The daffodils are blooming…
along with our tulip tree (aka as Japanese Magnolia).
We are enjoying temps in the 70’s this weekend. I am loving every minute of it, because in a few days I am heading to the winter wonderland of New Hampshire. They had two major snowstorms last week, and are expecting a Nor’easter today, into tomorrow. The coast is expecting up to two feet of snow. Of course that is where my Dad lives! I typically don’t plan a trip to New Hampshire in the middle of winter, but on February 15th my Dad will be 90 years old! We will all gather at my sister Anita’s home in Wolfeboro for a big family dinner. I am very excited to see everyone, especially my girl Danielle. She will arrive from Connecticut on Friday evening to spend the weekend.
I will be in New Hampshire for a week. Staying Wednesday to Wednesday gave me the best price on a flight, only $150 – because who in there right mind flies north in February? Time to dig out the UGGS & mittens!
We recently bought some of STARworks Ceramics new Eastfork clay. Last fall we had a sample that we tested and really liked how it looked with Jeff’s ash glaze. Jeff threw a couple of platters last week and brushed them with white slip. I spent this afternoon carving ginkgo leaves into them. It has a smooth consistency that makes it easy to carve, and I love the color even before firing. I haven’t given the clay a try on the wheel yet, fingers crossed that I will like the way it throws.
I love Valentine’s Day. Not because I am expecting flowers, candy, or dinner out. I enjoy it for completely unromantic reasons. Valentine’s day give me the opportunity make and deliver simple surprises for people that I love. This year I decided to make a string of hearts for my special great niece, Arianna.
It ended up being a little more involved than originally intended, but it was a nice break from clay. I worked on it in the evenings, when my work was done for the day.
“Happy Valentine’s Day” is a lot of letters when they are all strung together!
Tonight I boxed the hearts up along with a siamese cat figurine that was a gift to me from my Memere when I was just about Arianna’s age. My Memere would have been her great-great Memere.
We have been enjoying some warm days here in Seagrove, NC. I took advantage of the weather and did a good mopping and cleaning of the studio, while the bisque kiln is firing. Jeff is busy making glazes. We will fire a glaze load in the next few days.
Like bathroom outlets!!!!!! We had an electrician in today to do some much needed service work.
Our house was built in 1961 and the outlets were over the vanity mirrors, attached to the light fixtures… which were no longer functioning. Now we have GFI outlets in both bathrooms. We can use hairdryers, flat irons, and electric toothbrushes… in the bathroom, where they belong. You don’t know how much you appreciate things, until you don’t have them!
We also had a couple other things upgraded so that we can use a space heater in the studio and vacuum in the house without tripping the main breaker for the 110 service to the house.
Pots are drying in the studio and we can load the kiln to bisque fire this weekend. Glaze firing right after. I have travel plans mid-February. Updates to come!
Last week we were just about out of Highwater Aurora clay. We called our local supplier on Friday to say Jeff was coming to pick up some clay and materials, only to find out Aurora was out of stock. Two weeks before it would be in stock again. Yikes! We have sink orders to fulfill and this is the clay we need for them. Jeff got on the phone with Highwater, in Asheville, NC and they said they could get it to us by Tuesday. The cost difference was negligible… just a few dollars, and it would be delivered to our door.
What we didn’t know was that UPS would deliver in an 18 wheeler! The driver was great and he was able to back into our long driveway.
We must have been the next to the last delivery, because the big truck was just about empty. The driver was very helpful in getting our clay and glaze materials unloaded. In no time he was on the road again, and Jeff was back to making sinks.
The camellia’s are finally blooming. Such a treat to have flowers in January, particularly this winter.
The political climate has really affected Jeff and me, along with many other potters in our community. I find it ironic that the new president campaigned with “Make America Great Again,” but in 10 days he has already managed to create turmoil within our country, and around the world. Each day I wake and wonder what will happen next. Each day I have to tell myself to keep moving forward, stand up for what you believe in, and keep making pots.
Last year I had a couple of requests for sugar pig dispensers. Last week I took a couple more orders, except this time people wanted them for candy jars! They are perfect for that, and I hadn’t evern thought of it. If you keep candy on your desk at work, people can pour out their portion without getting their hands all over the candy… much more sanitary! Ok, so yeah… I am sort of germ freak.
These sweet little pigs will also be a perfect Valentine gift, filled with conversation hearts, or M&M’s. How about Skittles? If you are into that super sugar buzz. Do Skittles do that to you? Or is it just me?
I am still making things for a raku firing. Switching to hand building is an adjustment for me. It seems like it takes for ever to finish things. I am sure if I had a slab roller, and hand built more often, I would become more efficient.
For now I continue to slog along. I will roll more slabs out tomorrow and there are always piggy banks to assemble while waiting.
On the home front, Jeff and I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and grill pizza. The crust came out amazing! I decided to finally take other baker’s advice and buy King Arthur bread flour. Why didn’t I listen to them years ago? It’s more expensive, but not outrageuos, and definitely worth it. Now I can’t wait to bake some more bread.
This was blogger awards week. No one told me, and I didn’t even buy a dress to wear to either party. Heck, I didn’t even have time to wash my apron.
The first award bestowed to me was from Feedspot’s Top 50 Pottery Blogs
, where I ranked #16. A few days later, Pottery Making Info announced their list of Top Pottery Blogs of 2016
, this year I moved up in the ranks from #11 to #9.
Award Acceptance Speech:
I would like to thank all my readers for hanging in with me through the exciting times, as well as the mundane and often boring times. Thank you to Feedspot and Pottery Making Info, for spreading the good word of pottery bloggers everywhere. Most of all I would like to thank Jeff Brown for all of his support and creative encouragement. You push me to the next level in creativity, and encourage me to continue with all this blogging stuff.
and now it’s back to work…
Jeff and I are planning to do a raku firing in the spring. In between making work for orders, we will be making things for raku. This week I worked on a tile with ginkgo leaves. I finished carving yesterday. It will get cleaned up once it’s dry. Carving on this groggy clay is a little challenging. The carving tool doesn’t flow easily through the clay. Next on the “making” list is orbs. We should have our new raku work available for the Celebration of Spring Studio Tour – April 22nd & 23rd.