Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chicken Stew

Thanks for the input on the sign shop. I'm not going to rush out and blow it all at once so if those light bulbs come on, keep sending ideas.

OK, I know when I started this blog I promised not to bore people by reporting what I had for breakfast but this was lunch. Serve it thick as a stew, thinner like a soup, cook it down, bake, and serve as a casserole, or thicken as a pot pie filling. Remember, I'm no food stylist. You can make it as pretty as you want.



Season some chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown in a little oil. I had skinless boneless and they worked fine.(If you use regular thighs, you will want to remove bones and skin when you shred the chicken.)

Remove chicken, drain fat. Saute' a chopped onion, a carrot, and a couple of stalks of celery in the same pan. Put chicken back in the pan and add a can of stewed tomatoes. Braise covered for an hour or so until the chicken is falling apart. Remove chicken and shred with a fork. If you want more broth, add another can of tomatoes. Return to pan with a diced potato.Simmer all til potato is done. Salt and pepper to taste. Finally, stir in a couple of handfuls of fresh baby spinach. As soon as the spinach wilts it's ready to serve.
Yum, Yum, Yum and pretty healthy too. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ideas Wanted

OK kids, today I am going to share a problem with you and it's the kind of problem you wish you had. Do you know about those wonderful gifts that you didn't know you wanted and would not have gotten for yourself but someone knew you wanted before you knew? My wife Tina gave me a very generous gift certificate to a sign shop for Christmas. They claim to be able to put a sign on anything. A banner to emblazon the name of Whistle Creek across the booth, vinyl logos to stick on the van,magnetic signs for the van, embroidered logos on hats, shirts, etc. Sort of a one stop brand shop.I have some ideas but I wanted to poll all of you on what kinds of things you think might pay off. They say two heads are better than one and most are better than mine. I do not want to hang a shingle in front of the house but other than that, I'm open to suggestions.

In case you didn't get the riddle from last time.....




Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happiness

Here I go waxing philosophic when I should be waxing the Chevy. Every Christmas we are flooded with expectations of sugar plums dancing in our heads, wonderful family gatherings where everyone gets along,
peace, joy, and love for all mankind. It has come to my attention that this is not the case for everyone. For years we would go to a holiday gathering where the lady of the house set a high and arbitrary standard for everyone else. Everyone had to follow her protracted agenda and utter oohs and ahhs at the appointed time. The gathering was not about the family but about her.  After a drink or five, you never knew what she would say or who she would insult but you knew it was coming. It was one person's weight, another's job, someone's housekeeping, etc. Eventually, everyone got a turn and the evening generally ended with her being pissed that everyone did not want to be trotted down to her church and picking a fight with her husband. Many a feeling was hurt and holiday ruined. One year Tina and I decided that we had a foolproof solution. We realized that we no longer loved this woman enough to let her bother us. It was a Christmas miracle. They say forgiveness is a gift you give yourself and this worked the same way. An insult not responded to dies pretty quickly. Just let it roll off like water on a duck.Thanks for your input. I'll take that under advisement. The only power she had to hurt us was power we had given her. Lord knows she had her own demons to deal with and they drove much of her behavior. She had the makings of a nice life but spent a lot of it being miserable and freely sharing her misery with others. There are happy people in this world. Some have everything, some have nothing. Some are young and healthy, some old and feeble, some have had their bodies shattered by war.What I believe they have in common is that they are as happy as they have decided to be. Living well is the best revenge. Smile, it will make your friends glad and drive your enemies crazy. Decide to be happy. Here is one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems. Merry Christmas.

It's All the Same to the Clam - Shel Silverstein




You may leave the clam on the ocean's floor,

It's all the same to the clam.

For a hundred thousand years or more,

It's all the same to the clam.

You may bury him deep in mud and muck

Or carry him 'round to bring you luck,

Or use him for a hockey puck,

It's all the same to the clam.



You may call him Jim or Frank or Nell,

It's all the same to the clam.

Or make an ashtray from his shell,

It's all the same to the clam.

