Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pack It or Whack It ?

Welcome to tonight's episode of of the new hit show "Pack It or Whack It ?" Tonight we will explore what happens to a kiln load of tests and refires. I have included some select examples. Rest assured that there were many more that did not make the cut. There were a bunch of blue bowls with too thin glaze that broke to an ugly green and some pieces that were dipped in the white that convinced me to spray it from now on. I like the decoration on the iron red oval dish but I got a little split where the sidewall is joined to the base. Still, it gave me good information.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Proposal.

Earlier today I made a comment on the blog of a well known Canadian Potter. His reply was ,"Dennis we just gotta meet up sometime. Texan music, fishing, motorcycles and pottery. Now tell me ya like bourbon and I'll ask ya to marry me" Well I do like bourbon and BACON. So I guess I have a decision to make.There are pros and cons to every opportunity. First of all each of us is already married. We couldn't just ditch the wives after all these years. I don't know about Canada, but plural marriage is illegal in at least 49 of 50 U.S. states. There is also the issue that as far as I can tell neither of us is gay or has any interest in switching teams. On the other hand, the guy does look pretty good in a hat and he can make some serious pottery! Decisions, Decisions. He might just be after a U.S. Green Card. On the other hand, I might be able to get Canadian health insurance. He could be tired of Ontario winters and be yearning for some time in Ohio where the temps are a balmy 20 degrees but does he know that's Fahrenheit  not Celsius ? I wouldn't mind some Ontario fishing if we could work it in between black fly / mosquito season and ice up. But what if it rains that day? These things might be manageable but there may be an insurmountable ( I spelled that right on the first try) issue. I don't know about Tony but I fought in the War of 1812. The Canadians think they won! I am just not sure I could put that behind me but at my age I'm not going to get many more offers. It's always something.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Biscuits Are Done

In very uncharacteristic fashion, everything in this bisque load came through intact. No blow ups, no S cracks, no warpage.I'm trying to lay in a good supply of tableware bisque so this made me very happy. Mugs are already stocked. Plates go off tonight with more jugs and crocks.I should be getting close to changing over to red clay for a few weeks.That way, I'll be ready for quick turnarounds this summer when I run low on certain colors. Beats starting from scratch when you are in a hurry. I'm also getting some show applications out and will be able to update the show schedule in the right hand column soon. Thanks for stopping.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Musical ? Interlude

I my continuing effort to prove that I have neither talent nor shame, I joined the a local folk music group The Queen City Balladeers a few weeks ago. They meet every Sunday evening for a jam session and a few short featured acts. I'm still trying to achieve that state of harmonic perfection where my voice and my playing cancel each other out but this is what I'll be doing Sunday night. I hope the pottery gig works out cause I'm not going to unseat Justin Beber anytime soon.

Monday, February 11, 2013

What If

Seems like every potter I know has the seasonal doubts. This is not  really a lucrative profession and when the cash flow gets dammed up in January and February folks start wondering if they should have gone to Truck Driver Training School. It afflicts humble little part time potters as well as artists with international reputations. That little voice that keeps asking -"Am I good enough?", "Will anyone come to the show?", or "What if I forget my pants?" does keep quality control at a high level. It pushes people to produce their best work but that doesn't make it any easier to live with. Believe it or not, I don't have a solution to this one other than to say we all feel this way sometimes. If anyone has suggestions chime in down in the comments section.

 Here's a poem from Shel Silverstein

The What Ifs
Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some What ifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old What if song:
What if I'm dumb in school?
What if they've closed the swimming pool?
What if I get beat up?
What if there's poison in my cup?
What if I start to cry?
What if I get sick and die?
What if I flunk that test?
What if green hair grows on my chest?
What if nobody likes me?
What if a bolt of lightning strikes me?
What if I don't grow taller?
What if my head starts getting smaller?
What if the fish won't bite?
What if the wind tears up my kite?
What if they start a war?
What if my parents get divorced?
What if the bus is late?
What if my teeth don't grow in straight?
What if I tear my pants?
What if I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime What ifs strike again!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Black and Blue

I fired the cone 6 kiln yesterday with a new black glaze ( Ron Roy's),  ketchup red with a new Chinese iron oxide, and a re-fire of some blue that was a little weak the first time around. I also tried spritzing a dash of contrast here and there.I didn't know if some of the combinations would work well together or just eat each other up. I think they came out pretty nice. Other than that, I've been spending time in the recliner with both the dog and one of the cats pinning me down for long periods of time. It's winter.