Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back in the Studio

I love, love, love having my family home for the holidays. But now that they have returned to their busy lives in distant states, I'm back at work in my studio. I'm still experimenting with lidded vessels - and the more non-round the better.

Here are some quick snapshots of pieces that are drying and should be ready to bisque fire in a week or so.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Set of Six

I'm not good at making a series of matching pieces mostly because I don't do it often enough to develop that skill. So when I wanted a set of six bowls I figured I had better make some extras "just in case" and I'm glad I did. I threw nine bowls and printed the design on each while they were still moist. But I lost one bowl while trimming the extra clay from the bottom. (You can see it at the bottom of the photo.)

They were all bisque fired without incident but while spraying the glaze I knocked a bowl on its side which cracked the side. So there were seven bowls left to fire in the gas kiln. But upon unloading another bowl had a mysterious crack - perhaps from mishandling on my part?- and had to be thrown in the trash.

So nine minus three is six. The second picture shows the survivors.

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 3rd Firing

With pottery, all pieces must go through the "final trial by fire". Weeks, sometimes months, of work on the wheel - throwing, trimming and altering - can be undone in the course of a few hours if the firing goes wrong.

This firing started out poorly because after keeping the gas on low over night, I discovered the next morning that one of the cone packs had popped some shards down into the pots below where they would have melted into the glaze. I stopped the firing, waited a day to open and clean out the shards and gave it another try two days later.

Here are some of the pots from that firing. I went heavy on the Antique Green glaze, a favorite of mine, because it breaks so nicely over texture. I also mixed up two new green glazes which turned out hideously. I'm going to try applying them differently during the next firing but if they are still yucky, they are going to get pitched.

I uploaded more photos from this firing to my Flickr account; a link is above.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tacoma's Open Studio Tour

Tacoma does a wonderful job supporting artists and the Open Studio Tour during Art at Work Month is a good example. I had a nice time visiting with folks who dropped by in groups of twos and threes and the tour forced me to clean up the studio - a long overdue task. I hope to participate in this event next year.

Here are some before and after photos.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The First Holiday Bazaar of the Season

For years a group of diverse crafters have have been holding a bazaar in the old Grange outside Gig Harbor, WA. This year will have some of the items shoppers have grown to expect as well as some exciting merchandise from new vendors.

The Grange is located on Wollochet and Artondale Drives (use caution because of road construction) and will be open November 4th through 6th from 9am to 5pm. On Sunday, November 7th the hours are 11am to 4pm.

Here are some photos taken during setup earlier today.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Time is Almost Over

My time at the Pottery Annex (913 Pacific Avenue here in Tacoma) is almost over because the three month lease I was given ends Friday, October 15th. It is one of those situations when you look around and ask, "Where did the time go?"

It has been a positive experience with a few minor exceptions. I enjoyed the bustle of street life, the pedestrians who randomly dropped by and the routine of keeping regular hours. Gracie loved being a shop dog and would supervise the sidewalk activity while graciously accepting attention from passersby.

The down side, aside from transporting of clay, tools and pots between my home studio and the shop, was parking. Every day it was an issue that had to be considered.

Spaceworks is a wonderful program and I'm lucky to have had this opportunity to "play store". The next group to use the space will be Shakespeare in the Parking Lot.

Here are some photos from the store before I start packing up on October 15th.