You may take him riding on the train

Or leave him sitting in the rain.

You'll never hear the clam complain,

It's all the same to the clam.



Yes, the world may stop or the world may spin,

It's all the same to the clam.

And the sky may come a'fallin' in,

It's all the same to the clam.

And man may sing his endless songs

Of wronging rights and righting wrongs.

The clam just sets -- and gets along,

It's all the same to the clam.






Friday, December 21, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Progress

The big news for the month is that the new roof is finished on the old barn. This gives me a dry space to store things like the lawn tractor, the Tractor Tractor, and the UTV. I still have more shelving to build and cleaning left to do but everything fits and the door closes. This means none of this stuff is in the studio any more! Again, there is more reorganizing but getting the tractor out of the studio increased my space by 1/3. And that is space I was already paying to heat so it is a big big plus. Other news is the results of a little sale at the Art Center. Just compare the before and after pictures. Thank you all for reading this year and Merry Chrismakwanaka!






Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just a Few Words

This is not the post I was planning. That will come in a couple of days. As we struggle to absorb the horror of Sandy Hook, we need to remember the many heroes who make us proud to be Americans. The teachers and staff of that school gave all they could to protect the students.Several of them ran into the gunfire in futile attempts to stop it. The first responders went straight into the building not knowing what they would find or if they would come out again. We could not ask for a greater sacrifice from anyone. We need to also remember that for the last couple of years, there has been an organized effort to demonize teachers and public employees as a tactic to push forward union busting legislation and privatize their jobs. I spent 10 years working in civil service and 20 more teaching kids with multiple handicaps. Naturally, some things could have been done better but people I worked with were generally hard working and dedicated to doing a good job. I have seen many of them risk their own safety to protect others. It's all in a days work. Next time your state starts blaming their ills on teachers and public employees, remember Sandy Hook.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Finally, Some Fame, Where's the Fortune?:

Hello everyone. I can now say that I am an award winning blogger. Ok, it's the Liebster Award which is kind of like the chain letter of awards but it looks good on the resume.
I need to answer a bunch of questions then pass it on to other bloggers.This is going to involve a lot of back and forth or clip and paste so I'm just going to tell you a bunch of personal info and it may not all be warranted to be true.Then I'll show a few new pots.

I was born in 1950. That makes me 35 years old, 6ft 6in tall and 175 lbs.

I have been married to my wife Tina for 37 years.

I have a full head of hair and an IQ of 182.

We have 2 kids. Our son Ben is in NYC where he runs a Global Brand Strategy company.The kid's a branding guru and old Dad is just stumbling through trying to peddle his pots.Our daughter Kate teaches art in Charlotte and makes jewelry. She has been awarded a paid semester at the McColl Center for the Arts to pursue her own work. And she is featured in a show opening there this weekend.

I am a retired teacher of multi handicapped children. I worked with older teens and young adults and taught a lot of daily living and transition to work skills. I was also dept. chair at a large high school.

I don't know what you all are complaining about, I sell out at every show I do.

Most of the potters that I try to emulate (see I did go to college) have been influenced by English country pottery.

When I read Ceramics Monthly I feel like I'm the only one who knows the emperor has no clothes.

Politically I am to John Boehner's left and Nancy Pelosi's right but try to get along with everyone.

One of my favorite workshops was the Carolina Clay Matters winter workshop with Mark Hewitt a few years ago and if Judy will comment with this years offering, I may come down again.

Most of the music I like was written before 1940 and played by string bands, fiddlers, and banjo pickers in the mountains of Appalachia.

I think that is 11 facts. I will pass this on to other deserving bloggers soon. Here are some pots including Mitt Romney's piggy bank.





