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the cow jumped over the moon

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#tbt and lost/found!



#tbt and lost/found!
#tbt - me in October 1961 - two years old as my birthday is in October
I have been going through all the plastic bins of holiday decorations, which have been stored in the basement. Picking out what I want to decorate with this year. Making sure everything is in the correctly labeled bin "holiday lights" or "nutcrackers/stocking" or whatever. 

#tbt and lost/found!

I was able to fill two boxes of extra holiday decorations I'll never use and will donate to charity. In the meantime, I found a un-labeled bin tucked away among the holiday bins, and inside was a treasure-trove of things I have been looking for for years!!!! Most importantly, I was looking for some low fire glaze recipes, and glaze notebooks and sketchbooks, and found not only the majolica recipe I used thirty years ago, but also the clay recipe, too. I am so incredibly excited about this!

#tbt and lost/found!
I tried to do an artsy-fartsy video on my phone of me flipping through my notebook,
but it just didn't work.
This photo is a mistake as I hit 'photo" instead of "video" and didn't realize it until later.
Looking forward to mixing up that majolica recipe and trying it out again. I believe that all the ingredients are still available. I'll post about this process. 

dirt mud clay

We had our first work day in the community garden on Sunday. I am so happy to have a student helper this year - she will free up my time at the non-profit so I can work on grants. We also had a lot of help from members of the Track and Field team from the college.

dirt mud clay

I tended P and M's (the gardeners, not the artists P and M) garden for a week. It is so nice to be there - calming relaxing zen-like.

dirt mud clay

Have some terracotta test pots drying - I took them out of my basement art space aka studio and put them on the back porch to dry, and then brought them in last night because we had a thunderstorm.  Once they're bisqued, I'll mix up some majolica glaze and give it a go. I also want to try some old low-fire glazes I have sitting around and see how they look. I need to make more test pieces.

dirt mud clay

As I mentioned here, we have used white plates and bowls for years. Now we're using/testing some different colors and glazes on bowls/mugs/tumblers that I have made - making sure the glaze fits and the shape works well, and refining my color and glaze choices. (99% of my pieces are glazed white inside). We both have a few favorites!

dirt mud clay
we hand-wash all our dishes, not just pottery
I have a class with the at-risk youth group later this afternoon - have to do some preparation but maybe I can also sneak in a little nap beforehand!

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

Drat, a bunch of bottles of perfume have gone off.

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

The first Saturday in January, we went to my sister D's house to meet up with her and her family, and sister M and her family, for a holiday-type get-together. I decanted a bunch of perfume and brought some bottles to give away because there is no way in hell I'll ever be able to wear all of it, and given that so much went off and I had to throw away, I better share the wealth before more bites the dust. Plus it is difficult to mail perfume - the only ways you can do it is to lie or to mail it ground. And I don't want to do either. Last time I tried to ship something ground it was more expensive.

Bowie and Rickman are now off this mortal coil. I rarely get upset when celebrities die, but Bowie especially made me sad - wow did his early music affect me. And if you haven't seen Rickman in The Song of Lunch, check it out. And I need to see Die Hard - can you believe I haven't seen it yet?

Plus now I'm afraid of the age of 69. I used to be afraid of turning 43. I had my palm read when I was 20 or something like that, and the palm reader said something ominous about being 43. Well the thing that did happen at that age was that I got engaged to Robert, and that wasn't such a bad thing!

Today I threw some bowls and tested out some new ribs. And we're watching the NFL play-offs.

gone off - scented sunday and some other things

Oh and I did order those glasses!!

gone off - scented sunday and some other things


blabbing about pottery

Because my November morning hand-building class didn't fill, and because my October wheel throwing students are keen on continuing classes with me, I'll be teaching them in November, too! Yay!!! So I have two classes this month.

We were able to get another electric wheel, which means for advanced pottery classes, I can now have four in my class.

Now, the arts center does have other wheels - a treadle and three hand-made kick wheels. For beginners, I can have as many students as wheels (which until recently, we only had three electric so that means I could have seven students in the beginning wheel classes.)  You never know what type of wheel a student will love, plus it is a good thing for students to experience all three types.

In this past year and the nine? wheel classes I have taught, nearly all the students prefer the electric wheel. There have been two or three throughout the year that will throw on the treadle or the kick wheel, but in general, the vast majority of students who continue on with more classes want electric. So getting that fourth wheel is a very good thing!

