Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Technorati Profile


As the year is ending I've been taking some tiles (3 days actually) of going through buckets of test tiles to sort out the soda salt tiles, line them up numerically on my slab roller. Some broke during the process and I had to stop and start gluing them to make them somewhat photo ready.

Here's a photo of them backed by my temporary studio greenhouse, which is the winter home for some of my citrus, avocado and other tropical fruit and decorative plants. If you double click on the picture, it will open a very large version of the tiles.

The next step is going to be cataloging them - copious note taking before I weed through to discard some and keep some that I think I want to use in the future.

If anyone from Clay Club or other interested soda salt firers want to look them over, they'll be up for about another 3 days or longer - depends on how long it takes me to go through all of them and make my notes.

Hope everyone has a safe and very Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Today has been cooking day starting with a huge, traditional Polish Christmas eve breakfast and then making a batch of pate after lunch. Tomorrow will be another all day cooking with the same big breakfast of kielbasa,ham,hard boiled eggs, horseradish and sweet bread and a dinner of rock cornish hens with a balsamic reduction, wild rice/basmati rice with almonds and currants and green beans. I was going to skip dessert but Jim brought home a box of chocolates which will go with the lovely wine he'll be serving.

I'm slowly catching up with the house paperwork so I can be free to be back in the studio after I'm done with these antibiotics. There's still a lot of work to do on getting all my scraps of pot sketches into my permanent sketch book.

Here's a lovely "snow" picture our daughter sent. She was in San Cassiano Italy for a singing engagment and took this photo from her hotel room.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Down with something

Today is my 69th birthday and I'm celebrating it with antibiotics and a Tapas meal with friends tonight!
My hopes of getting in the studio this week have been dashed with the arrival of some kind of upper respiratory crud, so I I'm hoping these antibiotics will do their work quickly so I can get back to making pots right after Christmas.
In any case, I'm tired of playing on the computer trying to figure out how to do things to this blog, that it seems I can't do with this software, so tomorrow I'm going to the studio to sort out a lot of test tiles of soda slips and glazes and take some pictures of them and see if I can post them next week.

Till later,

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!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Today has been super buy pricing pots, getting the gallery cleaner and set up. Fortunately my husband Jim did the gallery cleanup and I just have to price and set the pots around, get last minute rattan handles woven, pictures taken etc.
I'm on schedule with the preparations for the TRAC tour this weekend.
If anyone is here in western NC this weekend, the Mitchell and Yancy Counties TRAC tour is a real treasure trove to top potters, glassblowers, weavers, metal workers, basket weavers, etc. There are tour maps available at the TRAC galleries in Spruce Pine and Burnsville, or you can pick them up at the various studios.
If you need directions to my studio, just email me at:
Here's a picture of the beautiful winter wonderland view from our front porch a few days ago. All the beautiful snow is gone now except a few small patches; but it was wonderful while it lasted.
Here are a few pictures from this weeks firing.

Till later!