Saturday, December 1, 2012

Explorations

Wednesday, my brother Norris and I headed to Tennessee to do some exploring and try to find a route to our ancestral land near Elk Valley on the line between Campbell and Scott counties. We took my UTV which was a swell idea because the roads are mostly washed out or just imaginary. We also took my smart phone with the GPS and topo map app. (another swell idea). We arrived around noon Wednesday, found a wide spot in the road, parked, unloaded, and headed back Lamb mountain from the north side. We went back in the bush 3 miles or so, met a hunter, found out we were required by law to wear blaze orange hats and vests because it was deer season, and got close to our land but were not able to climb up to it. The day was crisp unless you were zipping down the road in an open vehicle, them it was just plain cold. We hiked and found some beautiful open woods but it was not our woods.We tried several more trails, met a guy doing maintenance on one of the small gas wells in the area, heard the UTV making a funny noise and headed back to the van. A Cracker Barrel dinner, a trip to Walmart for blaze orange hats and vests, and checking in at the Super 8 rounded out the day.

Thursday dawned cold again. We drove into Lafollette had breakfast, and spent an hour at the historical society were we were able to find a picture of our great grandfather William Allen. He had been a Union spy for Burnside, wounded, captured and exchanged several times.After the Civil war he was elected clerk of courts then judge and served Campbell county for 60 years. We had known his story but had never had a picture of him. Now we do. He had also held high office in the Masons and it turns out the head of the historical society is a Mason. He is going to go through their archives and see what he can find for us.

As the day warmed we went to Elk Valley and tried to get up the mountain that way.We had been up there last spring but were unable to find a route to our property. This time we had the gps and it really helped. The road (trail, path) is in awful shape but we did not have any trouble getting up there with the UTV. We made it up to Big Wheel Gap at the top of the mountain then checked the gps and headed north along the ridge.I kept checking and we kept getting closer. After a couple of miles of dirt road and swimming through mud holes in the ute we made it to our property. It was good to see that no one had hauled it away in the two years since we had been there. There were some survey tapes going across some of our land so someone has been up there but there has been a misunderstanding of the boundaries by some neighboring property holders so it really wasn't too alarming. It was a beautiful afternoon. There were deer tracks all over the place and you could see for miles with the leaves down. We did start smelling a belt burning and found a loose belt on the alternator. After seeing the shape the belt was in, we tightened it up and slowly headed down out of the wilderness.

But wait!!! That's not all!!! Thursday night is Jam Session at Raccoon Valley Campground. I had brought a guitar so we drove down after dinner and had a very nice evening of old songs by old men ( and Carol ) I generally played along but found enough nerve to do "Waterbound" and "Hello Stranger" without anyone throwing anything at me. It is always a nice time and this was no exception. After a day on the mountain and a night in the valley the beds at the motel felt awfully good.

Friday took us to the Courthouse in Scott County for a little deed research that might help firm up our northern boundary. Finally we headed for home. It was an outstanding trip with great weather and a lot of very nice and helpful people.The folks at the motel, the historical society , the courthouse, the principal who let us park the rig in a secure spot at the school while we were up the mountain, and the fellas we met on the mountain were all as helpful as they could be. Once we told people who we were and that we were doing family research everyone seemed to want to help. Well, I'm off to help Mike and Karen Baum with their big Christmas sale so here are some pictures from the mountain including one of my brother walking down what is officially a county road through our land.It's just that no one is sure which county. Thanks for stopping.

PS I have been given a liebster award for the blog by several people. Thank you. I will respond soon.










Wednesday, November 21, 2012

FIVE WORDS

It's not Thanksgiving without pie.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Time to Feed the Blog

Hello everyone. This week has been busy without a lot to show for it.The weather has been good with frosty mornings and warm afternoons.This has led to yard clean up and building shelves for the newly roofed barn. The days when I can work outside without freezing are getting fewer and fewer as the year marches on so I have to take advantage of them. I have not been totally away from the pottery. I have two classes of clay monkeys that are great fun to teach and I have been making a few pots of my own. The big change you will see when you look at the pictures is that I washed down the studio and changed over to white clay. I love the red stuff and how my glazes look on it at cone 6 but the lure of reduction firing is calling again.I have been making big platters and mugs that I am anxious to finish but instead of Michael Kline's 12 by 12, my production has been more like 2 by Tuesday.  I have a mixed load to bisque this week then glaze next week and fire for a show I am hopefully going to be in on the 8th. I'm next on the list and people always drop out but I wish they would get on with it. In the mean time, Happy Thanksgiving. Do what you love with those you love and it will all be fine.




