Posts made in July, 2012

Back to work

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in Craft Show | 0 comments

Bele Chere is over and it is back to work in the studio.  It was a good show but it was different than anticipated.  Although there were lots of artisans, there were also bands and street entertainment (my favorite of which was Tomb Nelson and the Stillwater Hobos).  It felt like a summer street festival.  The weather was summery – complete with a brief afternoon thunderstorm on Friday afternoon.  Out pots were complimented and our booth was lovely with the new banner and tablecloths.  Now we are back to work making pots – which is why we attend craft shows in the first...

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Bele Chere

Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Shows | 0 comments

A Bit Off Center is making our first appearance at Bele Chere – and we are thrilled!  If you are in the Asheville area, please stop by our booth and say hello.  We are in the Art Park, Booth #20.  We would love to see you and to show off our ‘new’ booth (new banner and table cloths).  The show runs Friday (12-8), Saturday (10-8), and Sunday (12-6). We have been making pots in preparation for this show; and, this week, we have been packing bins and the van.  We are ready to...

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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...

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Stash Syndrome

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in Philosophy | 4 comments

I’ve dabbled with knitting and crocheting for several years.  Yarns have such beautiful colors and textures; and I find knitting patterns to be intriguing geometric formulas.  This year, I have amped up my efforts to learn to knit and in the process I have been introduced to a rich and passionate community with its own eccentricities. One common quirk that knitters seem to share is having a ‘stash’.  A stash is a collection of yarn accumulated for undefined projects.  I can certainly understand the compulsion to purchase serendipitous yarn, but the minimalist in me shutters at such a thing (this is a constant battle for me). In fact, just recently, a knitting book was recommended for its concise directions and creative patterns.  I quickly went to order the book but as I was considering the purchase, I remembered that I had a knitting book I haven’t even read.  This got me thinking about the line between buying for inspiration and allowing the purchasing to become the hobby. Every pursuit or interest has its own peculiar accoutrements and it is very easy for your true passion to be replaced with researching, hunting for, and obtaining all that wonderful paraphernalia.   It is fun to learn about all the intricacies of a hobby; it is necessary to get things in order to get started and become proficient; and, it is certainly inspirational to have wonderful, new materials or tools.  Somewhere in between is a place of creative productivity.   Stash syndrome is common in potters as well – but instead of fiber, potters seek out and collect tools.  There are so many compelling tools that promise to help us make better pots.  It is very easy to have lots of toys but never really play with any of them because we are too diverted by getting more gear.  But acquiring tools will not make better pots; however, practicing with them will.  If getting a new tool inspires you to try new things, go for it.  But if the new tools don’t have any clay on them, stop shopping and go throw.   *Confession:  I have stash syndrome with my Kindle.  I spend more time searching for books that I might want to read rather than reading the books I know I want to read.  I need to awaken my inner minimalist so I can focus on what brings me real pleasure....

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Summer Luxuries for a Potter

Posted by on Jul 17, 2012 in About Me, Sous-potter | 0 comments

Summer in eastern NC is relentlessly hot and humid.  Although I love going out to the studio in the morning in my p.j.’s and working until after 8 in daylight, it is hot and I long for the cool autumn days.  Here are few things that help make the dog days of summer more bearable for me: A fan – even in the hottest days, moving air is refreshing.  I have a ceiling fan in my studio which often cools the studio enough for me to avoid using the A/C. An A/C unit – there are afternoons when nothing but air conditioning makes the studio bearable.  I am so thankful for the window unit in my small studio. Cool water – I let the water run a bit before filling my buckets.  Then I have cool water for throwing which is very nice when it is over 90°. Open-toed shoes – I don’t mind getting clay on my toes. Shades – I draw the curtains in the studio in the late afternoon to keep the harsh summer light from heating the studio.  There is something soothing about dimmed afternoon light. Iced tea – it is light and caffeinated. A good audio book – aren’t beach reads essential to summer?  A good audio book keeps me in the studio longer (truthfully, this is a year-round indulgence). Potted flowers – the seem cheery even in the sweltering afternoon...

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