Saturday, December 13, 2008


Here are a few more pots from the last firing. There are more under an earlier blog.

Well, I've had a few days to relax a bit after the TRAC tour. We didn't get a lot of traffic and all my sales were made to local repeat visitors. Things were definitely slower this year but sales weren't as bad as I thought they could be in this economy. For the spring tour I think I'll take an ad out in the local paper. With anywhere from 80 to well over 100 artists on the tour which covers 2 counties, people can't see every studio in 2 days, so it's time to do some promotional work. I get sales from half the cars that come which is good, so I just need to get more people to come.

I've been catching up with some paper work and doing a bit of cooking that needs more time and attention instead of those quickie recipes and frozen pizza that I rely on the week I'm getting ready for the tour, and getting our Christmas tree decorated and getting the rest of the house decorations up. This is the earliest I've ever gotten that done!

We had our Clay Club meeting Wednesday night which is always fun. There was a call to bring pots for show and tell, so I brought a couple from the last firing as well as a present mug for John Britt to thank him for his help unloading my kiln last fall before my hip replacement surgery. I was a mess and could hardly walk and he volunteered to come over and help me unload - what a sweetheart! He had admired one of my fish mugs but wouldn't accept it when I wanted to give it to him. He said if it doesn't sell, you can give it to me. Well, of course, it wound up selling and so I had to wait for the next firing to get one to him!

Our meetings are mainly social with some pottery talk in between and always a lot of good things to eat and drink. Kyle Carpenter, a young, very talented salt firer, came all the way from Ashland to join in on the fun. I had to leave early so I didn't have much time to chat with some of the late comers.

Joy Tanner and Will Baker two other young and very talented soda and wood firers, came in later because they had just finished firing at Linda McFarling's. I'm eager to find out how that firing went since they tried the whiting/bicarb of soda mix this firing. Linda and I have the same kiln, built by Shane Mickey and we've both been dealing with uneven firings. Joy said that cones were even throughout the kiln, so I'll be interested in checking out Linda's new bag wall arrangement.

I solved the cold bottom in my by getting Shane to chimney raised and having him redo the bag wall; but it worked too well and the bottom was too hot! Next firing I'll have to close up the bag wall at the bottom and raise it a couple of courses, or maybe just use Linda's configuration and see how it works with the higher chimney. My kiln is in the garage and has a 12' ceiling so I needed taller chimney that she has in her kiln shed.

Next week I'll be back in the studio and I want to spent a day or two batching up some glaze tests and throwing some test tiles. My goal for the new year is to do more slab work, get the new compressor working and start experimenting with my Bailey pneumatic extruder. My other studio goals the coming year is to get new business cards and postcards made, get more colors in the body of work (therefore more glaze testing), and play with some of the new forms I've been sketching. If there's time, I also want to learn more about web page design so I can do the things I want on my web page; but that's being a bit ambitious because besides the studio and house chores, by February I start thinking about the garden and start my seed planting under lights. It's amazing how the time seems to be flying lately - so many good intentions and not enough time to do it all!


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