Archive for November, 2011

Don’t Grace Slick, I Mean, Don’t Glaze Sick…

November 29, 2011

See, I can’t even type correctly. It’s not often that I can offer up a truly valuable bit of information relating to clay but this is it… don’t glaze sick. Of course I’m sure this is probably obvious to most potters and sometimes we simply don’t have a choice, but if possible this will be a rule I adhere to adamantly. It seems that coming down the stretch during the holiday break from school, partaking in the holiday rigmarole and seeming like I needed to get all my ducks in a row (basically get a new load fired) for “cybermonday” (who comes up with this stuff anyway?) all combined with my nagging injured shoulder and my first verifiable sickness of the “winter” made for an somewhat excruciating couple of days. So who is this dude, Cy Bermundy? It seems he must be pretty famous because they’re trying to give him his own holiday. Anyway, since I wouldn’t be caught dead (or maybe I would be caught dead or at least injured) in a retail establishment this time of year and I’m mostly trying to sell online, I decided to just go ahead and pepper spray myself while fighting with myself to get at my own pots… and damn, they should outlaw that stuff. Anyway, we all have our little ways of doing things and this applies as much to glazing as to any other part of the process. One of my particular MOs is to select what I think are the nicest bisqued pieces and relegate them to a certain glaze that through trial and error I’ve determined to be the best match for the pieces. So I started my glazing session last week with a cold and an injury and the first act was to put the wrong glaze on the best pieces. After four or five, I realized what I had done and it was too late. I could have washed them off and waited for them to dry but I had already waxed the rims and it was gonna be a mess if I did that, not to mention that my self-imposed deadline would get set back even farther. Well, que sera, sera as the Cubans say. Aside from all that, I did get everything glazed, fired, photographed and I’m posting until everything is in the etsy shop. Here’s some new work that was not glazed incorrectly (clicking first pic goes to etsy, others enlarge)…

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When The Leaves Come Fallin’ Down…

November 19, 2011

This post is gonna be mostly pictures today. I’m hoping to get a bisque firing going tonight or tomorrow and have most of the greenware ready to go…

Moving right along, last weekend was the weekend with the weather we wait all year for. It was sunny, breezy and about 65 degrees. I took my camera when the bug and I took the demon dog for a long 3+ hour walk. First there’s the swinging and then there’s the flying (tarzana)…

Notice the tongue coming out during flight. Then there’s the lying around in the grass with the dog…

Then we found a soccer ball and came upon the holy autumn grail… a big pile of leaves. So, the piece de resistance…

The Queen’s Throne…

November 13, 2011

It’s always been silly to me that so much of the “literature”, tales, etc. for children is bound up in the rank and file of monarchies, particularly the british monarchy. Of course, there’s not much in terms of a replacement for all that but from nursery rhymes to contemporary children’s books, the king, queen, prince and particularly princess are omnipresent. Who knows how this deep seated nonsense has affected us all over the years since we broke with the english officially in 1776. Regardless, the bug is replete with the terminology. So last week, I was at a friends house and he sent me home with this wicker chair with a large back to it. When I got it home and unloaded it onto the porch, the bug knew immediately what it was… a throne. She assumed the throne and took on a queen’s persona…

Funny though, how at 7 years old, she’s got the monarchy down as she stiffened her posture, raised her nose a bit into the air snootily and proceeded to order mom around by telling her to get her some tea and sweep the floor. Here’s the haughty stare…

It’s been a week of shellacking just like the last week. Here’s various greenware pics…

Here’s a nice shiny burnished terra sig vase (pre-shellac)…

It’s a beautiful 70 degrees and windy and the bug and I are getting ready to walk the pup, she’s downstairs waiting as I type no doubt looking something like this…

We spent a lovely lunch together today, me crosswording and Sofia drawing. She just got some art books from our neighbor and decided to copy this closeup of a Diego Rivera painting…

I shot this pic at the restaurant and the contemptuous uppity look is what I’m gonna get for a while whenever I point the camera in that direction…

One more and we’re done…

Pushing The Envelope…

November 5, 2011

Part of the whirlwind is over, thankfully. Sofia decided months ago that she was going to be a superhero for halloween. Of course, many adults asked her over the past weeks what she was going as and she said simply… a superhero. Then, in every case, the adult asked… which superhero and the bug just looked at them like they were crazy. We obviously haven’t been keeping her abreast of the different superheroes and their associated powers, she just knows them vaguely as a group that wears capes and masks. So here’s the superhero…

And if that doesn’t strike the fear of jebus into you, this may…

And of course here’s the booty of drugs, no doubt the result of her super-adventures…

