Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Liz Zlot Summerfield decorating demo sample

This is a nice promotional sample of Liz's decorating process, in her new video which you can purchase through Ceramic Arts Daily.

This morning I ordered a couple of pattern rolling pins that are use for cake decorating. I promised my ten year old grand daughter McKenna that she could come and play clay with me this summer, so I'm trying to come up with some other textural things that would give her some way of getting some patterns on little slab plates, cups, Christmas decorations, and other projects suitable for a young beginner.

Bodhi is off to the doggie groomer this morning and there's morning garden chores, and pesto to make for tonight's pasta dinner; but I will get all afternoon in the studio, which didn't happen yesterday. I shifted the afternoon plan and went to take care of my daughter-in-laws garden and we didn't get back till almost dinner time. It was over 90F yesterday and I was concerned about the tiny seedlings I had planted two days before; but fortunately they weren't stressed, but I gave them a bit more water anyway.

Picked my one lone, yellow wax bean yesterday, so we will soon have enough for me to try out some new recipes. There's a Lidida Bastianich bean and potato recipe that looks like a good one to try. Life is good!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lovely new Phil Rogers documentary from Goldmark

I love Phil Rogers work. There's such quietness, yet strength in his pots. The details are often many, but the pots are never busy. For me, they're the kind of pots you would never tire of viewing and using. It occurred to me that some of that hakeme slip decorating could be used in earthenware, so I'm eager to try it on some yunomis and small tea bowls.

My husband always thought that much of my work had an Oriental feeling, which may not be surprising since Yi dynasty  Korean and the works of some potters from Japan, like Hamada Shoji and Kawai Kanjioro are at the top of my all times favorites list. We do assimilate all those pictures we view so often, and store them somewhere deep inside, which allows them to become part of our unconscious or conscious process at some point or another.

This morning was for the usual garden chores, email and now, some early dinner prep. This afternoon, I'm heading to the studio to mix up my clear glaze. I hope all the ghastly borate in that glaze hasn't out gassed and caused it too appear thicker than it really is, otherwise, I might just let that batch dry out and reconstitute later, or add some darvan. First I'll test the specific gravity.

Yesterday was a lazy Sunday, once I finished my 7 am garden spraying, and other chores. Thanks to my friend Kay who sweetly got me out of the house to go to a fund raising Craftsman style house tour in town, it turned into a lovely play day. My bad hip ached all night after all that walking and particularly going up and down all those steps during the tour, but it was worth it. This bad hip is now affecting my sleep, so I am probably going to get this one fixed sometime in the next six months, or so.

Time to start chopping tomatoes, slicing serrano chiles, and grating cheese for tonight's nachos. Jim will take on his usual job of squeezing the juice for the margaritas.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My phone is now smart

We were out to the farmers market before breakfast for some croissants and veggie starts which I'll be planting later today. It's the only place that I've been able to find these very young lettuce and other veggie seedlings. My early lettuce and cilantro are now pretty kaput and time to pull it out and re-plant. I had to stop at the ATT office after that and got all the information about cellular plans, usage, etc for my Apple 4s smart phone, which our son recently gave me when he upgraded to the latest one.

I opted for the pay as you go unlimited phone and text plan with 1 Gig of data use, to see how this will work for me. This phone will offer us a lot more flexibility than Jim's not very smart phone, which was no use to use the time we got lost on very dark roads and had no way to look at a map. This smart phone also has a handy compass built in. There's a thing called voice memo and a few others goodies that I don't have on my iPod touch. I'll have to check some of these on line and find out just what they do and how to use them.

Since it's too hot to garden here this afternoon, I'll be spending time seeing if my printer can print out the users guide for this smart phone, then cleaning a lot of unused apps in my ipod touch, get it re-synched and hopefully, get some of my photos and apps downloaded on this smart phone. There's a Nike ipad app which looks like you use it to test the merits of your exercise routine. I can definitely get rid of that one. My iPod touch had double the memory, at least, of this new phone, so I have to do a lot unused, rarely used app deleting as well as delete a lot of photos and rarely listened to music.

I actually got four hours in the studio two days ago. Not much got done since it took forever just to re-mix under glazes that had been sitting far too long. I managed to finish decorating a special surprise mug for a friend, which took forever. There were very small numbers that I had to use as part of the decorating and not even the smallest brush worked well, so I had to do a lot of drying, scraping and re-slipping and re-decorating; but I finally got it done.  At the time I regretted that I never bought one of those ceramic black under glaze pencils! I'm just hoping that the slip I had to remove and re-apply to  a bone dry pot, didn't crawl when bisque fired yesterday. I'm almost afraid to look, but I will - later!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Another Dough Fitch and Hannah McAndrew kiln opening

Just love how well they document their work and firing results. Some great pots in this somewhat uneven firing. We all know that one! Better to re-fire the under fired pots than over firing.