Monday, November 12, 2012

Two Unrelated Items

All the posturing by both parties over the fiscal cliff this weekend reminds me of my a favorite poem by Shel Silverstein. It always describes the heart of the matter when someone offers a simple solution to a complex problem.

I've found a way to make
 our friendship last forever.
There's really nothing to it.
I'll just tell you what to do.
And you do it

Item number two. The recent storms reminded me of this old song.( played on my $2 yard sale guitar) This may not show on some mobile devices.


video






Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quick Trip

Last Thursday, I headed south down the highway in our little R.V.  First stop was at Raccoon Valley just north of Knoxville. Every Thursday the ESCAPEES campground there has a Bluegrass jam session. You don't need talent, just nerve to participate. Since I can only halfway play, I brought 2 guitars. There might have been 35 or 40 people there with a dozen or so of us performing. I had a very good time and avoided the flying fruit and rotten vegetables. Those folks were so nice that some of them helped me off the stage and showed me the door. One fellow even said he'd like to put me in a long black Cadillac. You can't beat southern hospitality. Seriously, it is a fun evening and a very nice group of people. Any Thursday, 7pm, everyone welcome.

Friday took me to Dillsboro N.C. to help Mike and Karen Baum in their booth at the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival.The drive through the Smoky Mountains was lovely but the sight of snow on the high elevations worried me a little. Luckily, I went around the end of the Smokies and avoided driving through any of it. When I got to Dillsboro, I parked the rig back by the creek and left it there for the weekend. It was very convenient not to have to drive to a motel off site and to have everything I needed close at hand. I helped with set up for a couple of hours then enjoyed watching throwing competitions. These are some outstanding potters from as far away a New York, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Texas. I think the winning 5 lb cylinder was about 17 inches high and the winning 5 lb bowl was nearly 18 .Longest pulled handle? 38 inches. After a quick dinner Mike , Karen and I unloaded their booth from the van and set up the canopy and shelves by lantern light. Friends Marcia Fanthorp and sister Carol also showed up so it went well and only took an hour or so. I was glad to see my snug little bed waiting in a nice warm camper and hit it early.

Saturday, I was up at 6 making coffee and by 7 we were again working under lantern light to unpack boxes and stock the booth. Mike and Karen make lovely durable functional pots and plenty of them.Like a stretched van packed wall to wall end to end and top to bottom. We flew through set up and were ready to go by 9:30. That gave me 2 minutes to run to the bathroom, say hello to John Bauman, meet Ron Philbeck, eat a complementary breakfast burrito and get back to the booth. No time for fooling around or even taking pictures for the blog. You can use the links above to see Mike and Karen's work and see more from the festival.  People started coming and lining up 4 or 5 deep to check out. I was wrapping and bagging in the back of the booth and didn't get to look up until 3 pm. Wow what a show.We closed at 4 and by 5:30 ( again with more help from Marcia) we were packed up and heading for the post show dinner. I hit the sack about 7:30 and that was that.

Sunday was a beautiful day to drive home. I even made a short side trip to Cumberland Falls about 15 miles west of I 75 at Corbin Ky. just to take a picture for you. The falls are 65 ft high and there is a lovely state park there with full amenities.



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hello November

Hey everyone. Just a quick update and a few pictures before I head off to Dillsboro N.C. for the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival this weekend. No, I haven't stepped up to the big time yet, I'm helping friends Mike and Karen Baum in their booth. There are some really topnotch potters there so I always look forward to going. It is also the one time a year I play with other musicians. Not a big deal just a Thursday night campground jam but it is a lot of fun. You've heard me play and sing on this blog before so you will understand that I sound much better in a large group. The other guys appreciate it because they sound so much better when I stop.

