Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays

I am still officially on Christmas break and looking forward to a much too rare visit from our globe trotting son. I popped back in just to take care of two important points.

1. Merry Christmas, Solstice, Kwanza, or holiday of your choice.( I didn't want to leave any out but I can only spell these and Blogger only tells me the others are wrong and not how to correct them Someone should write a book where I can look up words and their meanings..) I do appreciate every reader and comment and I especially thank those of you who put a link to this site on your own blogs.

2. We cannot close for the Holiday without awarding the BEND OVER GROVER award to Speaker John Boehner for refusing to consider the BI-PARTISAN Senate extension of the payroll tax cut and loading the house version with so many poison pills that no one in the Senate wanted anything to do with it. He rolled over for the Tea Party and made Grover Norquist and friends happy by choking the working people of America. Bend over Grover, drop those drawers and stand under the mistletoe.  Johnny is puckering up to give you a big Holiday kiss.


As I was going past my homepage on the way to shutting down the computer, I saw that the House has reportedly caved on the payroll tax extension. Apparently they figured out that when they act like assholes people accuse them of being assholes. This makes them fear for their political lives and do things against their nature.I really think that caving makes them look worse. If their stand was on "Principle" they are spineless for rolling over. Their stand could not have been  for assumed political gain because they just wouldn't do something that sacrificed the welfare of the American public just to make points. Or would they? Either way they really screwed themselves this time. When you put yourself in a lose/lose situation, you usually lose.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Panic Reducing Potter's Tip

This is the time of year when most potter's I know slow down a little. It is a great time to sort through those boxes of pots from last season and make prototypes with the changes and new glazes that we want to try for this year. No matter how I try, I always end up with a "set " of 10 bowls and one too big and one too small. Very nice bowls, but they don't quite match. I also end up with singletons of a color or size I'm no longer making or a style that I plan on changing. Here comes the tip....EMPTY BOWLS don't have to match.

Now is the time to get a big box and write EMPTY BOWLS on the side of it.Most potter's I know donate to their local EMPTY BOWLS projects. Some of us donate to more than one. Instead of getting in a panic the week before bowls are due, put a box out now. If your project has a "seconds sale" like ours does, put out two boxes.Both boxes will be full before you know it and your donation will not be hot from the kiln this year. No muss no fuss no last minute panic. Merry Christmas and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Break

When I was teaching , Christmas break was a wonderful thing (if you survived the first three weeks of the month.) This week I have been on break from making pots.I unloaded a couple of kilns, put away unsold pots from Holiday Fair, and gathered up pots that I had at a Civic Garden Center sale. I got my totals from Holiday Fair and it turned out better than I expected. Not a home run but a solid triple. The Garden Center Sale was to a small audience and I did not expect to sell much. I was not disappointed.I only took 7 pots over and picked up 6  but it did get my work in front of a few more people.The mug order from last week is done and I am very happy with the results. I am also very happy that nothing else is promised to anyone So officially I am on Christmas Break until I say otherwise.Merry Chrismakwanakah and thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Holiday Fair

 Clay Alliance has two sales a year Spring Fair on Derby Day and Holiday Fair in December. Yesterday was Holiday Fair.We had 35 excellent potters from all around the area and a large team of dedicated volunteers. I'd been fussing about this show for a while because it is a "table show" and I am used to bringing everything I own when I do a show. I needed a new approach so I built these shelves to effectively triple my space. That worked out well. I didn't sell any of the big jars so I didn't need to bring more of them. I did sell a lot of mugs, whiskey cups, bowls and bakers. This show has a central checkout so I didn't have to worry about making change or wrapping but I couldn't easily keep track of what I sold. I wasn't a rock star but I did pretty well. I'll know for sure later this week. I also had a lot of potters interested in my shelves. I could build several sets if I really wanted to.

I'm glad the show is over but there is no rest yet. Last Sunday I got an order for mugs. I threw them Monday. Added handles on Tuesday. Waxed the attachments and put them in the hot box on Wednesday. 7am Sunday, out in the studio starting the bisque kiln. When these are done I may just go to Cognito Mississippi for a few days. No one knows me when I'm in Cognito.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cone 6 Load

I needed some baking dishes for this Saturday's Holiday Fair so I pushed through a load of cone 6 pots this weekend. Not a waster in the bunch. I think I had 8 Bakers some green some red and one cobalt blue spongeware so this should help fill out the inventory. I have a little re-packing to do but I am basically ready for the show. I did get an order for mugs yesterday so I threw a bunch today to try to get them fired for Christmas. Every little bit helps.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Baum Open House

My friends Mike and Karen Baum are having their annual Open House this weekend.I helped out yesterday and had a very nice time. Traffic was steady and there were lots of people walking out with big bags.The sale continues this afternoon.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bend Over Grover

OK, here comes one of those radical left wing blog posts.Some of you may wish to tune out now and stop back next week.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the main thing that is choking Congress is the no tax never no how pledge that Grover Norquist has extorted many of our lawmakers into signing. You can't get access to Republican donors without it and if you don't sign it Grover's forces will work against you. If you ever waver, it's off with your head.Grover refuses to say who his funding comes from but he has so much of it you know he didn't get the money from poor people.This is the one thing that is keeping compromise out of budget negotiations. Lawmakers are scared to death to say that we should repeal the law that maxes Hedge Fund managers tax rate at 15%. They claim we should lay off public workers or let the payroll tax cut expire before we do anything as radical as ask the nations top earners to pay their fair share. Congressmen line up to kiss Grover's butt. So........

This week I am awarding the "Bend over Grover Award" to Mitch McConnell. Mitch says that instead of taxing millionaires (job creators who are not creating jobs), we should freeze the pay of Federal employees( working Americans), and Congress (non-working Americans) to pay for a continued cut in the payroll tax. As needed I will give the award to other lawmakers that I see puckering up to give Grover a big kiss.

If you are in Southwest Ohio this weekend , stop and visit Mike and Karen Baum's legendary Holiday Pottery Sale. State route 350 off route 123 at I 71. Saturday 10 to 5ish and Sunday afternoon. Demos, drawings, treats, drinks. It's always a great time.