyed herself drawing. Here’s a relatively contemplative shot of her with one of her drawings…

sofia

Well, I got my 25 lbs. of Matt and Dave’s ^6 porcelain and I need to get back to throwing… it will probably give me fits today if I get to it because of the throwing hiatus. First I need to get some shelving up because I got 3 kilnloads of finished work on every surface of the studio and nowhere to put it. I posted more pots to Etsy yesterday and the shop is starting to fill up for the first time since I opened it. I will probably add pots daily for a while… at least until our first family vacation since the sugarbug was born. We are all looking forward to that. Here’s some pots I posted yesterday, someone on twitter mentioned that she thought the first one’s color was buttercream… not too familiar with the dairy products myself but it’s a lovely word and conjures pleasant imagery I suppose. The second two little golden yellow bowls are really two different pots and the pair is about as close as I get to making multiples (1st click to Etsy, the rest enlarge)…

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bowl

bowl

bowl

bowl

Could It Be The Grubby Smudges…

September 2, 2009

I was sitting here going through the hundreds of photos and making them smaller to upload to Etsy or the blog or wherever and I started think that horrible thought about the computer crashing. I’ve tended to take this Mac for granted since it’s been 4 years with nary a peep until the storm that knocked out my modem and the ethernet port. Anyway when I thought of taking all those pics again, it all of a sudden became paramount to back up all my pictures since last backup. So I popped in a DVD-R and hit burn… waiting… the drive spits out the DVD and displays a cryptic error message (redundant I know). I thought, damn the storm fried my DVD laser too? Onto the internet to look up the enigmatic message. All kinds of remedies that ran the gauntlet from doing a rain dance while rebooting to buying a brand new computer. I tried a couple that didn’t seem too far out there and spit, spit, spit. Then I thought maybe I should have a look at that DVD. I held it up so the light coming through the window reflected off the side that gets recorded and lo and behold… little grubby munchkin smudges. It looked like Sofia had eaten her lunch off of it. New DVD and all’s fine. Here’s a couple of the new photos of a new bowl I posted to Etsy, more chocolaty goodness (1st click goes to Etsy, others enlarge)…

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bowl

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bowl

Tain’t The Great Wall Of China…

September 1, 2009

In a perfectly succinct example of trying to fix the symptom instead of fixing the problem, I figured the temperate weather yesterday and a dry basement was calling me to build a wee parapet around my furnace. I’m more of a procrastinator than this but I guess the time was right. First thing was getting out the old stone carving tools that haven’t been used in decades and trying to “rough up” the smooth concrete floor in the basement to give the wall some tooth to adhere to. This was extremely tedious and I found myself wishing I could go photograph some pots. Then off to the hardware store to get some hydraulic cement (or as they say in the south see’ ment). There was actually a guy at Home Depot who was wandering the cement aisle and I fell for what I usually do not. He said, “can I help you?” and I said, “you ever use this stuff?” (pointing to the bucket of hydraulic cement). He said, “a whole lot.” I never get that answer. He went on to tell me that I needed to mix it a certain way (like plaster) and that when it’s the consistency of play-doh, I’d have about 10 minutes to work with it. Yeah right… should’ve just figured it out myself. That stuff never got near play-doh consistency and went from frosting-like to I-can’t-get-it-out-of-the-bucket-like in about 25 seconds. Anyway, I ended up slatherin’ just the way I would’ve if I hadn’t talked to him. So here’s the great wall of flood protection and that ice cream dude was on there too.

greatwall

Precise it isn’t… I guess I’ll give it a coat of paint where the wall hits the floor and see how it works.

greatwall

Here’s another new Etsy listing that I uploaded today (1st click goes to Etsy, second enlarges pic)…

bowl

bowl