I finally glazed and fired a cone 6 load and have another one ready to go.I have included pictures of some of the salad bowls and baking dishes. I have also been trying out a new "MUDTOOLS" drag tool. It seems to work pretty well but you need to keep the waste clear. Lastly, the roof job on the shed is 90% done. We had to order some trim or it would have been done last week. Now we are waiting on weather. Ohio has been wet and cold with some snow this week. I know some of you got a lot more bad weather than we did. Hope you are all ok.





Monday, October 22, 2012

Changes

There have been some changes going on around here.Seems like everyone is being told to set up and maintain a FACEBOOK page for their business. I went to a workshop a couple of weeks ago and had a few sips of Kool Aide. Maybe tomorrow, maybe this winter, not today.  I already voted and am looking forward to the day when debate is again what you put on the end of de line. The pigs are drying and I have a big mess of bowls and baking dishes to wax and glaze but I have been putting it off as long as possible. It's not that I hate glazing, well ok that is the problem. Once that wet clay stops spinning I start thinking about the next pot, not finishing this one. I'll get it done, but not today. I started a new class of clay monkeys a couple of weeks ago and they are the nicest bunch of young ladies you would ever want to meet. Things are going well.

The big change is I have hired the same guys who built the studio to tear an old rotting flat roof off my other outbuilding and replace the whole roof system with metal to match the studio. This will give me some much needed dry storage that will allow me to store the tractor and UTV and a ton of useless junk somewhere besides my studio. Astute readers who have put up with this blog for a few years will also recall that I bought a used gas kiln when the studio was going up. I didn't really need it then but the deal was too good to pass up. The new roof will also allow me to put a flue up. There was no point in spending the money to put a flue thru a bad roof but all that will change later this week.  Finally, this may be the year of the gas kiln! Thanks for stopping by. And oh yeah, that thing of which we no longer speak is fading into my memory.






Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mitt's Piggy Bank

When a boy is saving up for his first polo pony or corporate take over he needs a good bank to put his money in. I like to imagine Mitt had one like these. Thanks for stopping by.



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Working

Well, things are mostly back to normal around here. I've been making a bunch of square and oval bakers. They always sell pretty well and I sold out of them right before I got hurt so it is time for more. Big salad bowls had moved pretty well this fall so I am trying to stock up on them too. I've even made some Christmas ornaments and a couple of piggy banks. They don't really move me but a buck's a buck. I'm in the middle of a 15lb bank that is more my style. Hopefully it will work out and I can show you next time. Thanks for stopping by.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm Back!


I went out to the studio today and threw parts for a half dozen square and oval baking dishes. I could feel the sore ribs but it didn't really hurt. I take a few ibuprofen and my shoulder is still regaining full range but today will be the last post about the "incident". I am declaring myself healed (well, maybe I'm a week early but close enough).

The rest of the story is that the bills have started to come in for 2 E.R. visits 3 sets of x-rays, and a CT Scan. Believe me this was as MINOR a motorcycle accident as you can have, still, the medical bills will add up. I have insurance but I still may reach my maximum co-pay before this is over. This part is not really about me. Between savings and monthly retirement checks we can absorb this without any great hardship but it makes me think of many of my hardworking friends who cannot afford insurance or have $10,000 deductibles. Three seconds of accident can drive folks to bankruptcy.

 If the Affordable Care Act raises my rates a little, so be it if that gives my friends enough coverage that they can afford. I know that American Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, and Mitt Romney say repealing affordable health care will make America strong and give all of us the joy of standing on our own two feet ( screw you if you have no legs). Remember the guys who passed Medicare D and then made it illegal for Medicare to negotiate drug prices? That last part was nothing but price supports for the drug industry. These are the same guys! What they really want to repeal is controls on profits of insurance companies, the ban on refusal for pre-existing conditions, the coverage of preventative care, and the repeal of lifetime benefit caps. When I hear a candidate call for repeal of Obamacare I know who I'm voting for. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just Checking In

It has been two weeks since I examined that zone where the rubber meets the road or in my case where the cyclist meets the road. Thank goodness for helmets or I would be dealing with a concussion or worse instead of just being banged up. I appreciate all the good wishes you have sent and believe that they are speeding my recovery. I have had a couple more doctor visits and things seem to be knitting pretty well. I did drop out of what was to be my last outdoor show of the season last week but hey more pots for me! I'll sell them next time.