Yesterday was a full gardening day for me in two gardens. Today will be easier, as I just have to deal with my own garden and a quick Chinese stir fry dinner.

I've spent the morning organizing some garden fertilizers, sprays, etc, and getting another order in for more organic garden supplies, and finding the recipe for tonight's dinner. It will be a flank steak stir fry using some of my over abundance of snow peas. Time now to get a bit of breakfast and on to my morning garden chores.

Looks like I might just get some studio time after lunch. It's a start. Once these vegetables start coming in in great abundance, I'll be a lot busier in the kitchen. Twenty four or so tomato plants are going to give me a lot of salsa, tomato and taco sauce to process. At least this year I only planted a couple of zucchini plants so I won't have to look around town for open car windows to share. :-)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Very good Nick Joerling video clip

I'm a big fan of Nick's work - just love those animated forms. In this little video clip from his new DVD, he demonstrates how he achieves some of that lovely movement in his work.

Gardening has still been consuming so much of my day. Yesterday my garden day started before breakfast and didn't end till after 9pm. Part of the day was spent traveling back and forth (twice yesterday), to our son and daughter-in-laws place, which is 50 minute round trip.  Today will be a much easier day since I only have to hand water and do feeding only in my garden.

There's a really bad fungus on the tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peppers and squash in both gardens. In my 50 years of vegetable gardening I've never seen anything like this. I've been pulling off the affected leaves as much as possible and spraying every 7 days with copper solution. Thanks to mercury retrograde the motorized Green Gorilla sprayer just decided to quit and no amount of checking and cleaning got it to work other than by hand pumping and even that has been sporadic. I'm very tired today!

After morning gardening, cooking, feeding my sourdough starter which is long overdue, ordering some vitamins, etc. I'll start on some early dinner prep. I harvested some of the late season lettuce yesterday so tonight I'll be making salad Nicoise for dinner. It's one of our favorite warm weather dinners.

The rest of the day is going to be to rest, and explore Wordpress and see if I can find out some of the more subtle or hidden controls to be able to create a web site I'd be happy with. My first effort proved frustrating. Unlike BlogSpot, they have very few free template choices and their editing choices also seem limited. If it doesn't get any better with more exploration it might be time for me to learn html or just find a host that will support my old Frontpage created web site, or just forget about a web site. I'm retired, so why in the world am I even bothering with this! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mug eye candy

Check out this link for 24 very unique mug designs - some pretty awesome, practical and humorous ideas.

Yesterday was a re-charge day for me, so other than absolutely necessary garden and cooking chores, I spent time trying in vain, to create a web site on Wix, using one of their templates, which wasn't very open to my efforts to make changes. Instead, I switched over to my blog template and re-worked it to what you're seeing now, which I think makes it more easily readable.

I will continue my search for web software since my Frontpage software is no longer supported by Microsoft or Host Monster, my current web host. Since I have to fairly quickly decide whether or not I will renew that or find another host that supports Frontpage, or find another reasonably priced, user friendly software that Hostmonster or another service will accept. Any suggestions anyone?

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Cone 6 soda tests

Now that my ever extended planting of  two gardens is at an end, with only maintenance at hand,  I've been spending time in between hard garden work, cooking and cleaning up picture files in computers and backing up hard drives with only two fishing trips to break up the schedule of the past two months.

Looking at these cone 6 soda tests that were fired in John Britt's little soda test kiln five year ago, is getting me intrigued once again.

Earthenware has not captured my heart, sorry to say. I love the look of it, but I just can't get past the lack of durability or the fact that I still really miss soda firing, Even if it  only means doing a couple of summer and early fall soda firings in my little Olympic soda test kiln, that would  be enough to satisfy that itch. In view of that, it just makes sense to switch to a cone 6 white stoneware or porcelain that I can use for cone 6 oxidation in my larger kiln and the soda in the much smaller gas kiln. 

Of course that means that I have to get back into the studio soon and finish up all those earthenware and cone 10 soda pots. That may take a while since we are determined to enjoy ourselves this summer and get out and about a bit more than we have in the past two years when the focus was just getting settled after the move and seeing to  a lot of work that needed to be done on the house, setting up the studio and creating some semblance of a garden in the midst of all the concrete in the back yard.

Now that garden work is easing up, I should be able to at least get started on wrapping up those earthenware and cone 10 soda pots.

Here's some photos fo some of those Cone 6 soda slip and glaze tests.


