A Day in the Life

Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in A Bit Off Center, Studio, studio work | 0 comments

Since I have been making and selling pots, I have met a lot of passionate and interesting artists.  It is on the of the unforeseen benefits of being a potter.  Among those are Speight and Nassim Farmer of A-La-Mode Photography who recently came to take pictures of us in our natural habitat.  They have generously posted the photos on their blog – and I think they look amazing!

Read More

Activity in the studio

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Studio, studio work | 0 comments

The studio has been hopping over the last few weeks because we have been getting ready for the craft shows.  These sort of preparations are fun for me.  I like having a list of things to work on; and, I especially like it when that list is so full that I have a choice of what I need to do.  So, here are a few of the things that I have been keeping me busy: Making pots (mugs, bowls, chip/dip, and creamers), glazing pots, mixing glazes, making glaze catchers, testing crystalline glazes, making crackle mugs, cleaning the studio, washing tiles, sieving glazes, printing labels, gathering inventory, taking photos, loading and unloading the kilns, helping make tablecloths (for the booth), sanding pots, ordering glazes, balancing accounts, and fulfilling orders. It has been a busy few weeks but really...

Read More

Kiln Down

Posted by on Apr 3, 2012 in Kiln, Maintenance | 0 comments

When I first began making pottery, I was a member of a community studio where wheels, space, tools, and glazes were accessible for a small fee.  And, all the firing was handled by the studio assistant.   For most potters, a community studio is an ideal option because it allows them more time to work on making pots and helps defray the costs of their hobby. Then, for a short time, I worked as the studio assistant which was a great opportunity for me to learn the other side of things like firing and mixing glazes.  It also gave me confidence to buy a wheel and kiln.  Since I set up my own studio, I have been firing and maintaining my own kiln.  I love it, but it does take time and money to maintain. Before Christmas, we had our first kiln failure which resulted in purchasing some kiln bricks and element holders.  Since then, we have had to replace the elements in both kilns, install a new thermocouple in my kiln, and patch a few bricks in Julie’s kiln.  And, yesterday, my kiln failed  during a bisque-load.   Although the pots can be fired once the kiln is up and functioning, the delayed firing means the seder set that I was working on won’t be completed in time for this weekend. None of this is surprising.  It is simply a part of pottery.  Kilns are fired to very high temperatures which puts a lot of stress on them and makes them susceptible to failure.  Components are bound to wear out and need replacing with usage and time.  This is all part of having a studio but I must admit, it is well worth all the small...

Read More

A Make-over for my Kiln

Posted by on Dec 31, 2011 in About Me, Maintenance, Studio | 0 comments

I live in eastern NC where we are often blessed with mild winter days.  Today was such a day.  With the promise of a warm afternoon, I decided to finish giving my kiln a make-over.  A few weeks ago, I put fresh, new elements in my kiln.  Yesterday, Julie started grinding the kiln shelves while I mixed up a recipe for self-leveling kiln wash that I’ve been wanting to try.  Because I was applying a new kiln wash, I needed to remove all of the old kiln wash before I could paint them.  This meant I spent several hours sanding the shelves (I am very thankful that I have a sous-potter who lets me use his power tools!).  So my kiln got the ‘spa’ treatment… exfoliation, buffing, and cleaning.  Now, if only I could get a...

Read More

Open House and Studio Sale

Posted by on Nov 21, 2011 in A Bit Off Center, Shows, Studio | 0 comments

Our first annual Open House and Studio Sale is complete and it was a success.  We really enjoyed visiting with everyone who stopped in.  The weather was so nice that we were able to keep the garage doors open.  And, because we were set up in the garage, we were able to work on glazing some pots as well.  Overall, it was a really great weekend.   Thanks to everyone for all your kind words and continued...

Read More

Christmas in July

Posted by on Jul 4, 2011 in About Me, Holiday, Sous-potter, Studio | 4 comments

I spent my July 4th weekend, welcoming Jeff home, visiting with friends and family, and making Christmas gifts.  I don’t usually start Christmas projects before the fall; but, with such a full craft show schedule, I have a lot of pots to make.   And, last year, I ran out of time and didn’t make the Advent calendars that I had intended to give.  So, while Julie was away, I figured that I should make the Advent jars which inspired Jeff to work on their boxes.  We are trying to make some improvements and I will post pictures in August when we are finished. Jeff came home on Saturday after having been in class in Reno for two weeks.  It was especially fun to have him working on the wooden boxes in my studio while I threw jars – it was a veritable Santa’s workshop (although sous-potter, Braum, slept on the doormat and wasn’t much help). Jeff did a lot of sous-potter tasks for me.  Besides, helping me load the car with pots to take to Firetower Studio East, he also cut and rolled up a pool cover that my brother-in-law salvaged for me.  Some one was discarding a pool cover and Greg thought of me – it looks like industrial bubble wrap.  (Bubble-wrap is a potter’s joy.) Jeff spread it out in the yard, sliced it into strips, and rolled it up so it is more managable.  It is a lot of packing material but I would rather use it to wrap pottery than put it in the land fill.   It was an especially nice weekend, topped off with grilled streak, fresh corn, and sourdough bread – a really good...

Read More