Wednesday, December 14, 2011

thxthxthx

breakfast at the bird watcher's table
The day after our winter open studio was still beautifully sunny; breakfast consisted of cherry whole wheat scones and coffee served on our dotty black & white hand-built pottery.
That butter dish was made on a whim; I decorated a slab scrap and fired it; it turns out to be a perfect butter dish, simple and flat. I plan to tweak the shape a bit and make more of them, we love it.
the outside bed under cover
The outside bed is still in play, thanks to an electric blanket. The porch (with the addition of a couple of bamboo screens) provides enough protection from the rain. We use the electric blanket to preheat the bed  and keep the moisture at bay. Getting into bed after a quick sprint through the freezing outside air is indescribably delicious.
stack of dotties
Our Winter Open Studio was a lot of fun; it is always wonderful to see friends, both old and new.
Thanks to everyone who made their way out here to stop by!


Have you seen this blog by a woman who writes a short "thanks" blog post everyday? She is pretty witty and refreshing..

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Open Studio

We have so many balls in the air right now...
juggling bunny cup ($12)
For instance, getting ready for our annual open studio~
I am baking things, both sweet and savory.
rugelach
And getting the house and studio ready for the sale.
blue & white pottery display in the dining room
Also making many, many very affordable things, and a few very special things too~
baskets of spice dishes
I am fond of the rhythm of the rim of this piece~
enormous bowl, topographical design
Also, there is always the daily wrangling of the chickens; they love us so much that they follow us everywhere, even into the house.
our favorite chicken, Honey, stealing wild bird seed

We very much hope to see you at our open studio:
Saturday, December 10th, from 10-5
22017 NW Beck Road 

Come and enjoy a glass of wine, hot spiced cider, and a snack with us~
and thank you for supporting your local potters!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

work in progress, greenware

oval boats and snack plates
dotty fruit cups
cup interiors
All these pieces have been bisqued, glazed, and are cooling in the kiln right now. It makes the studio so cozy!
Warm and snug is one thing, but I don't stay indoors all the time~
fall at the Japanese Garden
spectacular maples
a glimpse of red in the distance

I have been indulging in a mad addiction to Pinterest lately. Someone make me stop!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Summer odds & ends

peony bowl
black & white tableware
Working outside is one of the perks of self-employment in the summer. :)
terrace as workspace
plaid and plaid
My able assistant taking a break. 
black and white dinnerware
On a roll with new work in dotty black and white.
kitchen peninsula as workspace
Sometimes we just can't stop after dark, so we move the tools inside.
ten baskets of potatoes!
The garden winds down.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

doodles and excavations

recently excavated
Every pottery has a shard pile somewhere, sometimes several. We simply place broken but interesting pieces here and there around our property, often along paths. Mr. Cranky found this (ancient!) platter that one of us made (can't remember who) many years ago, buried, but partially sticking up out of the woods near the studio. 
plate rim as headdress 
The rim had separated from the center and makes a nice headdress addition to our broken "haniwa" figure.
miscellaneous clay doodles
We have been spending our free time sitting on the terrace modelling random clay elements by hand for use in ...? Well, we haven't actually decided yet, but we are amassing a nice collection of interesting small pieces, some with holes in them for hanging. Mr. Cranky is making relics and crosses using a technique similar to the one in the platter above, coils of clay arranged to make patterns. This method lends itself to bronze-y glazes and stains that can be applied and then partially wiped away to emphasize texture and pattern.
outdoor bed upgrade 
In other news, summer has finally arrived here in the pacific northwest and the outdoor bed is back with a snazzy new canopy (thanks, Lisa) and fresh linens. I miss the orange color of the old mosquito net, but this does make the bed feel like a miniature palace. Sweet, except that the fifty acres across the street is just starting to be logged. They start at seven am (of course) and are very noisy. So much for sleeping in...

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Friday, June 24, 2011

bumblebee drizzle

still waiting for summer to begin...
bumblebee 
On the other hand, the broaches with magnetic backs came out really well. The glaze is nice and thick and the images didn't run or blur. Look what else you can do with them:
ceramic paper clip
The ultimate in executive desk ornaments, a handmade clay/magnet paper clip.
I also discovered that you can put them up on a wall if you can locate a nail for the magnet to adhere to:
beetle on the shed
teehee

Earthworks by Robert Smithson; I like the spiral jetty.
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Saturday, June 18, 2011

dinner plates and misty terrace

dinner plates, musical variations
misty day on the terrace
 drip, drip, drip...
foggy too
 view from the summer bed
not summer yet though
no morning coffee outside today
necklaces await cords

Monday, May 23, 2011

A musical interlude while waiting for the kiln to cool

My current musical obsession, Zaz. I watch this practically everyday. It makes me so happy. I love her voice, her affect, her joie d' vie.

And for punctuation lovers out there, colons are on the march.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Broaches, not cookies

nearly edible 
When I was in Arizona visiting my mom, I saw broaches that  had magnets instead of pins affixed to the backs. This struck me as a brilliant solution to the problem of placing a pin in just the right spot; easy to move around and no stabbing. I promptly laid in a supply of strong magnets and got down to business producing porcelain broaches.

tray of sketches on broaches
I am always in need of something simple and small to use to sketch ideas and to warm up the slip-trailer before tackling large pieces. I used to use tiles for this, but this winter I started making tiny (2 1/2") dishes which are perfect warm-up pieces. Last month, I made dozens of small ovals in porcelain to hold in reserve to sketch on, but I apparently have no impulse control because I decorated all of them at once.

 jewelry, not cookies
A wareboard full of these is irresistible, I simply can't stop decorating with just a few. I guess I had better find a place to sell these.
waiting for glaze
I have a kiln full (dozens and dozens!) of these firing right now, in black & white and blue & white. I hope the glaze is nice and thick and glossy with no blurring. Stay tuned...

I like the sculptures of Brendan Monroe

Friday, March 11, 2011

the dreaded s-crack

see that horrible, unwelcome curved line inside the foot-ring?
It's called an s-crack (even though it is more of a "c" in this case).The photo above shows what sometimes happens to the inside foot of a bowl thrown off the hump. There is plenty of advice in pottery books and online about how to avoid this (clay body, compression techniques, trimming tricks, etc). And yet...
ready to attack the problem
I can sometimes save the piece by burnishing the crack firmly with a hardwood stick.
firm pressure with the crack, across the crack, and around and around
looks pretty good, neh?
Oh, but I won't stop here. No I won't.
adding paperclay 
I don't trust burnishing alone. I prepare a slurry of dry clay mixed with paper pulp and a water/vinegar mix for crack repair. I smear it over the burnished crack with a stiff brush.
perfect
Now, I have to see if it makes it through the bisque and glaze firings intact. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. Stay tuned.

Drowning beautiful, so incredible!