I have found more time to do more of my own work - mostly because I am getting better at managing my time! I can spend hours just sgraffito-ing my pots - it is just so much fun and so relaxing. These two pieces haven't been fired or glazed yet - I'll post finished photos when that happens.

blabbing about pottery
This is a silly  thing - I threw it off the hump and it is tiny (maybe four inches tall)
and I have no idea what it could be used for!
blabbing about pottery
An ice-cream bowl, perhaps?
The kiln shelves have always been horrible, and last week when we had some glaze mishaps on some brand-new kiln shelves, I was a bit miffed. (I wasn't upset w/the students - I was upset that our brand-new shelves weren't so brand new anymore!)  So on Friday, J (a student I taught during the year, and who uses Open Studio a lot) helped me with sanding/cleaning up some kiln shelves. Some of them were so bad that I had to throw them away. Previous to getting the four new kiln shelves, loading the kiln was tricky and annoying(for you non-potters out there, if glaze drips on a kiln shelf and you cannot clean/scrape/sand it off, you have to make sure that pieces you put on the shelf don't come in contact with old drips as the piece will get stuck! You can use stilts, or just not place a piece where the old glaze spill is, which wastes space and energy).

blabbing about pottery
J sanding a kiln shelf - this was one of the brand new ones.
I am going to be throwing some more pots today, and get a lidded jar started because I'll be demo-ing those in wheel-throwing class tomorrow. There's a Premier League game, and a bunch of MLS games on TV today, and a Cleveland Browns football game, too. I am glad I got up so early, even though I am not a fan of Daylight Saving Time (though I guess now it is standard/real time) because I have a lot to do. I also have to go to a Town Hall meeting later - our City Council is up for election on Tuesday and the Town Hall will have all the candidates there - not only do I want to go for my own voting knowledge, but also as a representative of the non-profit.

Gotta scram - see you later!






autumn days

Friday was spent cleaning out the garden plots and potted annuals. I know I am supposed to scrub all the empty flower pots but we'll see if that gets done. I also need to put some old chicken litter on top of the empty garden beds (we haven't had chickens for a few years, so that litter is more than aged and will be a good addition to the putting-the-beds-to-bed process).

autumn days
To the compost pile.
autumn days
Last of the geraniums
The non-profit event was a success last Friday night, and I'm getting back to 'normal' work life. Pottery class is going well, and it looks as though the hand-building class in November is a go.

Oh, my 'scarecrow' won first prize in the category "Backyard Weeds"! I did not know that was a category when I made it.  Seriously, I didn't! (Some of you know that I worked for the nursery where the Scarecrow Fest is held, but since I didn't work there in September and October, I wasn't on top of the categories)  I have brought it home, and added some more hydrangea blossoms, and now it sits on the front porch, which was looking a little bare since the annuals are gone.

autumn days

Yesterday, I had to unload and then load a kiln at the community arts center, so I stopped by the Farmers Market to find some spinach and chat with folks I know there. I also picked up some delicious Asian pears. 

In between football and futbol games on television today, I'll be back in my downstairs art/pottery space finishing up some demos for tomorrow's pottery class that I started yesterday.

It's a beautiful fall day today - hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Sunday!

what day is it?

what day is it?
Self-portrait of me in my basement art space -
though I haven't had time to get down there much recently
Lots going on - here's a run-down:

Nursery/garden center job going well - only there Fri/Sat this month, but it is a relief after all that is going on and the fact that I have no computer access so I cannot get distracted by emails!

Non-Profit:  Garden clean-up with college track team volunteers, and then a meeting w/some of the new gardeners this past Sunday.  The students were able to move a ton of mulch and wood chips in two hours, and weed all the raised beds, which was much needed and so very helpful.  Then last night we (Interim Executive Director and I) went in front of City Council to update our 'lease' on the garden. We are also asking to be able to sell produce to help fund the garden and have plans for a hoop house/high tunnel, but that needs more discussion. Robert was home and he taped and watched the televised meeting, so I got to see myself on video when I got home late (I screwed up stating my address! hahaaa!) and it was weird watching it because I haven't seen myself in motion since I was in my early 30s.  We also had a late request for our B&B program, but that was a success too even though at one point I was talking to the guest five minutes before a pottery class.  The guest was delightful and added an extra donation to our cause, and the host was happy.


what day is it?
College track team helping out in the garden

Oh also Sunday evening I went to meet some of the Board members of the Farmers Market to clarify my job description as Market Manager this year. 


Pottery classes going well but I need to meet with Education Director and the pottery instructor for teens/children to deal with reclaimed clay.  Actually I did talk and/or email with both of them separately - we need a plan of action agreed upon asap.  Most students want 'fresh' clay so reclaimed clay is becoming a mountain. I have a good plan - thanks to a Facebook group I joined - so I am confident we will get this under control soon.

It's Tuesday, right? Pottery class soon - better get ready.


a quick post

When I cleaned up and cleared up the basement space, I found some glazes that I have never used. I'll be testing these on two of my demo pots.

a quick post

Heading to the community arts building for my weekly check-in today after work for the non-profit.  The non-profit is in charge of a community garden, and I'm meeting with a volunteer today to start planning for this season. Which reminds me, I really should start seeds this weekend.

