Posts made in October, 2010

A Box for Lucy

Posted by on Oct 26, 2010 in About Me, Glazes, Pottery, Uncategorized | 0 comments

My grandmother passed away on October 26, 2008.  She was a kind, easy-going, and fun person.  She never met a stranger and didn’t hesitate to tell you what she thought.  She lived with us for 14 years in NC; prior to moving here, she had spent her life on Sip Street in NJ.  Her absence is as large as her personality. Today we celebrated her memory and ate Chinese food – it was her favorite.  She always smuggled an eggroll out of the buffet in her purse and complained about the size of the ‘shrimps’. Last summer, I took a raku workshop and one of the assignments was to hand-build a sealed box.  In the process, I found myself making a memory box for my Grandma.  I used her prizzelle machine to imprint the sides with texture – even though Lucy never made prizzelles.  Why should she when there was always some one else on Sip Street who would make them?  I also imprinted some of her clip-on earrings.  The family jewels may be costume but Grandma wore them well.  The box is triangular with a coffee cup on top because coffee and cake were staples on Sip Street – no matter when we arrived, we were always offered coffee.  We have a picture of Lucy standing on Sip Street wearing heels and smiling.  Grandma always pointed out that she had good legs so I put the box on heeled shoes.   Finally, Lucy always had a paperback romance or word search book beside her chair.  She said was getting smart when she did word searches so I included a book on the box. I didn’t intend to make such a box.  But, I am pleased with it.  Lucy wouldn’t have appreciated raku – or a sealed box.   She would have put on her smarty-pants and had something to say about the sooty and useless thing.  Sometimes it is about the process.  I have the box on my bookshelf and I am remembering her again...

Read More

Rainbow over Firetower Studio West

Posted by on Oct 25, 2010 in A Bit Off Center, Orders, Plates, Pottery, Studio, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Julie and I have been working diligently to finish a private commission.  We are so excited to have gotten the order – 12 piece place setting!  Tonight, we were finishing the dinner plates.  We started a bisque firing with the first few plates; and, we were hoping to trim the remainder.  However, it rained this afternoon so none of the plates we threw yesterday were dry enough to trim.  But, once the rain stopped, there was an amazing rainbow over Firetower Studio West.  So beautiful and full of promise.

Read More

Glaze Contest

Posted by on Oct 12, 2010 in A Bit Off Center, Bowls, Glazes, Mugs, Pottery, Serving Bowl | 0 comments

Julie and I use several commercial glazes in our suite of glazes.  So, when Coyote Glazes announced their annual glaze competition, we entered.  Some of our entries are based on our signature glaze combinations that have been tweaked to use Coyote’s products exclusively.  We didn’t win but I thought I would share some of the entries.

Read More


Posted by on Oct 11, 2010 in Glazes, Pottery | 0 comments

We took my nephews to the County Fair and we had a GREAT time.  In addition to the rides, bull riding show, and carnie food, there were the exhibits.  This year, part of the fun was finding out if either of them had won any of the contests that they had entered.  In fact, there were several winning entries including the sculptural pottery contest!  Coleman won first place for his penguin in a hat (Mr. Penguin); and, Daniel won Honorable Mention for his butterfly. It was a lot of fun watching them look for their entries among the many other pieces and seeing their response to winning ribbons.  I think this year’s fair was the most fun yet. Julie and I recently entered the Coyote glaze contest.  I was so excited because I was confident that we had several good ideas which we had executed well.  We submitted 8 entries (the maximum permitted) and then waited.  I checked the website and face book page compulsively but when the winners were posted – we were not among them.  I was blindsided because I was so sure that several of our entries were contenders.  But, after looking at the winners, our aesthetic is quite different. In contests, you subject your work to some one else’s values.  And, as an adult, I recognize that those values are arbitrary.   In fact, pottery has taught me that there is no accounting for taste.   I can’t tell you how many times some one has picked up a pot that I thought was awful and raved about it. Here is the thing about contests… you have to be confident, you have to be brave, and you have to have perspective.  It takes confidence in your own work to be brave enough to allow some one else to judge it.  However, if you are really satisfied with what you are doing, perhaps there isn’t a lot of bravery required – then the confidence carries you.  What I am learning is if I am pleased with my work, true affirmation is the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I get from my well-thrown pot.   And, although it would have been fun to win, I am content with the direction in which our pottery is...

Read More