BW - a white stoneware from Axner's.
H - Helios porcelain
LG - Loafers Glory a white stoneware
MW - Moon White stoneware
PH - Phoenix stoneware
P5 - P5 porcelain


 #5891 Grolleg flashing slip on MW (I think.Tile was broken)
#5891 Grolleg flashing slip on PH
#2993 Bauer flashing sip on BW
#2519 Jane Hamly dark blue slip on BW

2nd row down, from left to right:

#6254 Blair red flashing slip on BW
#6254 Blair's red flashing slip on P5 porcelain
#6031 Tudball black slip on LG
#5898 Hamlyn Green on MW

3rd row down , from left to right:

8407B Tudball Green Rutile cobalt slip on LG
8407  Tudball plain flashing slip on P5 porcelain
8403 Version 5 June Perry flashing slip on LG
6626 Water color on BW

4th row down, from left to right:

#8683 Helmer flashing slip on BW
#8600 June Perry Celadon on PH (not enough reduction but nice satin finish)
#8455 GOES slip on MW
#8407C Tudball rutile slip on LG


#8941C Show Saver Light blue on LG
#8941B Show Saver leaf green on LG (much nicer color than photo shows)
#8941A Show Saver bright lime green on LG (much nicer color than photo shows)
#8880Version 2 Ruggles and Rankin #6 Tile slip (clay body unknown.Tile broken)

2nd row down,from left to right:

#9166 Linda's Yellow slip on PH
#9166 Linda's Yellow slip on P5
#8996  Randy's flashing slip on PH
#8941D Show Saver on LG (beautiful turquoise green)

3rd row down, from left to right:

#9762 Crackle slip on LG
#9607 #6Tile slip on LG
#9593D June Perry Celadon (nice, fat mutton fat celadon, but under reduced)
#9283 June Perry 1/2 and 1/2 slip on PH


#9930 Gay Smith's Helmer flashing slip on LG
#9887 Helmer flashing slip on BW
#9844 Matt Long flashing slip on porcelain? either P5 or Helios (very promising)
#9775 Peachy shino on H (not reduced enough, but surface looks good for cone 6

2nd row from top, from left to right:

#10124 Mark Peter's Helmer flashing slip on PH
#10124 Mark Peter's Helmer flashing slip on LG
#9976 Fish Sauce slip on PH

3rd row from top, from left to right:

#10260 June Perry honey on LG (nice butter surface. May need more reduction.
#10259 June Perry green on LG(very dull. I need to play with this some more)
#10253 Shino on LG (not reduced but surface nice and smooth)
#10251 Temmoku on LG (under fired. I have to check my recipe and recipe sheet and see if there's an error in either one)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Nice decorating idea using resist stamps

This is an interesting use of these sticky stamps. I think this technique would work well with slip in earthenware to resist areas where you want the red clay to show. I'll have to check out commercially available stamps. Might be fun to try it either with available stamps or creating your own.

I'm having a totally vegg out day after 3 busy days of mainly fun and some garden and cooking time. Our son Sean is in town and has taken me on two fishing trips down the Rogue river the past couple of days. It was great fun but I'm now wiped. All day fishing in the sun is great, but also tiring. Fortunately I have enough energy to hand water my plants and cook; but that's going to be about it other than watching the French Open tennis, and email.

We caught a lot of trout and cut throats and I cooked my keeper rainbow trout for dinner Thursday. Yesterday, was another good fishing day, but no fish worth keeping. We didn't catch or even get any salmon bites but a friend on one of the other boats got a really nice one. And they caught enough keeper trout for last nights dinner.

Most of our catch was either native fish which we can't keep or too small to keep, except one which we threw back. My old rock hounder eyes spotted what looked like a light colored agate buried in the river bank somewhere around Trail, and I asked our guide to get up close enough for me to dig it out and it turned out to be a small, split, lovely geode, with an interior, inner layer of blue agate or chalcedony and a hollow center filled with minute crystals - very pretty. I didn't know we had geodes in this part of Oregon.

Sean gave me his iPhone 4, now that he has the latest version. I'll try to play with that a bit today, but after trying unsuccessfully last night to set up the WI-fi, I'm thinking that I need to get to an ATT office and buy some minutes for the times I'll use it for on line access when WI-fi isn't available, incoming calls, etc.. This is all new to me since the only iphones we've ever had are the non smart type Trac phones where you just buy minutes as you need. Jim has enough trouble trouble figuring out that simple one (there's were a couple of days of incessant grumbling noises emitting from his office when he got that phone). This smart phone looks a lot like my ipod touch, so I should have no trouble figuring it out once I get it set up - I hope! LOL

Right now it's time to head for the kitchen and make our Sunday bagels with smoked salmon and Neuchatel cheese breakfast. Hopefully, this brain food will help me to understand these iPhone instructions.