I spent about 10 days in the fog of prescription pain killers alternately napping and watching whatever was on TV. All medications have some side effects and I am glad to put these behind me.I spent too much time in that netherworld that lies between wake and sleep and not knowing which I was in.I felt like doing absolutely nothing. It was what I needed but I really didn't like it. I have just been taking Ibuprofen for the last few days and am feeling much more ambitious. My range of motion has increased and yesterday I even felt up to mowing the front yard. My rib reminds me that it is still broken and my right arm still doesn't reach up like it should but things are improving every day. I can't throw yet but I have been sorting through my shelves and coming up with a lot of donations for empty bowls. I can bathe and dress myself but shaving still hurts so I haven't. I'm starting to look like the wild hairy man from the hills but I know some potters who get by with that look permanently so I'm not too worried about it.

I should be back to my old self in another couple of weeks. In the mean time, thanks again and I'll be back in a week or so.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ouch !

I'm ok. Monday I wasn't so sure. I had decided to celebrate the beautiful day with a nice motorcycle ride in the country. It was a gorgeous early fall day and the miles flew by. I am a careful and cautious rider but a couple of miles from the house is the steepest curviest hill in the county. I always descend it slowly but it just didn't work this time. Heavy rains last week had washed sand onto the road and as I went around a sharp bend I started to skid. I corrected 3 times and it just started slipping again each time. Rather than hit a guard rail and maybe go down a 200 ft bank I laid her down. Then I was laying in the road with an 800 lb bike on my leg. It took some wiggling but I did manage to get my foot dislodged pull my leg out and stand up. The gasoline that was running down the hill convinced me to turn off the ignition just for good luck.My ribs hurt and my right shoulder had a kink in it but I was basically functional. I flagged down some guys who helped me get upright again. This is not easy when the rubber side is up and the shiny side is pointing down a steep hill but we managed. The bike had a scuff on the fender and a slight bend in the handlebar. I managed to get it started and limped home. After sitting for a while at home, it became apparent that I was not just going to take 2 aspirin and feel better. Tina drove me to the local ER where we spent the next 6 hours getting me poked prodded x rayed, and CT scanned. The verdict is a broken rib (maybe two) a sprained shoulder, and a pneumothorax where the rib nicked my lung a little and a couple of scrapes and bruises. They sent me home about midnight with a handful of vicodin and a referral to a trauma clinic. It could be worse. It does hurt and I may not be able to do my show this weekend or throw for a few weeks but my face is still where I left it and my head isn't broken( thank you helmet). In a few weeks I should be back to normal. I almost said good as new but that ship sailed a long time ago.

Life changes suddenly enjoy the one that you have.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Art Shows

Once again I hit the road and did two shows in one weekend.Saturday I was in Bellevue Ky for Art in the Park and Sunday I was close to home at the Loveland Art show.

Bellevue Ky sits right on the Ohio river and you can watch the boats going up and down. I love this show and I usually do well. They have a very hardworking bunch of volunteers who always seem to have some kind of event going on to promote their redevelopment efforts. They are the nicest folks you could meet anywhere. They know that an Art Show is about getting a crowd in and keeping the vendors happy. They provide generous free drinks, booth sitters, snack packs etc. The booth fee is also very reasonable. They are not wizards and cannot control the weather. Three days out the forecast was for a rainy Saturday. Friday that changed to a rainy morning. When I got to the park about 7:30, it was raining fairly hard but the show must go on. Luckily, this is one show where I can park 10 ft behind the booth so I was able to start with the tent and tables then bring the pottery boxes in a couple at a time and put the empty ones back in the van. By the time we opened, the rain had stopped and the sky was beginning to clear. What happened after that is anyones guess. Even though the show was well promoted, the crowd was very light all day. Judging from the conversations I had with the other potters, most of us did about half what we did last year. It's all part of the vendors life but when I worked for other people, I would have been pissed if I worked hard all week and ended up with half pay in my envelope ( and full deductions taken out). I'm always thankful that I'm retired and don't have to sell to pay the bills. I always marvel at the people who live off talent and tenacity.It takes a lot of courage.