Robert got home Monday night - so so so nice to have him home.  He was only gone two weeks but I missed him terribly.

a quick post
You have seen this bowl before in a group shot - Albany Slip Brown glaze

before and after

We have a huge puddle in the back yard - the snow is melting, and it has been raining.  Fortunately the basement hasn't flooded yet, but the floor is a bit damp.

before and after


Here are some photos of the little basement room before - yikes!
before and after
This table was moved, and this area is where my wheel is now
before and after
There is a desk - the back right - you cannot see it!
The desk was removed from the room and the table moved there.


And here it is, after:

before and after
See, the floor is seeping! The table now sits next to the glaze shelves on the right.
There are items on that blue-ish shelving unit that I still need to get rid of - like I mentioned I have a ton of jewelry-making things.  But they are orderly and labeled, and I'll get to that later.

Also, thanks to everyone who commented on my last post - you all really helped!

My schedule for the next three days is free and clear (though Denise may stop by tomorrow to visit!!), so I'll be quite busy down there. Knock on wood no flooding will happen!

thoughts and stuff

I have been busy clearing and cleaning out the basement art space - a 6' x 8' room that Robert built for me a few years back - to house my pottery wheel and clay tools. I used that room quite often a few years ago, but then it just became cluttered, especially since I stopped doing mail art and swaps.

I was able to toss two huge garbage bags full of junk, filled two grocery bags of paper recyclables and a bunch of plastic to recycle, and have a large bin/tub to go through for donation to a charity or for re-sale.  I still have some other art supplies to sell or donate - things like beads and beading supplies because I'm really crap at making jewelry. I cannot wrap wire properly to save my life.

Back when I had full-time employment, some of the jobs I had were quite stressful. I would spend money to make myself happy, and one of the things I spent money on too freely was art/craft supplies. Not that I had much time to use them either. I had accumulated way too much stuff. It was overwhelming and head-shaking. Coincidentally,  Tilda was just talking about hoarding in this post.

And it made me think about Farmville.

Yes, Farmville. Some years back, when Facebook had launched that game, I loved it- plant some seeds, take care of farm animals - nice and slow (like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, two other old time video games I liked).  I played it for quite some time.  Not sure why I stopped - probably because the computer I have now is quite slow.Or maybe because I was actually gardening and raising chickens in real life. Now that Robert is gone (he is on tour in Denmark and Germany for two week) I'm using his computer which is faster, and because I'm a little bored or actually I'm a lot procrastinating, I clicked on Farmville again. It's like watching a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu video! Sensory overload!  More and more stuff, have to have more stuff!!!! After a day and a half, I had to delete that app. It was making me nervous and slightly melancholy.

thoughts and stuff

Not sure what this post is about other than I have been thinking a lot about stuff... I could continue to talk about this, and one of the reasons I hadn't done pottery in a long time is because I think 'how many pieces of pottery does the world need?'  But I really enjoy clay. I don't know - sigh - I think I need to think about something else. And take out the recycling.

And in other news, today was the first day I actually saw the ground in the yard, between melting piles of snow!

at the pottery class

This month, I'm teaching two beginner pottery classes - morning session and evening session on Wednesdays- for four weeks.  I start off with hand-building - pinch pots, coils, and slabs - and talk about types of clay and cones and glazes and drying times and encourage students to think about texture. Then to some very very basic wheel throwing. Next month, I'll be teaching two beginner wheel throwing classes - twice a week for each class for four weeks.

This piece was one of my own pinch pots from way back in the mid '80s when I was in college. I received my BA in Studio Art, with ceramics/pottery and printmaking concentrations, in June of '88, which was after my son was born in February of that year.

at the pottery class
Bathtub Head
I introduced color slips and sgraffito, and slip trailing to the students today. Although I have used colored slips and sgraffito before, I had never done slip trailing.  So I just jumped right in - I made my own clay body slip by using an old mini food processor and dry clay and added a bit of water. Then I put it in into a little plastic bottle (what a mess!) with a nice tip on it. The slip trail did a bit of 'burping' on my test tile and slab bowl!  Ha!

at the pottery class
Slip and sgraffito demo
I'm enjoying myself immensely (the students seem to be, too!), and will clean up my little art space in the basement so I can do some work here at home.  Just got home from the evening class - now time for a late dinner.

at the pottery class
Coil pot demo on the right; and some thrown pottery I made awhile back, awaiting glaze

#tbt and lost/found!dirt mud claygone off - scented sunday and some other thingsblabbing about potteryautumn dayswhat day is it?a quick postbefore and afterthoughts and stuffat the pottery class

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