Glaze Tricks

 I had an order for a salt pig that was to be un-glazed on the interior and sprayed ash glaze over shino on the outside. I was in a quandary as to how to not get the ash on the inside, without have to meticulously sponge it off.

Of course Jeff came up with a solution!
A piece of sponge cut to fit, and wired with a handle to be able to pull it out after spraying the glaze. It sort of looks like we were torturing the poor piggy. Jeff’s idea worked like a charm.

Creativity comes in many forms when you are a potter.

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Late Summer Firing


The rain stopped and the skies cleared, just in time to take the door to the gas kiln down.

Overall we are happy with the results. Jeff is starting to produce tiles again. A wood fired version of these are in the 500 Tiles book. This one was made with our 505 Main clay, glaze is Jeff’s ash glaze, applied with a sprayer.

One of my carved bowls. White slip over STARworks, East Fork clay. The exterior was dipped in tenmokku, interior is the sprayed, ash glaze.

As always, there were piggy banks and vessel sinks in this firing. Most were orders, but I also have a few “ready to ship” pigs that you can find in my Etsy shop.

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The Chair

If my mother were still with us, her and Dad would be celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary today. My paternal grandmother gave them a boudoir chair as a wedding gift. I have always loved that chair. Over the years my parents reupholstered it themselves and repaired the spring system in the seat cushion. Last winter the springs gave out again my Dad decided he wanted a new chair. He was going to throw away the old one. I couldn’t bear to see it thrown out and asked if I could have it. We made sure there was room in the trailer to bring it back to North Carolina after the show in August.

So now I have a 63 year old chair that I am going to attempt to reupholster! I clearly remember the three different fabrics that have adorned this chair. I also remember a photo my mother took of me sitting in it when I was a toddler. Now I have to decide if I want to update it with a modern print or find a fabric that is fitting to 1954. I think I better watch some youtube video about upholstery projects before I tackle the job!

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The Chair

If my mother were still with us, her and Dad would be celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary today. My paternal grandmother gave them a boudoir chair as a wedding gift. I have always loved that chair. Over the years my parents reupholstered it themselves and repaired the spring system in the seat cushion. Last winter the springs gave out again my Dad decided he wanted a new chair. He was going to throw away the old one. I couldn’t bear to see it thrown out and asked if I could have it. We made sure there was room in the trailer to bring it back to North Carolina after the show in August.

So now I have a 63 year old chair that I am going to attempt to reupholster! I clearly remember the three different fabrics that have adorned this chair. I also remember a photo my mother took of me sitting in it when I was a toddler. Now I have to decide if I want to update it with a modern print or find a fabric that is fitting to 1954. I think I better watch some youtube video about upholstery projects before I tackle the job!

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Lost My Groove

It’s been a weird time for me since returning from our August trip to New Hampshire. I feel like I have lost my rhythm in work and everything else in life. I am trying hard to kick my ass back into shape and be more productive. I can find lots of excuses for this state of disarray… weather, politics, aches and pains, the list could get quite long!

Last week I lost probably two days of work because of a stubbed toe! It wasn’t an ordinary stubbed toe, it was a twisted around stubbed toe that when looking at it, made me break out into a sweat and nearly pass out.  Eventually I was able to massage it back into the right place. It wasn’t dislocated and I doubt it is broken… just a bad sprain. Needless to say my toe has looked like a fat little purple sausage and the top and bottom of my foot is swollen and bruised. A week later and I am still limping around.

I spent another afternoon watching the weather on television and making preparations for a tornado. We were under a tornado warning for much of the afternoon. Nothing materialized, but I was ready if it did. Next we have to worry about hurricane Irma. At least I have a plan already in place.

I have managed some accomplishments… piggy banks are made and glazing has commenced. I carved some new mug designs but glazed them before I could take photos. Today I will finish up a couple of pigs and help Jeff glaze sink orders.
How have I spent the rest of my days? Reading, watching the hummingbirds, experimenting with a cold ferment pizza dough, and enjoying our moon flowers. The vacuuming will have to wait.

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August in New Hampshire

August started out with a whirlwind of activity. We fired the kiln twice in one week and quickly sanded, priced, and packed it all for the road trip to New Hampshire and the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair. The good friend that we have always stayed with during the fair moved to Connecticut in the Spring, which meant we had to make a decision on accommodations. We settled on renting a tiny cabin at a campground in nearby Newport, NH. 

We had a half bath for convenience, and the campground showers were nearby and clean. It worked out well for us. Renting a place to stay was an added expense, but thankfully we did well at the show and covered the cost. It was sort of fun to come back to at night, grill some dinner, and eat on the little porch.

On the road between the campground and the fair is a pick your own blueberry farm. Jeff and I took some time one evening and picked four pounds of blueberries. The branches were heavy with berries and it took us about fifteen minutes to fill our pail.

The weather has been great, just one rainy day. Nights in the 50’s and most days hovered around 70. The show is over and we are now in Wolfeboro, NH, visiting my sister and her family for a few days. It was nice to have a day off today. I think it’s the first on in over a month!

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Home Grown

We have tomatoes this year!
I wanted to try growing something different. These are heirloom yellow pear tomatoes. They are about the size of grape tomatoes. I have to say, they are good, but not as good as I thought they would be. Very soon we should have some “big boys”… a great tomato for a BLT. Our plants are HUGE. Taller then me. I really think that everything grows bigger in North Carolina.
The bowl that holds the tomatoes is one that Jeff salvaged a few weeks ago. It’s one his that was wood fired and had cracked in two pieces. He repaired it with stone epoxy and now we have great bowl to use for ourselves. I don’t even mind the crack. I think it adds character.
One week from today we will be in New Hampshire, setting up our booth for the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair. Tomorrow we unload the kiln, and load it up again. One last firing before we hit the road.

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…Better Living Through Handmade Pottery.