Sunday dawned much brighter and not quite as early for the 20 minute drive to Loveland. The show is in a park and you cannot drive to your booth to unload. This would be a deal breaker for an aging potter with one good ankle except they have a bunch of the greatest high school kids you ever saw. I backed into the loading zone and said I was going to unload then I would need some help. I unloaded and parked the van. When I returned there were six kids in purple shirts who started picking up my stuff ( and there's a bunch of it) and schlepping it across the park.I didn't have to carry one box. The weather was perfect, the crowd came out and stayed out. People bought pots, lotsa pots. Friends came out, some new some that I went to school with 50 years ago. It was a great day. I want to quickly thank Judy Schneider from clay club. Judy comes to almost every show in the area and even though I spend a lot of time picking on her she is always glad to booth sit for a few minutes while I run to the restroom or grab a sandwich. It really helps.

 By closing time, I had several empty boxes Cookie jars, Casseroles ( open and covered ) utility jars, and baking dishes sold well. I had a woman and two grown kids come in . I think the kids were a daughter+ husband. One of the young folk had bought a cereal bowl last month in Yellow Springs 50 miles up the road. they came specifically to get the rest of the shino cereal bowls and a serving bowl to match. Saturday, a woman bought 4 casseroles, one for each grown kid for Christmas. What nice customers to have. I may even have sold a set of 8 plates. The woman loved the shino and iron glazed plates but I did not have 8. She seems serious about coming back. A lot of my sales Sunday were $40 + and I think using the square for credit cards helped. I previously wrote down info and processed on line after the show. This weekend I started swiping with the square and it was much quicker and it gave me instant approval. I think the customers liked it too. For the weekend, about 2/3 of my sales were plastic, one check and the rest cash.That is a big shift to plastic.

At the close of the show, I boxed the pots, struck the tent, and grabbed a bunch of those wonderful kids. I carried one box. Here are a couple of pictures from Sunday including the big yellow jar that was touched by every body who came to the show. I was afraid they were going to rub a hole in it. Thanks for stopping.






Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Stuff

Ok. no old time pickin', no politics, just some newer pots. A couple of sectional jars in the cone 6 clay and some newer glaze work from the cone 10 gas firing at Middletown. I'm dealing with contractors for some roof and blacktop work and getting ready for back to back shows next weekend so I probably won't post til after the shows. Wish me luck.








Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Jury is Out

Earlier today, Tracey Broome posted a piece about the Jury Experience. Tracey is a very talented Artist/Blogger/Mom who is open about her likes and dislikes. I'm sure she won't mind being mentioned here and if you don't read her blog, you should. You can see it here Tracey Broome. Several other potters, including me, chimed in with our experiences and opinions. Then I went to a local "Arts and Music" festival. It was 5 miles from where I had done well 2 weeks ago but I had done it a few years ago and based on that experience, I was just visiting today. I'll show you the pictures in a minute. My take away was you have to have some standards or you end up with a big yard sale. Jurors are hired by show committees to give their opinion you can't fault them for doing what they were paid to do. You can question how they were selected and what instructions they were given. Did they think they were setting up a museum show? Did they think the price point for mugs was $50 each? If you hire a juror who spends hours and hours on each piece of Ceramic Art they make they may not appreciate functional ware for the masses. I usually agree with jurors that let me in a show and disagree with those who don't.

Anyway, this was just a few rather random thoughts that bounced around my head today. Here are some pictures of what you can get in an essentially unregulated show. We don't want this but we don't want high quality saleable work kept out of shows because it is not "ARTY" enough either. Please chime in with your opinion too. Just click the word "comments" at the bottom of the page.