Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Studio Clean Up

The first section of this post has absolutely nothing to do with pottery. One of my other loves is Old Time music. Not Country, not Bluegrass, but the old tunes that came out of the mountains. Songs about murders, train wrecks, lovers done wrong and things made right. Each year there is an "Ole Tyme" (sic) music festival near us at Caesars Creek Pioneer Village.Some of it is a little too bluegrass for me but the part I love is walking around the site listening to the old timers who have been playing this music and carrying on the oral tradition for 60 or 70 years. They gather on the front porch of one of the cabins, under trees or around car trunks and play for the love of it and to pass it on.

The second section shows my recent pottery metamorphosis ( hey I spelled that right the first time). I went from pugging left over native terra cotta and throwing garden pots to setting up for white stoneware. Cleaning the little Peter Pugger was no big deal. 4 bolts and maybe 30 minutes.Scrubbing down the wheel, bats and tools took all afternoon but for a few minutes it's clean. Look fast it won't last.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Soda Kiln

Last Sunday, I drove down to Independence Ky to take a load of pots to my friend Fred. He has built a very basic little soda kiln and I had worked out a deal to get some pots fired. I had about 40 mugs and a couple of utility jars.The mugs all had neuman's red slip and the jars had a thin coat of Ohio Slip.

The kiln is about as simple as you can get. Updraft with 7 cu. ft. of stacking space and one big ass power burner shooting into the middle of it. My guess would be 500k btu, It's built of salvaged hard brick with a layer of fiber over the outside. The down side, it needs more soda ports, better circulation, and it can eat a few pots if they are too close to the burner. The up side, it's more kiln than Fred had before and a good set of lessons for the next one.I'm starting to agree with the folks who say" that it's just a kiln go ahead and build something." The biggest mistake you can make is not to build anything. Thanks to Fred and here are the pictures. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Keep on Puggin'

Astute readers of the right hand column will note that I do not have any shows scheduled for a while. That is mostly by design and partly due to a show cancellation. This is going to allow me to catch up on some chores and maybe even take a little vacation or two. It also allows me to play in the clay a little without worrying about production. Today's playing was to pug up some of the leftover Ohio Slip Clay that Gary Adkins gave me last year. Typically it's used as a glaze ingredient but it throws fairly well too. You can't fire it beyond bisque or it will begin to melt but at cone 05 it makes some very nice garden pots.

In other play news, a friend of mine has a small soda kiln and we worked out a deal for me to get some pots fired with his. I have about 40 mugs and a few utility jars in the firing and I am very excited to see the results.It's a very basic little kiln but Fred has been getting some good results.Hopefully, the next post will have pictures of orange flashed soda fired mugs.

Finally, I have a question for other bloggers. I have been seeing a big increase in daily pageviews (over a hundred a day) but they mostly do not show up in the left hand column that shows which posts were visited.Also they are coming from more than one site. I'm not that popular! Does anyone know what's going on?

Monday, June 6, 2011

New Pictures

I've been trying to put together some nicer photos for applications. Sometimes, it seems more like a photo contest than a chance for someone to see what your pots look like. You've seen most of these pots before but let me know if I'm on the right track or not . I'm a big boy, I can take it.

Oh yeah, I've got one little rant. On the way home from Augusta Saturday I saw a sign that said     " Break in Pavement" . Now it looked pretty well broken in to me already and I had no idea why it was my responsibility . More budget cuts I guess.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Augusta Ky, is the hometown of Rosemary Clooney, Brother Nick, and the boyhood home of George.None of them stopped by the booth but their town is a gorgeous place to spend a summer afternoon. I hauled the pots south for " Art in the Garden" yesterday and it had to be the loveliest place I have ever pitched the tent.Flower gardens in front of me and the Ohio River behind.There was a pretty good flow of friendly people coming through saying nice things. It might help to name it Art Show and SALE in the Garden but with the help of several sales in the last hour of the show I ended up doing well enough to make the trip worthwhile.Several of my "Kentucky Friends" and some Facebook friends were there too and it was nice to see them.I think my favorite conversation of the day went like this:
He- Nice pot
Me- Glad you like it.
He- Is it McCoy?
Me- No, I made it.
Me- Yes everything in the show should be hand made by the exhibitor.
He- No Kidding?

You can just imagine those  little animated kitties having this conversation.
I'm including a couple of booth shots too. I still like the big shelf but I  need to work on how the dinnerware is displayed. Way too much clutter on that shelf.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Bird

Dan Finnegan makes the most marvelous birds in the world. If you haven't seen his, find the link in my blog list and get ready to drool. I'm not trying to rip off Dan and I could never make birds like his but they did inspire me to try to dress up a new teapot a little bit.

I have a show in Augusta Ky Saturday that is going to require my day to start about 4:30 AM. Ouch! Stop by and say hello if you are down that way.

I did confirm a Ky rumor this week. I had heard that Ky would let vendors submit sales tax on an event basis instead of a full registration . It's true. If you call the Dept of Revenue in Frankfort and ask for a temporary vendors permit, they will refer you to the proper district office. The District office will ask your name, address, social and name of the event.A few days later you get a permit and a simple form to submit with your check.Then you are done and do not have to file returns for the rest of your life. Easy.