Posts made in September, 2012

Confessions of a Quantifier

Posted by on Sep 29, 2012 in About Me, How-to, Scale | 0 comments

I admit that I like to quantify things – by weight/volume/ whatever – give me a number to associate with it and it feels more tangible.  In fact, when I cook, I use 2 timers – one counts down based on the prescribed time to doneness but I also use one that counts up – so I can KNOW how much time it really took to doneness. I believe this neuroses of quantification is a good thing for potters.  By weighing clay, a potter can gauge how efficently she has thrown a pot.  I weigh my clay and often make note of it – I do this as I get the clay balls ready for throwing.  And, when I am developing a new form, I use these data to help me select the amount of clay I should start with. For any potter who is struggling to throw better, throwing with the same amount of clay will help her focus on her technique by removing one...

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Don’t wait for it – work for it

Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in About Me, Creativity | 0 comments

I’ve never been successful waiting for creativity and motivation to strike.  However, I have been successful finding creative solutions and getting a lot of work done when I work – even if I don’t feel like it.  The discipline of engaging with the clay and following a work schedule hase resulted in more successful pots for me. Creativity and success are not the result of lightening strike work habits.  However, I am a lazy person who will squander time piddling around the house without much to show for it.  So I avert my naturally tendencies toward slothfulness by cultivating habits that induce focus.  By this, I mean, that I plan what I want to do, write it on a list, post the list, give myself a deadline, schedule time to work with Julie (accountability), and schedule time in my own studio (continued work time).  I also try to remove obstacles that distract me from working.  By this, I mean that I try to keep current with my day job, meal planning, housework, and paperwork so they won’t interfere with time I have scheduled to work on pottery.  I also try to incorporate incentives for me to get to work.  For example, I listen to an audiobook only in the studio (a good book will help me log a lot of studio time).  Sometimes, I give myself a challenge  (like make 75 mugs in 30 days).  Although I don’t think I am very competitive, accomplishing a personal challenge really motivates me to work. Lack of productivity is not usually the result of lack of inspiration; lack of inspiration is often the result of lack of work.  In order to do creative work, working is the first step.  There are many days when I don’t feel like working in the studio, but when I keep my commitment to my schedule and press through my ennui, I often find that the motivation...

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Autumnal Equinox

Posted by on Sep 22, 2012 in About Me, Teapot | 5 comments

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”                                                  – Emily Bronte Happy Fall!  Today is the first official day of fall and I am so excited.  In fact, I have hung a harvest wreath on the front door and bought some beautiful red flowers to put on the table because this is my favorite time of year. The changing season brings certain rituals that I enjoy.  I make soups, set out decorations, light candles in the evenings, buy mums for the deck, drink tea, etc.  But, there isn’t much that changes in the studio.  Although, I am a bit more apt to work on holiday projects.  But other than going to craft shows, my work continues.  With such pleasant weather, it is even more enjoyable to be in the studio with the door open!  Perhaps I will make some leaf mugs...

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Critical Mass

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in Clay | 0 comments

I am not exactly sure how this happened – either poor planning or overproduction – whatever the cause , we are LOW on clay.  We have less than 100 lbs.  Fortunately, we have had a lot of pots to glaze so we scaled back on production.  And, Julie recycled several bins of clay to help us through this tight time. How do we get clay?  Usually we bum transport from anyone going to Asheville or Charlotte where we purchase clay from Highwater or Carolina Clay.  Our favorite clay bodies are Highwater’s Little Loafers and Laguna’s B-Mix.  Fortunately for us, Sous-Potter Artie is headed west and will return with 500 lbs. of Little Loafers.  That should get us through the...

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We Won!

Posted by on Sep 15, 2012 in Crackle, Glazes | 9 comments

We are so excited because we won first place in the 2012 Coyote Glaze Competition.  We submitted several entries but it was our crackle teapot that was selected! Coyote Glazes hosts a yearly competition  for potters who use their glazes.  In addition to winning first place, we will also be featured in their advertising campaign! We are constantly testing glaze combinations and various applications on our pots.  So it is a great compliment to have been selected by Coyote Glazes. Check out the Coyote website to see our teapot and the other...

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