We did what we do every year which is to allow her to select about 10 or so pieces and then we pack up the rest (this year was quite a large bag) and give it to those who are not particularly interested in their health… mom’s fellow nurses at the hospital. Nothing like a pound of candy in between cigarettes. Two days later was the bug’s 7th birthday which is difficult for me to get my head around. I won’t even go into the cliches about how fast they grow up other than to say that I’m amazed at how much things have changed with her since I started the blog, here’s the first pic I ever posted of the bug when I started this blog…

Anyway, the family met at a cake and pie place to have cake and ice cream. Here’s some of the action…

Here’s trouble, cousin Rachel…

Opening presents, the bug got a basket for her bicycle but decided until we got home that it would serve as a fine chapeau (it might have made a good addition to her superhero costume)…

The big hit as far as birthday presents were these stilts…

During the summer of my first year of college, I came to northern KY (just across the river from Cincinnati) and got a summer job as an insulation installer. I remember two events about this job. In the first week the owner’s son was on the same job site as I was and when putting insulation bats on the ceiling, installers wore stilts. These stilts don’t have a rod that sticks up behind your shoulders, they have a brace that straps around your calf. I got very good at working on stilts but the first day I put them on (being about 30 inches off the floor), the owner’s son came up to me and pushed me over so I went crashing to the floor. He said that I had might as well get the falling out of the way right off the bat (no pun intended). So I was trying to show Sofia how to use them and Mom said… “oh Jim, don’t do that with your bad shoulder” (yes, my shoulder has not gotten better and is very easily re-injured… every day). I said, hell, I worked on stilts before. Mom said… “you were in the circus?” Hmmm, I guess to her that wasn’t difficult to believe… that I was a clown in a circus. Not to get off on another tangent but I remember the first day on this job. My friend, me and the owner’s son (who was driving the truck) headed out to a job site and on the way there the owner’s son lit up a joint in the truck. This presented a small dilemma to me because although I wasn’t averse to cannabis, it was the first day on the job. The other side of it was that it was the owner’s son and I didn’t want to get on his bad side. So I did what I thought best… I inhaled… repeatedly. So he put me in the kitchen of a new home that had been framed and the walls, plumbing and electricity were finished. I had a large sharp knife and bags of insulation bats which are big pink fiberglass strips made to fit snugly betwixt the studs in the walls that are supposed to be exactly 16″ on center apart. He explained that I was to put the bats between the studs and cut the extra off the end with the knife. Also the knife was used to slide down the edge of the bat, once in place, to make sure that any gaps are covered by smooshing the fiberglass sideways with the back of the knife’s blade. So as the owner’s son went into the other room and left me in the kitchen, totally baked (no pun intended), I proceeded to install. To this day, I would love to visit this house, rip out the drywall in that kitchen and view the perfect insulation installation that I did that day. I got completely carried away and managed to make every bat fit with German tolerances so that the final result looked akin to… what? Well, the best way to put it was that it looked as if a giant had tipped the house on its side and poured pink liquid into the wall and then tipped it back up. The pink insulation was a beautiful 1/4 inch from the edge of each stud, around each pipe and around each electrical outlet. I’m confident that a more beautifully insulated wall was never conceived… and that’s because no one would pay anyone to do it like that and it didn’t actually function any better than if it was done in 1/10th the time. What the owner’s son didn’t tell me was that the company had a site inspector that would go from house to house to keep an eye on quality control. So as I sat, content and stoned on the kitchen floor painstakingly manicuring the edges of large fiberglass bats to look as if they had been poured between the studs, the site inspector showed up and stood behind me at the doorway to the kitchen. I was oblivious to his presence until, in a thundering voice, he said… “what the hell are you doing?”. I was confused and eventually embarrassed as he read me the riot act about how long it had taken me to do one wall of one room (although to this day, I maintain was a real thing of beauty) and that if I didn’t get a grip I would be fired. OK that’s enough stilts stories, suffice to say that Sofia loved the stilts and is learning quickly. I spent all week shellacking. I have to sit in a strange position to keep my shoulder from hurting but I’m doing OK. Here’s some greenware shots…

Last but not least I’m posting a video. This is related to the title “pushing the envelope”. First I’d like to point out that I do not watch C0nan 0’brien but as your intrepid reporter I felt it necessary to post this to point out the state of network news coverage in this country…

If you watched the whole video, you will have found out that I’m not posting it because of anything to do with gay marriage but the absolute lack of diversity or even thought when it comes to delivering our “news”. These people are merely fastidiously coiffed, smiling dolts reading off teleprompters whatever is written on said teleprompters. If this isn’t enough to make people turn off tv news, I don’t know what is.